Is it just me, or did summer end pretty suddenly this year?
Seems like one minute I was sunning it up on the beach, the next I was shutting all the windows to keep the draught out.
On the evening of August 31st – officially the final day of ‘summer’ in my strict 3-months-per-season personal calendar – I was at one of the hottest gigs I’ve ever been to, jumping sweatily around to Thee Oh Sees’ nutty garage-psych jams.
On the way home, Berliners were out on the humid streets partying like it was high summer.
I woke up a few hours later on September 1st and it was like being in a movie where the scene had switched to autumn in an instant.
It was cold and windy, the leaves had turned yellow and there was almost no sign anything called ‘summer’ had ever happened outside.
Yep, autumn had well and truly kicked summer out of its deckchair in the sun and made itself at home…
…kinda like that no-fun housemate you had in college who would come in and turn on all the lights in the room, open the windows to air out the ‘student smells’, and start cleaning up around you while you were still sitting there.
“Fun’s over, pal. Johnny Buzzkill is here and it’s time for autumn.”
And if there’s one thing that marks this time of year even more than plummeting temperatures and yellowing leaves, it’s coming back from holiday to an inbox overflowing with promos and buy-now deadlines.
Yes, it’s ‘launch season’ and the hunt is on – for our cash
Marketers who you haven’t heard from in months (or even since this time last year) are suddenly all up in your grille multiple times a week (or even per day) with their new course, conference or product.
At least, if my inbox is anything to go by.
Autumn/Fall/Herbst is when Internet Marketing Gurus across the globe slap you across the face and yell:
“Ok, I gave you the summer off, but now it’s time to stop faffing around in the sun and BUY MY STUFF.
Why? Because it’s launch season and this is how my schedule works.
No, I don’t care if it suits your timeframe, we’re doing this NOW so you’d better hop to it.
Besides, everyone else is doing it now, so why not me? This is how they told me to do it back in Internet Marketing Guru School.
Here, check out this countdown timer and get on with BUYING MY STUFF. Because this offer will NEVER come around again.”
Yeah, right. Until next autumn.
Sigh. Does it have to be this way?
Of course not.
Does it damage people’s trust in these businesses?
Is it likely to change any time soon?
Because it’s a numbers game: throw enough of this shizzle at the wall and some of it will stick.
People with big lists can win that game – even while they’re spamming you into infinity with their countdown timers and ‘last chance’ emails (and those sneaky ‘I screwed up’ last-last chance emails).
But this is where your opportunity lies…
Because you’re different.
And if you want your audience of potential clients and customers to buy from you, work with you, respect you, you can do things differently.
Have something unique to offer?
Make it available when your people need it, and don’t pretend it’s more scarce than it is.
Doesn’t have to be 365 days a year – there’s beaches to hit and Christmases to enjoy, for one thing – but show a little faith (there’s magic in the night…) in the quality of your product or service and don’t give in to the pressure of ‘how it’s done’ with manufactured launch cycles and fake scarcity.
Don’t just show up in their inboxes twice a year with something to sell and nothing to give…
Engage with your people, provide value for them and demonstrate how they can trust you.
Then do it again.
Do it often. It’s ok to sell (of course it is!)…
But it’s also ok to just be there for your ideal customerwhen they need you – and let them decide when that is.
For some people that’s today. For others, it’s next month. Or next year.
Don’t tell them it’s RIGHT NOW just because someone else decided it’s ‘launch season’ as soon as summer ends.
Be patient and give value. Nurture your leads. Don’t sell hard, Sell Unique.
Help people to understand exactly what you stand for, why your offer is unique, and how you can help them.
You can do it today, tomorrow and next month.
No need to wait ‘til the leaves change colour again.