Here’s a problem I’ve come across in self-publishing. You don’t know what you don’t know. I sometimes browse writing forums. I lurk in places writers congregate. Some of these places I’ve been hanging out in for a while. Some of them are sorta new. And one thing that has bugged me since the very beginning is the way everyone touts themselves an expert.
Well, I’m gonna have to object. There are very few people who actually know what they’re talking about in this business and you know why that is? You don’t know what you don’t know.
So a soon-to-be author asks for advice and gets someone who has been in the business six weeks. They get a six-week’s experience answer about things. Then someone else asks the same question and they get someone who’s been doing it two years. So they get a two years’ experience answer. Now, these answers will be one hundred percent totally different. Because the person who just started has a very limited pool of past experiences to pull from. They might’ve done something once or twice and had this or that outcome, and they figure, hey, this is how it is.
But that’s not really how it is. Because the two-year person has probably tried that thing you’re asking about several more times, gotten different results each time (if they are smart and learned from their mistakes) plus, they’ve probably done several other things in combination, that Person One has no clue about (you don’t know what you don’t know).
So let’s say you’re on a popular writer’s forum and someone asks a question that you think, Hmm, I might have something to say about this. Then you go into the thread and read all the opinions, shake your head and wonder why they are all saying different things. And they are all very adamant about their opinions.
So who do you believe?
Well, this is simple. Very, very simple.
You believe the one who was successful.
Why would you ever take the advice of someone who failed? Hell, I fail at a lot of things other people are successful at. So if you can find someone who does it right, naturally you should take that person’s advice instead of mine.
I don’t write Marketing No-Tip Monday. LOL. I mean, that’s stupid. I might stick in some things that didn’t work for me, but I’m pretty sure I always tell you to try it yourself. Maybe I just suck at that one thing? Maybe I didn’t put my heart into it? Maybe I was up all night doing whatever and forgot a few steps in the winning process?
You don’t know why I failed. You shouldn’t even care why I failed. If someone comes along and says, Yes, this works. I do it all the time. You should listen. I’m not saying it will work for you. I’m just saying you don’t know until you know.
Everyone’s got an opinion. All you have to do is open up your Facebook timeline and look at the political ravings of your friends to realize this. They can’t all be right? Well, sure they can. They are opinions based on experience and belief. But they don’t know what they don’t know.
Everyone gets an opinion, that doesn’t mean you have to take them at face value.
Yes, if you do it right. Yes, if you find that person who has done it right in the past, is willing to share, and you believe them.
No, if you do it wrong. No, if you find that one person who did it wrong, is willing to share, and you believe them.
And maybe, even if everyone is telling you no, it can’t be done, you know something they don’t know and you try it anyway and do it right.
That’s called success.
Marketing is all about that kind of experimentation. It’s all about doing things differently. Look, it’s no secret that Facebook ads aren’t what they used to be because everyone got the hang of it. But if you’re an innovator, you don’t care what everyone else is doing. You don’t care what works for them, and you don’t care if it’s not working as well as it used to.
If you’re an innovator, you come up with your own way to make it better. You experiment, try new things, do it differently. And I’ll be perfectly honest, most of the time you’re going to fail. But unlike the person who fails and forgets, you, the innovative marketer, will fail and learn. You will do it again, and again, and again and maybe you fail the next nine out of ten times.
But the only thing that matters is that you finally succeeded. You tweaked your message, and thought it out, and planned. You did your homework and learned from your mistakes and finally, that one success is your triumph.
Now, when you go to answer a question and there is nothing but no’s, you see that most of those no’s are right. You did that too! It didn’t work. Boo. But you didn’t stop there. You persevered and in the end, you came up with something totally new.
You are the expert. Not because you have more years of experience, but because you tried more methods, you failed more, you learned more, and in the end you made it work.
I don’t know about you, but I want to listen to the person who made all the mistakes before I even try. That way I don’t have to waste my time. And I want to listen to people who not only made those mistakes, but found a way to succeed in spite of them. But hey, if you don’t want to know what you don’t know… by all means accept no as the answer.
But I won’t do it.
I reject no as the answer.
Wanna see my cover for Mr. Mysterious?
I’m too lazy to upload it for pre-order right now. Too tired, really. But everyone has been talking about Mr. Mysterious since this whole Mister series started and I posted it in the private Mister spoiler group yesterday afternoon, so eh. I’ll just drop it here for now. 🙂 Click to see it full size.