How To Look Fear in the Eye and Give It the Finger the Sales Lion Style
So you want to make change in your industry, do you? And you want to be branded as well, right? Oh, and let me guess, you want to be viewed as a consumer voice and advocate, correct? Well I hate to tell you, but you’re lying to yourself.
That’s right, you’re lying.
You don’t really want to make the change, build the brand, and become the voice. If you did, you wouldn’t allow fear to rule all your marketing and content decisions. You wouldn’t allow it to muzzle your voice when you know something to be true.
My Rumble with the Status Quo
Before I got into teaching people how to market and brand their business, I owned a swimming pool company. Yep, that’s right, I was (and still partially am) the pool guy. And the pool industry is one that has an entrenched ‘good ‘ol boy’ network. Get out of line and say anything contrary to the status quo, and you’ll get called out, in a major way. (This rule applies to most industries and niches I’ve found.)
For about 6 years in the industry I sat back. I watched. And eventually I became sick of it. Finally, I realized I had stuff to say, and so I said it.
I also started writing everything I could about swimming pools, products, construction, etc—the good, the bad, and the ugly. My business partners and I tackled subjects that no one wanted to talk about.
And we never lived in the world of gray—it was only black and white for us. We pushed the status quo to extremes, and with it, the push-back was great.
Over the past three years, I’ve received multiple letters from lawyers telling me to remove blog posts I’ve written (I have since come to learn most letters from lawyers are bluffs). I’ve been under constant attack in the forums from other swimming pool ‘professionals’. I’ve had many fake online persona attack me personally. Heck, I’ve even had entire websites developed around the idea of smearing my name.
And no, I’m not exaggerating for a second here. This is what happens when you challenge the status quo, folks. This is what happens when you notice things aren’t right in your industry and you actually have the guts and stones to say/do something about it.
Is It Worth It?
So when you say you really want to induce change and become branded as a consumer voice, understand what this means. Understand that if you have thin skin, you better run quickly the other way. Just put your head down and follow the rest of the drones in your field.
But remember this my friends, and I’m not trying to sound cliché here at all. If the truth is on your side, you have nothing to worry about. That’s right, if ‘truth’ is your guiding voice of reason in all your decision making, then you will end up on top.
I guess you’re wondering how it all turned out for me. Well, to put if briefly.
I have the most popular swimming pool website in the world right now. I get more traffic on my site than companies who do over 100 million dollars a year in sales achieve. Every day during the summer I get emails from around the world from people asking for help and guidance with their swimming pool.
I’ve spoken around the country to different groups within the industry. During a time when the economy has destroyed many pool companies, mine has thrived. And all of this has happened because my business partners and I have not been afraid to share our thoughts with the world.
So is it easy?
No, heck no. And that’s why I’m writing this. I don’t want to paint this pretty picture of a rainbow and a pot of gold. It’s an arduous road being a leader in any field—a heretic as Seth Godin would say.
It is clearly not for the weak and fearful. But this much I can assure you—
The results will be worth it. Change will occur. Your brand will explode. And you will be that voice.