Dec 17, 2013

My Biggest Flop of 2013
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(This post originally appeared on the Resonance Content Marketing Blog.

My Biggest Flop of 2013If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed I’m big on the “be yourself” approach to content marketing.

I truly believe that people everywhere are sick to death of the slick, photoshopped, we’re-living-the-dream image that most marketers have been hawking ever since marketing began. People want you — the real you.

But I digress. So yeah, being yourself is the way to go … and in content marketing, as in life, that means showing the ugly along with the pretty, sharing the lows as well as the highs.

And with that, let me tell you about my biggest flop of 2013.

Back in January, I started the weekly Content Marketing Podcast, and over the last 12 months, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of interviewing some pretty heavy hitters in the content marketing sphere.

Sometime around early fall, I happened to hear that Gary Vaynerchuk had a new book in the works, so I hit him up for an interview.

Now, it’s no secret that Gary loves to hustle. (No, that’s not a dig — it’s right there on his Twitter bio.) Long story short, snagging an interview with him required that I pre-order 25 copies of the aforementioned new tome.

As a small business, my pockets are far from deep … but upon careful consideration, I decided it was worth the investment. After all, once the interview was broadcast, Gary was sure to share the link with his million-plus followers, which could very well put Resonance and the podcast on more than one prominent map.

So the pre-order went through, the interview went off without a hitch, and the episode dropped on November 7, along with a book giveaway that listneners could enter by tweeting the link, liking us on Facebook, or leaving a comment.

Feeling quite chuffed, I sat back and waited for the deluge of attention that was sure to come Resonance’s way.

… and waited.

… and waited.

No tweet from Vaynerchuk. No mention on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+, either.

Well, I thought, he’s super-busy with the book launch — surely a little reminder is all he needs.

So I reminded. Again and again I reminded. And nothing.

Finally it was time to face the truth:

Vaynerchuk stiffed me.

In the end, the post that was supposed to be a gleaming victory ended up with 12 Facebook Likes, 25 tweets, 18 Google +1s, and 15 LinkedIn shares. Certainly much better than my average post’s performance, but not anywhere near what I was hoping for.

The giveaway did get me some traction, but I didn’t even get enough entrants to give away all the books. (Hellooooo, client Christmas gifts …)

Let me just clarify: I’m not telling this story to disrespect Gary Vaynerchuk in any way. I truly believe he’s a good guy. I’m just very disappointed in how he handled this situation.

I’m told the only real mistakes are the ones we don’t learn from, and I have learned my fair share from this one:

  • Always establish expectations up front. All my previous guests had shared our podcast interviews without being asked, so I assumed this case would be no different. Next time, Parker, get a commitment at the outset, especially when a cash outlay is involved.
  • Don’t psych yourself out. I had so built up this interview in my mind as “our big break” that I probably wasn’t at my best while I had Gary on the line. Had I not gotten so wrapped up in the anticipated outcomes and treated it as just another author interview, I truly believe it would have gone much better.
  • There’s always good to be found. I got to make a lot of people happy by sending them free books. One winner excitedly reported that she “never wins anything,” and I had the honor of making her day. That’s a feeling you just can’t put a price tag on.

Okay, folks, I’ve had my turn. Any of you brave souls want to share your biggest disappointment of the outgoing year? Tell us about it in the Comments — we’d love to hear from you!


See you again next week! 

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Rachel Parker

A self-proclaimed geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations.
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Rachel Parker

A self-proclaimed geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations.

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