Meet Ed White.
Ed was born in 1930, and was the first American to walk in space. That’s him in the image above, on June 3, 1965.
Ed left the cramped quarters of the Gemini 4 mission capsule and floated on a tether for 23 glorious minutes while they flew over the Pacific Ocean. He went back inside, reluctantly, when they were over the Gulf of Mexico.
He didn’t want it to end.
How can a person go from performing what should be a terrifying act — one that seems impossible — to enjoying it so much he has to be cajoled into stopping?
Here’s an excerpt of a conversation between commander James McDivitt and White, while White was still outside the capsule:
McDIVITT: They want you to get back in now.
WHITE (laughing): I’m not coming in . . . This is fun.
McDIVITT: Come on.
WHITE: Hate to come back to you, but I’m coming.
McDIVITT: OK, come in then.
WHITE: Aren’t you going to hold my hand?
McDIVITT: Ed, come on in here … Come on. Let’s get back in here before it gets dark.
WHITE: I’m coming back in . . . and it’s the saddest moment of my life.
Are you terrified of marketing?
Marketing your business — especially when you’re doing the work yourself — can feel scary.
The prospect of putting yourself “out there” is frightening.
What if it doesn’t work? What if you do something embarrassing while the world watches? What if all your plans fail you, and your business gets left behind?
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to prepare for the seemingly impossible task of marketing your business yourself.
There’s a certain attitude you can adopt that will make it easier to get started, keep at it, and see real results.
How to take the terror out of marketing
Why’s marketing so scary?
Well for one thing, if you don’t have a marketing degree you may feel completely unprepared to do the work.
And so much rides on the results! After all, marketing is the engine that keeps your business humming with new prospects and customers. Get it wrong and things will be very, very quiet. So quiet, your business might not survive.
Another difficulty of marketing your business yourself is that you can’t see your business as an outsider would because you’re in it. You live it. How could you possibly understand how people perceive it from the outside?
The secret to making marketing your business less frightening is to change the way you think about it.
Adopt the spirit of adventure those early astronauts had.
They were doing things that had never been done before, and yet they went toward them fearlessly, and with a sense of fun.
Prepare yourself, then prepare to enjoy the ride
There’s no doubt that much of their carefree attitude came from the extensive preparation astronauts went through before they ever left the ground.
And that’s what we need to do as well: lay the groundwork so we know which direction we’re going to take our marketing.
We spoke about marketing groundwork in last week’s post. Here it is again:
- You know your ideal customer inside and out.
- You understand the major challenge your business is going to solve for them.
- You know what language you’re going to use to talk about your business, from your business name and tagline to your “brand story” — the copy that will explain what you offer in just a few sentences.
Once you’ve laid this groundwork, it’s time for the scariest step of all.
Let’s go back to Gemini 4.
Ignition, and you’re off
The moment of ignition, when the astronauts were about to leave the earth, must have been exhilarating.
But for Ed White, the real moment of ignition came when he stood before an open hatch with all of space in front of him.
To get himself out of the capsule, he had to use a hand-held oxygen-jet gun to push himself out into space.
That’s a little like what we all feel like the first time we put our marketing materials out there.
We’re leaving behind the safety of the known world. We’re putting something out there that we’ve come up with, and we have no idea what will happen next.
A spirit of adventure, and a whole lot of data
In the end, the NASA missions were an excellent way to gather data about our world. All those moments of pushing into the unknown led to advances not only in space travel, but in medicine, science, and even international relations.
When we market our businesses, this same spirit of adventure serves us well.
We create materials, put them out there, and begin to gather data. We discover what works and what doesn’t, and we make adjustments as we go along.
What’s your next marketing adventure?
I’m working on a series of special products that will help you understand marketing and design basics, and they’ll be ready soon.
Now, I want to hear what you’re working on! Head on down to the comment section, and tell Big Brand System readers about your newest marketing adventure.
Image courtesy NASA.