Make Marketing Suck Less

The Three Things You Control In Your Business


Confession. I'm a bit of a control freak.

Control is something we are socialized to do. We are told that we are the masters of our destiny! the captains of our ship! and we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps!

And in reality – in a business – there are so many things that are out of our control, like whether:

  • A prospective client says yes,
  • You land a podcast interview or a TEDx talk,
  • People open our emails,
  • The algorithm shows people a social media post you spent an hour writing.

Even though so much is out of our control, we do control the moments when the ball is still in our proverbial courts:

>>What we say during sales conversation
>>The content of a pitch we send
>>The subject line for our emails

For the overlooked experts among us, what you and I control is the key to creating demand for your offers and expertise.

It's critical to become known by the right people so your work is valued and people want to hire you.

So what do we control? That’s what we’re talking about today.

(Click play or read the transcript below.)

In this episode, we discuss:

  • how control and uncertainty work in business
  • the importance of crafting and controlling your messaging
  • choosing how to market and sell your expertise
  • taking control by experimenting with marketing strategies
  • understanding the limitations of control in business

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:

Resources mentioned:

Listen on your favorite podcast player or read the Transcript below:

Michelle Mazur [00:00:00]: Confession. I'm a bit of a control freak. Really? I think it's something you and I are socialized to do. We are told that we are the masters of our destiny, the captains of our ship, and we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.

And the reality, in a business, there's so many things that are out of our control, like whether a prospective client says yes, whether we land a podcast interview or a TEDx talk, whether people open our emails or the algorithm decides to show people a social media post you spent an hour writing.

Even though so much is out of our control, we do control the moments where the ball is still in our proverbial courts. What we say during sales conversations, the content of a pitch we send, the subject line for our emails, we control all of that. And for the overlooked experts among us, what you and I control is the key to creating demand for your offers and expertise.

It's critical to becoming known by the right people so your work is valued and people wanna hire you. So what do we control? That's what we're talking about on this episode of the podcast. So let's dive in.

Michelle Mazur [00:01:39]: Welcome to Make Marketing Suck Less. The podcast that knows marketing is freaking hard, especially when you're a solo business owner trying to juggle it all. I'm your host, Dr. Michelle Mazur, author of the 3 Word Rebellion and founder of the Expert Up Club. Forget the latest marketing fads and tactics promising social media stardom. I'm here with research-backed strategies to help you clarify your message and get twice as effective with your marketing. And while I can't promise you'll ever love marketing, I'm here. to make you hate it a tiny bit less.

Michelle Mazur [00:02:19]: I have a hypothesis that most experts are control freaks because we love certainty. We want to know that if we put our time and effort and energy into something, that it will work. And also, we can be a bit perfectionistic with our work but that’s for a completely other podcast.

One of the first communication theories I ever learned is called Uncertainty Reduction Theory by Berger and Calvarys in 1975. I used to call this theory the no shit Sherlock theory of communication because it says when two people meet, they want to reduce the uncertainty between them because it allows them to predict the other person's behavior. So basically, we wanna get to know people so we can predict what they're going to do. However, this theory has value for us as business owners because we're dealing with people and so there is uncertainty there. But there's also a lot of uncertainty in your business.

Michelle Mazur [00:03:35]: Let's face it. Business is a risky proposition because you're trying to predict whether or not people will buy from you, and your financial well-being rides on that. No wonder why we want to know something will work or try to control the outcome. But here's the deal, you can't control whether a launch will work or if it will flop. You can't control if an organization will say yes to your proposal or a prospective client says yes to working 1x 1 with you. And yes, there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of success and reduce your uncertainty and risk, but there aren't any guarantees. However, experts do have control of what happens before we make the offer or send the proposal or email our list. We control three big areas.

Michelle Mazur [00:04:40]: Our message, shocking, I know, coming from me, how we choose to market and the experiments we choose to run. So let's talk about messaging first because you have the ultimate control over crafting your message. I believe that experts think people should just get why their expertise matters to others because it matters deeply to us. We have spent so much time and energy developing this expertise, the skill, this mastery. It's something that we love. And when people don't get it or see the value in it, it's frustrating. And I know I have felt that frustration too. I studied communication because it's the foundation of culture, relationships and business. If you can’t communicate, you can’t have culture. And people think that just because they have a pie hole and can flap their lips together, that communication is somehow super easy.

Michelle Mazur [00:05:54]: And really, there's nothing easy about having another person understand what you are saying and act. It's why messaging is mission critical for your business. After you create your offer, you have to figure out what to say in order to have people see how your offer benefits them. And that's hard for us experts as you and I'd rather geek out on what we do, work with your clients, or even learn more about what interests you, then figuring out what your marketing message is. Communicating why your expertise benefits others is the not so secret secret of going from seemingly invisible to in demand. And the best part is you control the message. You get to create it. You get to tweak it as much as you like until it gets the right response.

What else do you control? How you market and sell. But before we talk about that, let's take a quick break.

Michelle Mazur [00:07:13]: If you feel like that overlooked expert who is flying under the radar and wants to create demand for your work while doing less marketing, the Expert Up Club might be for you. In this curated community, we market less by figuring out exactly what works for you, your business and your sanity. We market better by making your message matter more to the people who want to hire you and we do it together because growing a business and an audience is easier with a community of co-conspirators supporting you along the way. Wanna join us in the club? Your first step is to open up the podcast app and click on this episode and click the link to book a private tour of the Expert Up Club with me. Or you can always go to expert and book your tour. I can't wait to show you around. Now, back to the show.

Michelle Mazur [00:08:13]: The second thing we control in business is you control how you market and sell. The past couple of episodes, we've talked about why most marketing programs don't work for experts. They were designed for people who are one step ahead of their clients or are 10% smarter than their clients And that is not you. And because experts don't know where else to go to learn marketing, to learn how to message and talk about their business, we end up using marketing tactics that just don't fit you, that somehow make you feel less than because you know your stuff. And at the end of the day, what most programs are teaching you will not be aligned with your values or how you can best show up and own your expertise. So if you take nothing else from this podcast, take this. Stop Doing Marketing You Hate.

Michelle Mazur [00:09:24]: Stop giving your agency over to the web celebs who don't understand your business, your clients, or how your brain works. You are in control of how you want to market your business. And that way of marketing is going to be unique to you and your business. So drop the tactics that don't work. Experiment to find out what works. And that brings me to my third and final point of what you control,

Michelle Mazur [00:10:04]: Experiments. Something that always surprises me when I talk to experts is that they aren't sure what's working to generate leads in their business. And while I'm surprised, I want to say it's not your fault.

Very few people talk about how to know what works, where you can find endless information about how to create an Instagram reel, write a hook, do a webinar, you won't find very much information on how to test if that reel is actually working for your business or it is just wasting your time. This is where experiments come in because everything in business is an experiment. So for instance, last year, I did a LinkedIn experiment. It went for 6 months. I tried to post 3 times a week, would interact for about 30 minutes a day. Most weeks, some weeks were a little, you know, you get busy. You're juggling a lot. At the end of 6 months, I wanted to see if this experiment would grow my list and it did bupkis for my email list growth.

Michelle Mazur [00:11:16]: So I decided just to let it go and try a different way to grow my list and my audience. But that gave me power to understand what is working and ditch it when it did not. That is control. Gathering the data you need to make decisions about how to market will make your marketing suck less. That way, you can ditch what doesn't work and double down on what does. There is so very little that we control in our business. We can't control other people, whether they see our marketing even, (thanks, algorithms) or whether they buy from us. But before we hit send on a proposal, there is so much that we can do to control the message, discover how we want to market and figure out what's working. And that will make marketing so much easier in your business.

Michelle Mazur [00:12:37]: If the Make Marketing Suck Less pod is making your marketing more effective so that your clients can find and hire you, please share the show with a friend. The easiest way to do that is through pod link. You can find the show at, and that page will allow anyone you share the show with to subscribe and start listening in their favorite podcast player.


The Make Marketing Suck Less podcast is a production of Communication Rebel. Our production coordinator is Jessica Gulley-Ward. The podcast is edited by Steven Mills, our executive producer is me, Dr. Michelle Mazur.

The make marketing suck less podcast is recorded on the unseated traditional lands of the coast salish peoples, specifically the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish people, original stewards of the land, past, and present.

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