Back when I was a touring musician out of Nashville, I had a funny experience in which perception wasn’t reality.
Our custom tour bus was parked one morning in a shopping mall. Needing breakfast, I donned shades, ball cap and joined a fellow musician for the short jaunt across the parking lot to McDonald’s. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a couple making a bee-line for us.
“Please!” she waved, “Can we get your picture in front of your bus?”
We hadn’t showered, were groggy and thus were totally bamboozled why this woman would want a picture of two scraggly musicians. Nevertheless, we shrugged and posed arm-over-shoulder as she snapped away.
Thanking us profusely, she jogged off with her husband, giddy with excitement.
“What was that all about?” my friend asked. I glanced over my shoulder at our tour bus. Air brushed in large letters across the back side was, “Hotel California.”
I burst out laughing. “She thinks we’re the Eagles!” We laughed all the way to the golden arches.
In marketing one’s product, whether it’s a book or an idea, you want the public to “see you” (perception) in a way that makes you larger than life. After all, you need to stand out from the pack. Take the story I just shared. The fact that this poor woman has our picture pasted & labeled in her scrapbook as, “The Eagles: On Tour!” isn’t our fault. It’s actually hilarious! Does she point me out as Joe Walsh? Don Henley? But I digress. The point is this: We didn’t lie to her (she never asked us who we were!) nor did we falsely promote ourselves. She merely perceived us to be someone else based upon our image (i.e., tour bus, logo, etc.)
So as you begin the process of selling and promoting, don’t worry if people misunderstand or perceive you as someone you’re not.
It may be the very thing that will help you succeed. Who knows, maybe you too will be an Eagle!