When you look at kids being creative or playing with each other and compare that to adults, one of the more striking differences is fear.
It’s not our natural state to be so afraid of being judged, being ridiculed, or being ignored. This is why most kids seem so carefree.
By the time we’re adults we tend to become a bit reluctant to put ourselves out there. That has an effect that bleeds into our work, preventing us from performing at our best because we’re always holding back — at least to a degree.
We think that if we’re too ourselves we may drive others away, or that we’ll be judged for not being enough (or maybe being too much).
The truth is that others are going to judge us no matter what.
Any time we DO something or DON’T DO something, someone else has an opinion about it. So why not be authentic then so at least we’re not at odds with ourselves?
The work we do is driven by the aim to help clients push through that fear.
A lot of our advice is “how-to” format of course, but an equally important piece of it is the way we help others determine the platforms most appropriate to engage with the audience that will appreciate them most.
Once they know where to put themselves out there and who is most receptive, the values and message they’ve worked to develop can have their deepest effect.
This is related to what we mean when we’ve said that tools without strategy are just paperweights.
It can feel good to have fancy scheduling software and be on all the major social platforms with sharp-looking graphics. But when we don’t show up with a focus in mind we’ve really just given ourselves more things to sink time into that don’t move the needle.
Marketing without fear can also make your efforts more efficient.
The trouble with people-pleasing is that sometimes it works. And then you end up with people who don’t fully resonate with you listening in, and your attention is divided among listeners who may never really connect or take action.
Behavioral experts have noted about personal relationships that people-pleasing is harmful for you because you’ll end up with many people that like you superficially, but you’ll have a hard time ever having deep relationships because it can never be said that anyone hanging around truly sees you and loves you for it.
The same is true in business.
You’re putting a lot of energy into your marketing, so it’s best to accept that some won’t resonate with what you’re about and focus that energy on those that do. That’s where we get our best customers, our most loyal brand ambassadors, and frankly where we all can feel the deepest sense of accomplishment serving those same people.