Updated: Apr 22, 2020
Hey! I want to share a story with you. It is both personal AND embarrassing but I feel like it needs to be shared anyway, so you won’t make the same mistakes I made in marketing something to the public.
Yesterday, I shared a flyer for a live discussion in a professional beauty forum that I was invited to that stemmed from a FB post I made. I had written about how inspired I was from watching a show called #blackAF on Netflix, where Tyler Perry shared his perspective on why he makes his movies for a specific audience. A beauty pro and the creator of the forum reached out to me to ask if I would participate in the discussion. Super cool, right? So exciting!!
Once I got the flyer, I immediately posted to my social media networks to share the good news. What an incredible opportunity as a beauty wellness Spalon owner to share what I have been learning on marketing to a specific audience and being clear about your business objectives.
Little did I know, I was about to get slapped in the face with a life lesson on this very topic!!
Soon, after posting, I got a call from a trusted friend, who had worked with Tyler Perry before, gently explaining why the flyer needed to come down immediately. Why?
Well, the flyer had a large photo of Mr. Perry on it and included the words “marketing, Tyler Perry style”.
Once I explained to her the concept behind the discussion and clarified the context of the discussion related to Mr. Perry’s public comments on his own brand, she understood, however none of that could be gained from viewing the initial flyer. She was right.
Immediately, I deleted every trace of the previous flyer that was posted. I reached out to the owner of the forum to explained my concerns about why the communication needed to be changed. She understood completely and presented a focused message that provided context and clarified what the live discussion was about. WHEW!!
Can you imagine the sheer horror I felt at making this snafu? If only you could see my face !! 😩
And further, how embarrassing was it for the topic of discussion to be “marketing”?! I can assure you I am laughing about it now, but yesterday I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide, never to emerge again!!
Although it was an innocent mistake, this presented an excellent example of why context matters in marketing in being able to deliver the right message to your audience. Even though Mr. Perry was not the focus of the discussion, it could have been misconstrued to think that he, personally, was taking part in the conversation because of the use of his name and very large photo being used on the flyer and the caption.
In fact, while brands do use celebrities to strategically market products, that type of endorsement is done with permission, to protect their right of publicity and allow them to have control of commercial use for their name and likeness. Sheesh! This is important because it could have turned out bigly bad!!! YUGE!
So why am I sharing this with you?
On my path to getting better at building my personal brand as a soulpreneur and growing my current business as a beauty wellness Spalon owner, this was an “A-ha” moment of clarity for me in observing how I handle course correction.
Initially, as I mentioned I was truly mortified. All I heard in my mind was that awful scary movie slasher sound when it happened!! I felt so embarrassed to have made this mistake. I mean, here I am trying to get over my fear of being seen and positioning myself as an expert in my field. I agreed to do a talk, for goodness sakes, on my perspective of a type of marketing and I made a huge goof in it right out the gate! HA! How ironic!
But introspectively speaking, this was a moment in my own professional and personal development to help me understand that while I am learning new skills (especially in marketing), mistakes do happen and it is essentially important to know how to pivot and not panic in these situations. I am so grateful to have an amazing circle of friends who partner with me to make sure I am committed to showing up in excellence, even through mistakes. I am moved with gratitude for the opportunity to learn from this and understand why it’s important to provide clarity of purpose and content message to my audience not just in marketing and branding but in how I live my life. New levels of leadership show up when what you say and how you live get an opportunity to be in alignment with one another, in an authentic way.
New levels of leadership show up when what you say and how you live get an opportunity to be in alignment with one another, in an authentic way.
Thanks for joining my #TedTalk on how to pivot and not panic when you goof up because of embarrassment. LOL. But seriously, I’ll end this with a quote from Winston Churchill, who certainly had his own share of persevering mightily through flaws.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
May we all have the courage to just continue.