A lawyer I coached sent a blog post Seth Godin posted yesterday: Two Kinds of Practice. If you have 30 seconds, read it.
When I read Two Kinds of Practice I thought about a blog about my own failure that I posted in 2014, and I thought it might be a good time to repost it.
What is your biggest marketing failure? If you haven’t had one, then either you are not doing much marketing, or you are doing it significantly better than I did.
The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.”
Have you ever not started a client development activity because you were afraid of failing? Don’t let fear of failing stop you. I have had many client development failures. Let me share one with you.
My Biggest Marketing Failure
When professional video first gained acceptance, I decided to create a video for contractors. I spent days creating the script and two days in front of the camera with Dr. Michael Vorster at Virginia Tech.
I was confident I had created a masterpiece and I decided to market the tape along with a book on linear scheduling at a price of $495. I believe I sold at most 20 sets of the tape and most of those were to my mother and her friends. (I just recently tossed the last boxes of tapes I was storing in my garage.)
When I realized that my attempt to become a paid movie star was not working effectively, I came up with Plan B. After spending hours going through the program and deciding what to include, I went back to the editor, and paid him more money to create a one-hour summary of the eight-hour tape. I decided strategically to give the one-hour tape away and offer a special price for the full eight hours to those contractors who were intrigued enough to see more.
There came a point when I just wanted to give the tapes away. By then, I laughed at myself, picked myself up off the stage and pressed on with other ideas. Later I mentioned using linear scheduling in one of my Roads & Bridges monthly columns and found it was a better way to reach out to my target market.
My Failure did Not Stop Me from Starting Again
Just to show I am either willing to take another chance, or I didn’t learn my lesson from the first tape experience, I created a three-hour streaming video coaching program with a detailed workbook. Have you seen it? You can find it here on my webpage. If you are interested, in watching and using the workbook, contact Joyce firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, what is something you haven’t started because you fear you might fail? If you try something that doesn’t work. Don’t fret about it. Instead, think of it as successfully learning what didn’t work. If you need more support, watch the famous Michael Jordan Nike Commercial video.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. ~Robert F. Kennedy