Open Big

That’s what Hollywood wants. Martha Stewart is a write off because her first episode of the Apprentice had horrible ratings. That female president show, on the other hand, is on a roll. The irony, of course, is that these ratings are based on the promotion and the premise, not the show itself–they reflect viewership before word of mouth or first-hand experience.

We all want to open big. We want our product launches to be instant successes. We want the resumes we send out to be opened in one day, a call the next, an interview the third and a corner office by the end of the week.

The new marketing, it appears, doesn’t work that way.

This is blog post #1,002 for me (I was so busy blogging today, the milestone flew right past… sorry). When I first started (thanks, Joi) many years ago, my readership was tiny. Just a few people a day. Today, they say this is one of the top 100 most-visited blogs in the English language… and I hear from people I never imagined I’d run into again (if I taught you canoeing in 1978, sure, send me an email!)

Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers. a book I wrote seven (SEVEN) years ago just went back to  press at the publisher and continues to sell. Unleashing the Ideavirus, which you can get for free online or in a handy paperback edition, came out five years ago… but they’re just now launching trade organizations around the ideas in it.

The bottom line is that it’s way way easier to start things than it used to be (opening a movie big costs a tenth of a billion dollars, while opening a blog costs about twenty). The natural, user-driven networks that make a product succeed or fail rarely hit all at once. But the snowball effect online is far more powerful than the old-world scream & dream approach.

So, what’s it mean to you?

Make something worth making.
Sell something worth talking about.
Believe in what you do because you may have to do it for a long time before it catches on.
Don’t listen to the first people who give you feedback.
Don’t give up. Not for a while, anyway.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta figure out how to help The Big Moo open big. Hope you’re around for post #2,004.