Is Your Business Hiding In the Shadows?
Today is Groundhog Day. (Happy Groundhog Day by the way!)
According to legend, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow, then spring will come early. YAY! If it is sunny causing the groundhog to see its shadow, it will retreat back into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks. Companies do this every day and don’t need a special holiday commemorating it. The businesses that don’t see their own shadow and run screaming in fear back into their “burrow” are the Coca-Colas and Apples of the world. The businesses that would rather play it safe and hibernate again for six more weeks without taking any risks? Well those are…oh wait. You don’t know who they are. No one does because no one has ever heard of them.
Back when I had just graduated from college, I definitely used to hide in the shadows. It wasn’t because I wanted to play it safe though. That’s never been my forte. No, I was a bit unsure of myself. I wasn’t yet sure that I could actually figure out how to navigate the “real world.” But I took a risk anyway. I started my own design company (the one you see before you) and set out to blaze my own trail. Along the way, I gained the confidence to see that I could indeed navigate the real world and have a lot of fun doing it!
Since then I’ve come to know that every person SHOULD take risks (especially when it comes to business) because only by risking failure are you likely to succeed at anything.
This bears repeating. And in bold.
Every person SHOULD take risks (especially when it comes to business) because only by risking failure are you likely to succeed at anything.
So why doesn’t everyone take risks? Why aren’t there super successful business owners at every street corner? Because some businesses see their shadow, and freak out. There are two main ways your business remains hidden.
THE FIRST IS INEFFECTIVE MARKETING.
You hear that twitter is the best thing since sliced bread so you start tweeting all day every day about your latest product – enhanced reading glasses that increase in strength as you age by using super scientific means of knowing how old you are. (Hey, just stay with me for a minute). What is the problem here? … Anyone? The elderly men and women who would really like to stop replacing their glasses every time their eyes change (and in the process make you a millionaire) are NOT ON TWITTER. So what is the point of marketing there? This is just one example but you get the point. Make sure your marketing strategies match up with where your target demographic is actually spending their time.
Marketing is definitely something that warrants your ongoing attention. Or if you don’t feel like doing it, hire someone (like us) to monitor it for you. For that matter, customer discovery is important too. (And yes, we also do that.) You can’t ignore these things. It’s even worse if you continue pumping money into your marketing campaigns without analyzing their results.
THE SECOND IS LACK OF CONFIDENCE.
People hear they need to be an expert in their field and they immediately think “Oh I have only worked in my field for 5 years, I’m definitely not an expert yet. Or in my case, I thought “I just graduated! There’s no way I’m an expert.” Let me let you in on a little secret. It only took Twitter 1 year to become an expert. In 1 year they had 60,000 tweets per day. Not enough for you? In 2 years, they had 50 million tweets per day. Sounds like killer expertise to me. People think an expert means that you know everything there is to know about your field. Not one bit. Twitter doesn’t know everything. They are adapting each year. But they do know more than Bob’s Status Update Service. And that’s all that matters. They are relative experts. Whatever your field is, if you can do it, you’re a relative expert to those out there that can’t. Obviously as your experience grows, your expertise level grows but lack of confidence in your “expert” title shouldn’t stop you from doing anything. You won’t be labeled a fraud. You don’t need to [constantly] worry about if you’re as good as the other guy. There will always be people out there who are better than you. And there will always be people out there who aren’t. And that is where you will find your target market. The people who look at you and wish they were as “expert” as you are.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Stop wasting your time. Analyze your company. Is your marketing as efficient and effective as it could be? Is your brand recognition where you want it to be? Are you afraid to step out and strut your stuff? Once you have a starting point, you’ll be able to fix it but you have to start somewhere. Stop hiding in the shadows!
In the February issue of our monthly newsletter, we’re putting out an article about how to learn from the successes of the upcoming Super Bowl ads and bring their techniques into your own marketing. This will help those of you suffering from reason #1 – ineffective marketing.
This will only be sent to those who have subscribed to the newsletter though. It won’t be posted anywhere else. So make sure you’re subscribed by signing up here.
Here’s to Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog) seeing his shadow and running out anyway!
Breathe. Live. Love. Create.