You did everything right. You studied your target audience. Late nights of red-bull til sunrise working on concepts. You produced a full campaign. You called the radio station. You were on TV. The sponsors were there. The graphic content was beautiful and focused.
AND there is basically no traction.
Obviously I have been there. It sucks. It’s like playing against someone that is way better at a game than you and they are laughing as they kick your ass.
…slightly dramatic, but I am a type A. I hate to lose.
Lets work this one out with some advice from Pulp Fiction.
1.) Be Cool Like Fonzie.
DON’T PANIC. Focus. Check your metrics. Lay the full board on the table. Note any instinctual weaknesses. If they don’t make sense, pull someone aside and have them look at it with you. Two heads are better than one and likely another idea will come up. If your client wants to pull out. Sit them down and see if there is a way everyone can get what they want with a few changes to the initial plan.
2.) Engage Your Audience.
NOW. Why are you reading this still? Do it. Direct message people. Ask questions. Comment back. Tweet back. Search hashtags and post. People will be brutally honest so put on your big boy/girl pants, suck it up and get ready for news you don’t like to hear. It is medicine. You don’t take medicine unless you need to…AND you do. I have had people say something was overpriced and 15 people like it. I adjusted slightly. Explained it’s cost and got a positive response for engaging. Do it. It is a good thing and people outside of the conversation will notice.
It was pricing. It was the look. It was placement. It wasn’t funny. It didn’t tell them enough. Probe. Brainstorm. Adjust quickly once something is being found ineffective and get it taken care of ASAP. And remove the garbage like it like a cyst. Sow it up. Re-engage those customers after. Update them.
4.) Taking A Risk To Bring It Back To Life.
You have no idea if it will work. You are all watching attentively. A moment of silence. Two, or three hours. My God. It worked. You kept your cool, took a risk on the seat of your pants. BOOM! A miracle. Great job. You just saved the day. A man, or woman of legend.
It is going to be stressful. You are going to feel unsure. It’s more than likely going to be something radical that grabs peoples attention. Why are you doing anything at all if that’s not your plan? Trust Thyself, or Bust Thyself.
Post it. Share it. Blog it. Interview. Call people to share if you’re just starting. Go to the place your target audience would hang out and ask them if they know about you. It is ballsy, but I did it. Not only did they tell me yes, they told me why and why they wouldn’t be interested. Don’t stop once the adjustment is made. Keep the pace til the frenzy happens. One of the main reasons things don’t work after adjustment is because people stop doing what gave them the result once they have the result.
6.) Get Over It. Move Forward.
Marketing is sometimes this obscure beast. Especially for personal brands, creatives and start-ups. You have this idea in your head of who you are talking to. Kind of like taking a girl out for the first time. You know you’re attracted to her. She’s has all these qualities you’re looking for. The truth is most of the time you have no idea who it is you’re talking to. That’s why brands speak to us on a deep level when we use them for so long. The dynamics change and shift as the relationship moves along. In order for you to get your needs both parties need to be satisfied. That happens by listening to what your audience has to say attentively. It is always about the details. You don’t get those the first time.
So your hard work didn’t pay off the first time. So what? If you came up with that idea, there are 5 more to follow up on which are probably written in a notebook, a cloud file, or a napkin. Pull it out and take it to the puzzle factory. If you say you’re sorry, show you’ve changed and put yourself out there…I am sure they will give you a second chance.