Note: since I made this video, I have added a section to the end of this post on vulnerability’s place in your marketing communication… so scroll down and read on :)
A few months ago I got a newsletter from this “big name” business coach for coaches on how she is chucking her “award-winning” newsletter format (that she came up with, and everyone seemed to be copying for a while and looked like a bunch of clones) so she could be more “personal.”
I thought, great, well, finally. It’s about time that she get out of that stale format (with pink and purple and stars and curves stuff) and do something gutsy. Something personal. Something vulnerable. Something real. Something to punch a hole in her “love and light, ease and grace, divine feminine” veil.
A couple of months went by… first when I saw emails from her in my inbox, I opened with much anticipation for something innovative and different.
She ditched that “newsletter format” alright, but what resulted was more canned than before.
Behind the “personal and vulnerable” subject line was “watch this video series (in which I will pitch you something at the end)” or “buy ticket to that event (because it’s the last time I will be doing it… hmm, under this title)”
Or, canned swipe copy “my friend and colleague so and so is having this great free training” (that will put you through the PLF 4-video formula.)
The content lost any trace of real human touch. It felt scripted – scripted to sound personal. No matter how love and light it sounds, it screams the ulterior motive of pushing some product or program.
It raises goose bumps in me, and not in a good way.
Because she pretty much runs the same promo every year, the content feels deja vu to say the least. Nothing fresh, nothing groundbreaking.
It’s a model I have seen with some other big wig “marketers” and “coaches” who mostly just keep pushing people into “funnels.” Sure, the content is valuable, but it also feels “hit and run” – if you don’t buy, I don’t have much interest in having you around for the long-run. Next round you get the same video, you know it’s time to leave the party.
I don’t have problem with that model per se, and if the content and sales pitch are communicated in alignment with the personality of the marketer it’s just fine by me – to each his own and selling is not a crime. These funnels are complex and those guys are smart, and I respect that.
My rant here is that this person is saying one thing and doing another. What turns me off is the misaligned energy behind the communication. I see a mask, and I no longer want to read or buy stuff from those who wear one (or eventually become one big mask.)
You can push me through the same “funnel” or “launch series” 5 times, but if it doesn’t resonate, IT DOESN’T no matter how many more times you send me that same video. You get annoying if you keep repeating yourself… even if you made a new one this year wearing a different dress.
If I am going to buy your stuff, I want to feel that you care. I want to know that you give a shit… I know 95% of your subscribers are just a number on your list, but at least make me feel like you have put some thoughts into your writing (not your marketing strategy) – the WORDS that you communicate with DO matter.
Please make an effort to connect and treat me as something more than a blip on your InfusionSoft radar.
And btw, if you use swipe copy without a hint of your personality, or make the effort to write about why YOU recommend the thing, I don’t think you give much of a crap about your “friend and colleague” other than his/her list size and the affiliate commission.
Maybe you should go back to that stale newsletter format, at least I get to see your horse and read some 5-ways 7-tips that are rehashed only 50% of the time.
On Vulnerability and Authenticity in Marketing Communication
I have seen too much manufactured vulnerability from the “gurus” lately… and feel “cheated” by the emotions that are being tossed around for marketing purpose.
Vulnerability is a great way to connect with your potential clients on a personal and emotional level, to fast track trust in our relationships.
Question is – what “level” of vulnerability is appropriate in the business and marketing context for us coaches, mentors, consultants, and change agents?
Spilling your guts on the page, ranting and whining in an uncensored manner when you are in the midst of a crisis is NOT constructive.
Your business blog is not a pity party.
If you are in the midst of it, and don’t feel that you can take a step back to write from a place of service, then step back from the keyboard.
If you are in the midst of it, and feel that you CAN see your crisis from a wider perspective (this can be a very powerful experience for your readers), or if you have dug yourself out and want to share the experience – then use these questions to filter your content:
- What can the readers get out of me sharing this experience?
- What can they learn from it? How can I translate my personal experience into something that addresses a broader context?
- Why is this lesson relevant to the results and transformation I create for my clients?
Over to you – are your communication in alignment with your value? Is there anywhere in your marketing and communication that you are wearing a mask, because others are doing so?
What’s your ONE cohesive message, and how are you communicating it in a way congruent to your value and personality?
Leave a comment, share your thoughts (yes, you are allowed to rant!)
Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling has the superpowers to help her clients optimize the space between individuality + originality vs. “tried-and-true” marketing so they can express their WHY unapologetically and profitably without reinventing the wheel.
Find Ling and grab her free “How to Find YOUR Winning Formula” Training Series here.