Within the first year of my business, I reached a monthly sales revenue of $10,000 and by the third year, my revenue was $350,000. As a solopreneur, mostly selling my own online courses.
Back then, it was all thanks to affiliate marketing. (Some people call it JV or joint venture, strategic alliances, or referral partnerships. These days, it’s often called influencer marketing.)
Yet, after a few years, I was speaking out against affiliate marketing.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why I got disillusioned by the method that made me so much money, and why, in the past few years, I’ve come to a more moderate position.
Here’s an attempt to simply explain my whole marketing strategy….
There are 3 stages for every authentic business:
At each stage:
The Goal: Quantity of Quality
The Method: Rhythm of Testing
The Values: Authenticity of Caring
Let’s get into the details....
Some marketing experts are always trying to get you loads of “traffic” or want you focus on “list-building.”
Their language suggests that they may be seeing people as a means to an end —bigger list, sales, profit —rather than caring directly for the people.
What if we focus on serving the right "people" instead of always getting more “traffic”? This shift in language helps us to focus on real human beings.
A focus on traffic and list-building makes us do things that feel inauthentic. Instead, what an authentic business needs is:
In marketing, we usually learn about the importance of getting people’s attention. To try to stand out, be better looking, be more charming and/or more aggressive.
Yet, I’m not trying to stand out. If anything, I’m trying to blend in. I know that my ideal audience will spot me, even in a sea of social media posts.
Being flashy tends to get unwanted attention, which makes it harder over time to be authentic, and to wade through the many people to find and connect with our true fans.
A client of mine showed me a marketer teaching us to use visual interruption to get an audience’s attention. Although it works, it's not something I want to do. I’d rather do the opposite: blend into the crowd so that only the ideal members of my audience will recognize a kindred spirit in me.
A reader wishes she had found me sooner, but had been searching for terms like “conscious marketing” or “heart-centered marketing” rather than “authentic marketing”.
What about you? What term(s) would you have expected to use to find my work? I’d love to know. Add a comment below this video.
Perhaps others are looking for: spiritual marketing or selling with integrity or even organic marketing.
Whatever the terms are, here are some of the key principles…
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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