Breaking Free from ‘The Right Way’ in Marketing Ep.04

The Right Way to do Marketing

In today’s episode I’m dismantling the myth of the “right way” in marketing.

Discover why chasing a singular, elusive path to success can lead to self-doubt and disempowerment.  If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by conflicting marketing strategies, this episode offers a fresh perspective on finding your unique path forward.

I want you to finish this episode knowing you have an inner compass and learning to trust your entrepreneurial instincts.

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Show Notes Breaking Free from 'The Right Way' in Marketing Ep.04

Before we get started today, I’m taking you back a couple years to when I was a high-achieving student all through school. I was a kid who never had to study to get a top grade. Teach me a concept, give me an example, give me a practice question and I can give you the right answer.

AH!! And the feeling of getting those checkmarks – of getting the right answer – so good, right?

There Isn’t a Right Answer in Marketing

That premise of being the person that got the answers right has NOT served me as an entrepreneur – if anything it has set me up for failure.

Whether it is subtle and implicit or an in-your-face message in business that there is a right answer – and that’s the BIGGEST crock of shit.

And, yes there are marketing coaches and online experts teaching people to market their solution as the “best, only, right, singularly valuable way of being able to get the thing you want (success, soul-mate clients, income that sustains your lifestyle, etc).

If we simply look at the evidence: Each and every way that you’re being told is the “best, right only way” is different that the next “right, best, only way.” They can not all be the best way.

And the right way…

  • to where?
  • from where?
  • based on what experience?
  • framed around what values?

ALL really good questions to ask. 

Start with Being Discerning 

So, how can you discern what marketing strategy you could pursue or whether this or that platform, place or space is the right one for you to plant your flag?

Before I share the three steps I have for you, first I want to caution you about what to look out for. Because there are feelings that may have you leaning toward and feelings that I see you may want to lean away.

Most people who are presenting you with a marketing strategy, structure, process, system have created it based on what has worked for them and (some) of their clients – and the premise is that it will work for you too. Fine. Good.

Sometimes, there is context that’s missing that you need to decide if this strategy, plan, platform is for you like

  • skills
  • tools
  • background, and
  • support

are needed to be able to implement the system or strategy that they’re presenting you with

This is not necessarily kept from you with a malicious intent, but just that they haven’t done the deep work to be able to tease that apart in their own model – or they haven’t looked. Sometimes they blame the client. This sounds like ”they didn’t do the work”,  rather than wondering, what wasn’t in place for them to be able to do the work?

This is how the Courageous Marketing Model emerged, because I could see the assumption within many marketing programs was that people had the underlying safety needed to share their work in the world and all they need is information. And, in fact more information is not always need or indeed helpful. I shared about that in Episode 3 – if you haven’t yet checked that one out).

The Deal with Doubt

What REALLY lights my fire is when this kind of message  of having the right, best only way to success is meant to manufacture self-doubt and undermine self-trust.

Real quick this sounds like:

  • What would be different this time around?
  • How exactly will you make time without my program?

Yes, there are sales and marketing coaches and consultants who explicitly teach business owners how to create doubt so that the buyer doesn’t think they can do it without their system, strategy, process, etc.

I want to be very clear that I am not shaming people who are learning and exploring a “new-to-them” skill of marketing and are using tactics that they’ve been taught. No shade. There are layers of understanding that come from trying, not feeling great about it and figuring out what would feel better and be more in alignment with your values or even just learning that there are other ways.

Here’s what does burn me about this format of creating doubt – it’s creating a dependent relationship. The client is dependent on the coach/healer/practitioner. It’s about holding power over rather than building trust. 

A power-dynamic says I know the answer, the right, only best way and you don’t. I’ll tell you the answer, but you have to give me something for it.

And juuuust like in 3rd grade, they need to convince you that you don’t already know the secret, “no no, not that one. It’s a different one.” And once you trade your lunch for a couple secrets you start to decide you don’t want to do that any more. But there’s a consequence that you’re left with and that’s this manufactured doubt that you’re missing something.

Marketers do this with intention, because when they undermine the trust in yourself, you need to put their trust is someone aka them, the one with the one right answer. 

Instead Let’s Build Trust

I think this is one of the things that we as Not Marketers don’t want to recreate in the way we share our business.

So, instead of these playground politics, we can do our way of marketing and develop a more sophisticated and emotionally stable relationship, not based on power, but on trust. We as the coach/healer/practitioner don’t ask the potential client to trust us, we put our trust in them as the potential client.

As a coach/healer/practitioner you can say “I think I’ve given you everything you need to move forward and I trust you to make a good decision about whether we would be a good fit to work together. If you have other questions I’m happy to answer them.”

OK, so definitely be discerning and notice when the messages might be leading you to doubt that you can do this without their process, system, etc.

The Right Way For You

From here, then how to untangle the knot of which is the right way for YOU? I have three thoughts.

1. Trust Yourself

The first follows from what I was just sharing. Trust yourself. Trust your curiosity.

  • What have you been intrigued by?
  • What do you feel compelled to give a try?
  • What is a marketing space that you want to “get to eventually”
  • If marketing felt natural I would just….

These are signals to pay attention to. 

Because here’s what I REALLY want to you know – there is no right way and that means that there are people who are successfully building their business through

  • workshops, and Instagram
  • Medium and Facebook ads
  • SEO and Youtube shorts
  • podcast guesting and referrals
  • and any number of the other methods!

2. Permission to Be You

Give yourself permission to BE YOU in your business and to bring you to the way that you share about your business. Take action YOUR way. And unfollow, block or ignore those who tell you that won’t work.

A friend that mentors women mentioned the other day that she can be both wise and goofy. That she can claim both – in herself, in her business and in the ways that she shares her messages and connects to her people. She’s been showing up and by explicitly claiming the different aspects of who she is and how she’s allowing herself to be, I can’t wait to see where she takes her messages next.

3. Create an Experiment

Create an experiment that will bring this marking idea to reality. You don’t have to commit to it forever, but set a learning commitment to find out what this process, platform or strategy will actually look and feel like for you in your business.

Overall – please don’t fall for the trap that there is one right and sacred path up the mountain to the waterfall of cash and that you need the secret that someone else holds. The secret is in you. You using your guidance as a compass is the secret.

The Next Episode

In the next episode I want to share a concept that I discovered that I’m calling “Contextual Blindness”. I’ll share what it is, how it can make marketing feel icky, and what to do instead.

Hey! I’m Amanda Jane 

I’m the host of Not Marketing. It’s my mission to redefine marketing and that brought me to start the podcast to help introverted, intuitive, highly-sensitive solopreneurs like you connect and share your work with the world in a way that’s natural for you.