Published is better than perfect.
Feb 21, 2022
There’s a lot at stake with your marketing. It’s the first chance you have to introduce who and what you are to a public who may not have any familiarity with you. That’s a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, we see folks use this as an excuse to not get the job done.
Everyone is searching for the perfect, all-in-one solution to their marketing – like if they just find the perfect message, with the right funnel, and post at EXACTLY the right time (11:37 on wednesdays) that the leads will just start flooding in. They take months, sometimes even YEARS trying to get these ideas just right, and by the time they finally DO get around to publishing what they had – well, their industry, the internet, and their customers have all changed. The world changes so fast, blink and you might miss it.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: This way of doing things will never work. You’re wasting a ton of time on something that isn’t guaranteed to do anything for you – but you’re also missing out on the marginal gains that you could be getting today by improving just a little bit every single day.
When perfect means anything but perfect
We work with companies on their messaging and ideas. That’s just what we do. There are a couple of things that we’ve seen in the companies that succeed in their marketing, but one big idea to take away from this is that NONE of them think that their marketing is perfect. The companies that succeed are the ones that know they need to improve and strive to continue to improve over time. They don’t expect to be Lebron James the first time they get on the court.
Get the idea of perfect out of your head. It’s not helping you. If you really want a fully functioning marketing program, you’re going to need to think of it more as a “lifestyle” and less as a one off event. That means you need to engage in dialogue with your customers, tweaking your messaging while adjusting to their needs on an ongoing basis. To continue the basketball analogy, you need to get in the gym, run some plays, and practice!
But practice what? We’re so glad you asked. Here are three ways you can improve your marketing while publishing faster.
Write on stage
There’s a technique that a lot of stand up comedians use called “writing on stage.” It’s exactly what it sounds like. Instead of taking a ton of time to flesh out their idea on a piece of paper THEN going to a club to perform it, they sketch out what they need to and then workshop it after getting feedback from the audience (either laughs or groans). While you might not have an actual stage to workshop your marketing – and let’s be real, that might not be the most fun date spot – there actually IS a way for you to write on stage with your marketing materials. Use your connections to understand what resonates with them and what doesn’t.
One great place to do this is LinkedIn. It allows you to start building connections with people in your target audience, then posting things that are relevant to them. You can tag folks who you think might find your content relevant, then based of their feedback you can judge what was successful and what wasn’t. Check out the comment threads, what are people saying? We use LinkedIn for this all the time. It’s a great way to tweak messaging.
Iterate: Your Website shouldn’t be static, it’s always changing
Usually when folks think of their website they just think of the date that they want it “published.” Unfortunately, your website isn’t like a book, it doesn’t just sit on the shelf and wait for folks to pick it up. It’s a piece of your business that’s alive and changing. That can be a hard shift to make, but it’s important to think about.
Your website is not made of marble, you can (and probably should) always be revising what’s there. You can make changes to your headlines, you can change a call to action button – don’t be afraid to try something if it seems like you’re not getting the results you want.
Here’s something important to note: you absolutely need to give your website the time and space it needs to give you a sample size before you start changing it. Plus, you need to be logical in these changes. If folks aren’t reaching your homepage, it’s going to be hard to tell if your messaging is right or wrong. You need the qualified traffic going there before you make that decision. Once you have that info though, be strong and decisive in your response. There can be a real advantage to working quickly.
Replace old content with better content
Let’s go back to the comedian analogy for a second, if a joke doesn’t work in there act will they continue to use it? Absolutely not! They’ll swap it out with a rewrite or a joke that works even better. You need to be able to do this with your site.
Feel free to go back and replace older content with better content. It might not be necessary for you to write a new blog post every week – sometimes the advantage can be in going back to old content and updating it, adding context, or creating a more fully formed answer. Now, instead of a half-written article that doesn’t get results, you just created something valuable.
Be real about your content. It can be helpful to go back and look at old pieces to see what’s there when doing a quarterly marketing audit. What worked and what didn’t? Can you fix what didn’t? Asking these questions won’t always give you a definitive answer, but it will give you a place to start. That’s always better than waiting for perfect.
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