Albert Einstein famously said:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Yes, it’s easy to be very cool about this, thinking a) this is SO TRUE and b) this SURELY doesn’t apply to me. I know I’ve made that exact mistake myself — loosing me great amounts of potential results in my business. The only consolation, I guess, is that even smart people make really stupid assumptions every now and then.
But there’s a mindset that will help you come to terms with this. You’ll stop unintentionally hurting your business AND your digital marketing efforts will be much more powerful for it.
Here’s how I banged my head against the wall for years — and how I fixed it:
What I Did Wrong For Years And Years
As many of you know, I’ve run the Doktor Spinn blog for quite a while. But not too long ago, I came to a TERRIFYING realisation that really shook me up quite badly:
For years, I realised, I’d been writing blog posts to impress other “social media experts”. As soon as this realisation dawned on me, it only took me about a millisecond to realise how STUPID this was:
The reason I started blogging in the first place was that I felt a deep passion for digital marketing and that I had something to offer on the subject. I wanted to help people, not get tangled up in semi-intellectual discussions with other wannabes.
But somewhere along the way, my ego led me astray, and I started blogging for all the wrong people. In basic business terms, I was blogging only to gain the respect from my … well come to think of it, my competitors, really.
Yikes, right? Not cool.
But fortunately, I managed to set myself straight. So how did I do that?
Why You Need To Stop Assuming Things — No Matter How Obvious
In my professional role as a digital strategist, I’m a big fan of creating data-driven strategies. Taking the guesswork out of the equation, I often say. But for some reason, I assumed that this didn’t apply to my personal blogging efforts. And you know what they say about making assumptions, right?
So I started listening, basically by just using my mailing list and my social networks and by reaching out to readers in various ways. I started asking QUESTIONS, and it didn’t take many qualitative answers before a more complete overall picture started to visualise itself:
People want help with the actual doing parts of digital marketing.
How the heck did I loose sight of this?!
If someone takes time out of their busy professional lives to read my blog, then they want something useful from it. And my loyal readers, it seems, they actually don’t like “social media experts” all that much.
In fact, they really, really, REALLY don’t like most of them.
And all the bickering and the “expert” meta debates? Well, they’ve had it with all of that. Couldn’t care less, they told me.
Enter The Dunning-Kruger Effect — And How It Kills Your Digital Marketing Strategy
The trademark of incompetence is the inability to learn from feedback. <– Click to tweet!
This has been shown in scientific studies over and over again, and it’s known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
There I was, blogging away for years and years, expecting my blog to take off, but even though it never really did, I kept at it. Well hello there, Mr. Insanity!
I was posting over and over again, expecting different results. I hurts me to admit this, but I wasn’t very smart. Incompetent, even. And the word amateur springs to mind as I ponder all of this in retrospect.
And this is of course where YOU come in.
Because chances are that you’re struggling with some aspects of digital marketing, just as I did. Without getting the results you thought you were going to get, just as I thought.
What I learned from this experience, is a simple two-step process:
Step 1: If whatever you’re doing in digital marketing (or in life!) isn’t working, stop doing it. Expecting different results from the same strategy over and over is … and I hate to say it … insane. Just stop.
Step 2: Get the facts. And however smart you think you are, don’t make assumptions. And don’t listen to digital marketing experts making assumptions. Get the facts.
So What’s The One Thing To Exclude From Your Digital Marketing Strategy
I would advise anyone reading this article, if there’s anything in your digital marketing strategy that isn’t working, to go over it.
And you go on the prowl for ASSUMPTIONS.
However basic or obvious they might seem, those assumptions are probably what’s messing up your results. And then invest the time and effort it takes to get the facts straight.
So here’s that simple mindset to live by: Facts IN, assumptions — OUT!