No matter what you create, most people won’t like it. Luckily, it’s never your job to convince the unconvinced.
Instead, your job is to take a stance on things. To make something for someone specific—whether that be a blog post, business idea, or anything in between.
By doing that, the thing you make will inherently not be for everyone. And not only is that fine, it’s what you want!
Strong values bring together people who share them and repel those who don’t. In some contexts, that can and does create division, but it also creates extreme unity when those values are held closely enough.
It’s the same thing in business. Your goal is not to please everyone. Your goal is to take a firm stance on what you believe in and stand by it.
And that’s a trade-off; one that is inherent in all businesses whether we accept it or not.
It means doubling down on something at the expense of something else. It means investing resources and time doing one thing instead of another.
If your bets (trade-offs) are smart, you have a winning idea. If not, you don’t.
You don’t need to be controversial or political in order to take a stance. You can, but that’s not usually required. As long as your trade-offs benefit your customers, you’re on the right path.
It can be something as simple as believing that short-form content dripped slowly over time is what make transformative changes possible. Or, that the best way to sell advice is when you don’t also profit from implementing that advice.
Here’s the thing. No matter how hard you try, your idea will not be for everyone. It just can’t. With that in mind, your focus should be on going to the edges of what you believe in to create something rare or one-of-a-kind. To double down your efforts on the best ideas you have.
And then, as good marketing dictates, go out and talk about your trade-off.
Talk about how specific, rare, and valuable it is. Talk about how it’s “this”, not “that”. It’s for this kind of person, not that kind of person.
It’s in these trade-offs that true value is created. It takes guts. You will resist. You will want to water down your ideas to make them palatable to everyone.
And that would be a mistake.
Takeaway: Good marketing (and business) happens when you take a stance, make conscious trade-offs, then talk about it until it reaches the people who get it.