Marketing is messy like that

Blue Bathtub

Why am I showing you a picture of my stained bathtub?

When I wash my hair after a colour touch up, it looks like I’ve murdered a small army of Smurfs in my bathtub. (Assuming, of course, that the little blue creatures also have blue blood.) The neckline of almost all my sweaters is blue, as are all my pillowcases. And no matter how careful I am, there are blue stains splattered throughout my bathroom. Every time I touch it up, I vow this is going to be the LAST time because it’s just so much work.

These are the types of things that nobody tells you about having brightly coloured hair. The absolute MESS that is involved. But the reward is more than worth all the trouble. Because I LOVE my blue & purple hair and I get a TON of compliments everywhere I go on how vibrant it is and how much people love it. No matter how many times I curse the process and swear this is going to be the last time, I always do it again.

But despite all the compliments and love, nobody ever gets to see the behind the scenes work it takes to create and maintain my bright blue hair, or the absolute chaotic mess involved. They don’t see how downright awful it was when it was first done because I had no freaking idea how to do it. They don’t see the sacrifices I make to maintain it, like only washing it in freezing cold water, destroying my clothes and linens, spending 4 hours every 2 weeks touching it up, etc. They only see the final product – what it is now – and want to emulate it, then get frustrated and give up when their colour doesn’t turn out or it washes out in 3 weeks.

Marketing is messy like that

When you’re looking at your competitors, all you’re seeing is the finished product. You’re not seeing ANY of the hard work it took to get there. You’re not seeing how many times the got frustrated with their copy, or how many hours they spent creating the perfect graphic. You’re not seeing how many times they tweaked that ad and pushed it through to crickets repeatedly before it got traction and people started responding.

You're not seeing their stained bathtubs

Marketing is messy. And it’s going to take a while before you “master” it. So I want you to stop looking at your competitors or “other people” and assuming they have their shit together because I can guarantee you that it took them a LOT of work to get to the point where you’re noticing them.

I also suggest you go take a deeper look at their back-end funnels as well, and not get caught up in the (false) belief that their funnel is perfect too. Odds are that somewhere along the flow, they’ve missed a step. Everybody does, including us professionals. Just the other day, I went to sign up for a fairly well-known marketer’s new lead magnet. Wanna guess where their call to action went? Nowhere. It went to a 404-error page. The page that tells you the site can’t find what you’re looking for. Which means that this well-known professional marketer missed the absolute most important step in their funnel. So if this person, (who I’m purposely not naming) can make such a catastrophic mistake and STILL push publish on their content, what the hell is holding YOU back?

You’re NEVER going to get it right on the first try. Never. Because all the testing in the world doesn’t prepare you for the reality of publishing to a live audience. But if your goal is to build your audience so you can generate more qualified leads for your business, you’re going to fuck it up a few times, and you’re GOING TO publish to crickets. The only way to build your audience is from the ground up, which means starting from zero. If you’re getting frustrated and scared and STOPPING because nobody is hearing you, you’re never going to be heard. Success is not an overnight thing.

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There was another reason for me to create this particular piece of content. I want you to pay close attention to it because it’s key when you’re creating content for your audience.

It’s relatability.

It’s about NOT pushing a sales agenda, but creating content that people can relate to, can understand. Showing vulnerability and being real. Taking something completely unrelated to business yet tying it in to show you how everything is related.

It’s about telling your story. Not the perfect version of your story that we want to tell, but the real, raw story that we actually live. Because that’s the story that your audience wants to hear. And the more we tell our audiences what they want to hear, the more they’re going to listen.