I recently watched Soul Surfer, and the riding of the waves fascinated me. Now I’m not athletic and I have no balance at all. I’ve been known to walk into doors and trip over things on the carpet. Plus, I’m terrified of being out of control and going fast. Yeah, I would be a champion surfer if it weren’t for those small details.
However, I learned something about marketing while watching that movie (I know, it’s beginning to seem like I can learn something about something else by doing practically anything, but stay with me here. This is important.).
In the movie, “riding the wave” comes in three stages. There’s the paddling out to find a wave, the effort and ability to stand and ride it, and then the ending when you fall off or get to the shore. Then the whole process starts over.
In other words, you cannot ride many multiple waves indefinitely and forever. You get to ride one or maybe two and then, it’s time to paddle back out again to find another one.
When you think about your marketing efforts, the same lesson applies–especially in the beginning. I’m warning you now so that you will not get discouraged when you’ve paddled and ridden a really great wave only to find that you have to paddle back out again.
Your marketing campaign will be formed by a whole series of this cycle.
You will “paddle out”–i.e. set up a promotion or your content or your landing page. You will then set up all of the promos for it. That marketing wave might be a small one–producing none or just a few sales. Or it could be a big one–producing many hundreds or even thousands of sales. But the truth is at some point, that wave will wash ashore with you on it.
When that happens, it’s going to be tempting to get very discouraged. No matter how many sales you made, you will feel like maybe there should have been more. No matter how long it lasted, maybe it could have lasted longer if you had done X, Y, and Z.
Understand, that a career in writing and especially the marketing of that writing is a series of riding the waves and paddling back out. Going into it with that mentality rather than thinking all you have to do is hit it big once and you are set for life will at least give you a head’s up that this is not a “once-and-you’re-done” deal.
So, always remember that to ride the waves, you need to be willing to do some paddling first. And when one wave is over, there is always another one out there. Take a break if you need, but be willing to paddle back out to catch the next one.