We’ve all seen the fine print on investment materials – past results are not indicative of future success. Or something like that. I’m sure it’s more precise and lawyery than that.
Much of what we do in the internet marketing world is lather-rinse-repeat. Once you find something that works, you do it as often as possible until it stops working. Or you find something that works better.
I’ve always found that so incredibly frustrating. Incredibly. Because while I can lather-rinse-repeat, it’s not always obvious which stage of that cycle is working in order to truly repeat success. It could be how hard you lather, what you lather, what you rinse with, how often you repeat and on and on and on. It’s never quite as cut and dry as you would like. Or prefer. Or wish for.
Prime example for me was a fluke I made in October 2011 when I was reading up on the animated movies coming out in 2012. (I’m sure it was research. It always is. Looking ahead for opportunities to take advantage of.) I’m not entirely sure just what I thought I was going to do with it, but lo and behold – it took off. And hey, it does well, we want to repeat.
But the same formula – improved on actually – isn’t working for a similar page on the 2013 animated movies. Go fig. There are big sequels coming out this year – like Monsters University. Yet – little traction. Did I start too late (lather), mess it up by trying to improve it (rinse) or miss the point of what was successful (repeat)? Drives me nuts!
While I really like repeatable successes – makes life much, much easier after all – winning the game is about changing the rules, which requires staying ahead of things, making the change, directing the course rather than just copying the past. Copying in the past works if you want to maintain the status quo – be part of the “hey, no fair!” crowd when someone else rocks the boat and forces you to react. Now to just figure out the rules so I can change my game … .