How do you create visual models? What are the steps you need to take to extract the knowledge and turn it into something simple, elegant and powerful?
I want to share with you my 5 step process to take what’s in your head and turn it into a visual model.
STEP 1: EXTRACT
The first step is asking quality questions, so you extract the RIGHT information.
There are four different types of models, so you’ll want to extract correctly for each one. In this example, I’ll show you how to extract an EDUCATE model.
Your Educate Model is all about showing your client how do they get from A-Z. A is where they start working with you and Z is where they want to go, the outcome for them.
How do they get from A-Z?
So the questions you want to be asking are:
- “Who is my ideal client?”
- “Where do they start? (point A)”
- “Where do they want to end up? (point Z)”
- “What are all the thing need to happen to get from A-Z?”
With the last question, these could be things that the client does, that you do, or that you do together.
Grab a fat stack of post-it notes. Put one thing per post-it note, stick it up on the wall. Don’t filter. Say “thank you, brain, keep it coming”. The point here is to get everything out.
Now, say you’ve got 300 post-it notes up on your wall if you go to your clients and say “Hey. I’ve got a 300 step process to get you from A-Z” They’re going to be like, “I’m going to go to the person down the road who’s got five steps.”
Nobody wants 300 steps. That’s why we have to CHUNK.
STEP 2: CHUNK
You’ve got your 300 steps, but you can’t tell your client it’s 300 steps.
We need to chunk those 300 into between 3 and 7 chunks. I’ve found that this is the sweet spot between many many years of creating these models.
In NLP, they’ll tell you that can have between 2 and 9 chunks, that that’s how much the brain can handle. However, I find that it works better to have between 3 and 7 for visual models.
Group your post-it notes. What goes with what?
Once you’ve got between 3 and 7 chunks, then you’ll want to give each stage a name.
The critical thing to remember about EDUCATE models is that you want doing words – you want VERBS. So, ‘mindset’ is not a step. ‘Unpack mindset’ is.
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STEP 3: DRAFT
Then say you’ve got your five steps created, your five chunks worked out, in step 3 you want to draft that into a picture.
You want to draft a model and turn that into a picture.
Here in this article, we’re only talking about Educate models, and pretty much all educate models are some version of left-to-right arrows (or similar). This is because we’re depicting a linear process. First, you do step one, and then step two and so on.
For other models, there are different shapes that I recommend. For example, a success model should always be interconnected parts to form a whole – like a circle. An Excite model should show momentum upwards – an elevation. We won’t go into detail here.
STEP 4: PRESENT
Step 4 is all about presenting.
You might be wondering why we present before we finalise our design.
It’s because before you go off and pay a graphic designer, I think it’s crucial to test it out a few times before you commit to the model.
You can find out which bits are making sense and which bits aren’t and which things might need clarifying.
You might also tweak the language or change the order of how you want the information presented.
So I think it’s vital to present your new model to a real live audience. That can be in a one-on-one over coffee, or ideally, you stand at the front of a room with a whiteboard, and you present it to a real live audience.
That would be my recommendation.
STEP 5: POLISH
Finally, once you’ve presented your model and made any changes, then you want to get it polished.
You take the draft sketch that you’ve created and with your branding guidelines to a graphic designer. The graphic designer can then turn your drawing into something amazing. You’ll get a branded visual model with your colours and your fronts.
So there you have it. Those are my five steps to turn what is in your head into a visual model.
I would love to know what did you think? Do you have any questions? Let me know.
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Renée Hasseldine works with coaches, experts & thought leaders to turn what is in their brilliant minds into powerful signature systems using visual models. Her knack for extracting and unpacking thoughts and turning them into unique intellectual property is sheer genius.
Renée is the author of the best-selling book ‘Share Your Passion’, she is the host of the ‘Leveraged and Loving It’ podcast and a panel member on The Business Playroom TV.