As I was promoting the event, a realization dawned on me. It triggered a reflection on how we may be unintentionally swimming in the same stew doing the same thing while getting our voice stifled and our creativity trapped.
This article is a call to put more intention into the way we market our products and services – because our actions inform how we perceive ourselves, which affects how we think and act subsequently.
A fraction of a degree off course and you could end up at a completely destination over a long journey.
It started with a conversation with a seasoned entrepreneur who had built several businesses, including coaching/consulting and technology.
We talked about the fatigue and skepticism that’s growing around all the marketing and promotional tactics flooding our space right now.
The blueprints and formulas that make everybody sound the same.
The hype that lures newcomers in the door with big promises of rainbows, unicorns and magic bullets; The churn and burn to make room for the next wave of new prospects.
I’m on the list of several “big wigs” in the “coaching” space (just to keep my ears on the ground) and I noticed how they’re pumping out the same cycles of content year in year out launching the same programs – some of them twice or three times a year!
They don’t even bother with new content… *sigh*
If you’ve read the last round(s) of launch sequence and you didn’t buy…
then we’ll just put you through another round until you sign up or f— off.
[ side note: and don’t get me started on those “my friend and colleague so and so is gifting my followers this ebook” emails – it feels like the usual suspects lock themselves in a room, divvy up the calendar and decide how to collectively bombard us until we cave in. ]
This churn and burn fatigue is getting worse. The cycles are getting shorter. Some marketers don’t even bother to build relationship with their audience.
They may pay lip service to providing value… but we can smell clone-drone marketing from miles away. Might as well just go straight in for the kill.
The intention back in the beginning is threadbare – the collection of motions we’re going through has been stripped of its meaning. It’s hurting all of us.
The “rinse and repeat” makes not-giving-a-shit ok and encourages intellectual laziness rather than evolution and innovation.
I don’t care how sparkly the sales pages are. I care about what comes up at the other end. That’s what I see and hear – from the trenches, boots on the ground:
People get dumped out of the hamster wheel – dizzy, dazed, frazzled; feeling like a loser who takes 4 steps forward and 3 steps back, and not knowing what to do with themselves.
This is not right. We can’t expect to get the whole “running a businesses” thing in just a year or two. (By that I mean really get it, not regurgitating jargons or reciting feel-good fluff.)
Yet this is the “life-cycle” of getting sucked into the machine, got churned and burned then spat out with a scattered bunch of tactics without the experience or perspective to tie them into a cohesive whole.
Leaving those with big ideas and good intention disillusioned, deflated and often out of funds.
We’re done with those 4-video launches, 5-email sequences, 6-figure sound bytes and funnels with a dozen up-sell, cross-sell and down-sell permutations.
I’ve tried them. Sacrificing my voice and seeing the same thing happening to others made me sad.
I wish I had a “solution.” I’m in as much of a pickle as everyone else.
If not more. Because somewhere along the way I’ve fallen in love with clarity, discernment and words…
Not only to do everything with utmost intentionality, but also to express the intention undiluted and unapologetically.
We’ve been around the block a few times. We’re done with the cookie-cutter BS and ready to do something differently – with clear intention to create meaning.
We’re in the gap where the old is wearing out and the new hasn’t fully emerged.
We’re stuck with the same “formats” we’ve grown to be skeptical about.
So much so that sometimes I resist taking action because I feel like I’m just going through the motion.
I don’t want to be pessimistic. I don’t want to throw in the towel.
Yet sometimes, it feels like there’s nothing new under the sun and cutting through the clutter has become a futile exercise in fighting with myself.
I’ve spent a good part of the year “detoxing” from the “how things are supposed to be done.” Maybe the questioning and self-scrutiny only made life harder.
Of course the format of delivery shouldn’t be the hurdle. I want to believe that intention and messaging are what matter.
Alas, amidst all the noise and distraction, we’ve built mental shortcuts to survive. We’re conditioned to tune out.
While we may still have to work with the same mode of expression for the time being, I believe we can get behind on what’s emerging:
Less information, more conversation…
… for how we communicate, and how we’re being communicated to.
Lead with our action, vote with our response.
Wake up, be discerning (no 60-minute webinar can give you the magic bullet to get all the clients you want while sipping cocktails by the pool) and don’t insult your audience’s intelligence.
Don’t spoon-feed your audience stuff that some blueprint or formula say you have to say. If you don’t buy it, why should your peeps?
I started out in the “coaching world” but I never take to those cookie cutter promotional tactics.
The fake scarcity. The “you have to invest a boatload in yourself or you’re a loser.” The “you’re not serious about succeeding if you don’t pull our your credit card now.”
Making people feel like crap, inadequate, wrong – using guilt to talk them into buying more stuff.
Hiding behind the disguise of “being of service” while pulling the fears and scarcity trigger mercilessly.
Most of us are swimming in this same stew, reading the same stuff and letting the same emails eat at us.
What if we step outside of the box and ask better questions?
As I take on more content strategy and copywriting projects for businesses of different sizes, I realized I no longer want to play in the same sandbox.
Break out of the echo chamber.
Step back for a broader perspective.
Go back to asking – what matters?
For me, I want to look at things differently, write about them, share my 0.02 with a great audience with a fresh perspective and work with clients who appreciate the co-creation process.
I want to spend more time writing what matters for my clients, and less time getting sucked into hyping sh*t up.
And at the end of the day, feel good about it…
… Because I don’t have to hide behind layers of robotic expressions just so my truth doesn’t hurt anyone, nor would anyone hurt my truth.
What’s your take?
Agree? Disagree? Somewhere in-between?
I’d love to hear from you. I want to know how you see where it’s all heading. Leave a comment here and let me know.
Ling Wong :: Intuitive Brainiac | Creativity Mentor | Copywriting Alchemist. Through her unique blend of marketing coaching, content strategy and copywriting process, 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 free WEBSITE COPY ALCHEMY video here.