Nearly all successful people will tell you that becoming a success did not happen overnight. The guy who now earns $25,000 every time he speaks, or the woman who seems to routinely hit the New York Times bestseller list with every new novel she releases—these folks didn’t get there overnight. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but the vast majority of all highly successful companies and people will tell you, when you catch them in a private and honest moment, that their road to success was long and arduous.
Once a client of mine told me about a conversation he had with a bestselling author who told him, “Chip, you’re only one, maybe two, steps away from a significant sales breakthrough. Hang in there.” You see, Chip had recently released his first book. He was working his marketing strategy but feeling a bit discouraged because people weren’t lining up to order his book by the case, radio stations weren’t clamoring to have him on as a guest, and Good Morning America and Fox and Friends still hadn’t called.
Creating media buzz for your product or service is like getting a plane off the ground. You spend a lot of time building up speed, working to get enough air rushing over and under your wings and then all of a sudden, “Viola!” You have enough lift. You’re airborne. You reach that mystical “tipping point” as Malcom Gladwell refers to it, where things start to take off. So it is with most sound marketing campaigns. You start making connections, doing all the things you know to do, making contacts, working to get a base of customers who become “fans” and who tell their friends. That takes time. The smaller the customer base, the longer it takes. Think about it if you have wonderful word-of-mouth pass-along praise for your product but only 10 people bought it. It still takes a long time to build up a massive audience. Whereas, if you had 10,000 people initially purchase your product and they started telling their friends at the same rate, you get to a sizable audience much more quickly, simply because you started with a more critical mass.
But whether you are at “ground zero” in building a fan base or already well on your way, you still need to pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. Some of your efforts will bomb and others will bring unexpectedly positive results. But you keep going.
Yes, you can fast-track the process by spending more money. But oftentimes, just throwing more money into your marketing isn’t the solution.
In working your marketing and media plans, have someone who’s more objective than you look over your plans and help you be realistic in setting your timetables and goals. If you have a sound product or service that meets a clear need for a clearly identifiable and reachable segment of the market, you can probably be very successful … if you give it enough time.
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