If you’re a maker you love making product! You could make all day! And you probably do…
We are makers, we are the “if you build it they will come” kind of people.
We love our products! We love them so much that we actually become attached to them.
Comedy to copywriting
I recently met this awesome standup comic turned copywriter. His talk was so funny… about copy… about words… I almost peed my pants.
I had a chance to talk to Kevin Rogers quite a bit during the course of a recent conference I participated in. What was really cool is he is such a dude. He’s just as real in a one-to-one conversation as he is in the front of a room.
So he was kind enough to point me in the direction of one of his podcasts “How to be you, but funny.”
If you know me, I can be a little quirky and every once in a while spout off a witty quip.
My kids always say to me “yeah mom…you’re not that funny.”
It’s a running joke in our house that if mom makes a “funny“ that I get a biscuit…like a dog treat… the reward… for making a joke.
So I listened to Kevin Roger’s podcast. He gave several formulas that are used in writing humor that, as marketers, we can use to create copy and content.
One of Kevin’s words of wisdom that I latched onto wasn’t about copy or about content but had to do with letting go.
As a comic, they make jokes. Of course!
But one of the things we don’t realize is that comics work their jobs. They practice. And if they find the joke doesn’t fit their audience or it’s just a “bad joke“ they ditch the joke and move onto a new one.
Are you attached?
Kevin said one of the worst things you can do as a comic is get attached to your jokes.
To be a real success as a comic you have to try a joke, if it fits, meaning if your audience laughs, great! Then tweak it to get a bigger laugh.
If they don’t laugh, you let the joke go and move on and write another one.
To “bomb” is a right of passage for every comedian, and while it usually happens early on in a comic’s career, plenty of comedians have bombed even after finding success and becoming established.
It could be a matter of having new material that hasn’t been polished or worked out yet, or it could just be because the comic has had an off night. (Source: Thoughtco.com)
You’re probably thinking, “But Christine we’re not comics, what does this have to do with us?”
As makers, we can easily get attached to our products. At least I know I did.
I can remember one time rolling out one of my favorite creations and feeling almost heartbroken that no one really like it or wanted it.
What devastation… How could they not love this as much as I do?
Let’s go back to our comic…the last thing a standup comic wants to happen is bombing on stage.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon original series) comes to mind. I binge watched it recently and really connected with the character…afterall…she’s a “maker” and was creating a persona. It’s a lot like making a Caribbean Smash Coconut Body lotion or a hit indie game like Slime Rancher (one of Buzzfeed’s pick for best indie games of all time). You bring your products to life by giving them character, right?
Mrs. Maisel (without giving away the whole story) out of the blue got up on stage and blasted out a knee-slapping story that had the audience holding their sides and gasping for air.
Instant success right!
Success or a one-hit-wonder
We all get those one hit wonders.
As she made this into a “thing” she found that not every joke was a hit. At one point she ever said, “what the hell is wrong with those people..that was funny!”
To her, maybe. To her audience…not so much.
She bombed – and bombed big!
Even big brands fail to let go
It’s not just indie brands or startups that launch products that bomb. I read a Harvard Business Review article that listed several products that the manufacturers loved, but their audiences didn’t. And they bombed!
Look at New Coke
Microsoft Zune (to compete with the ipod)
And who could forget the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (the brand that ignited a big fail.)
Until I met Kevin, however, I never thought of letting go in quite this way. I mean who doesn’t love Caribbean Smash Coconut Body Lotion (or your old Galaxy 7)?
As product makers, if we are not willing to let go of the one-hit-wonders or products, even though WE love it but our customers don’t, that’s the equivalent of bombing on stage.
Know when it’s time to let go
We have to let it go!
Not getting attached to each and every product we create will make for a better, more sustainable business.
Big brands don’t grow to be big brands by holding onto a bad idea, trying to make it work. They turn to their audiences and ask them! They poll them. They survey them. They go into the crowd and start asking questions.
They go back to the drawing board, they make something new. And they give it a go.
If our audience doesn’t like it…if we don’t get the proverbial thumbs up… if we don’t get that laugh…we let it go and we move on.
We make something new that the audience wants…we get our laugh! (Or in the case of business, we get sales.)
When a product isn’t working, if we LET GO…The joke won’t be on us!
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