Have you ever had an idea that you’ve wanted to pursue, but you didn’t do it because your mom said not to? You know that voice, sometimes it’s even just a negative voice in your head telling you that your idea is dumb, or that you’re going to look stupid and fail.
Love you, mom.
As content marketers we dance with failure everyday. Think about that white paper that nobody downloaded while the sneezing panda video went viral. Or maybe you’ve launched an email campaign with customer stories that was incredibly successful.
If you listen to the voices around you, they’ll tell you that before you try anything you should have sufficient data to back it up. But we’re trailblazers, risk takers and arm-chair scientists. We experiment so that we can actually collect enough meaningful data to inform future endeavors.
Too many times the majority of people in our field will wait for the influencers in the industry to test their ideas before adopting them. At best they’ll execute similar strategies, at worst they’ll parrot these ideas in an attempt to appear relevant. But if we’re ever going to do something remarkable, we need to be willing to risk testing our own ideas. It’s a risk, but the results could be game changing.
One of our favorite overcomes of fear, Jon Acuff writes, “If you’re going to risk and maybe fail, fail at something that matters. Fail gloriously so that even in failure, lives change.”
As you’re venturing into this new year, be thinking of ways that you can experiment and test your own hypothesis on content and customer interactions. Start small and build throughout the year. It’s through experimentation that new insights and understandings can be formed because it’s through experimentation that we find the data to support us.
Lauren Simonds writes in her Time Magazine article “Low- or No-budget Test Marketing” that “Iteration based on customer feedback is essential, and pivoting away from the original idea isn’t failure—although it may feel that way. Rather it demonstrates focus on the long-term growth and success of your company.”
Be brave and be bold. If you’re looking for some added motivation, we recommend Jon Acuff’s book “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters.” It has us running laps around our office on a daily basis.
This is your year.