Over the past several months I have talked with more than a few entrepreneurs sharing their startups’ marketing strategy and I was shocked by a common theme that developed in each conversation.
Everyone knows someone famous. More accurately said, everyone’s college roommate or cousin or hairdresser knows someone famous. And that famous person’s endorsement of their company is going to rocket them to success. That is their marketing strategy.
I love optimism.
To be a successful entrepreneur, heck to be successful at anything, you have to believe you can achieve the impossible because the odds are always stacked against you. While you need to have an optimistic outlook. You need to have a pessimistic strategy.
Pitbull or Jamie Foxx or Ariana Grande are not a marketing strategy. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but most likely that connection will fall through. I know because I’ve relied on it before*. It’s always funny how chips disappear the moment you ask to cash them in. But that’s OK. Even if your wildest dreams happened and they did endorse your product or company, it doesn’t guarantee anything.
Our society is too fragmented. People consume information from too many disparate sources. There is no silver bullet of influence that is going to dramatically impact your company. There was a time where being in TechCrunch would crash your website from too much traffic. That’s not the case anymore. When we launched York IE we had an article in TechCrunch. It was awesome and it definitely drove traffic to our website but it won’t be the reason we succeed. There was also a new article published 20 minutes later and then one after that and so on until ours was buried.
The same is true of a celebrity endorsement.
The truth is that it is going to be a slog and a grind, which is why so many companies fail. It’s why we believe so strongly in Drumbeat Marketing.
You need to develop a good product, an authentic brand, and a strong relationship with your customers. And then you need to tell this story consistently in every aspect of your business over and over and over again. This takes time. This is hard. But this is what, in the long run, builds a good business.
And if Pitbull gives you a shout out, excellent! It’ll be just another proof point that helps validate everything you have already built.
*My college roommate’s second cousin was football player Ryan Fitzpatrick but since I didn’t have a beard grooming startup it wasn’t destined to be a helpful connection.