LEADING WITH EMOTION
The most successful minds keep a purposeful distance from their work. This allows them to make logical metric-driven decisions rather than emotional choices which should not be trusted if you’re looking for continued growth and profit. Yes, you are a business person, and your company just happens to be a lot more closely connected to your name, your face or your brand than for large corporations.
These same successful business moguls will also agree that safeguarding against contaminating your business with your own emotions is one of the most difficult things to do. However, they will say that utilizing trusted advisory services; those that who understand your business model is essential.
For the same reason you shouldn’t trust yourself at the grocery store when you’re hungry, you need partners to help provide the best approach and tools to keep you growing.
ROSE COLORED BRAND-GLASSES
Along with distancing your strategic plans from emotion comes the importance of ensuring you are evaluating your own worth and value effectively. This can really only be done effectively by a 3rd party – someone who looks at the facts about your audience, your engagement metrics, the interests of your followers, and your share-of-voice.
For many, one’s own perception of their brand is in fact substantially different than how it comes across.
NOT LEVERAGING YOUR STRENGTHS
The next pitfall is thinking you can do everything, and underutilizing your own personal strengths.
Being a specialist is important, as we can simply not be excellent at everything. That is why when you are building a personal product line, or even a sub brand you should leverage specialty services that do just that. Let 3rd party services like MerchUp deliver on the creation of a unique product line, manufacture it, and offer ways to get it into the hands of your followers/customers. Then, fire up your amazing content-generating brain and flex your muscles; promote it to the MAX by building excitement with the creative tactics that you are so familiar with. The best way to monetizing your presence in a brand of products is to partner and stick to what you’re best at.
If you aren’t sure what you're best at, ask a family member, business advisor/coach, or friend who knows you well. Even though you feel you do it all, to them it will be quite evident where your strengths are.
NOT WORKING BACKWARDS FROM AUDIENCE
More times than not product lines that sit dormant or outrightly fail do so because it was created in the wrong direction. (Often times because of the reasons already mentioned). To give you the best chance at success and finding your stride in a market saturated with competing products and lots of noise, you must work backwards from your existing audience.
If you want to build a brand or product line around a market segment that you’re not involved in you’re really not doing yourself any favors. Instead take the head-start that is your existing followers and identify who they are, what they like, and what they are most likely to buy.
The characterization of your audience goes well beyond how many there are. Its more about their personal behaviors, the daily routine, the other people or things they follow, and the things they spend their money on. By defining and attributing architypes based on a deep dive into the thousands or millions of followers you have you will be able to develop the best strategy for getting them excited about your line. Don’t forget – this has to be done without emotion, and by leveraging your strengths. If you feel its not within your wheelhouse to make a neutral deduction about who your audience really is – make use of an outside party who is only interested in uncovering the truth about your sphere of influence. There are a great suite of tools available online – and they will likely use these to pull hard metrics about where the best opportunity is for your product line.
NOT ASKING FOR ADVICE
We are all vulnerable to the trap of thinking that because we built something, we understand it the best. The reality is error in logical thinking.
You need impartial input to get a real grasp on how things are and, more importantly; how to improve them.
The best solution will undoubtedly result from your personal knowledge and understanding combined with the observations of an outside advisor.
Schedule into your monthly calendar time to ask for opinions, receive complete brand analysis and brand-audits, and seek honest advice rather than approval, validation, or lip-service. It can be hard to swallow, but this input will put you miles ahead of your competitors.
Make no mistake, these are just a few of the most common mistakes and pitfalls of influential people and leaders who launch their own product-line or brand. The road to success selling any tangible item can be filled with obstacles and challenges – it is up to you to ensure youre following a logical and well-measured approach.
MerchUp’s advice is to speak with a consultant, coach, or partner and ask them how best they can help with avoiding these pitfalls we have covered.