You know you’re supposed to “monetize your content” and “promote your products” online, but that can be incredibly uncomfortable for any creator (that’s right, you’re not alone). It’s true that some influencers are more like actors, telling a filtered version of their life with the sole purpose of making money online—but that’s not who you are.
You have a message that you feel compelled to share because you believe it will make the world a better place. That’s a noble pursuit, and there’s no shame in getting paid for it along the way. But how do you tell the difference? Where do you draw the line between manipulation and marketing?
What Makes Marketing Maddening
Effective marketing requires getting in touch with your audience’s emotions and connecting their desires to your opportunity. To some people, this comes naturally, but for many people it’s an uncomfortable exercise. After all, if you’re passionate about your message than it’s tempting to just create content that’s helpful without becoming “salesy” at any point.
People will follow you, see your products, and then automatically make a purchase, right? Unfortunately not. The #1 reason people are uncomfortable with marketing is because they are afraid of being accused of some kind of manipulation. After all, modern marketing is made up of deadlines, emotional hooks, and compelling stories. It’s not a simple here-is-the-product sales process, online or off.
Still, when we talk about launches and funnels you may wonder, "why can’t I just freely offer products alongside my content, available to visitors without launches or other promotions?" First of all, it simply doesn’t work. It can be useful to offer some small products or services for sale on an ongoing basis, but not as a primary revenue driver. At best, a few sales per week may trickle in.
Good Marketing Is the Right Thing to Do
If evil marketing is manipulation, good marketing is persuasion. The difference starts with motivation, where manipulation is rooted in deception and trickery—but how hard would you try to persuade a distracted runner from falling into a hole?
That’s good marketing, the more powerful the better if you’re helping people avoid pitfalls and improve their well-being in some way. If your content and products are designed to do that, how can you not persuade people to take action? Here’s how to try this yourself:
- Define the pitfalls your audience needs to watch out for
- Articulate the pain of falling in, and the benefit of staying out
- Keep these front-and-center during any marketing campaign