It’s been a wee while since the last Selling Unique Inspiration article. Apologies.
But also: thanks for sticking around (more on that in a sec).
So, a confession:
Since a new year is beckoning us optimistically forward, I thought it was about time I ‘fessed up and explained my recent extended silence.
One of the reasons is straightforward:
I’ve been crazy busy with client and partner projects. No big deal. But that’s meant I’ve struggled to make time for what this weekly(ish) inspiration article was intended to do:
To inspire you to ‘sell unique’ in YOUR biz… to focus your messaging and marketing on what you do differently, so your best clients and customers understand they can only get that from YOU and nowhere else.
That’s been my goal this past couple of years, and it still is.
I truly believe the way forward for ambitious independent biz-owners – I ain’t here for globe-straddling mega-corps – is to focus on their uniqueness: that combination of skills, style, experience and opinions that nobody else has.
What makes you ‘You’ is what makes people want YOU.
The other reason it’s been kinda quiet around here is this: I recently realised I’d been doing something wrong.
Something too important to ignore any longer.
This realisation happened slowly at first, then suddenly (I like to take things slow, which means sometimes I make Homer Simpson look like Usain Bolt. Nowadays I’m fine with that).
I realised that recently, I’ve not been completely straight with you…
I don’t mean I’ve been lying about anything, or “dealing in alternative facts” or whatever the greedy and powerful call lying these days…
I just mean I’ve not been completely living up to my own advice of late, that of ‘selling unique’ by expressing my own unique value and standing out by being – well, ME – in my messaging.
I’ve held back from saying what I really believe about a lot of things, because often that’s what it felt like ‘marketing’ required of me. It’s a weird industry, and there’s a lot about it that rubs me the wrong way.
I thought that was something I needed to hide. Until I realised I was wrong.
Do you ever feel like you’re playing a role?
It can be fun, right? But then there are times when you want / need to just tear off the mask and get back to being yourself.
That’s kinda where I found myself in the second half of this year.
While figuring out what this meant for my work, I made the decision not to write another post until I knew how to move forward and share inspiration that came from the heart.
I’ve never believed in “content for content’s sake” and I didn’t want to churn out stop-gap stuff like Johnny FunnelBro does when he’s worried about losing leads.
These articles have always been about sharing my perspective in order to help other biz-owners who want to do things their own sweet way too.
And I’ve always been grateful for readers like you, who see things the same way – or are at least open to the idea of seeing online marketing a little differently.
There are approximately 17 zillion marketing-themed blogs you can read, yet at some point you decided to read mine. Thanks! I appreciate your interest. I mean that.
So from now on, I’ve decided it’s time to stop playing the role ‘marketing’ expects from me.
It’s time to focus on some uncomfortable truths I’ve not talked about before…
Screw it, it’s been a long time coming.
The first is this: I am of the firm belief that MOST online marketing is crap.
It’s absolute fucking junk.
And because there’s so much of it, it sometimes feels like we’re surrounded by shallow, junk marketing. That we’re drowning in it, and there’s no end. That’s not the case, but it can FEEL overwhelming.
And that can make it harder for even the most talented, hard-working biz-owners to do good work that gets noticed.
There’s so much ‘gaming the system’ involved with digital marketing right now, as people learn (and teach) how to manipulate an increasing number of platforms and systems – because we’ve become so obsessed with all these different metrics we’re told we need to measure up to.
Remember keyword stuffing? Google caught up to that, and it stopped working. Now there are new ways to ‘game the system’ – probably always will be – but they’re all poor substitutes for genuine communication and connection.
The tech industry is partly responsible for this shiny-object obsession…
With all the new ways we’ve created to do the one-to-many thing, marketers have sometimes overcomplicated things and lost sight of the real goal:
To make better connections with the people they’re here to help.
People value honesty, integrity and a genuine effort to connect. They always have, and always will (despite what the various horrors of 2020 may suggest).
That’s why for me, the message will ALWAYS be more important than the medium
And now, I want to help you create better messaging that truly CONNECTS with the people you’re aiming to help, with a focus on honesty, integrity – and yes, even entertainment.
There are ways to do that but they will require us to think and act differently.
I’m excited about that, in a way I never get excited about an(other) new content automation platform or ‘social media hack’. I’m supposed to be into that stuff, “Because marketing”, but honestly? It’s not what inspires me.
Message > Medium. And if you feel the same way…
From now on I want to help independent biz-owners like you make MORE and BETTER connections with the people you want to help – using honest, personal, fun communication.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey. Stay tuned, or even better, sign up to my email list at the bottom of this post.
Ok, more to come on the what’s and how’s next time, but for now I’ll leave you with two things to consider:
First, I think there’s a very real danger we as entrepreneurs can lose sight of the people we’re here to help, the lives we’re hoping to change, if we follow the masses of shallow, attention-seeking (but not attention-keeping) marketing ‘hacks’ that don’t actually benefit those people.
Blindly copying the latest tricks and ‘tactics’ might make marketers’ lives easier (sometimes), but entrepreneurs looking to satisfy a deeper purpose want something more. Something better.
That’s why secondly, I think things are actually looking up for independent biz-owners, because we CAN and WILL do better.
The world is full of people who need our help to get where they want to go. And yes, they’re also prepared to pay us for our guidance, our products, our services, because these are people who understand value.
They’re not looking for freebies, or handouts, or the cheapest version of everything available at any cost. They’re looking for help.
They’re looking for someone who will stand up for what they believe in, who won’t automate every single possible interaction in order to avoid spending time talking to or thinking about the people they claim they to want to help.
They’re looking for someone who has ‘ideas’, not just ‘tactics’.
They’re looking for you.
And we’re going to help them find you, together. If you’re up for that, stick around. It’s gonna be fun.