I’ve been a marketer for more than 30 years.
I studied marketing in college (I have a minor in marketing), worked in advertising agencies for over 10 years, and was a vice president of marketing before I started my own marketing consulting business in 1998. And while I learned marketing theory in school, and learned how to implement those theories working in the ad agency business, it wasn’t until I got involved in Internet Marketing in the mid-2000s that I was introduced to a whole new kind of marketing.
Persuasion. Fear. Scarcity.
Internet Marketing is unlike anything I encountered in all my years working in offline marketing and advertising. While no one uses the word manipulation, that’s exactly what it always felt like to me. As a result, it never felt good.
Even the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini, sat on my bookshelf unread for years, because every time I tried to read it, I couldn’t get through it. Despite the fact it was recommended by nearly every Internet Marketing guru I studied under, the idea of using psychology to persuade and influence people felt like manipulation. At one point, the fact I couldn’t get on board with these concepts even made me question if I had been in the wrong career my whole life.
Until I realized I had a strong track record without it.
Perhaps if I hadn’t had so many years of marketing experience prior to opening my online business, I might have been quicker to believe those tactics were necessary. Even still however, I did believe at first, that was the way it was done online. And so I followed what I was being taught. And I’m not going to lie, I did make sales.
But it didn’t feel good.
And the clients I got weren’t my best clients. In fact, many were not a good fit at all. Working with them was a struggle. They weren’t bad people, they just didn’t come into my business in the best way.
When you attract through fear, it always shows up.
Clients may not be ready to work with you. They may not be ready to do what it takes to be successful. They may not be able to afford to work with you (even though you don’t realize that until it’s too late). I saw it in my business and I watched it happen in quite a few high-priced mastermind programs I was a member of. It wasn’t pretty.
Needless to say I didn’t use those tactics for long.
I believe when you take the time to really understand who your ideal clients are (something I teach in great detail in my How to Market Yourself online course) you don’t need to use fear and scarcity. You don’t need to persuade and manipulate. And you actually attract better clients, who are ready, willing, and able to work with you, and have a much higher chance of being successful.
Connect and Resonate instead.
Focusing on creating marketing that connects and resonates with your ideal clients is kind of like the saying, “You attract more bees with honey.” Inspired marketing is about understanding your bees and figuring out what their honey is.
It’s not about telling them the honey pot is almost empty so they’d better hurry up and get theirs before it’s gone. It’s not about telling them if they don’t get some honey now, there will never be another chance to get honey ever again. And, it’s not about telling them without honey they will die (after all, there will always be flowers.)
It is about telling them how great your honey is (and it better be great) and helping them see all the reasons your honey is exactly what they’re looking for.
The following video is a sneak peek from my online course, How to Create, Market, and Grow an Inspired Business. It’s just one of 12 Inspired Strategies I teach in the course, to help you market and grow your business.