Think back to when you were a kid.
I grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah. I remember that the time from December 1 to the morning of December 25th, felt like an eternity.
Now, I’m consistently surprised when my birthday is a week away.
Age is one factor in this equation, but there’s something even more important.
Anticipation alters your perception of time. It creates an energy pattern in your body. It’s a form of excitement.
Some people find it uncomfortable. I love it.
Two days ago, Sony released their final trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man movie, No Way Home.
Before the trailer came out, fans were eagerly awaiting news of when the next trailer would drop. There were fan-made trailers, fan-made posters, and endless blogs and vlogs analyzing every rumor and leak.
I was one of the people who would turn giddy whenever something related to the film would trend on Twitter. At the same time, I tried to fight my urge to look into it, because I want to experience the magic of complete surprise in the theater. I wanted to indulge that anticipation.
Whether we’re talking about a service, a product, marketing, or sales, how often are you focused on creating something people would wait for? Do you even know how to do that?
One of the problems, is that we’re living in a world where you’re constantly told that in order to keep up, you need to create 5-6 TikToks per day, post to Linkedin 4 times throughout the day, and bombard your audience across every other channel on the internet. You need to turn up the volume, right?
But, the real winners are not the ones with the most volume or who apply the most pressure but the ones who can make something that is worth waiting for it.
One option is to churn out as much as you can, hoping for a hit, only to then try and keep the attention until your next win. Another option is to slow down, and take the time to create something remarkable.
Here’s my suggestion…
How to be worth waiting for
While you would think quality is the secret ingredient here, it’s actually third on the list.
Whether it’s Marvel movies, Mochi donuts, clever Old Spice ads, or the agency with a wait list, the factors that allow for anticipation and a captive audience are this:
- Create something that cannot be replaced or substituted
- Create something that is not for everyone
If you want a thriving business, you need to be distinctive to the degree that if you couldn’t start work for the client for a month, that they would wait, because you cannot be replaced or substituted. This starts with you brand work and then shows up in every aspect of how you deliver your products and services. If you are a one-of-a-kind, then there will be people willing to wait for it.
In order to do this, you need to know who you are for. This means identifying that perfect audience and creating for them. I have countless friends who had no idea there was a new Spider-Man movie coming out. Likewise, I could not tell you much more about Harry Potter than it’s about wizards and Voldemort is bad.
Obviously, all this works even better if what you’re creating is amazing. But more important than being good, is being unique, irreplaceable, and for someone specific.
I’ll watch every piece of Spider-Man media that comes out regardless of the quality, because there is no substitute, and it’s something I love. As I build my business, I’m in pursuit of creating something that brings anticipation, that only I could do, and that is worth the wait.
I hope you do too.