Marketing is About Success Not Perfection - Writer's Digest

Marketing is About Success Not Perfection

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By Rob Eagar

Life is about success, not perfection…and so is marketing. Case in point: A few weeks ago, I sent out my weekly newsletter that wound up having a couple of typos in it. Obviously, I didn’t think twice about the issue. But, several people emailed me right away to point out my so-called “mistakes.” That kind of over-reaction is unnecessary and reveals a misguided understanding of what marketing (and life) are really about. As imperfect human beings, we can never achieve perfection. But, we can achieve success, even in the midst of being fallible.

Success in marketing is about making people curious, wooing them to your ideas, and challenging their misconceptions. You don’t have to write typo-free material to achieve this goal. The more you self-edit out of the desire to be perfect, the more you slow yourself down from reaching your goal.

Management consultant, Alan Weiss, says, “When you are 80% done, then move forward. The final 20% is dysfunctional.” Too many authors impede their own marketing progress by overanalyzing, obsessively self-editing, or worrying over other people’s potential reactions. Their own self-analysis creates promotional paralysis. Nothing gets accomplished. For example, some authors never finish a newsletter article, press release, or book chapter, because they’re scared it’s not perfect. Other authors won’t dip their toes into the social media pool, because they’re afraid to be themselves and show vulnerability.

The pursuit of success is admirable, but the pursuit of perfection is impossible and will only drive you mad. To get off the treadmill of promotional perfection, try this exercise: Challenge yourself to write a cohesive 300-word article or press release as fast as you can without doing any self-edits. Then, ask yourself if anyone would really notice the difference if you went back and edited the material. You may just find that the speed of your momentum squashes your fear of perfection and shoots you to your goal.

(By the way, I wrote this article in less than 20 minutes in one pass with no self-editing. Can you do the same?)


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Rob Eagar’s new book from Writer’s Digest, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, is now available in print and e-book formats. This is the bible of book marketing for authors and publishers. Get 288 pages packed with advanced information, real-life examples, and tips to start selling more books immediately. There are specific chapters on social media, word-of-mouth tools, Amazon, and a chapter dedicated to best practices for marketing fiction. In addition, get over 30 pages of free bonus updates online. Get your copy today at: or

About the author:

Rob Eagar is the founder of WildFire Marketing, a consulting practice that helps authors and publishers sell more books and spread their message like wildfire. He has assisted numerous New York Times bestselling authors and is author of the new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Find out more about Rob’s advice, products, and coaching services for authors at:

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