Intimidated By Marketing? Here’s How To Overcome It
If you’re intimidated by marketing, I’m going to show you a way to think about it to make it just a little bit less so. We’re going to talk about the psychological aspects behind why marketing is intimidating and what you can do to alleviate that. When I first got started in marketing, I know I was very scared for a lot of reasons.
Some of the reasons were, for example, when I put up my first piece of software on the internet to sell, I was scared that nobody was going to care. Or that someone was going to buy it and think it was shitty; that people were going to email me and tell me how horrible it was; that people were going to be angry that they paid money for something so shitty. That is where my mind was at the time.
When I started marketing other people’s products, I was like, “Oh shit! What if people think I’m trying to spam them? What if what if people don’t like the product and they see me selling it so then they don’t like me?” There were all these different things going through my head and I had to overcome all that stuff to do marketing.
I came up with different solutions for different concerns. I had to figure out how to do marketing effectively without letting my self-esteem get in the way, or getting stuff out without worrying about backlash or being scared of people commenting on my shit.
There was one thing that made the biggest difference in the way that I thought about marketing. It not only helped me market my stuff a little more shamelessly but also helped me be a better marketer because of the nature of how it works. It’s the concept of thinking of marketing as an experiment. So that’s all marketing is. It’s one giant experiment. I think the mistake a lot of people make is when they start marketing, they’re afraid of complete failure. Failure is worse in marketing because it’s public.
If you come out with your new game and you push it everywhere, you try and get all your friends to download it, you share it in Facebook groups, to Twitter, Reddit, etc.—and nobody buys it, everybody else knows that nobody bought it. Everybody else knows that it’s just sitting there and no one really wants it. You feel like a failure, you feel stupid, and it’s really scary.
But here’s the thing: when you look at marketing as an experiment, everything that you do that doesn’t work is just one step closer to finding something that did work. I think that’s an old Edison quote. He said that he didn’t fail a thousand times, he just found a thousand ways it didn’t work.
Each way that he made the light bulb filament the wrong way was what got him closer to making it the right way. Marketing is the same way. I think from a psychological perspective that makes a lot of sense because it takes the pressure off success. You don’t have to get a million downloads the first time you ever market something. You just do it. You figure out the different channels that you want to use, you figure out the tactics, you try them, you see if they work, and if they do work you keep doing them. If they don’t work, you try something else. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s super simple.
That’s from a psychological perspective. From an actual marketing perspective, it makes even more sense. When I was running my marketing company, I realized that if we rolled out a huge marketing campaign without doing any kind of interaction with the audience or any kind of testing, this shit would usually bomb. No matter what we did, even when we were being brilliant and coming up with all these crazy slogans, create Facebook ads, spend all this money in the tens of thousands of dollars—sometimes the hundreds of thousand dollars, you can’t just do marketing and push the shit out there and be done with it. It’s an iterative process, it’s an experiment.
For example, I had a client that was working on a book. It was a non-fiction, business book. One of the things that she wanted me to help with was picking a title. Now I could have said, “Hey this title looks better than these other ones, right? I like this title better.” I could have just give her my opinion.
One of the things that we did was we purchased some Google Ads on the front page. We used all of the book titles as the actual title text for the ads, and then we watched the click-through rate of the ad. Essentially, people were searching her subject matter, her genre of business, her little market. Every time people click on the headline of an ad, THAT showed us what the click-through rate is for that specific ad. We noticed that certain titles would get more clicks than others.
What that told me was that the book title is a better title for attracting that audience than any of the other titles. Once they click on the title, you have to figure out how many will click on the Download or the Buy button. That is the conversion rate. It’s really simple math. And you can run A B tests which just means that you test different pages against each other. Like, I’ll test this landing page against this landing page, I’ll randomly show people one or the other and see which one gets more customers. Then you’ll know which one converts better.
If I thought that I was super smart enough to just submit and build stuff and say, “Here you go, here’s your marketing.” If I just ran the campaign, we might have some success but we wouldn’t have nearly the amount of success that we had had we not done it in phases and tested things out, and actually looked at marketing as a giant experiment.
We started with the title, and then we went on to the landing page. What we found from doing surveys and doing different experiments in marketing was that we needed to change her book around a little bit; we even changed some of the chapter names and stuff. That made a huge impact on the book and it went on to sell I don’t remember how many copies, but it was a lot more than she thought they were going to sell. And it was a very profitable investment for her to have marketing done by me. It was very cool to see that happen.
That’s just one example of thousands. In games, it’s the same way. It doesn’t matter what you market, that stuff carries over to every kind of thing out there. Marketing is just a giant experiment, that’s all it is. I think people get so intimidated by the fact that, “Oh I have to go do the marketing, I have to do all this right.” And when it doesn’t work, they get discouraged, quit, just start the next project or whatever. But that’s not how it works. If you give up after it doesn’t work, that’s the first stage out of many stages of experimentation. You have to experiment. You have to see what works. My posting videos on YouTube is the result of an experiment.
I decided to do some content marketing for Gaming Dev Underground. I was like, “Hey, I’m going to build content so I can help out developers and hopefully get people to the site so they can communicate with each other and build this whole community.” I created YouTube videos to see how it worked out compared to the blog post. YouTube works out far better than blog posting.
I would have thought for sure that some of my super long, super in-depth blog posts would attract a lot more readers and people to the site than YouTube does. But that’s not what happened. I found that YouTube did so well in sending me people, sending me traffic, and connecting us with other developers that I decided to do an entire YouTube video a day, every single day.
That’s what I’ve been doing for the past 45 days because it was an experiment. As someone that used to run a marketing company, I could not have told you that YouTube would have performed better than blog post. I would’ve thought for sure blog post will win hands-down. So that’s just another example of an idea that went through experimentation.
Nevertheless, you can’t get caught up on the success of it. You have to look at it as iterative steps. At first I did the 0 then 10 then 50. It’s going to keep growing. You have to look at the little baby steps in the improvement and the progress you’re making rather than, “I don’t have a million dollars yet. Ah! I don’t have a million downloads yet.” You’ll get discouraged that way.
I hope the idea of looking at marketing as an experiment helps you out in your endeavors. It certainly did that for me. It made a big difference in how I looked at things. It also made a big difference in how I marketed things, which I think is a better approach; especially if you have a limited budget because throwing all your budget at one thing is never the right answer. You can test a bunch of little things with your budget and see what works. If one thing works, put more money into that and test it out against something else, and so on and so forth.
So it’s just a giant experiment guys, that’s all it is. There is no epic, hidden marketing guru out there. It’s just an experiment and you need to experiment. You have to be willing to experiment or you’re not going to get where you want to go.
That is all I have for the day. I hope you found it useful. If you did, please leave a comment and a like below, I love to hear from you guys and I love seeing that engagement on the blog.