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The Dark Side Of Marketing…And How You Can Shine Brighter



Say hello to “Susanna the fierce”.

I got this message in my messenger messages and it brought it out in me!

At the time, I didn’t get why, but it made me SO angry. So much so that I’m writing a post about it 2 weeks later!

“Hey Susanna. If you are ready to 10X your Profits watch my webinar and….”

To start, I need to say this –> those of you who have known me for a while will know that I am able to put myself into almost anyone’s shoes – almost to a fault!

But if someone who does this offered me their shoes, I wouldn’t take them.
…even if they were the most awesome shoes in the world 😀

It’s not the webinar that bothers me…

To be VERY clear > I am NOT saying that it’s shady to offer people a service at the end of a free training.

If (for example) you show people how to grow their social media following in a webinar, it makes sense to offer them a product to help them

We’re in business.
It’s literally our job to sell things.

But “are you ready to 10X your Profits“…
Ugh….

It grosses me out. But despite my tone, this isn’t a judgment. I actually get it and am pretty sure most of us have gone there before:

  • either tempted to do it
  • did it
  • or were lured by someone who does that

We’re human… and when it feels like everything you’re doing is wrong it’s easy to doubt ourselves and think “shoot… I better do what they’re doing if I want to eat this month!”.
…. even if it feels inauthentic.

But…

This is what makes that statement so harmful

When someone asks “are you ready to 10x your profits” it has a powerful, psychological effect. It…

  • sets unrealistic expectations
  • slows success in the long run
  • and it takes a toll on self-confidence

And it’s not that people can’t 10x their profits.
…Or that coaching or courses don’t help us go farther, faster than we would alone.

(So pshaw to those of you who are thinking I have limiting beliefs.)

But c’mon… admit it. I think we all know that a large percentage of people don’t get there as quickly as insinuated. And when they don’t, it amplifies self-doubt regardless of whether you participate in the training.

Let’s look at it more closely

Here’s the statement again…

  • “If you are ready to 10x your profit”.

“What do you mean??? OF COURSE I’m ready?! Of course I want to 10x my profit?!” (duh!?)

BUT … there are some subconscious somersaults going on in the back of our minds…

– “Great… I’m ignoring this. I guess I don’t really want that”
– “Damm. I’m doomed to fail”
– “But I DO want to 10x my profits?!”
– “Omg… what’s wrong with me. I must have a fear of success”
– “Ugh. I’m never going to be successful”
– “Why can’t I get over these limiting beliefs already?”
– (tears) “I’m broken”

Okok. That’s a bit dramatic, but hopefully, you get the gist. 😆

And honestly, I don’t think that most people intend to do this. They’re looking for motivated people and are trying to attract people who are driven.

They believe that this will repel those that aren’t. And to a point, they’re probably right.

But still… it feels so off to me!

But that isn’t even the only problem with it…

The other problem for me is this…

>>> It takes the hope and fantasy that marketing is all about WAY too far…

Creating fantasies that foster hope and ignites our imagination is actually part of why I love marketing. But statements like that take what is so beautiful about it and bastardizes it.

Basically, it’s blatant and gross emotional manipulation. It’s also (imo) cheap and unoriginal.

It’s not fun. It doesn’t ignite passion. And it doesn’t give you those happy butterflies of inspiration.

And you know what?! You don’t need to stoop to that!

We CAN attract the right people and help them see the potential in what we’re offering WITHOUT resorting to emotional manipulation.

We can still do all the marketing best practices, like…

  • letting people know we understand what they’re feeling
  • sharing stories and scenarios that help them see how our product or service can help (even if your story is about how you 10x’d your profits… which seems like a contradiction > but if you read on you’ll see that there is a more authentic way to do it)
  • telling people about the tools and extras you’re offering to make it easier for them to succeed this time AND to help them decide if it’s actually what they need
  • calling out who you are trying to help, what they want, and why.
  • and giving people the motivation and enthusiasm to give it a try, give themselves a(nother) chance, AND give YOU a chance too!

These are all things we do in real life to help people understand what we’re trying to tell them. This is what it means to connect on an emotional and psychological level.

There is a difference between that and emotional manipulation.

But …. what do you do when you HAVE 10x’d your profits and want to tell people how?

Awesome! Tell them!!!

And no – this is not a contradiction.

…Hear me out…

There’s a big difference between:

  • “if you want to 10x your profits watch my webinar/buy my product”
  • and “This is what I did to 10x my profits by …”.

One is saying “if you want to 10x you profit you’ll watch my webinar. And if you don’t watch it, then I guess you don’t want to 10x your profit.

The other says “I 10x’d my profit. Do you wanna know how so that you can see if you can use my method too!”

So – Tell your story. Share your process. Explain why it worked for you.

But to insinuate that people will fail if they don’t do it your way… THAT is another story.

We have a moral obligation to be authentic in our marketing … and to shine brighter!

Marketing is all about getting inside people’s heads and knowing what to say to make them take action.

And if you have a knack for it, you have a responsibility and a decision > will you use it for good. Or to use it for evil.

Which one is it going to be for you?


Now what?

Keep your eyes and ears open for successful people who DON’T do that in order to solidify your belief in a more authentic approach.

There a lot of people – both at the top AND under the radar – who don’t do that sort of thing and make a great living online.

Also – start by paying attention to words and how you feel when you read certain things.

If you get anxiety or start feeling badly about yourself, ask yourself why.

ALSO … keep your eyes peeled for a few things I’m working on.

  • a podcast
  • a brand clarity program

I’m still working on the details, but the underlying theme is around being memorable, authentic, and consistent with our content.

And I’m always open to emails about the things you need!

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About the author

Hi there! I can help you put yourself out there by helping you design a website that is rooted in a strong online marketing strategy. I have spent 15 years helping solopreneurs and small brands connect-the-dots, tame the "idea-tornado", and alleviate the tech-overwhelm that holds them back.

~ Branding, Confidence, and Clarity

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