Fear's Role in Marketing

"If your ideal prospect fails to find you, it's their problem but it's your fault."

My co-founder, Mike, dropped this bomb recently and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.

Marketing is about getting noticed.


And, presumably, if you own or run a business you want to get noticed.


And chances are you know you're in some way better than your competition (even if it's a small way).


So if your prospect goes with your competitor and doesn’t go with you, even though you’re better, the client loses out.


Then why do so many small businesses stay frozen when it comes to getting noticed (aka "marketing")?

Lots of reasons, to be sure.

But the biggest one I see is a simple four-letter word: F-E-A-R.

Fear of doing something different

Fear of standing out.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of failure.


But let's tease out the most "smart-sounding" reaction to fear.

It's called the "sunk-cost fallacy" (or sunk-cost bias). Basically it just says the more we invest in something (time, talent, or treasure) the more likely we are to keep investing.

Or, said differently, if we stop investing in the thing we've been investing in, everything prior to that will have been a waste.

We keep spending money on Facebook ads that don't work because we've already spent a ton of money on Facebook ads that...didn't work.

We keep sending out emails that don't convert because we spent all that time and money building our list.

We keep uploading videos to YouTube because that one guru who taught that one expensive course we bought keeps telling us to...upload videos to YouTube.

You see?

If that's you, I want to give you a simple challenge:

Do something different.

Break off the fear and amassed sunk-cost bias. Choose different.

Starting today, could you:

  • Send video-based emails instead of text-based emails?

  • Advertise on billboards if you've always done online marketing?

  • Add some friction to your sales process? Add some scarcity to the mix?

Doesn't matter what it is.

Big or small, I just want to help you break free of the "best practices" tailspin and start doing different.

It's never a waste if you learn from it.

And that's what doing different is all about.


Want a cheerleader? When you do something different—even something super small—email me and let me know and I'll celebrate with you: justin@differentcompany.co.