How To Avoid Analysis Paralysis In Your Marketing

It’s Monday Marketing time people! On other news, I am finally fully back online.  Woohoo.  We are in our new home, still surrounded by more boxes than I’d like, but we’re getting there.

Thanks for all the comments, faves and follows and for your patience.  I have been making my way through replying to them all.

How to avoid analysis paralysis in your marketing. Image of Yes and No signs. Image from Pixabay


What is Analysis Paralysis?

Cross roads, which path to choose.  Making decisions.  Woman at a crossroads.  Image from Pixabay

Simply put, analysis paralysis is “overthinking”, where we reach a point where we are so overwhelmed with our “excessive analysis” that we become paralysed.

We sink into the issue, situation, problem etc and are no longer able to make any decisions (especially good ones).


Why Does It Happen?

Making decisions, analysis paralysis. Woman holding a Yes and a No. Image from Pixabay

It is often due to “Decision Fatigue” (I know, lots of buzzwords today, just go with it).

It’s been psychologically proven that we have only a limited amount of decision-making ability in a day.

The more decisions we are forced to make, the more our ability to make them deteriorates.

This can lead to making irrational or unwise decisions if they have had a long day making decisions.

Then there comes a time when we are so overwrought and our brain is trying to give us so much to process in regards to what we should do, need to do or even want to do, that we hit the paralysis.


Okay, So What’s This Got To Do With Marketing?

Title Image: Goals, marketing. Image: Graphs

Well, unless you’ve got a degree in marketing or worked in the marketing industry and are drawing from your experiences, you are likely pretty new to marketing.

This means you will need to go in search for marketing ideas (*cough* like my Monday Marketing posts 😀 *cough*)

But there are a lot of ideas and suggestions out there and for new writers, it can be overwhelming.

  • What should you do first?
  • What should you not do?
  • Which will have the best chance of success?
  • Could X and Y be combined?

How will you track each of your marketing tactics?

There are dozens of questions and if any marketing tactic you are looking at includes a financial cost then the worry increases.

Few writers have oodles of cash to throw around in hopes the marketing tactic will work.

  • So do you risk it or not?
  • What’s everyone else doing?
  • Did X writer have success with this tactic?


Avoiding Analysis Paralysis in Marketing

Signpost with Choice in both directions. Make a choice. Decisions to make. Image by Pixabay

Start Early

Marketing will always be one of the most hated and shied-away-from parts of writing for most people (not all, some weirdos enjoy it! :p).  It’s why people put it off until the last moment.

Don’t do this.

Start your Marketing early.  Like before your book is finished, early. Don’t wait until you have a finished product to do your marketing.

If you wait, then suddenly you have to hit the ground running and get people interested in a book that’s already out.

It can take time to build interest, to draw people in so your book will be languishing on the shelves (physically and digitally) while you garner interest.

This panic to suddenly market will have you rushing to make decision after decision, maybe even quickly dropping some techniques that aren’t performing like you want for others, when really maybe you just needed to give them time.

Also, start early… as in early in the day.  Remember we have a limited amount of decision-making ability before it slides away.

So don’t make all your decisions about marketing ideas and strategy at night, after you’ve spent the day making other decisions.

You will be surprised just how many decisions you make in a day that deplete you.

  • Do you want breakfast?
  • Should you take the motorway to work?
  • Do you need to pick up milk?

All these little questions that need answers are decisions that nibble away at your decision-making ability.

Start Small

By starting early, you can then ease into your marketing by starting small.  Maybe that’s just chatting casually about your WIP on social media?  Or create a simple aesthetic to visually entice people’s interest.

You don’t and shouldn’t go full tilt with your marketing and if you start early enough, you don’t have to.  Ease into it.  Create a build-up of interest that continues to draw people in.

By marketing early you can take these small steps, move a pace that works for you and make small decisions allowing you to track them.  Which brings me to…

Track your progress

Decision making works best when you have all the facts.  So take your time in marketing to give each tactic a fair shot and monitor the results.

Lots of things can affect if something is working.  There’s no point launching a newsletter and having your first one be all about the release of your first book.

Why?  Because the likelihood is that you won’t have built up enough subscribers to make it work the announcement.

NEW slim banner-Newsletter-SMALL

By studying what works and analysing why it did or didn’t you can make clear, informed choices about any changes you need to implement.

If you rush in and launch 20 different marketing initiatives and then try and track them all at once, you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up making poor decision choices by the end.

Work with your strengths

Always start out with your strengths, especially if marketing is not your strong point.  Are you a good conversationist?  Then create some fun and inspiring conversations about your WIP over on social media.

Are you good at design or visual creations?  Make some inspiration boards on Pinterest and share them with your followers.

There’s a lot less decision making when you start with a ‘strength’.

Get feedback

Whether it’s family, friends, followers or fans, ask for their help.  Reach out to see if what you are doing is working.

Put up a poll to find out what sort of things your followers would want to see?  Do they want more sneak peeks?  Bonus content?  Perhaps more giveaways or contests or how about more info about you the writer?

Ease the need for big decisions by giving the people what they want (within reason :p ) and the best way to do that, is to ask!


Step Back

Coffee cup resting on a book, warm blanket.  Relax, read, chill.  Image from pixabay

If you find yourself starting to feel overwhelmed or unsure, step back before you get paralysed by it all.

Clear your head and do something else, something fun or relaxing that needs no decision.  Not sure what, then sit and rest or go for a walk.  Keep it simple and give your mind a break.


Have you ever suffered from Analysis Paralysis?

Share your Thoughts image.

Happy writing

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26 thoughts on “How To Avoid Analysis Paralysis In Your Marketing

  1. Pingback: How To Use Time Blocking For Productivity – Official Author Website of Ari Meghlen

  2. Pingback: 8 Quick Ways to be Awesomely Efficient | Ari Meghlen – Writer | Blogger | Bad card player

    1. Thanks for reading. It’s when you look back and realise, OMG yes, I remember when I suddenly wasn’t capable of making decisions and then boom procrastination hits. I can’t remember if I added the example into the blog, but it’s why Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day – these small things that strip away a need to make a decision, gave him more decision making ability later on and thus less chance for paralysis.

      1. lol yeah, it’s apparently a trick a number of the big CEOs do in making certain constant decisions, whether that’s wearing the same coloured suit every day, having the same breakfast every day, following the same routine… they just do something that takes away the decision making.

      2. I do something similar, in that if I like an item of clothing, I buy say 2 of the same colour and maybe get 2 different colours. My wardrobe has a lot of those kinds of duplicates but I doubted I’d be able to wear the same thing every day.

      3. I do that too. Though I’m so petite and mainly fit in kids sizes. So if I find something that fits and is comfortable, I buy all the colors, lol.

    1. Thanks for reading, Lorraine. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your kind words. I always feel so weird writing marketing posts but I always hope they make the advice clear to understand and implement, after all, I hear so many people stating that marketing is “too hard” or “too overwhelming” and I want to show it doesn’t have to be.

  3. Ari, this post was so so helpful! 🙂 I just bookmarked it! You make marketing really accessible and you have so many great tips. I never thought of playing to my strengths — I think that’s such great advice for writers who aren’t ready to go into full out marketing mode. I used to have a blog when I was in high school, and I wish I would have stuck with it because even now as an unpublished author with a near-complete MS, I should have started earlier. Great advice.

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Madeline. I am so pleased you’ve found this useful.
      Thank you kindly, I always aimed for making marketing easier and accessible as I find many other articles seem to make marketing seem overwhelming and yet it’s the part we all get stressed over.

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