If you’re building an online business as an expert, coach, or personal brand, you’re actually building a marketing business.
Holy marketing tactics, Batman! What? I know it sounds shocking, but it’s the truth.
You could be the best business coach, health coach, thought leader, copywriter, bookkeeper, or beer brewer out there, but if no one knows about you, your skills will go to waste cause you won’t have any customers. Uh, that’s not cool, so let’s make sure you know how to market your online business the right way.
If you’re feeling hesitant about stepping into your role as a marketer… it’s probably because you have a distorted view of what marketing actually is.
I mean, if you listen to the way most people in the online space are teaching things, you’d think marketing basically means being the worst kind of infomercial pitchman out there… or worse yet, a high-pressure icky salesperson.
But before you throw your hands up in despair, I’ve got some good news to share with you. That crap is NOT marketing, and I’m not here telling you that you have to do ANY of that crap. In fact, marketing the right way is really about not resorting to gimmicks or icky sales tactics.
If you’re ready to learn how to market your business in a way that feels right, click here to get access to my FREE online marketing program, BADA$$ Online Marketing University. This program will help you learn how to build and market your online business.
This post is about questioning the status quo of online marketing and laying the groundwork for another way. So let’s talk about what it means to market your online business the right way.
Marketing The WRONG Way – The Selling Approach
Before we dig into the right way to market, let’s talk about why what most people in the online space are teaching is actually dead wrong.
Tell me if this sounds familiar…
When you entered the online space, someone told you that you HAVE to create a scalable product like a course, membership site, or group program. But then they told you that no one is out looking for these products, so you have to market to create demand for your product.
The “secret” strategies, launches with limited open-cart periods, and scarcity-based evergreen funnels that people are pushing are about creating demand and getting people to buy.
Problem is… this advice is based on an outdated theory of marketing. The theory of using marketing to create demand (called the “selling concept” of marketing) went out of vogue with professional marketers in the 1960s.
No, seriously! Most online entrepreneurs are building their businesses based on marketing advice that is only about 60 years out of date.
If that sounds like a good plan to you… I’ve got some ocean-front property in Arizona that I’d like to sell you.
The Problem With Selling
Professional marketers recognized long ago that the selling approach leads to bad experiences for your customers. And especially so if you’re selling to create demand. When you focus on selling to create demand, you will inevitably have many of the wrong people buy your products.
The conventional online marketing model feeds this cycle. The open/closed cart approach and scarcity-based evergreen models are built on manufacturing urgency to create FOMO (fear of missing out) to get people to buy… and to buy on the company’s timeline rather than the audience member’s timeline.
Think about that for a second… we are being taught to manufacture a situation so that we can prey on a negative emotion to convince people to buy.
We are taught to do this because it can work, at least over the short term. Humans tend to make decisions based on emotions rather than logic, so this manufactured urgency tactic can be extremely effective in getting people to pull out their credit card to buy.
The problem is that convincing people to buy before they are ready is a recipe to create unsatisfied customers over the long term. People who might have been brand advocates if you’d allowed them to buy at the right time will warn people to not buy your product.
Even people who don’t buy can be left with a bad taste in their mouth as a result of the hard-sell approach. Ask yourself how you feel after dealing with a pushy salesperson… it probably doesn’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy about the brand.
These are just some of the reasons that professional marketers moved away from the sales-heavy approach to marketing in the 1960s.
Maybe now that it’s 2021, it’s time for us online entrepreneurs to ditch this approach too.
Market Your Online Business The RIGHT Way – Relationship Marketing Approach
For the last five years, I’ve watched the selling approach chew up and spit out countless hopeful entrepreneurs. That’s NOT cool with me. Rather than stay in the echo chamber… it’s time to look outside and question the status quo.
Maybe you’re wondering what it means to market the right way. Luckily, there is an answer that we can find from professional marketers (aka marketers outside the online echo chamber). The best news is that the professional approach aligns with my core values and ditches the outdated tactics.
Professional marketers moved from a selling focus to a marketing focus in the 1960s. That means that instead of trying to create demand for your products… you create products that meet existing demand. In other words, stop selling and start offering products you don’t really need to sell.
More recently, professional marketers have focused on a concept that’s variously known as “holistic marketing” or “relationship marketing.” The core idea behind the concept is that your marketing should focus on building relationships with your customers, your peers in the industry, your team, other market participants, and even the world at large.
Although some of the elements don’t translate directly to most of us online marketers (I mean… most of us don’t have to worry about “supplier relationships”), the core concepts do translate. The core components are:
-Commit To Lead An Audience
-Connect With Your Audience
-Convert Your Audience
When you apply these elements consistently, you’ll be marketing the right way.
Commit, Connect, And Convert
The pillars aren’t complicated, but that doesn’t mean this way is easy. Building a lasting business requires something from you. It’s not just about making the most money possible but about leading well, building relationships, and genuinely serving over the long term.
When you commit, you commit to lead an audience. There’s already enough noise on the internet. There’s no need for more people parroting the same ideas. Committing to lead is about having an idea that sets you apart from your everyone else out there. What can you contribute based on your expertise and experience? What frustrates you in your niche?
Connecting with your audience is about finding the people who need to hear your message and showing up as yourself. It’s NOT about endless self-promotion. No one wants to hang out with people who are always trying to sell them something. Instead, people want to connect with people who are positive, helpful, and supportive.
Here’s the catch. If you commit and connect, converting will be much easier. You won’t need complicated funnels and ninja tactics. Instead, you can (at least metaphorically) just say: “Here’s my stuff… do you want it?” And the answer will be yes. Effectively, selling becomes effortless when you put in the work upfront.
Good marketing (commit, connect, convert) leads to more sales and creates long-term goodwill that creates lifetime customers.
Resources To Help You Market Your Online Business
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably discouraged by the marketing practices in the online business space. But you can be part of the solution. It’s time for more people to question the status quo practices and instead prove that you can build a thriving online business without questionable marketing tactics.
If you’re tired of gimmicks and are ready to market your online business the right way, you need to join my FREE program BADA$$ Online Marketing University. This is my signature program, and it’s completely FREE. No strings attached. It’s my answer to death by a thousand courses, my way of practicing radical giving in my business, and my way of helping other entrepreneurs succeed.