During the fall, it’s not unusual for me to have four or five pumpkin lattes every week, unapologetically. My addiction defense is that I can’t get them during the rest of the year! And in the frothy goodness of my favorite fall beverage, there’s a lesson about anticipation and blogging. Three lessons, actually, which are all important to learn if you want to be successful as a blogger.
Lesson #1: Creating hype early makes people excited.
Every year, as summer comes to a close, I start seeing advertisements for pumpkin lattes at Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and lots of other places. Now, they could wait until it’s really fall to start offering pumpkin options, but they don’t, and for good reason. Starting earlier really makes me excited for fall, and as soon as the pumpkin flavor become available, I’m ready to whip out my wallet thanks to all the advertising I’ve been seeing.
When you’re getting ready to launch a new blog or a product with your blog, start talking about it as soon as you can. Don’t have the details worked out? No problem! Well before I launched Blog Zombies, for example, I started a mailing list about my new “secret project” and I released more and more information as I solidified my idea. Hundreds of people signed up on my mailing list before I ever wrote a single post, just because I talked about it and got the hype going early.
Lesson #2: Deliver on the high-quality promises you make.
Don’t make the mistake of running with lesson #1 and then not delivering on the hype you’ve created. I go crazy for pumpkin lattes every year because they are so darn tasty. If I got one and it was disappointing, future hype wouldn’t matter.
You don’t want your readers to be “meh” about the experience. The phrase “it’s good enough” is a really, really dangerous one. Put forward your best work with every single thing you do and be prepared to deliver on everything you promise. The only way anticipation will build is when the product is amazing. Disappoint your audience once and it will be a fight to get them excited ever again.
Lesson #3: Limited quantities create a buying frenzy.
Lastly, consider limiting the reader experience in some way to get more people involved. Every year, by the time December comes around, I start to get a little sick of pumpkin. I might even start to cheat a little on pumpkin with gingerbread. Shhh…don’t tell.
But then I start to realize that the season is almost over, and while my little indiscretion with gingerbread lattes was fun, it was just a fling. Every year, I ultimately realize I won’t be able to get pumpkin again for like, nine months. So, I start buying pumpkin lattes again like crazy.
Think about how you can create limited quantities – or perceived limited quantities – for your readers. I see people do this all the time with webinars. By saying “seating is limited,” webinar hosts get people to sign up, even though when you sign up actually doesn’t matter (if the webinar truly is full, you have to show up early – it doesn’t matter when you register). You could make one of your products available for a limited time instead (or a discounted price) if you don’t want to limit quantities.
Basically, you want the anticipation to build so much that your reader is afraid of missing out if they don’t take action immediately.
In summary, here are the three take-away lessons I’ve learned about pumpkin lattes and anticipation:
- Start hyping your project early. Get people excited so they feel like they just can’t wait.
- Deliver high-quality products so that people always get excited for them.
- Limit quantities so that people are afraid of missing out.
As for me? I think it’s time I go have another pumpkin latte before they’re gone for the season again. Will you be at NMX in Las Vegas this January? Let me know so we can have pumpkin lattes together!