In a recent post, we unpacked the unexpected impact of our PremiumBeat project – a self-funded impromptu video concept, produced in honor of one of our favorite vendors. Not only did it have a viral impact within the video production industry, it also led to a paid contract to produce three additional videos for the company – made possible because we followed up on a quirky idea, just for fun.
No matter what industry you’re in, what products/ services you’re selling, or who you’re selling them to – everyone is in a hurry to connect with consumers, which is what marketing can and should be about (in our, humble opinion). In our experience, meaningful connection is born out of four elements, which combine to create the most powerful marketing strategy that money can’t buy. We call it: marketing by mistake.
4 Key Steps to Marketing “By Mistake”
Always Employ Creative Follow-Through
Creativity is a fickle friend. It disappears when you need it the most, calls you up when you’re on the other line with a different project, and gives you the cold shoulder when you refuse to buy into its inspired ideas. But the opposite is also true: it greatly favors those who follow through.
If you’re truly immersed in your work – we’re talking neck-deep passionate about what you do – you’re going to be bombarded with fantastic ideas that force you out onto a limb. It just so happens that’s where all the fruit is. So, the next time a wild and crazy idea wanders into your consciousness, don’t shove it aside. Instead, stare at it straight on and ask yourself what would happen if you were brave enough to truly go for it.
When our team had the quirky idea to explore the voiceover behind PremiumBeats, we said (literally) “hell yeah, let’s make that!” That kind of genuine edge – it can’t be faked. And it’s worthy of a little follow-through. But it first has to be inspired.
Frustrated by a lack of creative follow-through? Learn about Creativity Hijackers and how you can fight back
Go for Genuine Generosity
There is a paradigm shift between creators and consumers, particularly in the age of digital marketing. No longer can you walk the streets of the internet super highway, hand outstretched, asking people to please please please pay attention to you. No. No one is interested in giving you a free handout, but they are interested in seeing what you can add to the conversation (no strings attached). That’s where genuine generosity comes in: you have to give before you get and you have to give in greater measure than what you hope to get.
When you embark on a project like the one we did with PremiumBeat, get your motivations straight: if you’re out for marketing or to make a buck, you’re off to a bad start. During the PremiumBeat project, our team was clear that even if the video never got picked up or praised, we would win because we got to practice doing what we love to do and we got to celebrate a brand that we could honestly put some support behind.
We believe that when you run the company with passion first,
the business takes care of itself.
Winning PremiumBeat’s business wasn’t the reason to do this spec project. Doing the project was the reason to do the project. We felt that the idea was too good to pass up – it’s like when people ask climbers why they climb Everest and they answer: because it’s there.
Weigh Risk and Reward
Spec work – particularly the unsolicited kind – will very likely go unpaid, but that’s not to say that it’s free of cost. There’s always the question of ROI (return on investment) and it’s a valid question, but it can’t be everything.
Peek behind the curtain of the PremiumBeat project – as well as several others that we’ve done since – and you’ll see a significant amount of investment (we are talking dollar signs, equipment rental, man hours, and mental elbow grease). But if you’re in a position to responsibly invest resources in this type of activity, then we encourage you to go for it.
And in case you can’t see them, let us remind you of the many rewards:
- Exposure to new online audiences
- Goodwill gained between your brand and a potential future client
- A new piece for your portfolio
- The ability to stretch yourself both technically and creatively
- Fun – massive amounts of fun.
Focus on Future Return
An unfortunate fact of life is that you won’t hit a homerun every time you step up to the plate. Some of your best ideas, your hardest work, your most diligent effort – it will land like a thud. But that does not mean all is lost.
Each production is an opportunity to stretch the creative bounds, experiment with new equipment, test out new techniques, and learn from the response we receive. We don’t despair when a spec project doesn’t lead to a paid account, we simply file it in the portfolio and trust that someday – maybe 10 years from now – it will resonate with a client. Every spec project is an asset and we know that every future client and future production is stronger because of it.
Eager to collaborate with a creative team that puts passion first? If so, we’d love to work together and hope you’ll give us a call.