Self-Promotion: "Build it and they will come" - a bad entrepreneur
"You’ve already done the hard work..now tell people!"
This is what we used to tell people. When we first built Somble, we couldn't really wrap our heads around why people who had already done what we considered to be the "hard work" would then give up on growing their business. Creators would film content, edit it, and even go as far as providing voice-overs (nice touch) explaining in vivid detail what they were doing and why.
"Perfect! You're all set. Your content is live and ready to go, let your audience know it's available" - Somble Founding Team
"...........*The sound of social media silence*.........."
Why is it that people would go through the trouble of creating all this content, but not promote themselves? For weeks we looked at each other, scratching our heads, and figured we might as well ask the Creators themselves. These early conversations became a lesson in understanding the amount of effort it takes to consistently create valuable content and then put yourself out there. Here are some of the reasons why you might be hesitant to promote yourself and some ways to combat them.
Not Enough Time:
If we had a nickel for every time somebody told us this we probably wouldn't have to take a platform fee. While this is often time the polite way people tell us to "kick rocks", it's also a very real constraint on building what is essentially a new business centered around you. There are a few things to know before you decide that you don't have enough time to give this attention it might require:
- Rome wasn't built in a day - This will never take more time to get right than it does when you're first starting out. Give yourself some time to figure things out, you will only get better with more experience. Subscription businesses often start slow and build with time as more people catch on to the fact that there's something interesting going on.
- Figure out what your audience wants - Use platform analytics and take pulse checks with your audience to better understand how to allocate your time. For example, if you notice that when looking at your Content Management page that almost nobody takes your hour-long class but, 90% of your engagement is coming from your 30-minute class...well, you just saved yourself 30 minutes.
- Find a schedule and be consistent - Like anything in life, finding that flow and nailing something down to a science takes practice and consistency. Making content creation and promotion part of a routine is one of the best ways to create time for yourself.
"Build it and they will come":
This is one of the biggest misunderstandings when it comes to content creation. Some Creators tend to think that it's simply enough to have done "the thing", when in fact this is rarely the case. It does no good to create valuable content in a vacuum. Imagine if Picasso just left all of his beautiful pieces of art lying covered in his attic!
While "discoverability" is a very real and natural thing for marketplaces like Somble, the people that are most likely to come and purchase, consume, and engage with your content are likely already following you. The best place to get started on Somble is through pre-existing email lists, friends/family word-of-mouth, and social media. You put some valuable time and effort into your craft. You should be proud of what you've done and that energy will translate to your audience who will be able to see the same.
This is our favorite one, especially because your trusty Somble founding team writing these docs all have C-suite titles now that sound a little absurd when said out loud. It kinda feels like the kid at school who gave himself a nickname that they thought was really dope.
We could go on forever about imposter syndrome. Every self-help guru under the sun has said it already, but Imposter Syndrome is a natural tendency when pursuing anything new or challenging. We live a state of low-grade anxiety that "someone" is going to call us out for being a "fraud" or not knowing what we're talking about. Well I have news for you, my friend...none of us know what we're doing. Everyone is trying to figure it out just like you. Just like me. Just like that hypothetical asshole who you're terrified might call you out.
The first step in overcoming Imposter Syndrome is understanding that everyone feels it. You're qualified and are just as capable to do anything you put your mind to.
What if nobody shows up?
This is a very real and sobering thought. We experienced this first hand when we first launched Somble. At first, nobody gave a shit, which really stung.
Understand that what you're doing is something that is new and revolutionary. You're really going out on your own and exiting your comfort zone - it's always a little scary simply because it's the unknown. Everybody starts somewhere. Everybody. If you do what you love and love what you do, it will translate. Passion always finds a way - it's only a matter of time.
Keep with it and if you're feeling particularly stuck, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with what's going on and we'll do our best to help unstick you.