The day I recognized successful small business owners are a-ok with perfectly imperfect marketing was the day my business began to flourish.
The day I decided to practice the art of publishing perfectly imperfect blog posts, videos, tweets and so on, was the same day I found freedom. No longer in bondage to perfection, suddenly I was publishing videos where my tongue got twisted and photos that emphasized my double chin. My tweets were deemed “good enough” and my spreadsheets were not perfectly color-coded. And I decided to be ok with that. I could have mustered up the energy to do about 10,000 more edits. But I chose not to. And as a result, I accomplished more in a few hours than I had in days. No longer stuck in analysis paralysis, I started to move my small business marketing engine forward—at a speed I had never known before.
Can you relate? As a small business marketing coach, I work with tons of small business owners. And many struggle in the same way I used to. They’re stuck in comparison hell. They see what “the other” people are doing and end up so intimidated and overwhelmed, they lease an office at “Stuck Small Business, Inc.”…with all of the other small business owners that are, well…stuck.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
Are you getting in your own way? Have you blocked your own path to success by insisting that everything be “just so” before you let anyone else see it? When did you start doing this? And more importantly, why? You know it’s not serving you. And yet, your mind is telling you to do another round of edits or just one more take. Surely, you’ll get it perfect on video shoot #8,394, right? Meanwhile, your heart is begging for permission to roll with perfectly imperfect marketing.
Stop trying to be like “the others.” Be you…in all your glory. Comparison is the thief of joy. People do business with people they like, know and trust. And perfectly imperfect marketing makes you likable–it humanizes commerce. The over-produced and perfectly polished are hard to trust. They’re just too perfect. Last week one of my clients was evaluating a competitor. I asked her to describe how she felt after reviewing his perfect pitch. Her response? “Nauseated.” Today’s smart consumer has little tolerance for the untrustworthy and an arsenal full of weapons with which to fight back. Namely, Yelp and all of the other review sites.
Perfectly Imperfect ≠Lame
There is one caveat to the concept of allowing yourself to be perfectly imperfect–and it’s an important one. Perfectly imperfect marketing is not lame marketing. Lame marketing has no place in a competitive marketplace. So how do you tell the difference and know when something is “lame” vs. perfectly imperfect? How do measure when what you’ve done is “good enough?” I’m glad you asked.
When your message is clear, your work is good enough. When your ideal clients interact with perfectly imperfect marketing materials that still allow them to have a positive interaction with your product or service, it’s good enough.
In honor of every six-year-old girl’s favorite song, I admonish you to Let It Go. Give yourself the freedom to move your business forward. The time is now. Every minute you spend obsessing is another minute wasted. Break your lease with Stuck Small Business, Inc. It’s time to get things done.