A few weeks ago, at a family gathering, four of us sat around a chess board as we caught each other up on our lives.
Between us, we quickly realized that we knew all the pieces, their moves, and how to set the board (though, what were those extra pieces for?)
But that didn’t mean that any of us knew how to play.
Before you learn to play the guitar, you imagine that the hard part is memorizing the names of the strings, the chords, and the finger positions. Then, you realize that’s the easy part.
The hard part is playing.
Because, like chess, guitar, and marketing, the hard part isn’t knowing the moves—it’s making them often enough to learn and improve.
The only type of person who learns to play an instrument is the type of person who can learn to practice, at least occasionally.
The only type of person who can play chess is the type of person who sits down and plays a game, at least once in a while.
And the only types of entrepreneurs who see results from marketing are the ones who do marketing, at least a little bit.
As the cliche goes, the least important thing is where you start, the most important thing is that you start. And that you keep going, learning, improving, and making the moves, playing the songs, and demonstrating the value.
That’s why the Marketing Rangefinder exists. It does not tell you whether you should post on LinkedIn or Instagram, but it does tell you if that’s worth thinking about right now. And if it is, it’ll help you make a wiser choice.
It doesn’t tell you if you should start a newsletter or YouTube channel, or if it’s time to invest in paid ads. Only how to consider your options and opportunities, and how to make the most of them.
When I ask my guitar teacher an unnecessarily specific question about music theory as a way to distract from the fact that I haven’t practiced that week, he always does the right thing.
He praises me on my curiosity, answers the question, and then guides me back to the actual work.
Because we’ve eventually got to admit to ourselves that agonizing over marketing decisions is just another way of not making them. It’s procrastination that looks and feels like effort, but gets us nowhere.
There’s no data that will tell you whether you should do something, but there’s plenty of data to help you prepare for what might happen if you do. And, hey, that might just be the same thing.
When I complain that I haven’t quite nailed a chord transition yet, the first and most urgent question to ask is, “Have you spent much time, you know, doing it?”
And if your marketing isn’t paying off, I first must ask, “Are you doing it?”
Before any performance—musical or marketing—there is practice.
So, if you want to know the absolute perfect, can’t-go-wrong place to promote your work, I’m thrilled you’re interested. And I’m excited for you to find out.
But first, you’ve got to start playing.
And a great place to start is with the Marketing Rangefinder.
Next week: A video walking you through using the Marketing Rangefinder exercise.
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