In the world of online marketing, the common wisdom is to know who your “avatar” is. You’ll be encouraged to visualize your exact perfect customer, how they behave, where they are, what they do and how that relates to your specifically targeted niche.
From a marketing and business standpoint, and in a general sense, it’s good and necessary advice and something that we should be keeping in mind and working toward.
But please don’t let it keep you from getting started.
“Getting Ready” Doesn’t Get Results
If you are looking to stretch yourself, grow and do or create something new, you may not necessarily know the answers to those kinds of questions before you get started. And feeling like you don’t know can paralyze you into inaction. None of us want to look stupid. None of us want to be bullied by other established marketers who sometimes aggressively ask questions of newcomers like, “What’s your elevator pitch?” or, “What’s your specialty statement?” or, “Who’s your avatar?”
If all of that is crystal clear to you, great! Define your avatar and area of specialty and work from that.
On the other hand, if you just sense an innate intuition to do something new, but you are not exactly sure how all the pieces fit together yet, my experience is that the best way to find out why you are doing something is to start doing it.
Jump On The Roller-Coaster
Here’s an example: my podcast. When I started in January of 2016, it felt like a monumental leap after a couple of years of listening to limiting thoughts and self-talk of why I couldn’t or shouldn’t try to do it. It was as if I had stood by the line for the roller coaster for two years watching everyone else laughing and screaming and then finally decided to get on.
But even after getting started (and for a good while afterward), I was wracked with anxiety, in large part because I work so much in marketing and actually assist other businesses with their message, all the while knowing that I did not know exactly who my podcast was targeted toward or what the core message of it was. I just knew that I needed to do it. So I started.
I decided I would stop worrying so much about being perfect out of the gate and satisfying pundits sitting on the sidelines. I committed to resisting the temptation to measure myself against people who had been at it a lot longer than I had. Instead, I just decided I would get into the game and figure it out along the way.
More than a year and a half in, I’m still figuring it out. But I’m having a blast, connecting with incredible people and learning more than I ever imagined.
Learn To Do By Doing
I am sharing this because I can clearly remember how enormously uncomfortable it was to get going in the first place.
After a little while, the path began to show itself to me. I kept asking the questions – and I keep asking them – to refine down the message, but the joy in doing it outweighs the anxiety of whatever answers I don’t yet have.
Please remember: you are allowed to adjust along the way. In fact, that’s how it works: constant course correction. But if you never leave the harbor, you will never get across the water to someplace new. You’ve got to let go, get started and be okay with not knowing what you don’t yet know.
In episode 43 of my podcast, my good friend Doug Vincent (one of Rotary International’s representatives to the United Nations) gave this very simple but valuable advice: learn to do by doing.
It’s An Adventure. You’re Not Supposed To Know What Happens Next!
Don’t let the marketers and the “How-to” people scare you off. Never mind your “elevator pitch.” Sheesh. Just start. If you’re on the wrong path, you can always stop and then start over again, or just take a pause and adjust your course. I promise that, at the very least, you will gain valuable wisdom and experience that you simply cannot acquire by sitting and thinking.
Sometimes, not knowing what you don’t know can actually help you move forward quicker. But that’s another blog entirely.
For now, please, go easy on yourself. You don’t have to figure it out all at once. It’s a process. It’s a journey. It’s an adventure. You deserve to experience all of it.
Don’t let the start stop you.
Want help? For any entrepreneur or small business owner looking for help with online marketing and sales, I highly recommended the Wealthy Affiliate community. From SEO to social media to affiliate marketing, building and maintaining your own websites and just about any online-related marketing topic you can think of, you’ll find more resources there than you can possibly use. It’s like having your own team of online experts. It’s what I use and completely recommend.
To learn more about how I use it, visit my Wealthy Affiliate page on this website. – KB