- Entrepreneurs who are also creatives can be hesitant to market their business, instead preferring to focus on developing and perfecting their creations.
- But time spent promoting your product is much likelier to help it find an audience than time spent tinkering with it or making the next iteration.
- As a rule, creators should spend a lot of time in development, but at least double that amount of time in promotion.
- Once you have created something valuable, you should double, triple, and quadruple-dip it, pushing the same product to different audiences.
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Many entrepreneurs create products and start companies not because they want to become public figures, but because they believe they are solving an important problem. As a result, small business owners can sometimes be reluctant to promote what they've created.
Many creators labor under the false assumption that great products will simply rise to the top through the sheer quality of their design. Even companies whose success seemed inevitable, like TikTok, shored up the odds of that "inevitability" with massive marketing campaigns.
There is no substitute for a great product, and developing that flagship innovation should be every entrepreneur's main priority. But, once that creation is out in the world, entrepreneurs need to push, market, and promote it with abandon, spending at least twice as much time spreading awareness as they do in development.
Embrace the layered dip
In the same way you might invest in real estate to drum up passive income, every product you create should be generating passive revenue and attention on multiple platforms.
For example, YouTube creator Jessica McCabe, produces only one main product — YouTube videos on her channel How to ADHD — but she monetizes and promotes that product on several different channels.
McCabe's video series has nearly 500,000 subscribers, so she treats YouTube like a funnel to capture eyeballs and direct them to where she can collect money: on Patreon. On that platform, she offers tiered subscriptions that give patrons varying levels of insider access to behind-the-scenes content.
Through her Patreon, McCabe earns more than $15,000 a month, on top of the ad revenue she rakes in on YouTube.
McCabe also has a website that uses search engine optimization to capture curious fans who search for "How to ADHD" and then sends them to her YouTube or Patreon. Though she has decided to not run ads on her website, if she chose to, McCabe could be generating revenue there as well. In addition, she also sells merchandise based off of inside jokes and graphics from her How to ADHD branding.
The amount of effort she puts into her flagship offering, her videos, stays constant; she is adamant that they are meticulously crafted and deeply researched. But with just a tiny bit more effort — setting up a Patreon, a website, and a merchandise site — she triple-dips, multiplying her revenue and attention generation with only a modicum more effort.
An ounce of promotion is worth a pound of product
The time you spend promoting your product is much likelier to help it gain traction than the time you spend building it.
This is not a license to build something shoddy or skimp on its development; you should still spend a lot of time perfecting whatever it is you're trying to sell. But you should spend at least double that amount of time pushing what you've created.
Miss Henley, a sex worker with an OnlyFans page, said uses a 70-30 rule when it comes to marketing content and making it. She has invested in top-quality gear to produce high-resolution content, spends hours engaging with fans to gauge their interests, and then devotes time to producing material so singular that fans will pay for it despite the ubiquity of free porn.
Still, for all the time she puts into her work, she spends even more time pushing it on social channels, websites, and through key influencers.
"If you're not being your own biggest billboard, then you're doing a disservice to yourself," said Henley.
Most of the time, success is a numbers game: The more people who see your product, the better odds it has of taking off. By creating something great and then halfheartedly promoting it, you only hamstring your product and the community it aims to help.
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