Melani wrote a great post called “Happily Delusional or a Few Things to Make You Feel Better about Your Marketing Stats“. In it she talks about how people feel about their business numbers and it has some strong messages for any business.
A lot of my friends, clients and contacts look at their results and feel like frauds in business. If they don’t outright feel like a complete failure, they still stress and worry that their results are not “good enough”.
In the internet world especially, people seem to be constantly comparing. That guy made so many millions, or that lady has 1,000 more clients in her membership program than me.
That’s the problem, now here is the cure: don’t sweat what other people say or do.
OK, that is kind of like the doctor saying “If your foot hurts, don’t walk on it”, but the fact is while it is natural to compare our own results against the world, it is not useful feedback in most cases.
Focus on Your Results
What we really need to focus on are the following questions:
- What are you actually achieving? – OK, so you are not a millionare, but did you make a sale? Are you managing to pay your bills? Is your profit going up? Are you reaching and helping more people?
- Do you learn from your mistakes and successes? – It is more important to make progress than worry about achieving perfection. Test, learn, implement.
- Are your processes improving? – If your experiments are getting you nearer to your goals then you have something to celebrate, even if you do feel impatient.
You probably realise by now that I am pretty open with my mistakes, gaffs and goofs. One of my goals with my blog is to share stuff that will make your online business a bit better, and my mistakes are often as educational (or more) than facts and tips. Well, here is another one of those “don’t do what I did” stories 🙂
It’s Not Just About Making Sales
Recently I started gearing up to launch a video product about creating WordPress based websites. I call it “Build Your WP Website“. Clever, huh?
The thirty or so people who are beta members have given me some great feedback. Success, right? Um, no. Not entirely.
- I hadn’t done my research on what people really wanted.
- My solution, while making complete sense to me, confused the heck out of some of the people who came to the videos without any prior knowledge at all.
- Creating these videos was a lot more time intensive than I thought, right during a situation where my time got really crunched.
- Underestimating the volume of questions my content would generate – If I pitch this wrong I will be creating a support log a mile long.
Essentially, I hadn’t followed my own product launch advice. If I had continued with the project as it was, while I would have made more sales, I would have also had to face potential returns, and definitely a great deal of 1:1 support, defeating the “home study video course” intent and nuking my profit.
Your sales figures are just one way of measuring success, you have to also look at the long term impact of any business project or decision. What you rarely hear about with the mega dollar launches is how many returns and complaints they get, I would much rather have a small group who are thrilled than a gajillion people angry with me 😉
The good news is I could stop to think before I publicised it, I do have something real people want to buy (already demonstrated that), based on a real need (“sack my webmaster”, or “learn how to do this website building stuff myself”), and have learned some harsh but valuable lessons.
Launches as Experiments
It is experiences such as the one above that prove that you are better of working to a long term and well thought out plan, involving several stages, rather than trying to get that all-conquering instant success launch. I tested and found my assumptions wanting, what would have happened if I sold 1,000 seats? A nervous breakdown probably, at best, heh. Of course it also demonstrates that what you see on the outside of a launch might not be the full story.
Focus on making your own progress and delivering the best possible outcome for your customers and yourself!
While we are talking about launches – If you want to be shown how to do your launches right, live, with experienced guidance all along the way, the Mojo Marketing Action Plan course starts today. There are still a couple of seats left if you are quick. Melani and I are very happy with this first class full of folks so we won’t be crying into our keyboards if we start with those last seats left, and it might be a few months before we run this 12 week course again, so if a launch is in your future you really should check this class out right now.