Did You Know?

You know that diagram that goes something like this:

 Quadrants 1 - 4

(In case you’re wondering, I used my newly liberated ‘carrots’ to create this visual – so much fun!)

A recent conversation bumped me from Quadrant 4 to Quadrant 1.

I was having tea with a new friend and learned a whole lot about something I had never even considered before:

Bedbugs.

I had no idea they were becoming such a nuisance, especially in urban centers.

And I had no idea that it costs upwards of $5,000 to exterminate them, using very toxic chemicals, with no guarantee that they wouldn’t return.

My new friend was firmly planted in Quadrant 1 with this issue. She not only knew all about it, she had lived it.

At one point in her life, she discovered bedbugs in her lovely condo apartment. Since she did not have $5,000 in her back pocket to throw at the problem, she did everything she could think of and everything she could glean from google searches.

Nothing worked.

She was at her wit’s end, when a brave friend shared his similar troubles on facebook, which led her to a very simple, inexpensive solution. It was also time-consuming and a titch messy, but she was so relieved and liberated by this solution that she set out to share it with the rest of the world.

But first, came research. Lots and lots of research.

Then, she gathered the necessary materials. Jumped through all the Health Canada hoops. Created a logo and packaging and a name for her company. Filled cartons and cartons with her non-toxic, $11.99 containers of bedbug-be-gone powder. Created and launched a website. And sat back and waited for the world to beat down her door.

Her story made me laugh.

It wasn’t a point-your-finger-in-derision laugh. It was an oh-I-so-relate laugh. A rueful chuckle.

She has a garage full of the economical and environmentally-friendly raw materials needed by ordinary, modest-bank-account folks to rid themselves of bedbugs. She knew it would be flying out the door as soon as she launched her website.

I have a basement full of furniture configurations of boxes of lovely books that I knew would be flying out the door as soon as I launched my website.

Not so much.

Launching a website is not marketing. Envisioning people cuddling up to read your books, or celebrating the demise of an army of bedbugs, or using your product/service/invention to improve their lives is not marketing.

We were so naive.

But knowing we’re naive still doesn’t solve the problem. Moving from Quadrant 4 to Quadrant 1 may remove the blindfold from our eyes, but if we really want our discoveries/creations to change the world, we have to let the world know — particularly those folks in the world who would most benefit from what we have to offer.

When I realized the magic website wasn’t so magic after all, I mailed copies of Leaf to every single School Board Superintendent in Alberta — upwards of 70 books — in the hope that each Superintendent would order copies for all their schools. (There is no end to a person’s naivety when they really, really, really don’t want to have to don the Marketing Hat.)

That didn’t work — surprise, surprise — so I started doing author visits in order to bring my books to a wider audience. I’m sure there are other, less labour intensive things I could do, but it’s working for now.

My friend has to find a way to get this information to city-dwellers, living in high-density condos and apartments.

I have no idea how she’s going to do it. That’s the next phase in her journey and only she can figure out what that will be.

But I can help spread the word. (Even the smallest of pebbles can send out a ripple that will reach some distant shore.)

Hey . . . pssssst.

Gotta problem with bedbugs?

Try this.

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2 Responses to Did You Know?

  1. Lorien says:

    Ah, marketing. This is something I struggle with as a yoga teacher. I’ve been relying mostly on word of mouth from my happy students, and that has worked for the most part since I began teaching in 2006. But if I want to take it to the next level, bring students on retreats in exotic places, give workshops in reputable yoga and meditation centers, I need to market myself. In order to market effectively, I have to find out who my audience is–as you mentioned, those who will benefit from what I have to offer, and I have to find out how to reach them directly, so they will discover how much they want and need my offerings. How do I do this?? Do we need to go to business school to learn how to market effectively?

    • maxinespence says:

      I wish I knew, Lorien. I’ve burnt myself out trying to follow all the ‘experts’ out there and have come to the conclusion that the only person who knows what will work for me, is me. My intuition is my best guide only I wasn’t absolutely certain when my intuition was speaking and when it was ego. I needed to get on a first name basis with my intuition, but how? Within 24 hours of getting clear on that and posing the ‘how’ question, a friend introduced me to Carmen Spagnola who teaches an online intuition course that just happened to be half price that day. I signed up on the spot and am thoroughly enjoying this exploration. My goal now is to let my intuition be my guide in all my decisions – business and otherwise. For the moment, that means withdrawing from the busyness and striving, spending time in Carmen’s Numinous school, writing, and exploring the ideas that show up in my morning journal writing. I have no idea where this will take me, but it feels perfect for right now.

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