It didn’t take long to start struggling with the doubts. Doubts are sly—a strongly disciplined and well-trained covert operations team with a single mission: get you to quit! Last week they nearly succeeded.
After sending the first round of direct mailings I got no response – none! This nudged, heck no – shoved – my mind into the ‘this is not gonna work’ corner. I stayed there for too long of a time. For nearly the entire weekend I allowed ‘quit now’ to infiltrate my mind. The subconscious words came in full sentences. “No one’s going to sign up for this!” “You don’t have time to manage this.” “You’re marketing sucks!” “People are going to think this is a stupid concept!” Doubt is well versed in subversive techniques to get you to give up on your idea. But, I made it through that weekend and emerged slightly more motivated (that barrage of doubt attacks took its toll!). So what now?
Now I need to allow myself to embrace a concept I read about in a LinkedIn article by Kyle Gutzler. In his article, “This Mindset Helped Me Sell $1 Million,” Mr. Gutzler offered a series of concepts defining his mind set that allowed him success after a couple of years of average performance. The concept that most grabbed my attention was “Patience and Persistence.” After reading this article, I realized that was the doubt that was consuming me during that doubt-filled weekend. I was expecting immediate results of the very first phase of my very first direct mail campaign. In reality I had to remind myself that my target audience – volunteers who run PTOs and Booster Clubs fundraising programs are not always in the school (where I sent the direct mailings) and are probably very busy people. I decided to not give up yet. So I am forging ahead and continuing with my direct mail campaign with some minor changes.
My wife, Patti is very good at offering a realistic opinion and she hit the mark again. In my direct mailings I was using three Lego characters as superheroes and included them on mailings sent to high school booster clubs. Patti offered that for high school programs, the Lego characters were probably too young. I wanted to hold onto my idea of superheroes and offered my weak support for my idea. After a day of thinking about it, I realized she was right. So I determined that I need a two-pronged campaign—one for elementary school PTOs and the other for high school booster clubs (with the booster clubs getting a more age-appropriate graphics treatment). You see, I was concerned that if I changed my marketing material midstream, the booster clubs to which I sent the first mailings would find it strange. I decided that changing the marketing now would be better than continuing with the superhero theme for high school programs. Thanks Patti! So what is the next step in the marketing?
To better address the target audience, I will adjust the marketing materials for high school programs. Instead of a superhero theme, I will need to get some royalty-free imaging from an online photo source and use them in the marketing material. For example, getting some pictures of high school sports activities—football, baseball, soccer, etc—would be more appropriate and probably increase my credibility with these booster clubs.
I’m once again excited about Edvocator. I really do believe it is an effective method for the schools to raise money and for my company to have a successful service. With that in mind I thank Mr. Gutzler for his serendipitously timed article. I will try to have patience and will continue forging ahead until that first school or club signs up and realizes what I know – that Edvocator is “Easy school fundraising … without asking for a single penny!”