Why You Need To Take Action … Yesterday
Taking action can be scary, and a big overwhelming leap. It causes fear, because it is a challenge. Facing any challenge, business-related or not, means it is time to step up to the plate and put your best foot forward. Again, it’s a challenge. However, it is important to take action and get rolling. If you don’t, you will be stuck in the realm of “non-action,” and that brings one thing … no results. Because I want you to really see why this is so important, I will be sharing some of my own experiences with you.
Fear of Failure
Many stay in the zone of non-action out of fear. They get stuck there because of the dreaded fear of failure. The problem is when you get stuck in this zone, it results in non-action, which brings zero in return.
The trouble then becomes you and nothing happens. You will sadly be left with only the high hopes of “one day” becoming that superstar copywriter. You need to overcome this.
By simply taking the first step … do something.
Failure is Your “Best” Friend
Failure is not really failure. It is more like “underachieving” the desired results. That may seem like I am trying to pretty it up and make it sound nice, so we can all feel good, even when things go astray. However, this is not the case. Really, “failure” is your own natural built-in feedback system. It is how you learn and grow.
Let me give you a general example. I remember back in second grade elementary school, we had these story workbooks. There was a short one-page story and then some questions on the next page. So you had to refer to the story and write the answers. It was really basic stuff, since it was only second grade, but at the time, it was hard work. Anyway, I remember that I filled it out in colored pencil. Yet, it turned out that I had made a few mistakes. So I tried to erase it and rewrite it, again in the colored pencil. I remember it all became this illegible smear of rainbow colors that looked colorful and nice, but what a mess. I learned to “never” use colored pencils again for workbook exercises. Now, I imagine you are having a good chuckle, but I am sure you are thinking …”How does this relate to my copywriting business?”
Let’s take a look …
In my own efforts, my failures have always taught me more than my successes. Let me give you one example from my experiences.
People often talk about getting work from LinkedIn. So I figured I was going to tackle that beast and join the LinkedIn “ladder of success” crowd. Well, that’s what I had thought, but reality was a little different, at first.
My plan was to go around LinkedIn and make business contacts. Invite them to connect and begin communication. The people who said yes and connected instantly were brought into my funnel and moved from prospects to leads. Time went on and I maintained communication with my list. They seemed interested in my content, and some would even send “thank you” messages. This was fantastic. I was really getting excited. But when I let my services and availability be known, and even pitched a group from the list that I had culled out … BOOM … it all fell flat. That is when the “no thank you” messages started to roll in. I was crushed, but then I realized the value that this failure had taught me, and how I was sure to ride the “success train” next time around. So, my crushed feeling was very short-lived. Next, let me share with you what those lessons were …
Why it Failed
It failed because my targeting was all over the map. For B2B copywriting services, I should have focused on marketing directors and small business owners. Some of those people were on my list, and that is one way I learned how these are the correct folks to go after. However, the other members on my list were of everything imaginable. When I dug deeper, I found that many were entrepreneurs and solo-professionals, many with limited budgets. In turn, good people, but poor prospects.
What I Learned About How to Do it Better
- I was right to build a list of targeted prospects, and bring them into my funnel. However, they were not targeted, and in many cases, not good prospects.
- I was right to cull out a group from my list and target them for work opportunities. However, they were not good leads in terms of limited budgets and an actual “need” for my services.
- I did my research after-the-fact. I should have dug deep at first and found that these were not “sound prospects” from the very start.
As expected, after I implemented these learnings into my next round of action, results were much better. Yet, I never would have learned those things and then experienced the successes, if I had not ventured forward and taken those first trial steps. Learn from your mistakes and then progress to success.
So What Do I Do?
Seriously. Take the plunge and just get started. You will continue to grow and build your marketing formula for success over time, but I can’t say it enough, taking that first step is the biggest, hardest, and most important part.
Here Are Some Ideas to Help You Get Started
1. Email — Build your list of prospects, any way you can. Then stay in contact with them via email. If you have an email newsletter even better. Get them on your distribution list.
2. Direct Mail — My favorite method. I love it because it is so powerful. And when you learn how to do it well, your mail is welcomed, open, and read. Message delivered … hole in one.
3. Facebook — Really?
Yes, you can also reach out and contact friends on Facebook. Tell them what you are doing and the hopes and goals you have set for yourself. Most here will just give you a virtual “high-five” but 1, 2, or 3 may end up giving a lead … and that is all you need to get started. With these leads, and any others from other resources you use, begin to build your in-house list of contacts. This list is going to continue to grow and be vitally important as you reach out and market yourself.
It’s Up to You
Nothing is going to happen until you launch and take that first step. Falling on your face is intimidating, but just dust yourself off and get going on the next step. The late Gary Halbert, direct-response copywriter, had a big client project that totally flopped. An insider on that project happened to share something interesting with me. He said that when it flopped, Gary sat down, looked around the room, and then said, “What’s next?” There was no crying, no sulking and depression, no boo-hoo or poor me. It was “Okay, so what’s next?” and that was it. You can take a lot from that and follow suit in your own efforts that don’t go as planned.
Remember, once you get rolling, even the smallest of first steps will fill you with joy. You will be pleasantly surprised at how things take off, and if they don’t, you are still one step closer to your goal … because now you know what doesn’t work, so on to the next step, and find what does work … then roll out.
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