Comfort blanket marketing materials.
We see this too much:
What’s the first thing everyone does when they set up? Get a website, business cards, flyers, a brochure… and so on. Maybe a truck load of branded pens for fun.
There seems to be this stigma that you CAN’T go out there and get clients and test the market for your product/service ideas BEFORE having all these comfort blanket marketing materials.
Have you been guilty of this? “I can’t do that or go to that event because I haven’t got my flyers printed, or my website isn’t done yet?”
Do they help? YES
Are they necessary? NOPE
We call these: Comfort Blanket Marketing Materials.
Obviously, marketing materials are going to help when you are starting out (as you don’t want to look like an amateur) but all too often, people use these things as a comfort blanket and they use it as an excuse not to get ‘out there’.
If you’re thinking about a new service or product, go out there and test the market, ask real people and get real feedback. If you do it right, then you will find that your initial idea probably develops into something better. Something that people actually want. Then, and only then, you can invest in design. We don’t want you investing a lot of money into something that people won’t want or need.
Of course for some businesses this isn’t always possible, however in a lot of cases, you just need to get out there and prove the concept in a ‘lean’ way.
Don’t be the person who decides not to go to events because their website isn’t good enough… and when it is good enough, not go because they haven’t got business cards… making excuse after excuse forever more… Everything will never be perfect, you just have to go out there all guns blazing. You can use the feedback you get to constantly improve your offering to come up with a much better product/service you are proud of to invest in.
We do place a huge importance on design and marketing literature of course, but some of the most successful people out there started out without a nice website or brochure and terrible business cards, what they did was told the world who they were, built an audience, figured out what they wanted – and sold it to them. A product that people actually wanted.
Go out right now and get business. Start a blog. Connect with potential customers or partners. Don’t be scared, just do it.
ACTION: Find your perfect client (the type of person you want to help the most) and see what they think, will they buy it? Will they use it? Can you give it to them for free (including one on one services) to prove that it works, and get an amazing testimonial? Use your feedback to your advantage to improve on your product or service. Then make the investment into everything else.