If you've been in the online marketing world for any length of time, you know that we get a lot of “rules” in business from bro marketers and celebrity business coaches about marketing and how we show up to promote our own businesses.
I've heard rules like:
- “For every one sales email you send, send three more that are nurturing,”
- “To grow your Instagram following, you must post at least two times a day.”
- “The best time to run a webinar is 11:00 AM on a Tuesday.”
All of these tactics, all of these rules, they are what is screwing up your marketing. Because, for the most part, most of these rules change quickly. Tactics over complicate your business. They stall out your thought leadership. They make sure your message doesn't reach the people who it needs to reach because you're so up in your head wondering, “Oh man, am I following these rules?”
Let's get back to the basics and talk about what marketing is really at its most simple form.
What is marketing? Marketing is communication. Marketing is talking to people. And, yes, we've been taught that it's a bunch of tactics and funnels, but it's not. And those tactics and funnels have turned marketing into something a lot of people dread.
Marketing should not be something that we dread. In my opinion, marketing should be something that we’re excited about because it is communicating to one person or to a lot of other people. It's showing up and saying, “Hey, I made this thing for you because I believe it will help you.”
Tune into the full episode as I expand on getting back to the basics of marketing and how that can be a game-changer in your business.
Listen in or read through the transcript below
Resources mentioned in this episode
It's been a long time since I've been on a date. But back when I was very single, there was a book making the rounds called The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right. And, oh boy, was this book full of what to do -- and not to do -- if you want to get a man. It's about as pro-patriarchy and anti-feminist as a book can get, but I'm going to let that go for now.
But some of these rules included things like, “be a creature unlike any other,” “don’t accept a Saturday night date after Wednesday,” “don't tell him what to do,” “be honest, but mysterious,” “don't talk too much,” “don't feed them after midnight.” Okay, that last one? Pretty sure it came from Gremlins, but a lot of these rules remind me of the rules that we get in business from bro marketers and celebrity business coaches about marketing and how we show up to promote our own businesses. I've heard rules like “for every one sales email you send, send three more that are nurturing,” “To grow your Instagram following, you must post at least two times a day.” “The best time to run a webinar is 11:00 AM on a Tuesday.” “You must have a funnel with an upsell, otherwise you're leaving money on the table.” And, hey, this one is my favorite: “If you don't have any real business experience, no problem. Just manufacture your authority.”
Ugh! All of these tactics, all of these rules, they are what is screwing up your marketing. Because, for the most part, most of these rules change quickly. Tactics over complicate your business. They stall out your thought leadership. They make sure your message doesn't reach the people who it needs to reach because you're so up in your head wondering, “Oh man, am I following these rules?”
Just like the book The Rules made millions of women set at home on a Saturday night, trying to figure out how to be a creature unlike any other while not talking too much, these marketing rules passed down to us from on high by these business coaching gurus? It's what's screwing up your marketing.
In this episode, it's time to unfuck and uncomplicate your marketing. Let's do it.
You're listening to the Rebel Uprising Podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping passionate business owners become recognized leaders who make more money and impact the world by turning their messy, complicated ideas into thriving thought leadership businesses. I'm your host, Dr. Michelle Mazur, and I'll be your no BS guide in the art of building a business that gets noticed. Each week, I share strategies, tools, and insights on how to turn your complicated ideas into great messaging and solid business structures. Are you ready to create an uprising in your industry? Let's do this.
I usually end up working with business owners when things are not working in their business, they've spent $10,000 on a complicated funnel that doesn't convert and they're wondering why they're pitching podcasts and not getting any response, or they've hired a really expensive PR team to pitch them for podcasts. And they're just hearing, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
Or they're doing all of those tactics to make their following grow or their lists quadruple or get more views on their videos and none of it's working and they come to me wondering why. And part of the reason, well, it's their message (which is something we'll be talking about in October), but for this month, we're focusing on marketing and the reason why is simply that they forgot what marketing is all about -- that it's not just about numbers. It's about people and connecting with people at a human level. And while some tactics can be helpful, if it's all tactics with no strategy, with no way to really connect and know your people, your marketing is just a mess. It becomes an energy suck and it just doesn't feel worthwhile because you're just not seeing the results. It's like, “Oh, well, they said that this is what helped me make six figures in six seconds and, wow, it's so not working.”
Let's get back to the basics and talk about what marketing is really at its most simple form.
What is marketing? Marketing is communication. Marketing is talking to people. And, yes, we've been taught that it's a bunch of tactics and funnels, but it's not. And those tactics and funnels have turned marketing into something a lot of people dread. And I know this because I did a survey back in March where I asked people about their mental chatter around showing up and marketing their business consistently. And, oh boy, did I get an earful. From things like, “Ugh, do I have to do it? What am I going to say? I feel like I'm repeating myself. Nobody's paying attention. It's not making a difference anyway.”
Now I spent the summer binge reading some of Seth Godin’s work and in his book This Is Marketing, he defines marketing as “the generous act of helping solve someone's problem.” Now, let me read that again, and think about what words stand out to you: “marketing as a generous act of helping solve someone's problem.” For me, the words “generous,” “helping,” and “solving” all stand out. And it's not a to do list -- marketing isn't a to do list. It's far more strategic. It's showing up with generosity, creating content and a message that helps people in some way, solve a problem that's going to make their lives better. We're helping them become the person or helping them create the business or the world that they want to create.
Now, think about how you would feel about marketing if it was really just about helping people and if it was from this place of generosity. It changes things. The other thing that we forgot about marketing? It's for people! You're not dealing with numbers, you're dealing with humans and the bro marketers have made us forget this fact. It's all about building your list and building your Instagram following to 10,000 and know your Facebook following. It's more, more, more. Don't you hate being treated like a number? I know I do! Each person that is on your email list or who follows you on Instagram or Facebook or connects with you on LinkedIn? They are a person with feelings, hopes, and dreams, just like you.
And here's a real fun game to play to help you humanize your audience and give you an idea of how many people you already are in contact with, that you already are impacting. Imagine all of the people who are on your email list or who follow you on Instagram or Facebook, just pick one of those. They show up at your house (we'll say that this is post-COVID) all at once. All of them show up, they descend. The question is, would you be able to invite all of those people into your house?
Now, for most of you -- unless you have a very large house or a very large backyard -- I'd probably be like, “Oh no, I couldn't cram the fifty or a hundred people I have on my email list into my house.” Think about it. How many people do you have? Would you have to rent out a coffee, shop, a restaurant, maybe a hotel ballroom or a concert venue?
When I started visualizing the people who signed up to hear from me on my email list (and there's nearly 3000 of them)I played this little game. I thought to myself, “Okay, here in Seattle, what venue would I need to rent out?” I'm thinking, “Okay, there's this Neptune Theater.” And I Googled it and it only seats a thousand people. And I was like, “Okay, fine. I'd have to rent the Moore Theater that's much bigger, “ and I saw bands like Erasure and Snow Patrol and the comedian David Cross there. Totally the Moore, right? My people would fit in the Moore. No, that's like 1,150 seats. So then I Googled the Paramount Theater and the Paramount is where a lot of the bigger concerts come (Hamilton plays there, The Book of Mormon plays there, I saw Morrissey there back in the day when Morrissey would actually show up for his shows). That venue seats 2,807 people.
So when I think about my email community being nearly 3000, they would barely fit into the Paramount Theater -- the place where people go and see Hamilton and, holy crap, that's a lot of human beings who have all gathered to hear from me. To be changed by my words and by my work. And when you do this exercise, it becomes a powerful reminder. You're not just marketing to numbers, you're marketing to real people who take up space. Who have said, “Yes, I'm interested in learning from you. I'm interested in hearing from you. Help me grow my business or change my life” or whatever it is that you do.
So now that you see them as people who are taking up the space that you'd have to rent a venue for or a restaurant for or ballroom for, the next question is “What do you need to communicate in your marketing?” A book that I love called The Cluetrain Manifesto talks about the fact that markets are conversations and when we go back and look at olden times, business was done in a marketplace where people would gather, they would converse, they would do business, they would buy and sell goods. And these conversations they would have are human, or as The Cluetrain Manifesto says, “a profound act of humanity.”
So instead of thinking of it as marketing, think about creating conversations. Because even though the online world is super noisy, it's super cluttered, it's super busy, we break through the noise not by hacking an algorithm, but by being human. And as business owners, I think there are three important conversations we create with the people who have raised their hand and chosen to learn from us. We create the conversation that grow our audience, we create conversations for engagement and interaction, and present people with the opportunity to say yes, and we have conversations for making our offer, right?
So we have something people can buy and we have to create a conversation so they know that it exists and that they can indeed buy it. And when we're marketing, we have to think strategically about how you want people to have these conversations with you, where you want to have these conversations, and what you’re saying. And, by the way, these conversations are integral with your messaging (next month in October, we're going to spend some time talking about thought leadership messaging, and we'll talk about your three word rebellion, your client journey, but all of that is the foundation of your marketing and your sales).
But for now, just remember marketing is about creating conversations with people Getting them to interact with you. Getting them to think about your work and how your work applies to them. How your work could make their life better. For instance, this podcast is a conversation. Now I know I can't be with you in person having coffee, but it is very much a conversation as I record it. And it's also marketing! It's nurturing you. It shows you my point of view and how I see the world. The important point is to be a human being with your marketing. Create a conversation.
And now, it's time to reflect on this conversation about marketing. To figure out what you want to take forward into your business.
Question number one: How does thinking about marketing as a generous, helpful, human act, make you feel about marketing? Does it change anything for you? And how would you show up differently if you thought about marketing as generous, helpful, and human?
Question number two: What conversations do you want to have with your audience? This is always a great question to answer for yourself when you're getting ready for a launch campaign or you're thinking, “Ooh, I could use some more clients.” What conversations do you need to have that you haven't been having recently with your audience?
And number three: What venue would you need to rent to hang out with your community who has already raised their hand and said yes to hearing from you?
I would love to know your answers, especially the answer to the venue ones. So DM me on Instagram and let me know -- my inbox is always open to you. And, before you go, if you love the thought of creating marketing that is human while helping you reach your business goals and you're not entirely sure how to create that marketing plan that does both, I'd love to invite you to my upcoming live, virtual workshop called Marketing Uprising: Create a 30-Day Marketing Plan that Actually Results in Sales. This workshop will take place the week of September 28th. During the workshop, we are going to accomplish four foundational things for your marketing.
First, we're going to connect your marketing with your sales so that your marketing actually leads people to paying you because that's how marketing should work. The second thing we'll be doing is creating content that people will engage with and comment on and they'll feel like, “Wow, you're reading my mind!” and “Get out of my head!” You won't feel like you're wasting time creating stuff that no one reads or responds to. The third is you'll discover your unique content planning style that makes your marketing plan easy to stick to. Yes, there's a quiz. The quiz involves Muppets. It's super fun and applicable to your business, but this is the key to making your marketing plans work. And then finally, we're going to develop a simple marketing plan (simple being the key word) that you'll stick to and that you can rinse and repeat each month and you'll even get my Marketing Uprising planning template as part of this package. So if this sounds good to you, get on the waiting list for Marketing Uprising and you'll be the first to know when I open the 30 spots for enrollment. I hope to see you in the workshop.
Remember, when you go out to market your business, get your ideas into the heads and hearts of the people who need it most, ditch the tactics, be human, be strategic, create conversations, and don't forget to think of each of the human beings you're talking to at the other end of that conversation.
Thank you for listening all the way to the end of the show. Your support means the world to me. Did you know the Rebel Uprising podcast has a quiz that can help you pinpoint the number one way to build an audience of superfans while staying true to your unique personality? We do. And it's called “What's your rebel roadmap to exponential impact and influence,” and you can take it at therebelquiz.com.
If you're loving the podcast, do us a favor rate and leave us a quick five star review wherever you listen to your podcasts. It helps more people like you find the show. Until next week, remember, your ideas matter. And now, get back out there and cause an uprising in your industry. You got this.
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