Don’t be Afraid to Fail and Fail Fast

(This is a cross-post from the Change Agent Communications blog.)

We launched a new service today. Just two days after solidifying and posting our core values on the website. The first of the three values is: “Walk the walk.” I am very intentional about making sure that Change Agent Communications practices what we preach. Not only does this establish credibility with clients, it demonstrates that we too, value the return on the investment we’re asking them to make, or put marketing dollars behind. If I encourage a client to invest in visual content and videos for social media engagement you’d better believe they will see us doing the same.

We do things for this agency that we recommend for our clients. Period. None of that “cobbler’s shoes” business. You know the one about the cobbler’s children having no shoes that people often say when they’re explaining why agency’s don’t have or activate their own marketing plans, a legit funnel or a pipeline they’re nurturing constantly? The line that everyone shrugs off and finds funny.

On my watch, the cobbler’s children will not only have shoes, they will have the trendiest, coolest, most agile shoes ever! That’s what I mean by “walking the walk.”

As a new agency, we are in a unique position to demonstrate how marketing, advertising, PR, the whole paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) spectrum can generate brand awareness, create opportunities, put company leaders in front of people who are interested in what they have to offer, and even generate leads and close sales. It’s a process, and ours is playing out daily. With about two months in we are still making it up as we go. We plan to stay in launch mode for years to come, because it keeps you on your toes and builds an undeniable fire in your belly that  moves you to action.

I simply love having an idea and bringing it to life in four-five days.

For years, I’ve talked to clients about failing fast. “Let’s just try it and see if it works,” I’d say. “If it doesn’t, we’ll simply learn as we go and quickly do something else. Let’s call it a pilot.” Some were agile enough to move forward, others not so much. Sometimes convincing and cajoling worked, and in some instances it fell flat. But I never stopped making that recommendation, because this media and marketing world moves fast, and we have to be active participants in the change.

Pinpoint Your Pitch: A 21st-Century  Framework and Approach for Generating Earned Media was an idea that surfaced in my mind on Thursday evening when I was networking (okay, drinking wine, talking shop and chatting it up) with a small group of the Alliance of Women in Tech Leadership. I jotted down a few ideas on the iAWriter app on my iPhone and tried to build it out as an offering two days later (on a Saturday), but my creative juices were a little low. However, when I woke up on Sunday, it all poured out of my brain onto the notepad I keep on my nightstand and I was in business.

Once I felt it was effectively capturing the value proposition, I reached out to my freelance proofreader and designer to see how quickly they could move. They know me, so they moved, and I was grateful. I set up a Calendly link to incorporate into the “contact” section so that people can book time with me directly, as opposed to only having the option to send an email.I’d never done that before, so it gave me another opportunity to fail fast, or find something that works.

I got the designed document back on Monday evening, and the final, 24 hours later – which was yesterday. I stayed up until 2am setting up social posts to be shared from my personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as posts for the company LinkedIn page and Twitter accounts.  (I knew my day was pretty packed and i would only be able to devote a small amount of time to the launch.)

I also emailed the women who inspired me to share the finished PDF and drafted three unique outreach emails to share with my network today because I didn’t want to send email with a timestamp in the 1:00 a.m hour.

Oh yeah, sometime in there I wrote and launched a Facebook ad, and the idea of this blog post isn’t even 40 minutes old. The initial headline was: Launching a service? Launch an ad too.” Then I changed it to “Fail and Fail Fast,” about 15-minutes ago because that’s more in line with what I was writing about.   I honestly have no idea how I’m even going to close this post right now. But I felt compelled to write it and believe it will be helpful to someone. The beauty of it is this: If you read it and hate it, or find it of zero value, I will have failed fast, because I haven’t even reached an hour yet.

But on the flip side, you could like it, click the link on the new service, find it of interest and actually reach out to me, or refer me to someone else who might.

I think that possibility alone was worth my time.

I started out with an image of one of the ads I launched today at the top of this post, and then deleted it as I continued writing. But I’m going to include it below. Maybe it’s out of context, maybe not. But I’m totally going with my gut now with this stream of consciousness.

My point is simple. Walk the walk, be open to failing fast and be the change.

Oh yeah, and here’s that boosted Facebook post I launched just before penning this post.  I will tell you how it performed in a day or two. If it isn’t moving the needle by tonight, I’m making a change. But you probably aren’t surprised by that at all.

FB ad
 
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