We, as a species, by and large hate to look stupid.
Because it means other people laugh at us... and we simply can't abide that.
I love it. I'll explain why in a moment, but first consider this: for people to REALLY laugh at us, our stupidity has to meet two criteria:
1. It's gotta be stupid.
2. It's gotta be something the naysayers either have TOLD us is stupid or is something they can see (in hindsight) is obviously stupid.
So, think about marketing your business.
If you do something "normal" and it fails to work out, no one really laughs. They'll pat you on the back and tell you how it just "wasn't meant to be" and you "did your best" and so on.
But if you do something not quite so normal, something your contemporaries, colleagues and competitors think is "stupid" and it doesn't quite work out -- say by sending a long-copy sales letter with a headline and engaging body copy rather than sending a glossy brochure with a logo and your company name at the top -- then they'll laugh at you.
Because you're obviously stupid.
Trouble is, this fear of looking Stupid and of being laughed at often stops us from trying new things.
I look at it an entirely different way. Because if something I do doesn't work, then I've learned some pretty valuable stuff:
1. I've found an edge. If I just do what works and what I pretty much KNOW is going to work, then I'm not learning. I'm forever playing in the safety of the playpen.
2. I've learned one way NOT to market my business. That means I can move on and not waste another moment thinking about it.
3. I have knowledge I can pass on to others. They will even pay me for it. That's real cool.
So, I love to look stupid. It means I've DONE something different. I've been pushing them there boundaries.
I know loads of smart and talented copywriters, marketers, and business owners who struggle, simply because they worry far too much about their precious egos.
What they, along with virtually every other business owner, want is certainty, and neither I nor anyone else can give them that. Oh, some will offer it, to be sure, but they are at best deluded and at worst outright liars.
And because they don't have certainty... they do nothing. Sure, if they try something and it doesn't work, they may lose a little money.
That's fine. It's part of the cost of being in business.
But so long as you follow the broad guidelines and "rules" most of the time you'll fine the times you win, in terms of profits and payback, outweigh the "failures" by an order of magnitude or more.
With study and bot of critical thinking, you can shortcut a lot of the "I look stupid" risk by a large margin.
You can't eliminate it, of course, but you can knock it right down to the point where it's practically irrelevant.
But if you're looking for *certainty* then forget it.
You'll be wasting your money and your time, because nothing is going to happen unless you DO something and risk looking stupid to the naysayers if it doesn't work.
And if that truly stands in your way, then you've got a serious problem.
Jon McCulloch is Europe's leading direct response marketing authority. Hit http://www.jonmcculloch.com now and grab his free direct response marketing resources. There is absolutely nothing to purchase on his website - simply free small business marketing advice to help you expand your business.
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