“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
~ Michael Jordan
Crazy Times Call for Crazy Speed
Speed is always important in business, especially when the playing field is shifting like a Tilt-a-Whirl ride at a carnival. It’s also one of the biggest edges you have over governments and large corporations 100% of the time. While the behemoths deliberate and agonise, you can launch and create a market.
Mike is a client of mine in the property investment market and when this whole COVID-19 panic hit he had an idea for re-activating some past customers by offering an extension of his services to address the anxiety they were feeling and demonstrate solutions.
He was concerned that he didn’t have time to create the assets and do as much promotion as usual, but he went ahead and launched anyway for two reasons:
- He knew that there was significant anxiety around his topic which he could alleviate;
- He is looking to the future when this is over.
To be honest (and Mike would be the first to say this), his landing page was not up to his usual standards, his campaign was built on the fly, he didn’t have time for the usual promotion schedule, and he was still learning how to use some of the tools for the broadcast. The end result of his efforts was serviceable rather than elegant, but they got his message out and they worked.
To Launch or To Wait?
Mike told me that this idea came to him in a dream one Friday night. He woke up on Saturday with the idea fully formed and he wanted to launch the promotion immediately and run a webinar the following Tuesday. When Mike called his designer to ask about graphics (on a Saturday!) she explained quite predictably that she couldn’t get to it for another week or so.
He’s a friend as well as a client, so he called me as well (at 8am on Saturday morning!) … to ask about writing the copy for it and setting up his campaign for him. As he said, when I politely refused, “No harm in asking!”
Anyway, I told him what to do and which of his campaigns he should use as the backbone and he went ahead and created his own graphics, landing page, and copy for the campaign. It wasn’t beautiful, but it was there.
Courage is its Own Reward… And Attracts Others
Mike’s ugly, but serviceable campaign generated a substantial amount of positive publicity. On Tuesday (after just under 4 days of promotion) he had 45 people attending his online event. In addition, he re-engaged with past customers and is having on-going conversations with many of them and he made 7 sales in 4 days immediately after the event (higher than his usual rate).
His comment was: “if that’s what happens when I create and design a page myself and write my own copy just to make things move quickly, I’ll be doing it again!… Mind you, I’m glad we had systems and campaigns ready to copy.”
Do… then Develop
This was just the first iteration of a campaign and product that Mike and I will be refining in the coming weeks. In fact, he re-published it 5 times between launch and the webinar as he added new details and moving parts.
There’s still a lot of work to be done to bring things up to his usual standard and we both cringe when we look at the graphics and copy on the landing page, but his quick action started new conversations, brought in new leads, and augmented his income. It’s the difference between people who don’t launch until everything is ‘just right’, and those who know that timing can be more important than perfection.
My question is: which kind of person are you?
Systems Make it Easier
Perfectionism doesn’t just cost you time. It costs opportunity as well.
In Economics 101 you learn the theories about opportunity cost. In business you quickly learn the practical implications, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
A few months ago, I was talking to a restaurant owner about building her list so she could market to prospects and customers and she said, “Not now. I want to get things perfect and my designer is on the 14th iteration of our flyers.” Today she is scrambling to build her list so that she can market her COVID-19 services to those people who used to visit. She’ll come through this OK, but she could have been in a much better position.
Going back to Mike, he had the systems in place to create resources and marketing campaigns at speed without waiting for contractors to execute for him and he also had enough technical expertise to do what he needed himself.
I’ve worked with people who outsourced everything and couldn’t even log in to their website if they needed to change something. I appreciate that not everyone gets a kick out of wrestling with technology and automations, but unless you have somebody on-call 24/7, not having the capacity to do it yourself carries a tremendous opportunity cost whereas having systems that you can quickly duplicate and edit makes all the difference.