One of the most disheartening things that can happen to entrepreneurs and content creators goes a little like this:
You pour your heart and soul into something, really working hard to make it into the best possible thing it can be.
You release it into the world, excited for people to find it. You just know that they’ll love it.
Except nobody ever does. Instead, everyone flocks to a competitor, to someone who clearly didn’t invest in much time and effort as you did.
Why is that?
It hurts to say it, but a good product with great marketing, will always be out a great product that isn’t marketed well.
The product is important, but in today’s busy world, the marketing is even more important.
What You Don’t Know, Can’t Help You
Here’s an interesting concept.
Content online is so abundant, that you could never consume it all even throughout multiple lifetimes. And that doesn’t even factor in everything new being published every second.
After all, we each only have a limited amount of time and attention to dedicate to any one thing.
But here’s something even more interesting – because most of what’s out there has never been marketed to you at all, you don’t even know what you’re missing.
You almost certainly haven’t discovered what would’ve become your favorite song, or movie, game, book, podcast, and so on. If you could magically consume all of them at once, your favorites list would almost certainly look different than it does now.
And some of these may have influenced your life in minor or major ways.
We design our content and our products to have the maximum impact we can on our audiences, but if they never discover it in the first place, than what is even the point? If you’re not able to get your products or ideas in front of people, you can’t help people regardless of how good it is. And this is one of the huge issues I still see – people spend all of their time and energy into improving their offering, that they never learn (or take the time to) ensure it is ever consumed by anyone.
With all things in business, there has to be a balance – without it, nothing else really matters.
Life Isn’t Fair – So Capitalize On It
Here’s another harsh reality.
Life isn’t fair. You can do everything right, and still lose out to a cheater.
When I started selling baby clothing on Amazon and had a product enter Amazon’s top 250, I got to deal with things like…
- Dozens of other people stealing our intellectual property, and copying the design.
- Other companies selling counterfeits on our listing.
- Competitors leaving bogus negative reviews, then having people mark them as ‘helpful’ so they’d appear first on Amazon’s review section.
- Competitors buying our entire inventory so we’d go out of stock, then cancelling the order right before they shipped (and repeating the process.)
And many, many other issues.
It sucks, but it’s part of the experience. It’s not only limited to products, either.
It would be nice to believe that Google for example would rank the best content the highest, but even today, Google still isn’t perfect at judging what good content is and what isn’t. They rely heavily on external signals to determine how people feel about a given page.
Even then, you could rank #1 for a keyword for years, and lose it in a matter of weeks when someone starts buying backlinks to their (clearly inferior) article.
(P.S: Google has very little idea which backlinks are purchased and which aren’t, and backlink buying is a common practice that few seem to want to talk about.)
So how do deal with this? What do you do to counteract situations like these?
The solution comes in what makes your product (or content) unique to you.
Your brand, your stories, your experiences. The aspects of it that help relate people to you, and cause them to seek you out specifically – even if there are alternatives available.
With a strong brand, you aren’t reliant on the algorithm of a company like Amazon, Google or YouTube to thrive and succeed. They can unfairly favor inferior products, and you’ll be relatively unscathed by it.
Coca-cola doesn’t make the best drinks.
Starbucks doesn’t make the best coffee.
McDonald’s doesn’t make the best burgers.
None of these brands are known for the quality of their products. They are known for their systems, and for their brand. And that’s why we go back to them over and over again.
Word-Of-Mouth – The Savior For Product-Focused Entrepreneurs
I would never encourage entrepreneurs to release offers that aren’t the best that they could be, provided they also have the resources to market it.
After all, it is most exceptional products are usually the ones that get remembered.
They’re also the ones that get marketed for you for free, from people sharing them with others.
That’s the beautiful thing about having a wonderful product, wonderful content, a wonderful brand. When people do find your company – a diamond in the rough, they stick around and spread it to others.
The good foundation that your product provides sets you up for long-term, steady, and exponential growth.
Of course, it still requires you to have an effective marketing strategy in the first place.
A good product and effective marketing are both important, and you can’t succeed unless you have both of them.
However, if you spend all of your time perfecting your product without ever effectively marketing it, than you’re not doing yourself (or anyone else in your favors.) A great product on its own will not bring you success.
My goal with this post was simply to serve as a reminder to spend time marketing what you create, because it really is half the battle.
Wishing you the best! To your success,
– James McAllister