I spent last week at the National Speaker’s Association annual convention. I was lucky to be named a Certified Speaking Professional and they gave me this medal to wear around my neck all week, so people naturally came up to congratulate me and ask me what you ask everyone at a speaker’s convention: “what do you speak about?” As soon as they heard that it was digital marketing, everyone had their favorite question to ask about their speaker website, social media, and YouTube channel.

Most of the questions sounded something like this, “should I spend [gobs of money] to [do five huge marketing projects]?”

And, even though they are speakers, the truth is that the questions I get from big corporations that are my clients sound just about the same. Everyone wants to know what the secret is at succeeding at digital marketing. The minute you tell it to them, they want to spend every cent they have to do it. In fact, they would happily mortgage the house and spend that, too, if you are convincing enough.

So, when they ask me, should I spend [gobs of money] to [do five huge marketing projects]? I usually ask them a simple question back: “what if you did one? In fact, what if you did the first step of one of them?”

Most get this weird look in their eyes, as though I suggested that I don’t even believe in my own business. When I see this, I know that I can’t wait for them to respond, so I usually say something (that I hope is funny) like, “did you know that my second book is called Do It Wrong Quickly?

At this point, they usually crinkle their nose as if they just got whiff of a Port-a-John, and say, “but I don’t want to do it wrong.” I understand that. I don’t want to do it wrong either. It’s just that over many years I have come to accept that I usually do. Most of what I do it wrong. It’s not the best. If I had five tries at it, I would do it better.

That is actually what I want them to do. Do it wrong quickly, and then fix it. Fix it because after you do it, your customers will give you some idea as to whether it was any good or not.

So if you want to know if you should do a project with your agency to do 100 videos, I’ll say no. Do one. See how that works. Then do the next one. See if it is any better. Maybe after a dozen or so, you might start to see what works. Then you start doing them in bulk. But not before.

If you listen to what your customers want, you’ll suddenly start seeming like a genius.