Content

Entrepreneurs: Your idea is probably not the next Facebook, so don’t go acting like it

Have you ever met an entrepreneur that thinks so highly of themselves and their product that they can’t seem to stop flaunting it? The kind of person that thinks their idea is the next “big thing” and they’ll soon be a household name like Zuckerberg? 

Or maybe you’ve been that person?

Plenty of entrepreneurs start out this way only to get their egos minced when they realise that although they talk the talk, they can’t walk the walk when it comes to their big ideas. They’re so fixated on their innovation that they spend more time talking about it than working on it, leading to eventual failure.

Many entrepreneurs think having a vision is enough and fail to prepare for the hard work to bring that vision to life. Shooting for the proverbial stars isn’t a bad thing, but it takes more than that to be able to launch and operate an innovation such as Instagram or Facebook. 

Nobody likes a show-off who can’t back their idea up, so it’s best not to act like it, to stay humble, and to actually put in the work. 

Stop inflating your ego

Instead of taking the time to flesh out their business processes, marketing strategies, and finances, some entrepreneurs tend to flaunt their idea as being so perfect, it will sell itself. 

Launching that big idea is probably not feasible considering how little focus is going into the necessities, like research, admin, and planning. In the end, they’re scrambling to figure things out at the last minute and cutting corners instead of patiently working on their project.

If all you invest in your product is ego, your idea is not going to be the next big thing.

In some cases, it’s just a matter of entrepreneurs getting overexcited, causing them to do too much too quickly so they can get everything to the public fast (before someone else does). But it doesn’t matter if your lack of planning comes from ego, enthusiasm, or optimism, failure is a possibility when you’re trying to make your big idea come true too quickly. While we all want to create something revolutionary, it’s best to start small and build from there. 

Facebook wasn’t conceived to be an immediate hit, it was started in the early 2000s in a simple dorm by Mark Zuckerberg who wanted to connect different Harvard students by comparing two pictures to see who was more attractive. He had no idea how big it would become and how much it would change the world. 

There are plenty of entrepreneurs who, like Zuckerberg at the time, didn’t consider longevity, sustainability, or recognise what their skills could actually contribute. Facebook was just a fun social experiment that blew up. 

Plenty of big, successful ideas started out differently from what they became. Ideas like Instagram were initially supposed to be an HTML5 supported location-based service. Flickr was supposed to be a video game. And there are plenty of other popular businesses and ideas that ended up massively different from their original intention.

This is why praising yourself on social media doesn’t equal success. Things can change very quickly, so inflating your ego and trying to claim that your idea is sound and that you’re a genius for conceiving it, can go wrong fast. You have to put your head down and really work on your project and avoid being arrogant, or your fall from grace will come from a much greater height

Fizzling out to ultimate disappointment

Publicly garnering attention around your ideas to create buzz can be a dangerous move. Once you’ve got people talking, you build up their expectations. The bigger the talk, the more people are invested in your idea, which is why public opinion of you and your business will scorch you harder if everything comes crashing down.

It’s embarrassing to publicly fail, especially when you’ve built so much hype around your idea. If it doesn’t do well, you’ll be widely criticised along with your failed project. Popularity isn’t as important as actually working on your project, and relying on it will only result in public scrutiny if it doesn’t take off the way you want it to. You’re not the only one who will be disappointed, so will the people who backed the idea, were planning to purchase, or were excited about it in general. 

What’s worse is that many business owners engage influencers or anyone with social influence to advertise their product or service, creating more publicity around an idea even if it isn’t fully fleshed out.

One example of this is the flop that was Fyre Festival. What was meant to be a luxury music festival in the Bahamas quickly turned into a disaster. Influencers of all kinds were heaping praise on the festival, big names like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid, and dozens of others posted excitedly on their social media platforms, drawing people in.

Of course, they didn’t know that the Fyre Festival would turn out to be a nightmare. With no preparation, no solid plans or foundations, and an overly laid-back approach to infrastructure and schedule, Founders Billy McFarland and Ja Rule faced so much backlash that any hope for the Fyre App or Fyre Festival completely fizzled out and became so infamous it brought about a plethora of criticism as well as two documentaries dissecting its failure.

While the idea behind the music festival was pretty good (who wouldn’t want a luxury experience with the biggest names and most beautiful people?), it was all talk and no walk. 

McFarland couldn’t supply answers to any of the serious questions his staff had and would just say, “It will be fine.” Instead of focusing on the logistics of how it would come together, he hung out by the beach, thinking it would go off without a hitch.

Entrepreneurs like Billy McFarland prove that you need to work on your idea first and make sure that all your systems are in place before you start publicising your idea, to avoid falling flat on your face and embarrassing yourself (and potential legal ramifications).

How the best ideas have come about

There are so many examples of entrepreneurs who have actually spent their time studying their industries and figuring out what kinds of problems they need to solve for their customers. 

Instead of just painting themselves as visionaries, their work had substance and they were able to provide something their customers could appreciate, whether it was solving a problem or adding value to their lives.

From this point, their brand and popularity organically grew a following because of the solutions they supplied. 

Really great ideas start out by identifying a problem. From there you can determine whether that problem is unique to you or if it’s something that other people are experiencing too. If you identify that it’s widespread, you can then brainstorm how to fix that problem and come up with an idea that can tackle it.

You also have to accept that not every startup will lead to popularity. If becoming famous for your product or service is your only goal, you need to step back and reassess what you want. It shouldn’t be your sole motivation, it’s important to actually want to help your target audience. Your idea should help alleviate a problem they’re facing and not just help you become Insta-famous.

This is where content marketing comes in and why content is king. With content, you can provide answers to customers’ questions and they, in turn, will see you as an authority. 

More than just your products or services, the fixes you come up with can be just as important for adding value and creating trust. It also gives you time to get to know your audience and work through the business side of your idea and lay the foundations of your product. 

How content builds sustainable brands

As an entrepreneur, you have two options: 

  • Flamboyantly and publicly gloat and make claims about your idea to anybody who will listen; or
  • Exercise the discipline to create good, well-thought-out content that aims to solve your target market’s problems and add value to their lives and organically grow from there

Content promises longevity while unsubstantiated claims don’t. It’s important to acknowledge that big ideas that have no strong foundations will likely fizzle out despite their extravagant publicity. 

Those who rely on content creation can get better results without having to resort to being so showy. It takes commitment to good storytelling, problem-solving, and giving your target audience something that can help them to grow sustainably (no need for theatrics). 

While content isn’t always going to go viral and become the centre of attention on social media, it boosts your brand’s visibility steadily. Virality is a dangerous game that’s inconsistent and doesn’t always promise a constant flow of lead generation or client conversion. The content approach, while unhurried, is stable and well-researched. 

Content makes a business more trustworthy. And though its platform isn’t as big as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, it does field specific questions much better and more comprehensively than others with its specificity and targeted subject matter.

This consistent approach will pay off in the long run because it builds popularity and trust with your audience. Your target market will feel more confident with the answers that content marketing supplies them and will lead to more conversions. Storytelling has a powerful impact on readers and content creation utilises that power in order to capture their attention and build your authority—soon they’ll see you as an acclaimed business owner to listen to and as a subject matter expert.

Content marketing is consistent in terms of quality and subject matter, it’s effective and relevant and adapts to trends in order to attract readers who are looking for contemporary answers. Instead of being flashy with their ideas, entrepreneurs who rely on content marketing know what they’re talking about and can prove it with information and data.

Plenty of entrepreneurs think that their idea is the next big thing but it often isn’t. If they spend all their time talking about their ideas rather than executing them, it can spell disaster. They need to understand that being humble, focusing on the work they need to carry out, and identifying problems and solutions is the way to go.

Content marketing assures that any entrepreneur can achieve that and can turn a brilliant idea into reality through a repeatable process that will pay off in the long run.

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