We all put unreasonable expectations on ourselves and this holds us back. They hold us back from launching new ideas or growing our businesses.
Whether or not these expectations come from the media, the competition, or our own unreasonably high standards you have to let them go! You have to tell them “Nope. Not today!”
You don’t need everything you think you need to kickoff your next marketing campaign or launch your business. What you need is momentum.
I’m going to walk through a few expectations that are not going to slow you down today. These are all expectations I’ve seen our own customers and other businesses just ignore and succeed anyway.
1. Permission – I need to find out if someone will let me… NOPE!
Imagine if AirBnb started out by asking cities and towns for permission to operate as an alternative to hotels in thousands of peoples houses. They would have been told no.
Because they went out and proved demand they had a lot more leverage to negotiate with the communities they operate in.
2. Features – I can’t launch it because I need X first. NOPE!
I do this all the time. I look at the things we are working on and say “I shouldn’t market the product we have now… the one in two weeks will be even better!”. That’s a lie. What you have now is good enough.
Is there a feature you’ve been working on that just isn’t working for whatever reason… stop working on it and move on. Shipped a feature that you loved, but only a couple of your customers use… turn it off. Make what’s already working well work 10% better instead.
Your landing page is good enough to get data now. Your campaign is ready enough to start driving traffic to it.
3. Branding – I need a designer and copywriter to… NOPE!
You don’t need a logo. Just a simple explanation of your product or campaign.
You don’t need a custom font. Wait till you’ve got millions in the bank and have a designer make one for you.
You don’t need a background video. They lower conversion rates anyway. :)
You don’t need a custom domain for your website URL. Some very popular campaigns on our product have just been run on the default sites we generate for you. :)
You don’t need a custom email template. Those will get trapped by spam filters anyway. Text email FTW.
You don’t need a custom color palette. You’ll probably change it 2 years in anyway. We did.
A great into video. Nope. Most people won’t even watch it. They care more about what the text says.
The message is your brand. The brand is NOT your message.
If you find yourself thinking you need more… ask yourself if LESS would work just as well. It will.
4. A product – I need to have a product ready. NOPE!
What happens if you build the product only to realize you don’t know how to market it? That would be way worse. Start marketing now and prove you can.
5. Launch date – I need to wait until 2 weeks before I start selling. Nope!
This is a huge reason campaigns fail. Yes – it’s possible to get 35,000 emails in two weeks… but it’s also true that it takes time to build up to that. To test, fail, and get feedback. To find out what channels work for you and then to double down on those marketing channels.
Overnight success stories started months and years ago. Those headlines just aren’t as sexy. Start now!
6. Proof – I need proof it will work for me.
We see this all the time…
“Can you make sure I’m following every best practice?”
Here’s the thing. Just because something worked before doesn’t mean it will work again and it doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Everything that became a best practice became that way because someone didn’t have the expectation of proof. They just tried it to find out.
7. Proper Spelling & Grammar
I’m willing to bet you could log into KickoffLabs and find 3 mistakes today that have been around for 3 years. I’m not proud of that fact, but I know that’s not our biggest obstacle.
And yes.. Ideally you would spell check your landing pages first.
**8. An SEO Plan – Sorry – Google hates your social contest.**
Google does not reward contests or lead generation campaigns. They reward content that helps people. Have a SEO plan for your blog, but the SEO settings on your launch campaign or contest are nearly meaningless. Stop worrying about your site map file, your meta keywords, et and focus on whether or not you can build a compelling campaign that gives people a reason to give you their contact information.
9. The perfect pitch. Nope – There isn’t one.
I’ve been saying that the message matters. It does… and it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Short, authentic, and to the point wins. You’ll be A/B testing your marketing message until you sell out for billions.
Just pick something you’ve bounced off a few people and run with it.
10. Money. NOPE – No one is going to hand you 1 million dollars.
You have an idea. You think it’s going to get you a lot of customers. Great. So do a lot of other people. But while they are running around trying to get money YOU are going to be selling. You are going to start first. You are going to win.
11. Education. I need to learn HTML before… NOPE.
KickoffLabs is just one example of a platform that lets you do a LOT without having a any technical skills. It’s great to have them, but they aren’t required.
That MBA also isn’t going to ensure you win. It’s just something a lot of people do to give themselves permission to grow a business. But you don’t need that permission.
In case you missed it we live in The Matrix where you can learn any skill on demand for free or as close to free as you can imagine.
12. Competition. NOPE. Someone else did not solve the worlds problems.
“I need to separate myself more before I start marketing.”
No – you need to start marketing and out execute them!
For every customer using a competitor there are 100 more people that need your solution and haven’t even heard of you or your competition. The question is who’s going to win over those people.
So what DO you need?
If you can succeed without these burdensome expectations what does it take? That’s a whole other series of blog posts. I’ll send by saying you need:
A. The ability to overcome your own fears and get past your crazy expectations.
B. Build momentum. Start small. Take one step at a time. When something works you build on that.
C. Grit when something goes wrong. Show up. Fix it. Move past it. Focus on what’s going well.