A colleague asked why I qualify “marketing” with “authentic” — what do I mean by authentic marketing?
In all ways, authentic marketing is about not pretending.
To be truthful about where we are in our journey, instead of suggesting that we are farther along, to try to impress. Or in our content, pretending that we are more polished than we usually are when we're with clients.
Let’s apply this at 2 levels:
Are there practices or advice within your industry that you disagree with?
Every industry, every field of expertise, has practices and ideas that aren't helpful, and can even be harmful.
When you bring to light such less-than-effective practices, solutions, advice, conventional wisdom -- without mentioning/demonizing any particular company or individuals -- you will bring relief and validation to those who have been harmed by such practices.
And, you'll help to prevent additional harm (or wasted time) for the people in your audience who are seeking help.
I’ll start with my industry...
“George, how do I grow my email list”?
“Well, why do you want it?”
“Because I’ve heard marketing experts say that this is the most important thing to do in marketing...”
I've been around marketing experts for years. The real reason is: “We want to grow an email list because we want an audience we can reliably communicate with.”
It sounds obvious, but it's an important distinction, when we switch the question from “How to build an email list?” to “How to build an engaged audience?”
To grow your audience, create better content.
To create better content, you need to practice creating more content.
To create more content, you need to get over the fear of your audience.
When you are afraid to make content, whose judgmental voice or look are you thinking of?
Don’t make your content for that person/group. Make it only with your true fans in mind — they love you no matter what.
Think about this:
“Do what you love” …vs… “Offer what they want”
Here's a common idea among solopreneurs:
“If I have a passion for something, then there must be enough other people with that passion, which means I can build a viable business.”
Building a business on passion alone takes a lot longer than you might think. You have to look far and wide for individuals with that specific passion as you. Or, you have to build an online audience from scratch and educate them until they really "get" why you're so passionate about it.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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