Nu Age Marketing

Bob Ross was right: Why failure is important in audience building

TL;DR — Bob Ross says “happy little accidents” are okay. They are – especially in audience building and content creation. Your fans prefers you to be human. It’s okay to make mistakes.

I’m a recovering perfectionist. Trust me – I know how hard it is to write online.

To share your deep-down thoughts with the world.

In a medium that never forgets a single thing you say (don’t get me started on cancel culture).

My head swirls every time I press the dreaded Publish button:

  • What will my family, friends and clients think?
  • Will my prospects see this? Do they approve?
  • Who am I kidding? Why would anyone want to hear my viewpoint?

You don’t need a 12-step program. You don’t need a support group.

All you need to overcome your perfectionism and build an audience of rabid fans is a willingness to fail.

“Only happy little accidents”

Bob Ross helped me understand how to worry less about being perfect.

“Don’t worry about it. We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy little accidents.”

Bob Ross is famous for helping ordinary people paint beautiful landscapes. Not famous painters. Not sculptors-turned-painters. Normal people like you and me sitting at home.

People who are obviously prone to make mistakes when trying something new.

Take this lesson into building your audience:

  • You will make mistakes.
  • You will send an email when it’s not ready.
  • You will post something with a spelling error.

As long as you learn from your mistake and turn it into a positive situation, you’re golden.

Breaking news: Not every article you publish will go viral. Your Tweets won’t all get noticed by your heroes. There’ll be some days you want to give up.

Today’s creator economy spotlights “overnight sensations.” Except most of those creators poured years of blood, sweat and tears into their craft to get where they are.

Tons of mistakes and lessons learned later, they got noticed.

Overnight sensation? Hardly.

Your audience wants you to be human

To inspire and teach, you can’t put yourself on a pedestal. Your audience wants to know you’re human, approachable and normal. As normal as they are. So they have a chance at the same success you’ve had.

For the same reason, people open emails 6-23% more with their first name in the subject line.

Think back to when you started your career. Who did you look up to? Sure, it was fun to pretend they were perfect. But they put in the time and energy needed to become an expert at their craft.

Same for you.

Humanize yourself for your audience by showing them you are them.

So what now?

Stop overthinking. Start creating. Without the added weight of perfectionism holding you back.

It’s okay to make mistakes. You’re human. And your audience prefers you that way.

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Bob Ross was right: Why failure is important in audience building

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