If Only…

Overnight Marketing Success

(Photo by Nisha A)

Have you thought (or heard others say), “If only I could get on TV, people would love me!” Or, “If only I could get viral, people would love me.” Or even, “If only I could get 1% of the market, I’d be rich.” It’s important to dream of success, but the (sad) reality is there’s no magical shortcut.

The media loves to share stories of businesses that have “overnight” success. One day they were struggling in their garage, and the next day, seemingly by luck, they get “that phone call (or email)“. The big order. The important columnist. The big-pocketed investor. And it’s clear that they’ll be struggling no more. They won! Why can’t your business get “that call”?

The truth is that “overnight” success doesn’t truly happen. We like to hear (and retell) the story of the nobody who becomes a somebody – because we want the next “nobody” to be us. Our short-horizon culture doesn’t focus on the true story: there’s no shortcut for working hard.

But hard work alone isn’t enough. We need to work on solutions to problems that people are willing to pay us for – and be able to position our offering in these same peoples’ eyes. And still this isn’t enough.

We need to regularly talk with our prospective customers. We have to listen to their changing needs, changing solutions, and changing technologies. We need to initially offer something imperfect (and incomplete), and be willing to evolve our solution over time. We need to be willing to be wrong and be strong defending ourselves when we are right.

Be your own “fairy business godmother”.

P.S. If you want to learn some specific ways to increase the “viral-ness” of your offering, read my book review of: Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

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