The Big Fat Zero

Is there a worse feeling at the beginning of a new year then looking at a big, fat round zero?

Whether you consider yourself a salesperson or not – if you’re in marketing, you’re in sales. That’s not a bad thing – it’s just a fact. Before you get upset and believe that I’ve sullied your good name, let me explain. You’ve heard it before – we’re all in sales in one way or another, and the sooner you embrace this fact, the happier you will be and you will start to see the world in a whole new way; a way that will help you to be better at your job and allow you to approach challenges from a new perspective.

While the sales brain has a lot of great things going for it, the big fat zero is definitely not one of them.

The big, fat zero is what confronts you at the beginning of every month, quarter and year. The big, fat zero is the automatic reset button that is the starting point for any timeframe, and also for the fundraising campaign, ticket sale or membership drive that you’re staring at.

All the work that you’ve done in the previous days, weeks and months is reset back to zero and even though you know better, it feels as if everything you’ve accomplished in the past has been reduced to nothing.

Before you become completely upset with me and click to another site, listen to what I have to say: All is not lost!

I’m a natural born optimist and so are you. If you’re to be successful as an arts marketing pro, you have to be. I’ve yet to meet a single marketer who doesn’t view the big, fat zero as a huge opportunity to succeed. Frankly, many just never even pay attention to the big, fat zero as the place where you start, but rather they choose to look ahead to where you want to go.

It is the very rare project that is brand new and is at a true zero, with little support or a champion to get it off the ground. The overwhelming majority of projects have some momentum continuing from the last effort. How you are able to harness this energy from the very start will give you the needed force to get through those first few days until your new work gains the speed necessary to take flight.

Before we head too far into mass, force and energy, let’s get ourselves back to reaching your orgs marketing objectives and how you get past the big, fat zero and on the pathway to success.

The momentum established by your last efforts still needs to have a solid strategy in order to find its way to the finish line. Too often, the plan is not well thought out or the goals simply not attainable. These situations leave everyone with a sense that marketing cannot achieve its goals, when in reality the work is not done up front to understand how the convergence of message, media and frequency will be able to do the job and meet or exceed the set goals.

Don’t ever get discouraged, but rather embrace the big, fat zero as your starting point to a bigger and better future for yourself, your colleagues, your org and your cause. After all, there’s not much of an alternative?

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Marketing, Motivation
One comment on “The Big Fat Zero
  1. Charity says:

    From ‘zero to hero’!

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.