Anyone who has ever worked with me has likely heard the words, “perfection is the enemy of good.”
This is something I was fortunate enough to learn very early in my 15+ year corporate career before venturing out a few years ago to be an entrepreneur.
Our agency, Marketing Nutz works with organizations of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 100 corporations. Regardless of the size of the organization, education of the marketers and business leaders within, there is a common tendency toward perfection.
With the introduction of social media into business, we see this often. Business and marketing leaders are often like a deer standing in headlights when it comes to integrating social media into their business.
Likely causes of the “deer in the headlight” reaction?
- Don't know where to start.
- Don't know how to measure results.
- Don't know audience.
- Don't know how to get buy-in across organization.
- Fear of failing.
- Unsure how to scale.
- Prefer to keep the unknown, unknown.
- Fear the “real brand” may get out.
- Assume the mindset “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” in regard to ignoring the conversations already happening in their honor via the social networks.
The only guarantee in life, business and social media is change. As soon as you get comfortable, it is guaranteed to change. Think about the social networks, just as you think you have mastered the Facebook newsfeed algorithm, all heck breaks loose and Facebook makes a change that rocks your world for the worse.
There is no better time for you to get started moving your business and life in the right direction, than right now.
What is waiting until everything is perfect going to do for you? It's not going to do much of anything except take you longer to reach results.
Avoiding the social networks is not stopping the fact that a conversation is already happening in honor of you and your brand. The question is simply, do you want to be a contributing, healthy part of the conversation? By covering the eyes, ears and lips of yourself and your employees you are hurting your brand more than helping it.
Of course there is a balance between perfection and really good work. By no means am I recommending you launch without quality or that you manage your business and marketing using lazy tactics.
You only have one opportunity to make a first or second impression, so every impression counts! However, finding a happy balance and embracing the imperfect perfection in both your business and life can deliver high return in the short, medium and long term.
15 Tips to Embrace Imperfect Perfection Now
1. Give up on perfection. Accept the fact that sometimes really good is good enough.
2. Empower your team to fail fast. The faster you fail, the faster you can learn and make mistakes that you can learn from.
3. Know where you want to go and why. Why are you doing what you do? What is your core purpose? What are your business goals and objectives? Be sure your team knows and lives these and more.
4. Set realistic deadlines. Don't set project milestones that add months of extra padding or on the flip side, dates you know can't be achieved. Both lead to wasted time and investment. Instead set deadlines based on important dates, integration with industry and other events.
5. Prioritize what really matters. Just as you must take time to plan, you must also take time to prioritize your work and actions. Don't give your small, already overworked marketing team a long list of tactics they must implement before next month, knowing it's close to impossible for them to achieve such. Instead focus efforts where it really matters and where you can have the greatest impact on business.
6. Keep brand and user experience top of mind. Things such as brand and user experience, quality, consistency and timeliness in product delivery should stay top priority. When a new potential customer visits your website or blog you have approximately 5 seconds to either impress them or send them away. Quit wasting time on big events, complicated campaigns if you are sending them to a broken blog or website. Design for mobile as part of your DNA, period.
7. Slow down to speed up. Don't be afraid to slow down to get to where you need to go. Slowing down to speed up doesn't mean you stop progress or quit marketing. It simply means you are going to slow down to properly plan, integrate, set goals and get ready to rock it in the weeks and months to come. Read-> Slow Down to Speed Up
8. Invest in a white board and marker. If you already have one, then use it, every week. Use a weekly or bi-weekly meeting to keep you focused on your core purpose and vision, keep team aligned but also thinking out of the box and ensuring you are constantly innovating. I'm shocked when we meet with many client teams who state they have not met to review goals and objectives for weeks or months!
9. Get rid of the random acts of marketing (RAMs). Rams will eat every last dollar of Return on Investment (ROI) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because many people don't know how to delete the RAMs from their business, they often find themselves falling into the trap of perfection. Embracing imperfect perfection does not equal becoming random in your work and planning. Read-> 9 Tips to Stomp Random Acts of Marketing
10. Be agile. Build your team in a way that you are always keeping an eye on what is ahead, how you can quickly pivot when needed when new opportunities arise. Make sure you have the processes and methodologies in place to quickly test feasibility of new technology, products and systems you can implement. Learning how to be agile will help you stay ahead of competition and stay innovative.
11. Humble yourself and your brand. Don't pretend to be something that you are not. If you just launched a new business, product or department, let your audience, stakeholders and employees know such.
12. Take them on your journey. This is really important for businesses of all sizes. Regardless if you are launching a new business or have been in business for 100 years, share your ups and downs. It is when you share your journey, including the bumps and sink holes that people will fall in love with you and your brand.
13. Know and leverage what you already have. Don't insist that every new project must start at square one. Know what content you have, what marketing assets you have and what people within and outside your organization can help you and your audience achieve their goals.
Download -> Content Inventory Worksheet Read-> Maximize to Monetize – Leverage What You Got
14. Quit comparing your chapter 1 to your competitors chapter 10. Focus on where you are and where you want to go, not just on where your competition has been working for 15 years!
15. Be you! Don't waste time trying to be someone else or copying and mimicking another brand. When you copy others you are building their brand, not yours. You are better off investing in content and other assets to support your brand, even if it takes longer. When you focus on your goals, your audience and your business it enables you to be more agile, innovate and successful.
“Get Fit Social Business Series”
We are going to help you get integrated and stomp the Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) once and for all in this new series, “Get Fit Social Business.”
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- Worksheet: Download our Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template
- Worksheet: Download our POST audience analysis worksheet to help you identify and prioritize your top audiences.
- Blog Post: Brand Humanization: Focus on Human Beings, Not Social Media Tools
- Blog Post: Quit Trying to DO Social Media, Focus On Business Results
- Blog Post: 10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience (includes tutorial video)
- Blog Post: Social Brand Humanization: Authenticity vs Transparency
- Blog Post: 22 Tips to Humanize Your Brand Using Twitter
- Blog Post: Talk Human to Me: 20 Tips to Humanize Your Brand
- Blog Post: Building, Growing & Sustaining Communities
- Blog Post: 9 Tips to Stomp Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs)
- Blog Post: 13 Characteristics of Human Brands
This applies soooooo much to me. I’m a perfectionist on all my content, and this sometimes drags me from progressing… I need to learn to say ‘enough’ and keep things moving. So thank you for this article.
Yes @AntonioCalero:disqus! Sometimes you just much hit publish! Less is often more.
Great post Pam! Now I only need my clients to agree that the real value is not so much in perfection (although perfection is nice…) but rather in the journey and the idea that we all need to ABI – Always Be Improving. Thanks again. Very fun read. And thanks for the white board reminder – mine doesn’t get enough action!
This is something we make very clear at the start of any client project. Very few (if any) clients truly have the budget for perfection. We help them set goals and objectives from the start at what is achievable within the given time period and budget. I think it’s very important to agree on what areas of a large project will get more attention vs areas that will be “less perfect.” With proper planning and goal setting it becomes much easier.
Oh and LOVE me some whiteboard time with our team and clients! I am a terrible artist but still like to scribble scratch and watch our team try to make sense of it! ;)
Thanks Pam – I appreciate you sharing that insight on how your team addresses that with me. Best, David
Great post again Pam … love the piece the only guarantee in life… Change.