“Why You Don’t Want to Be a Wantrepr --” ugh no, that’s stupid.
Oooo maybe, “How To Build a Business That Fits Your Life.”
No. Bad. Try again.
“10 Reasons To…” ASFDHISDLFASLDFJAHHHHHHHHHH I HATE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!
All the skills that make me a great marketer are apparently reserved for clients. The part of my brain that generates brilliance for others turns to mush when it comes to me.
I’m not alone either.
Every week I have the privilege of talking to founders from all over the world and we all have the same problem.
We suck at marketing for ourselves.
And we know it.
I have four hypotheses as to why this happens:
We get obsessed with industry standards and trends instead of doing what we know works.
We think a lot about our colleagues, since they’re the ones commenting on our posts and sharing our articles.
We ignore our instincts.
We focus on “what we want to do” instead of “what people will pay for.”
In the original version of this article I went through each of these in detail but then I deleted it all when I realized they’re just different words for the same thing:
We stop trusting ourselves.
This week I sat down with a friend and started listing a ton of legitimate reasons why I couldn’t launch a new service. He looked at me, irritated, and said, “Margo. Just f*cking launch.”
Hmph. He was right.
I had legitimate excuses, but all excuses sound like legitimate ones. Look:
I need more time!
There’s not enough people on my list.
We can do it, but after the podcast is released…in 3 months.
That’s fine, but not till we get an editor.
It can’t be done!
This isn’t the way it’ssupposedto be done!!
Yeah, it isn’t.
Spoiler alert: No marketing is done the way it’s supposed to be done.
At least, I’ve never seen it. Not in a decade.
[Note: If you’ve seen a marketing strategy that was created with plenty of time and executed without issue, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org becuase I’d like to hear about it.]
For the rest of us, we have to learn to ship with mistakes.
We’ve spent so much of our careers teaching our clients what “perfect” and “best in class” looks like, we’ve forgotten that that’s not reality.
Reality is messy. Last minute. Understaffed. (Dare I say) reactive.
Most of us are flying by the seat of our pants. But our energy is going to convincing each other (and our prospects) that we’ve got this figured out. That we have “systems” and “process” and perfect benchmarks and …
Whatever -- just between you and me: I know you don’t have any of that. Even if your website says you do.
I know your launch emails haven’t been written yet even though your FB ads went live yesterday. I know that yellow on your website isn’t the style guide yellow. Hell, I know you don’t have a style guide. I know you list all those funnel optimization services on your website, but really make money from ghostwriting blogs.
We all know.
It’s how this works.
So let’s end this cycle of “the shoemaker has no shoes,” by going back to the basics you already know, but have been ignoring:
What do your customers want?
NOT: What do they need?
NOT: What you think your they should care about?
NOT: What your competitors are offering?
NOT: What will your colleagues think if they land on your site?
NOT: Will former clients be impressed with me now?