Everyone knows the expression “no risk, no reward.” But when it comes time to make a daring brand or marketing decision for our own company, we immediately act like someone has asked us to jump out of a plane. We retreat and stay in our safe zone. “Let someone else do the jumping!”
But here’s the problem with playing it safe: Safe gets you left behind. You fall victim to the notorious sea of sameness. You disappear into the industry rather than standing out for your unique merits.
Suddenly, playing it safe doesn’t sound like such a good option. You really do need to make more of an impact in your market to help your company achieve its goals. Besides, you’ve heard from so many people how exhilarating an experience jumping out of a plane can be!
Ok, so you know you should jump – but you still want to reduce the risk. Here’s how you do it:
1. Find your jumping partner.
Most sane people don’t jump out of a plane by themselves the very first time. Similarly, you shouldn’t try to take a big leap in your marketing without the guidance of a trained professional. An experienced partner can educate you on the right steps to take and be there as you make that first jump.
2. Know the landing zone.
As you prepare to jump, you’ll want to have a clear sense of where you want to land when you hit the ground. For a new marketing plan, you want to have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve and who you want to impact. Without that clarity, you’re more likely to drift into the middle of a highway or into power lines. Yikes.
3. Plan and practice.
It’s a good idea to talk to other people who’ve jumped. Or watch some videos of other people jumping. And, of course, talk with your instructor (the one you secured after reading Step #1). Take the time to plan for your brand. Know what your brand stands for, who you’re talking to, what actions you want your audience to take, and how your brand can connect with the world. Planning and practicing with these “reasons to believe” provides a solid foundation to prepare you for your jump.
4. Be flexible while in the air.
Once you’ve made the jump, the wind could shift. It may be more hazy or cloudy than you planned. Things happen at a moment’s notice. While the planning and training can prepare you for what to expect, you have to be ready to change course if need be. What works in today’s market might not work in tomorrow’s. Flexibility means taking the good and bad in stride, analyzing the forces at work, and optimizing performance every step of the way.
With the right support, preparation and mindset, jumping doesn’t have to be so scary. Neither does your daring new marketing plan.
So what are you waiting for? Give it a try. Carve out a name for your company in your industry. Make memories in the minds of your customers. Stop people in their tracks. Jump!
Caitlin Roscioli McNichol
When Caitlin’s not busy working with Dotted Line’s clients, she can usually be found planning a skydiving adventure (which she has done not once, but twice), preparing for her next marathon or hiking the Shenandoah Mountains with her family.