Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about marketing "authentically." In other words, in your marketing, you should let who you are shine through. Our newsletters are one of the primary ways we let the world know about what we do, and I’ve been letting it all hang out for years. Some of our readers have been following our exploits through our newsletters for more than 10 years now.
In that time, I’ve learned that people who are attracted to our products and services are not the "get rich quick" crowd or opportunity seekers looking for the next big thing. I’ve learned that our best clients are actually thoughtful people who understand that publishing, writing, business, and even life might require effort. When I talk to prospective clients on the phone, they often say, "I feel like I know you already."
Now, ten years later, marketing "authentically" is a new catchphrase. Apparently to some, not lying to people to get them to buy what you want them to buy is a great new idea. If you ask me, telling people what they want to hear just to get the sale is ethically questionable and a recipe for a whole lot of returns. Particularly when times are tight, people want reassurance that they are getting good value for their money.
However, even today, many online marketers continue to create hyped-up marketing copy that tries to sugar-coat a grossly expensive product and transform it into the be-all and end all solution for business. In fact, I’ve read that some "guru" marketers actually advise jacking up the fervor of the copy until you get a certain percentage of returns. Because if you haven’t, you haven’t tried hard enough to separate a fool from his money.
The thing is, I’m a consumer too. And I’m fed up with all those identical manipulative long sales pages with the 6.5 dubious testimonials. Just tell me what I need to know. I want the truth. If the product is good and I need it, I’ll buy it. If not, I won’t.
Apparently, I’m not alone. Yes, quality programs do exist, but everything requires work. People seem to think that online business requires no time or effort. Truth is powerful. When your copy is honest and sincere, it stands out from all those cookie-cutter online snake oil pages.
To market authentically, you have to be willing to express an opinion. Sometimes those opinions may not be popular. For example, in a recent article I pointed out that writing a book might not necessarily be as "fast and easy" as some would claim. That article laid it on the line and I got a lot of positive feedback about it.
The best thing about marketing authentically is that when you’re being yourself, you attract people you like. People don’t want to be manipulated. When I see slimy tactics, I run the other way. In the process, I’ve probably lost out on business opportunities. But I have to sleep at night.
If something feels wrong, it probably is. Telling people what they want to hear is not the answer. Creating quality products and describing them accurately without a bunch of contrived propaganda is.
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