The problem that most business owners have when it comes to any form of “out there” marketing is perfection.
No matter whether it’s a 500 word blog article, an email out to your list, a tweet or a podcast recording … when you put yourself out there, the world and it’s cat can see, read or hear what you’ve created.
And now that we are surrounded by a “Click to Like” online culture, the pressure is even greater to have the world and it’s cat love what you put online. If you don’t get that instant gratification via shares, retweets, likes and comments, it’s very easy to feel what you’ve created is … well, basically crap.
It’s what holds so many of you from writing and sharing information that is not only valuable to your potential clients, but showcases your skills and expertise and thus enabling more people to see what you can offer.
Take for example a client of mine who was confused about how her business was going to take shape this year. She was an established personal trainer who was pretty well booked up; but she wanted to expand her offerings and be able to work with more people AND cut down her 1-2-1 hours.
She was interested in nutrition, meal planning, wellbeing and the holistic approach to fitness … rather than just focusing on individual personal training work. She wanted to start a food blog but was afraid of putting herself “out there” before she was ready to present her whole offer. She wanted it all clear in her head before she began anything new and all this achieved was to slow her down and send her off in a major thought storm.
Another client working through my Get-It-Done Marketing Programme was a healer. She wrote regularly on her blog but rarely got people to visit, read and comment on her articles. She confessed she wasn’t ready to start promoting her blog because she was afraid that someone would disagree with her; she has happy writing but just didn’t feel confident putting herself “out there” and attracting the wrong kind of attention.
By not promoting what she was doing already, only meant she was turning away new potential business … just because she was afraid of it not being perfect.
Now, there is no doubt there are some horror stories to be read about trolls; attracting the wrong kind of attention is horrible. But these cases are far and few between for the majority of business owners .
And from what I see in clients who are fearful of putting articles, podcasts and videos online, it’s not the trolls they are afraid of; it’s the fear of not being good enough.
It’s the fear of being caught out for being wrong. And it’s sometimes the fear of not being liked.
“What if no one likes my articles?”
“What if I get told that I’m not good enough?”
Of course, I tell these people what I know. How do you know you are not good enough or if anyone will like what you create, until you put it “out there”?
These stories of fear are exactly that … stories.
Until you get proof that what you are creating is crap, you can only be good enough for right now. And what I can almost guarantee, that once you put yourself “out there”, for every one person who thinks you may be crap, there will be a hundred or more who like what you’ve got to say … and probably a dozen or so who LOVE what you’ve got to say.
So how do you know if good is good enough?
- Spell check and grammar proofed. This process of good is good enough is not an excuse for poorly presented work, but unless you are working in the field of education where teaching English to a student may just well have to be pitch perfect, you can be excused from the odd typo here and there.
My spelling and grammar is not good. I know that. I write as a talk and I don’t have the patience to have every article, email and book chapter to be proof read to the nth degree. So when I get my occasional email (usually from a proof reader who is looking for work!) complaining about my typos, I say “Thanks” and then usually remove them from my mailing list; they are highly unlikely to ever become the type of client I love to work with.So, check your work – yes, of course. But good is good enough.
- Speed creates money. What slows down results from marketing campaigns and promotions is usually a slow down from the business owner who is faffing about what colour banner needs to go on the sales page. Logo 5 pixels to the right. no to the left. That image looks better, no prefer the other one with the orange, no the first one … let me sleep on it.
Design, graphics and images are all important aspects of any online marketing campaign. But getting choosy over colours, layout and look and feel, is often caused by fear of not getting the sales you hoped for. It’s easier to procrastinate over the look and feel of a piece of marketing copy than it is to press the send button of that first promotional email to your whole list.Marketing is all about testing. You won’t know what results you are going to get until you put your offer in front of real, live potential clients. And if you slow the process down, you will lose the opportunity to adapt and change your message if you don’t get the results you are after .. and thus leave money on the table.
- Just one more thing to learn. Some of you have this internal battle with wanting to make sure you are the expert in the room before you actually get yourself in the room. There is always something else that you can learn, read, watch or listen to.
Here’s the facts of business … you will NEVER know everything about what it is you know. Even when you feel confident enough to call yourself an expert, you will still be learning from people around you as you gain new insights and see things differently with each day in passing.
So be confident in what you do know now and don’t let it hold you back. You don’t need to pretend or claim to be anything you are not … just be you where you are right now and I promise you that you will have plenty to share with the audience who does want to hear from you.
You are part of the human race. Being human means that you are not perfect, you will make mistakes, you will feel emotion and you will experience feedback that you will consider good, bad and even ugly at times. And that’s all OK.
What’s not OK is procrastinating and being unable to make a decision to send out an email, publish a new blog post or launch a new product or programme because you feel it’s “just not right”.
Completion NOT perfection.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? Or are you more of a “Sod It … just get it done” kind of person?
Leave a thought, comment or observation below. I would love to hear from you.