aka Stop Being “Holier Than Thou”
Earlier this week, I read an article about how young women are “revolting” against “clean eating” and posting photos of themselves indulging in “unhealthy” foods.
I’m not here to debate whether it’s a reactionary statement to all the “raw foods” and “green juice” stuff posted by celebrities that has been saturating social media for the past few years.
That article, coupled with my trip to Santa Monica this week, where I lived for 4.5 years – has provoked some thoughts around marketing and selling from a personal perspective.
Back in 2011, my husband and I relocated from NYC with our then 15-mo-old to Santa Monica.
I was done with cubicle-ville – pulled the plug and started my health coaching business.
Everyone thought I must be in heaven. There’s a vibrant health and wellness community in the area. People are health conscious. There’re farmers’ market, health food co-op and raw food communities.
I dived right in. But soon, I felt out of place.
Some of the folks I met had a “holier than thou” attitude…
Really, you aren’t vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free?!! Really??!
You haven’t done a juice fast/detox for 6 months?
Wait, you gotta have a reverse-osmosis filter that ionizes your water… otherwise you’re DOOMED!
Avoid diary product, unless it’s made from unhomogenized raw milk produced within 50 miles from here!
I’m in good shape. And I pay attention to what I eat. (I run 8 miles at 8:10”/mi -ish pace almost daily, without an extra blink even in 95 degree heat.)
I don’t want to get judged and be told that I should be drinking organic wine with no sulfur when I just want to get sh*tfaced with 3 bottles of two-buck-chuck and watch trashy sci-fi movies.
I’m still that girl who loves to scarf down a pound of pulled pork and brisket when I come across famous pits, and eat all the guys under the table with my famous “hollow leg” (that’s where they thought I store the food…)
I see no joy in saying no to fresh cronuts, fluffy waffles or sizzling bacon with a tall glass of mimosa (easy on the juice please!) when weekend brunch beckons, or my good ol’ signature molten chocolate cake when it tickles.
Nobody wants to be judged.
Nobody wants to be around those who make her feel “wrong.”
When you make people feel like crap, you may convince them to adopt your point-of-view (POV) temporarily. Buy your product, once. Join your program, once.
But you know full well that it’s not going to last.
When your POV is not in alignment with their values or beliefs, your recommended course of action is not going to resonate nor yield sustainable or meaningful results for them.
Most of us have bought products or programs because some sales copy made us feel inadequate, guilty or “wrong” and gave us the impression that we need to buy that whatever cantaloupe widget to fix the problem or even ourselves.
Yet more often than not we let the program/training/cantaloupe widget sit on our hard drive and couldn’t bring ourselves to implement, let alone get results.
It’s not that the strategies and tactics aren’t sound. It’s more likely that because the approach and worldview are different from our own, and the misalignment doesn’t inspire us to take action and create meaningful results.
It’s nobody’s fault. The fact that I’m different from you doesn’t make you or me wrong.
It takes a lot of awareness to be truly inclusive and open-minded. Not open-minded according to what “open-minded” people should look and sound like.
It doesn’t mean you’ve to be plain vanilla so you don’t offend anybody.
The first thing I tell my clients is to have a POV. If they aren’t willing to step up and put a stake in the ground, they’re fired.
One of my favorite exercises to get clients to draw the line in the sand so they can nail their unique positioning is to ask – what would I say or do, if I were to offend XYZ (who are most likely “authorities” that hold some “holier than thou” opinions.)
While having a POV, we also need to acknowledge that
our unique POV is just one perspective.
We do what’s TRUE for ourselves, and we also allow others to do what’s true for them.
If your POV resonates with a community, they’re your people. They’ll be naturally drawn to you because you’re YOU.
It’s not fair for others to make you conform to their POV, and it’s not fair either to be “holier than thou” and make others feel bad when they don’t share your opinions – even if you’re an expert in your field.
(hmm… like building a wall…??! Not to get into all the brutality and craziness happening these days, but just imagine everyone having a tad more tolerance and awareness that it’s ok to agree to disagree…)
We don’t have to make others wrong, or feel like crap, in order to convince them that they need to buy our stuff to make themselves “right.”
Strong-arming people into buying your products or services by making them feel judged, criticized or scrutinized can backfire.
If you’re clear about YOUR values, beliefs and convictions, and communicate them congruently, those who share the same perspectives will be drawn to you.
When your clients share your POV, they can use your products and services in the most effective way possible. They get results, and you get loyal clients who spread the word for you. Win-win.
Write from a place of compassion. Invite conversation.
Being a thought leader or an expert doesn’t mean you’ve to communicate your idea in a “my way or the highway” manner, putting yourself on the pedestal.
The fear of not being good enough, and/or the fear of being criticized drive us to become defensive and put up a wall that prevents us from creating resonance with our audience.
Instead of convincing those who have a different worldview that they need your stuff by using tactics that aren’t in alignment with YOU (which is a lot of work anyway,) why not speak to the inkling of those who shares your Truth… let them know that you’re there for them. Let them know that you share their POV. Let them know that they can be successful by sticking with what’s true for them.
When you can stop making others wrong for not having the same POV as you do, you also develop the awareness that will help you become discerning and selective (and “immune”) to all the trainings, programs, tools and resources that promise to solve all your “pain and sufferings.”
You develop the awareness that other’s “success formula” are not “absolute.” They may not be true for you. What work for the creators – their unique circumstances, personality and strengths – may not work for you.
You’re not wrong if you don’t follow what they say you should do. You’re not incompetent if you aren’t getting results “as advertised.”
You develop the confidence that will support you to find the most suitable and powerful expression for your talents, experiences and superpowers – an expression that most resonates with your community – and get off the marketing hamster wheel for good.
[ Finding the most powerful expression to your POV is as important as having one. Your great idea isn’t doing us any good if it’s just swirling in your head. See how you can create content that truly communicate your value, convictions and superpowers in this free WEBSITE COPY ALCHEMY training video. ]
Ling Wong :: Intuitive Brainiac | Copywriting Alchemist. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching/consulting with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts – by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years experience in the online marketing industry.
Get her brand new WEBSITE COPY ALCHEMY video here.