One of the interesting things in the online world is watching ‘thought leaders’ and ‘experts’ market. They often come from the realms of business coaching, or as an online strategist, and their brand slowly evolves to talk about themselves constantly.
They shout things to you in ads, Facebook groups and podcasts. They feed their own ego, and their own biases and justifications of their success, by selling you into their programs.
They raise their voice as they try and raise their profile.
They casually post things on social media along the lines of:
“I freaking love my clients. Jessie just said that I’m the most amazing coach in the world and a unicorn amongst horses. If you’re open to changing your life and finally earning that 7 figure salary without working so hard and constantly hustling my calendar is booking full but I’ve got a few open slots here.”
They try to create authenticity which, when practised genuinely, isn’t something you can really cultivate.
There are however people in the market who do the complete opposite of this. They truly are authentic. They don’t scream tactics or the next 12-step strategy. They’re not making outrageous claims (make 7 figures in your next online course!) and they believe that their way to success was one of many (no, group coaching or one signature package is by far not the only way). They’re not afraid to be wrong, not afraid to simply guide you into more clarity or suggestions rather than demand you to do a certain thing. They’re not selling their lifestyle over their results.
They have quieter voices that command attention.
People like this do marketing differently. They don’t make it all about them. They’re about you. Or the science and data. Or use-cases they know where x and y have consistently worked. Or broad research you’ve not known about. Or as compassionate support. Or an easy-going down-to-earth voice of reason. Or someone who inspires ideas in you.
One of the things I always struggled with throughout the years was how to market. My first couple of years were a slow journey and it’s no secret that I hadn’t been intending to start a business or knew anything about business outside of corporate enterprises. Over the years I’ve had to find my groove and I long accepted that I could never be one of those scream it from the rooftops people.
To me it feels icky. It feels pushy. It feels like someone decided you needed to create a webinar, a splash page and then funnel every possible human through that with your free training to push them into a program you run once a year.
We work with hundreds of businesses, product & services, who do nothing of the sort. And, outside our online lives, we buy from hundreds of businesses who don’t operate anything like this.
This doesn’t have to be the way.
Instead we live by the mantra that:
Quality is the best form of advertising and word of mouth the best marketing.
The largest portion of our projects over the past 6 or so years have come from referrals or people seeing our work. We say yes to about 1 in 5 projects that come our way. Now. It wasn’t always like that. Over time I learned that who you work with also affects your brand and how you’re perceived. It too, is part of your marketing.
So if you cringe at a marketing style, know you don’t have to be that person. Just like success comes from all different routes and paths (with the underlying themes of working hard and striving for better), so does marketing. You can do it your way. You can be quiet and determined. You don’t have to brag and can still succeed. You can let your work speak for you (watch it run ahead in the distance and interact with all the people that then walk toward you).
It might be slightly slower, it may be quicker. But ultimately it’ll feel much better and you can stand comfortably in who you are and what you put out there.