I hear this question all the time. Business owners being skeptical about having their product reviewed by major magazines, journals or bloggers. The fear that being on Yelp means that people will be up in arms and start complaining about your product. Before you know it, the only thing people are listening to are these people saying these bad things and there you go, business is down the tank and you need to declare bankruptcy. It may sound exaggerated, but after the 10th million time I heard this, I wanted to address the topic.
If You Want to Grow, That’s the Risk Your Going to Have to Take
If you don’t know, I’m a big Kobe Bryant fan and an even bigger NBA fan. The ability for players like Kobe to just hit game winning shots when all the pressure and all the world is staring right at them, my god, how do they not buckle? Journalists and reporters are at the ready, haters have got their yelling voices mic’d up and people are turning on their cameras to see players miss this shot.
Yet for some reason, players and of course my idol, Kobe, seem to revel in it. They succeed and take it to a whole other level. That’s why we respect players like Kobe, LeBron or Stephen Curry. They work hard at being good at their game and they are willing to be the leader. They are willing to break through that brick wall and take all the blame. Saying that, they are also want the accolades and the love and that’s why they get it. Because they CHOSE to accept the bad with the good.
Do You Want Your Business to be Great?
Now let’s relate this to your business. Lots of business owners would love to have their product out there. To have people talk about it and get all this free press. Huge throngs of customers following the beautiful articles and stories written about your business. The only thing to make this more perfect is if we could guarantee this success. However, just like the analogy I gave above, you cannot have all the fame without taking all the hardship as well. Yes people will hate on your business and your product. There are always those people. However, there will be tons of people who love your product! If you didn’t, you probably still wouldn’t be in business.
If you don’t believe that your product is good enough, then its obvious. Go back to the drawing board and make your product better. If you can’t do that, get creative. See what niche may need a product like yours.
People Hating and Giving Bad Reviews Is Not Marketing
Marketing does involve brand and customer relations. However, the focus of marketing is to get your name out there. Often the most popular and trusted sources are non biased outlets. These often come in the form of magazines, sites like Yelp and forums. Well the goal of marketing is to ensure that you get the same opportunities to have your product out there just as much as your competitors do. Well here’s where its all on you. At the end of the day, what people will say isn’t in the marketers control. Its out of your control too as a business owner. At the end of the day it is up to the product/service the business is offering.
So like we mentioned before, if your business is looking to get some of that free press, you have to make sure that your confident in your product to get you those good words. No marketer can ethically get you 100% great reviews. Now if you don’t want to take the risk, the other route is to become a sponsor and advertiser. Sponsors and advertisers are not often checked for product quality nor are they reviewed. The catch? You need to pay, ALOT.
If You Don’t Want the Risk, Then You’ll Have to Wait
Sometimes, businesses get lucky. They just mind their own business, they don’t engage in marketing, but some powerful influencer steps in and absolutely loves their product. Before they know it, huge crowds are clamoring in to try the business out. These are the feel good stories, the ones that movies are made of. So saying this, I’m going to admit that this is a very real option that can occur. Your business may just get lucky and some important person might love your product and give you the shout out you’ve been needing.
Instead of marketing money and resources, you are paying in time and luck. Can the business sustain itself until that day comes. This can take months, years or even decades before your business gets the coverage you have been hoping for for so long. Its all equal though. Your either paying in time or in money and resources. So if you absolutely love where you are at and you are willing to wait then you are in perfect shape! If your a little bit more urgent about it and want to see your business grow, your going to have to sacrifice risk, money and resources to get your name and product out there.
At the end of the day this becomes a question of how you look at life. Do you like to take what life gives you? Or are you more the type who likes to decide one’s fate.
All of this is just terrifying I know. To know that you’ve worked so hard to have your business come out on top. To see your dreams come into fruition and to be able to provide for yourself and family from the fruits of your labor. However, if you want to reach the upper echelons this is definitely a risk that you must take as a business. Another way to think about taking this risk though is this is a quick route in understanding whether your business is viable or not. If you send out your product today and people don’t like it, who is to say they wouldn’t like it 10 years from now. The only thing that is happening is that you are expediting the process.
So when it comes to getting that media attention, stop worrying about what others will say and be so good that people can’t ignore you. Its as simple as that.