“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” This question was posed by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO for Facebook while she was on a 2013 tour promoting her book, Lean In. The question implies that fear is there from the beginning. If you are working on a startup, fear is probably quite familiar to you.
Do you know why that is?
Fear, like each of our other emotions, has an impact on the way that we conduct business.
As much as most of us would love to build a wall between our personal and business lives, the reality is that our feelings and emotions play a big role in the way we see the world.
Just like anger, happiness and love, fear is a very powerful emotion. There is a chance that it will play a pivotal role in the way that we conduct business. On some level, everyone experiences fear. This even applies to the company that we run or take ventures we take part in. There are some businesses and people that experience more fear than others.
You are probably wondering what fear has to do with marketing. The point is that fear has the power to control us if we allow, and the consequences will not be pretty. When businesses are afraid, their marketing techniques will not help them advance as much as they would like.
Here are five signs that fear is controlling the way that you market.
1. You Worry About Approval Too Much
Whether you are asking multiple people to sign off on something before it is released or you are always making small changes to make your content “perfect,” this can slow down the process and hurt your marketing efforts.
Marketing in today’s world is all about consistency; there is nothing more important. Yes, quality is important, but there is a vast difference between high quality, which is highly rewarding and attainable, and perfection, which is not very satisfying and not achievable. Keep in mind that you are creating content or inbound marketing programs to help your startup, it is essential that you know how to start a conversation and build your follower base. The best way to approach this would be to say what is on your mind and make changes as you move forward. Regardless of what you say, it will sound wiser than being completely silent.
2. You Are Worried About The Wrong Risks
I am not implying that Internet marketing does not have any risk, but they are usually outweighed by the high number of benefits. This is the time when people begin to ask themselves “what-ifs.” Yes, there is a chance that something can go wrong, but this should not stop you from moving forward with your marketing plans.
3. You Are Far Too Worried About The Competition
There are many companies out there that are terrified of their competitors. I can tell you now that this is not a great thing to focus on. If you are far too worried about the competition, it means that you are not focusing on buyers as much as you should. This reminds me of that guy in class who always worried about how well everyone else was doing on tests and assignments, instead of looking at his own paper and worrying about his own abilities. All you should worry about is your business and your buyers – period. What can you do to reach potential customers? Get ahead of the competition by giving your clients what they want.
4. You Talk About Yourself Too Much
When companies are filled with fear, they think it is necessary to talk themselves up. They ramble on during sales presentations, or they too often speak about the products and services they offer. They believe that their sales will not increase unless they are always talking about themselves. This is not the case at all. Being successful these days relies on helping and not closing. The more helpful you are, the more relevant your business will be to others.
5. You Refuse To Have Focus
When you are working on sales and marketing, do you do a little of everything, or do you focus on one or two aspects of the business. There is a great deal of power involved with focusing and being strong in one particular area. Do not be afraid to stand up and say “We are ______ and we can help ______.” While it might be very tempting to be everything to everyone, you will lose credibility when doing this since no one is an expert in everything.
How have you worked on reducing fear when doing sales and marketing?