Warning: rant follows.
I need to get this off my chest.
On Saturday morning, I was sat in bed waiting for everyone else to wake up, scrolling through Facebook.
And I saw something that made the hairs on my chest curl.
(Luckily for us all, that is a euphemism).
I’m not going to go into any details, but here is what I will say:
I am SICK TO DEATH of seeing fear-based marketing tactics employed in the name of ‘making a difference’.
I am TIRED of seeing entrepreneurs preying on the weaknesses of others, and manipulating their emotions.
I am WEARY of the whole ‘I made a million in a month…and I can show you how!’.
I am DONE with people telling me they know more about what’s best for me than I do. (Probably because for a moment, I actually start to believe them).
I’m not denying that overnight success stories are possible. I’m incredibly happy for those it has happened to. (Personally, it’s not something I aspire to – because once you’ve made your millions, how will you continue to make them? Not for me – I’d rather grow my business slowly, and sustainably).
But how much of it all is smoke and mirrors?
Creating (and running) a business is HARD FREAKIN’ WORK.
It’s draining. It’s exhausting. It’s wonderful, but it can feel like wading through mud.
Or maybe that’s just me?
Maybe it’s just me that has found creating a heart-centred business to be a long, slow, emotional, drawn-out process – as fulfilling as it may be?
The general marketing theory goes:
1) Highlight their pain, their fears
2) Paint a picture of what life could be
3) Position yourself as having THE one solution to solving their pain
(I’m over-generalising here, I know).
I’m not saying that this can’t be used in a genuine, loving way – but I’m sick of seeing it used in a way that is so passive-aggressive, and supposedly wrapped in ‘it’s for their own good’.
Here’s the problem for me as ‘marketer’:
Who am I to presume to know what my customer’s deepest, darkest, most sensitive fears are?
Even if I did know what those fears were, what on earth would give me the right to presume to know their insecurities, and use them to fuel my business?
I know, I know. If you genuinely have a product or service that could genuinely help someone (emphasis on the word ‘genuine’), then you’d be doing a disservice in not highlighting that someone has a problem, and providing them with a way to solve it.
I get it, I really do.
But so often, that’s not what I see.
What I see is:
You don’t have enough money to feed your babies.
I made a million in a month.
For just $2000 you can learn my EXACT formula for overnight success.
Of course, this can be substituted for similar scenarios across all industries (I’m just using business here because it’s close to my heart).
Of course, intentions can’t be proven to be genuine or not.
But I feel it.
I feel your inauthenticity.
I feel your peer pressure.
I feel it when you’re saying the words, but something just doesn’t quite add up.
I feel it when you’re saying all the right words to make us feel insecure about the situations we find ourselves in – not because you genuinely care, but because you know it positions us in a way that we’re tempted to put your solution on our credit card.
I could go on forever, but I have babies to feed. (Literally – they’re circling round my ankles).
Thank you for reading. Please – don’t judge me for my opinions, or think I’m tarring all marketers with the same brush.
I just believe that the collective ‘we’ can do better.
Have something to say on this? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
A rather disgruntled C xo