How The Pandemic Stoked a Backlash to Multilevel Marketing

For decades, multilevel-marketing companies had it easy. Cutco knives, Tupperware containers, and Pampered Chef bread mixes were inoffensive products sold at weeknight wine parties and, later, in themed Facebook groups. For the most part, they were an unremarkable part of women’s lives.

Multilevel marketing—a form of direct selling in which a major chunk of a person’s income comes not from the sales they make themselves but from the sales made by people they recruit into the company—was often regarded as exploitative by consumer advocates, but it rarely encountered a serious threat.

During the pandemic, distributors for many MLM companies have used this lack of pushback to their advantage: On Instagram and Facebook, women have tried to persuade their followers to use their stimulus checks to join a company that sells shampoo or weight-loss products. They have used economic collapse as a recruitment tool, offering MLMs as the solution to lost income and increased precarity.

The same social networks that multilevel-marketing distributors are called upon to exploit—their friends, their family, their followers, their “mutuals”—are now the social networks through which women are pushing out a completely different message.

(Though men participate in multilevel marketing as well, they do so in much smaller numbers.) On Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok, a huge community has coalesced around the anti-MLM sentiment, bringing together disenchanted former salespeople, curious independent researchers, and thousands of women who are just tired of getting Facebook messages about selling essential oils.

#AntiMLM is still diffuse and disorganized, but its rise poses an existential threat to multilevel-marketing companies that rely on the constant recruitment of new participants. And its newfound popularity is already presenting challenges for the community, which critiques capitalism on commercial platforms: If criticizing multilevel marketing is a good way to get views and followers and personal attention, how long will it be before that becomes the reason to criticize multilevel marketing?

On the Reddit forum r/antiMLM, members mock the industry all day long, referring to distributors as “hunbots” who lead off every conversation with a faux-warm “Hey, hun.” There is plenty of anger and caustic humor, but the community is tightly checked by moderators who insist that all screenshots have names and identifying information obscured.

Self-promotion of any kind is entirely forbidden, as is commentary on the quality of MLM products, good or bad. Shaming victims is out of bounds, and nobody is painted as a dupe: “If the post does not highlight a core problem with the MLM business model, it does not belong here,” the rules warn.

The moderators restrict discussions that take away from the mission of the subreddit—to map out and dissect MLMs—and encourage conversation about the system over anecdotes about low-level bad actors. The first major gathering place for people who shared the anti-MLM sentiment, the forum was started in 2011, but had only 2,000 members before suddenly taking off in August 2017.

Now it has more than 680,000 members and serves as the hub for a growing, informed discontent. Rainbow, the TikTok creator, refers to the Reddit community as the “OG anti-MLMers,” and calls it “the heart of the movement,” responsible for most of the significant work.

On Reddit, users hit the same points over and over, often explaining them from the top for newcomers who want a second opinion on what looks like a great opportunity: As a multilevel-marketing company gets bigger, the opportunities for the people who came in most recently get smaller and smaller, and many end up going into debt by buying their own products to keep their sales ranking. Others will recruit and recruit on social media, desperate to fill in their “downline” with new sellers. The industry is known for releasing very little information about the money its independent distributors make or lose, but the information that does come out is incredibly bleak.

From Reddit, the anti-MLM internet took off. At first, a handful of YouTubers in the beauty-vlogging space pivoted to testimonials about their experiences with multilevel-marketing companies. After the collapse of the leggings MLM LulaRoe in 2017, which came as thousands of sellers gave up on the business model, “Why I Left LulaRoe” became a standard video format on YouTube in the months that followed. Soon, creators who had never been part of an MLM felt compelled to research them anyway, with many diving into r/antiMLM for insight. By 2020, YouTube had a whole anti-MLM creator community, led by massively popular personalities who received tens or hundreds of thousands of views on videos pulling apart the mythology of beauty-product companies such as Arbonne and Monat, or listening in on team calls for weight-loss giants such as Beachbody.

Josie Naikoi, a 34-year-old anti-MLM YouTuber from Missouri, told me that when she left the MLM world, she was diagnosed with depression, and spent a year saying nothing publicly about her experience. “I was really struggling mentally and emotionally with what I witnessed in the industry,” she said. “Who was I to complain? I made money when so many people didn’t.” But the pandemic contributed to her visceral feeling that people were being scammed. Then, in April, the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to 10 multilevel-marketing companies that were openly exploiting the pandemic to make sales and recruit new distributors, and Naikoi made her first video about her experience a few weeks later. The 35-minute video, “WHY I QUIT THE MLM INDUSTRY AT THE TOP,” is now the third-most-popular anti-MLM video on YouTube, with more than 640,000 views.

Naikoi feels confident that the anti-MLM community has these companies scared—back when she was a seller, she remembers, administrators in private MLM Facebook groups deleted links to anti-MLM YouTube videos as soon as they were shared and chided whoever posted them for “negativity.” In newer anti-MLM spaces on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, people discuss pushing for regulation, legislation, or class-action lawsuits. Since TikTok banned MLM recruiting on its platform in December, creators have mentioned that other social-media companies might take similar action.

There is little information about the size of the multilevel-marketing industry, which is just one form of direct selling—but it is undeniably a large presence in Americans’ lives. Direct selling more broadly is—according to its trade association—a $35 billion industry in the United States, involving more than 6.8 million active sellers. But there is some evidence that the industry is struggling to recruit new participants, which Naikoi noted as tentative proof that viral videos and massive comment threads may be working. The industry needed charming influencers and exciting social-media messaging to keep it growing, and now those things are being weaponized against it.

While the Reddit anti-MLM community is rigidly anti-commercial, the other platforms where #AntiMLM is spreading were built to inspire self-promotion and sales.

In “Sounds like mlm but okay,” the most popular anti-MLM Facebook group, with 67,000 members, enthusiasts can buy anti-MLM merchandise, including a coffee mug with pink flowers and the message Your MLM sucks and so do you in curly script. YouTubers, many of whom have pivoted from other types of content and see greater success with anti-MLM content, also tend to offer lines of hoodies and T-shirts with anti-MLM slogans in bright bubble letters, or stickers declaring the buyer a member of the “Anti-MLM Club.”

Setting aside the silliness of mugs with rude slogans, the incentive structures of YouTube, which at the moment seem to be rewarding anti-MLM content, have complicated the community’s self-perception. Videos that go viral often have dramatic, clickbait titles about “SHOCKING HORROR STORIES” and “CULTY” overheard phone calls. These clips make money from ads, and extremely popular creators can even ask for membership fees from subscribers. There is regular talk of “drama” and in-fighting among these YouTubers, and reaction video after reaction video whenever spats play out in public.

That’s led to broader conflict and meta-arguments about whether profit is appropriate: Naikoi said that it’s not usually a problem for YouTubers to offer merch or monetize their followings with ads—making high-quality videos takes money. She feels that most creators are doing this for the right reasons and putting in a ton of work. But in the Reddit forum, the relatively small circle of popular anti-MLM YouTubers is discussed as a distraction from the anti-MLM mission; they are the flashy faces of a movement that is really made up of “hundreds of thousands of people who share their stories,” in the words of one r/antiMLM commenter.

And the YouTube community does appear to get easily derailed by arguments over who is getting paid for what, and what their motivations are for participating. Earlier this month, for instance, the anti-MLM YouTuber Kimbyrleigha denounced the community and joined Monat, one of the companies that the anti-MLM community hates most. On Instagram, she apologized for “showcasing [Monat] in a negative way” and vowed to work as a distributor at least until she could pay the company back the $6,541.86 she made off her YouTube videos. “I felt like I was in a cult when I was in [the anti-MLM] community,” she told me. “They are full of hatred.”

That move inspired plenty of reaction videos, and it briefly shook anti-MLM YouTube into chaos. (Kimbyrleigha sent me screenshots of YouTube comments calling her a “snake” and a “charlatan.”) Kimbyrleigha “is confused and she misled her audience and left a stain on the anti-MLM community and it’s sad,” Naikoi told me. “One day she’ll recognize that she too became a victim.” Kimbyrleigha refuted this, and said she doesn’t see anything wrong with trying out a YouTube trend and then moving on.

Opportunism is a common pitfall for social movements large and small, but particularly for those that happen online and rely on platforms that reward individuals for bogarting attention. This doesn’t necessarily mean that #AntiMLM is doomed. Rather, it could be a sign that the community is on the way to figuring out a more coherent self-image. Megan Sawey, a graduate student at Cornell who is writing her dissertation on the anti-MLM boom, told me that the community is “a huge phenomenon,” but one that’s still far too young to define.

A large group of mostly women is pushing back against an industry that has targeted them for years. Is it a movement? Or is it a collection of individuals expressing dissent, and sometimes leveraging that frustration into a personal brand? It seems to want to be the former, even though platforms encourage a slide into the latter.

Kaitlyn Tiffany is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers technology.

Source: Multilevel Marketing and the Rise of ‘Anti-MLM’ YouTube – The Atlantic

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7 Costly Mistakes That Can Be Avoided By Brand Research

Branding strategies can make or break an organization. There’s a lot that goes into developing a successful brand, and the best companies around the world put substantial time and effort into brand development and image. Creating a successful brand requires time and research commitment and is an ongoing strategy that can yield amazing results.

However, small businesses at the start of their inception can potentially create crucial branding mistakes during their initial stages of development that costs them a lot of customers, money, and time. Even major brands make big branding mistakes, like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and Amazon’s Fire Phone.

Brand research services for positioning strategies, brand mapping, and perceptual mapping can help you, whether you’re a small business or a long-time market player, to avoid pitfalls and the costly mistakes of failed brand positioning.

Common Branding Mistakes by New Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Do you remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy in 1995? You might not because it’s one of Nintendo’s biggest failures in the history of the company. It didn’t offer what it promised, a true VR experience, resulting in incredibly low sales and quick removal from the market. What about Amazon’s Fire Phone in 2014? It only lasted one year because of its limited availability and features that didn’t resonate with audiences. Even major companies like Nintendo and Amazon have to be careful about product or service branding that can tarnish their reputation and result in massive profit loss.

Even small branding mistakes can cost a company. Not only will your efforts and time spent towards planning to be lost, but you will have cost your business a lot of money and even potentially tarnish your reputation permanently, which can be completely devastating for the longevity of a brand.

Below are seven mistakes that you can avoid when it comes to brand positioning so that you learn more about them and avoid them altogether:

  1. Lack of Competitor Research
    You have to learn about your competitors if you want to be successful. How do they position their brand? What types of products and services do they offer? How are they perceived in their respective industry? How are they succeeding? Do you have a potential opportunity in the market where they do not? You don’t want to identically replicate your competitor’s strategies. But you do have to learn everything there is to know about the successes and failures of your competitors so that you know how to uniquely position yourself in the market.
  2. Brand Messaging Doesn’t Suit Target Audience If you can’t develop a brand message that fits with your target audience, nobody is going to buy from you. You have to learn everything about your target audience like demographics, what they like to buy, where they shop, what times of the day or times of the year do they make purchases related to your offerings, what colors motivate and drive them to make purchases, what parts of the world are they located, how does culture affect purchasing, and many more.
  3. Failed Market Study
    Effective market research needs to be obtained about how people are reacting to your brand, products, or services. Survey analysis can be obtained to further your market research and understanding, or a complex study of social media research and analysis can help you to understand how people review or perceive you in the market. If you don’t analyze feedback from your customer base, you will be making a costly mistake in your brand research initiatives.
  4. Association or Dissociation with Events and Motives Just because you want to create a product or service or build your brand around a particular design or niche space in the market, doesn’t mean it will be successful. You can’t just build and sell tablets just because iPad’s are popular, create a bottled water company because you feel people will always need to drink water, or design makeup and cosmetics because there is a popular trend in that space this year. You have to delve deeply into your brand research strategy to truly understand the reasoning behind purchasing decisions and product and service popularity.
  5. Inconsistent Corporate Identity Everything about your brand identity has to make sense, from the colors that you choose to represent your company, to the logo and fonts that you use throughout your campaigns, to the style of writing, tone and messaging that you implement to speak to and reach audiences. Everything has to remain consistent so that people understand your brand values and what you are offering them. If you fail, you could spend a lot of time rebranding and causing confusion to your audience and miss a lot of opportunities.
  6. Poor Product Packaging

    Product packaging is the first thing people see when looking at your brand, whether they are online or physically in store locations. Everything from materials, graphics, size, shape, and color all are important elements of packaging designs. You could spend a lot of money rebranding your packaging if your product performs poorly. On the other hand, you might spend money rebranding your packaging when it isn’t even necessary and have to revert back to the way it was. Effective brand research is going to help you understand the best elements and packaging designs that will help your company thrive.
  7. Making the Wrong Impression If you are selling premium services, you don’t want to use commodity branding. You will deter audiences from your brand. There is a reason why so many fast food restaurant chains use the colors red and yellow, like Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr., and software companies use blue and black like Intel, IBM, Apple, or Google. People associate certain attributes to particular products and designs. People won’t understand what you are offering them if you make the wrong impression. Pay particular attention to detail and use the right research and analysis to make a lasting impression that makes sense with audiences.

How Brand Research Can Help

Brand marketing research is integral to the success of organizations in the modern world. In fact, no business out there that is successful in today’s market leaves home without brand research.

Brand research improves your competitiveness, visibility, and messaging and can help your business take a strategic position in the market using proven data from effective research and analysis services. Here are some of the major benefits of effective brand research:

  • Integrated Metrics: You can see the impacts of your project decisions and forecasts with measurable and tangible results.
  • Allocate Market Spend: Understand how to make investments that will lead to successful outcomes.
  • Identify Competition: You can not only find out who your competition is, but you can find out how and why they are successful in the market, or even discover how to position your brand in areas where your competition is lacking.
  • Develop Accurate Strategies: Create informed decisions built on a foundation of research and analytics with a better understanding of market developments, pricing, and positioning.
  • Capture Target Audience: Better understand consumer behavior and create effective marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Brand Perception: Truly understand how audiences feel and react to your brand, products and services.

Effective Brand Research for Organizations Across Industries

Research Optimus (ROP) has top research and analyst specialists who are tenured in market research, business research, customer analysis, and brand research services that provide the required insights to take the appropriate steps towards building effective and long lasting business brand awareness, brand marketing, and positioning strategies. Apart from services like market research, product research, and risk analysis, contact our team today to jump start or further advance your journey into brand research and obtain the targeted insights you need to avoid branding mistakes.

By: https://www.researchoptimus.com/

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Decision Analyst

An introduction to brand strategy, and the tangible and intangible elements that make up a brand. And a brief discussion of the questions of to ask in order to focus and improve your brand strategy. Learn More: https://www.decisionanalyst.com/servi…

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Will the Rise of European Remote Work Lead to a Boom in Omnichannel Marketing?

With news of a Covid-19 vaccine bringing hope worldwide for an eventual end to the pandemic that’s left a trail of destruction across 2020, many workers are eager to continue working remotely. With a recent McKinsey & Company study suggesting that one-third of Europe’s major economies could continue their remote work, it may be time for marketers to consider their omnichannel marketing approach. 

While some bosses may be reluctant to allow their employees to work from home (WFH) when it becomes safe to return to office commutes, research indicates that many employers are seeing improvements in the productivity of staff while they WFH.

Major European economies have seen significant rises in remote work as Covid became increasingly prevalent. The UK, Germany, France and Spain were among the global leaders when it came to WFH, with potentially as much as 46 percent of workers going remote.

According to Harvard Business Review, the vast majority of countries that display the ideal infrastructure to facilitate WFH come from northern and western Europe, indicating that there’s plenty of potential for workers to continue operating remotely across the continent. 

Shifts away from high streets and brick and mortar stores to spend more time at home means that businesses will be looking to appeal more to audiences through the various digital platforms that they use. Omnichannel marketing, of course, aims to make the shopping experiences from online to mobile to over the phone to in-person as seamless as possible.

In an era that’s driven by digital engagement, we may soon see a boom in omnichannel marketing. But how will marketers look to use omnichannel to reach their consumers?

Marketing during the rise of remote work.

Remote work across Europe looks set to continue as the world transitions into the “new normal” period of recovery following the virus. Due to the development of remote technology and communications, this trend may never reverse. 

According to the European Employer Covid-19 survey Report, nearly 70 percent of European employers plan to continue remote work for employees unless their jobs require them to be in the workplace. While 80 percent of respondents are requiring or considering to recruit more employees to WFH. 

Respondents say that they’re considering these shifts to achieve more productivity (41 percent), address the difficulty and price of introducing new safety measures (38 percent) and to allow for the closure of offices (25 percent). This may mean that the future of office spaces may change from a place to get work done to a place to meet for performance reviews and client discussions. 

The implications of closing offices and fewer opportunities for workers to leave the house will have huge ramifications for other industries, and marketers will need to adapt quickly to the rise of remote work by creating better engagement opportunities for users within the places they’re most likely to consume their media. 

Let’s take a deeper look into how omnichannel marketing methods can help businesses to reach more potential customers at home:

Understanding the changing journeys of customers.

The first thing marketers will need to understand to adapt their post-pandemic campaigns is how customer journeys are shifting. 

Where traditional journeys revolved heavily around physical store visits and platform-based eCommerce, Deloitte notes that this pattern is moving towards a ‘life on the cloud’ diversity of co-existing models, with fully integrated eCommerce, social media, live-streaming, influencers, vertically-integrated platforms, official brand websites and private traffic. 

Significantly, the reach of marketers looks set to change to focus heavily on social media, digital entertainment and eCommerce platform campaigns.

While pop-up stores had been a popular way of engaging audiences over the past decade, the pandemic appears to have forced marketers to adapt to more digital platforms to continue to find customers. 

Understand where your audience is

It’s vital to gain an insightful view of your customers to gain a full picture of what they like and don’t like — as well as their purchasing habits, preferences, and how they behave across all channels. This data can help you to create a more enhanced customer experience.

By collecting and analyzing relevant customer data, a brand can establish the personality of their target audience which helps them to use the right tools and technology at the right time in the buying cycle. It’s also important for businesses to test out their buying experience offered through the eyes of their customers. This can help to make the experience seamless, more user-friendly and free of any barriers.

Different businesses have customers who behave differently online. While customer behaviour tools like BrandWatch and Heap can provide strong insights into who your audience really is, a strong level of customer research can still be conducted manually. 

By learning more about the social networks your customers use and the type of entertainment platforms they use, it’s much easier to build campaigns to not only suit their tastes but also to appear where they’re most likely to see them. 

Reapproach your content.

Like with all campaigns, your content will be the foundation of your omnichannel efforts. You can begin by surveying your existing content to collect assets that align with the needs and interests of your target audience at different phases of the buyer’s journey. Here, it’s important to remember that the best content always attracts, informs and engages your audience while still promoting your brand. 

Be sure to adjust the format and presentation of your content to fit the context of each channel that you’re working in. Each piece of content needs to stay relevant to the channel it appears in while maintaining a consistent experience across channels. This will help to smooth out the experience for users across channels and devices.

Despite the need for adapting your content across channels to suit their respective audiences, it’s still worth repurposing content from its core message and meaning across all the channels you operate in. This process isn’t too time-consuming, and condensing ebooks into whitepapers or taking infographics from webinars can help to generate significant traffic for existing work. 

The necessity of digital analysis.

Because of the significance of shifting your marketing operations towards omnichannel campaigns, it’s vital that you track your progress using analytics to help you recover quickly if setbacks occur. 

Platforms like Google Analytics and Finteza are effective ways of keeping track of how traffic arrives and interacts with your pages. If some channels are creating lower volumes of visits, it’s important to reconsider your approach, or the type of content you’re creating, or even checking whether you really do have as large of an audience to connect with via this form of marketing

Covid may have caused widespread disruption to a range of industries across the world, but in remote work creating more digital audiences for businesses to connect with, there may be an opportunity for marketers to create more effective and adaptable campaigns that can spread further across channels and reach larger volumes of people. 

With more research, multifaceted content, and time taken to analyse progress, businesses could yet turn their shortcomings from the pandemic into a significant opportunity for the future.

Dmytro Spilka

By: Dmytro Spilka Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP CEO and Founder of Solvid and Pridicto

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Professor Wolters

Omnichannel marketing is the ubiquitous nature of today’s marketing. Marketers need to be on all platforms as they never know when customers will be looking for information on products and services. #marketing#omnichannel#principlesofmarketing​ Topic 4: Digital & Social Media Marketing YouTube Advice Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…​ Help Support Marketing & YouTube education and become a Patron at http://www.patreon.com/woltersworld​ Grab some of the gear we use to film our Professor Wolters videos. Grab one of Professor Wolters shirts or other merchandise at http://www.woltersworld.store​ Microsoft Surface: We travel with a Microsoft Surface everywhere we go. I edit my videos on it & use it to backup my pictures and vides while we travel. It’s light and the best travel laptop on the market in my opinion. https://amzn.to/2L55pDR​ Lights: Mount Dog 18’ Ring Light Kit. It will light up your filming space so your videos will look clearer and film better. We started using it and it makes all the difference. https://amzn.to/2YEIQ0J​ Sony Alpha Camera: We use Sony Alpha series cameras to film our videos. They are compact so you don’t look like a super tourist when you take great pictures and videos while you film on location. https://amzn.to/2WbTNFH​ Manfrotto Tripod: We use Manfrotto Tripods. They are compact, travel well, and honestly I would not use another tripod for my nice cameras. https://amzn.to/35AWqUs​ Follow Us at: http://www.facebook.com/professorwoltershttp://www.instagram.com/professorwol…http://www.professorwolters.com

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How Exactly Does Content Marketing Help in Building Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is more than people simply recognizing your business name or your logo.True brand awareness entails your audience getting to know the personality behind your brand and what makes you different from your competitors.

It’s vital to build brand awareness because consumers are much more likely to buy from a brand they know and trust than one that’s new to them.A research study found that over 80% of people searching for a product on Google chose to click on websites they were already familiar with, regardless of their position in the results.

Content marketing can be a highly effective way to build brand awareness. With every piece of branded content an individual sees, they become more familiar with your brand. But while exposure is important, it’s not the only factor at play. Content can help to build your brand in several different ways.

Quick Takeaways

  • Content marketing is an excellent way to demonstrate knowledge and expertise and build trust with your audience.
  • The more content you publish, the more exposure you give your brand. Every piece of content has the potential to widen your audience.
  • Your content is an important part of your overall brand and can be used to amplify your brand voice and reinforce your commitment to your brand values.

1. Demonstrating Authority and Expertise

By regularly publishing informative and educational content that helps to solve your audience’s problems, you demonstrate the fact that you know what you’re talking about as an expert in your industry.

For example, take a look at the blog published by marketing and CRM software company, HubSpot. HubSpot publishes a lot of detailed and useful articles on subjects such as content marketing, web design, email marketing, SEO, and customer experience.

Most of these articles are not written with the aim of selling more software licenses. Nor, indeed do they even mention the products and services that the company sells.

This informational content is not published with the aim of making more sales, but rather to share knowledge and cement HubSpot’s position as an authority in the area of digital marketing.

The audience reading HubSpot’s blog may not immediately be looking for a marketing software solution. However, with each piece of content they read, they’ll build a stronger association between the HubSpot brand and marketing knowledge.

If at some point in the future they are in the market for a CRM or marketing automation software, they’ll already have HubSpot in mind and be confident in the brand’s experience and knowledge.

2. Building Trust

Consistently publishing helpful information for your audience not only helps to demonstrate your expertise and authority but is also vital for gaining the trust of your target audience.

People don’t like to feel like they’re being sold to or that brands only have an interest in gaining their business.

Content marketing means publishing content that’s not sales focused and demonstrates you care about your audience and their problems, rather than just making the sale.

The more content your audience reads and the better they get to know your brand, the more likely they will be to trust you. The more they trust you, the more likely they are to spend money with you in the future.

Source: Marketing Charts

3. Fleshing Out Your Brand Personality

Many brands offer very similar products and services, often at similar prices. Your brand personality is what distinguishes you from your competitors and builds relationships and loyalty with your customers.

Your content should reflect your brand values and mission. It should demonstrate what you offer beyond the products and services you sell.

Every piece of content you publish should also reflect your brand tone and voice. Whether this is fun and friendly, creative and quirky, or confident and informative depends on your audience, the industry you’re in, and how you want to position your brand.

Source: EndeavorCreative

To get this all right, it’s important to have a clear and defined brand, mission, value, voice, and content strategy that pulls it all together. Skipping over any of these steps will result in content that doesn’t have a clear voice or personality, and your brand will be weakened as a result.

4. Increasing Brand Exposure and Mentions

Every piece of content you publish gives you a new opportunity to expand your audience and reach more eyes.

Publishing content around the topics that your audience and customers are interested in is a highly effective way to boost your SEO. This means your site is more likely to come up in searches for keywords related to your business. The more content you publish, the more chances you have of showing up in search results.

Source: Oracle Modern Marketing Blog

Good content can help you to attract traffic from many other sources apart from search engines.

People share high-quality content on social media. Social media mentions are doubly effective because they not only help you to reach a wider audience, but a social share acts as a vote of confidence and demonstrates that others trust in your brand too.

This is increasingly important these days where 83% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product or service if it is recommended by a friend or family member.

5. Building Customer Loyalty

Content marketing is not only important for attracting new customers but also to keep the customers you already have.

Strengthening relationships with your customers is also important for building your brand. When customers are loyal to your brand, they are more likely to recommend it to others.

Consistently publishing new content is a great way to stay in touch with your existing customers, keep your brand on their mind, and give them more opportunities to share your content and products with others.

6. Engaging Your Audience with Brand Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story. So it’s no surprise that much of the most successful content on the web involves some element of storytelling.

Likewise, some of the world’s most successful brands have a great story behind them. Just look at Apple (founded by college dropouts out of a garage) or Toms shoes (inspired by the travels of the founder and the barefoot children he met along the way).

If you can use content to tell the story of your brand in an engaging way, you’ll build an emotional connection with your audience that will make them want to read more, interact more, and buy more from your brand.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service.

Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

By Michael Brenner

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Marketing Insider Group

The Marketing Insider Group provides content marketing workshops and content development services. Scale your content and start showing Content Marketing ROI today. Free Consultation

Services

Hinge

The number one criteria prospective clients use when they’re selecting a firm is expertise. In this video, Liz Harr shares the top 3 ways to demonstrate your expertise for greater visibility and marketplace reputation. For more content just like this, connect with Liz & Hinge: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eharr/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizHarr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/153024/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HingeMarketing Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HingeMarketing Professional Services Executive Forum: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3828540

How B2B Brands Can Identify Their Target Audience

How well do you know your brand’s target audience?

Or, how well do you think you know your target audience?

We find that many brand managers in Europe assume they know their audience very well indeed. They might even have a very clear image in their head of the type of individual they are trying to target with all of their advertising and marketing strategies. 

What is often the case, however, is this image in their heads isn’t always completely correct. When it comes to targeting your audience in Europe and motivating them into making a purchase, you need to ensure that your understanding of this group is bang on. Any slight differences between what’s in your head and your audience could result in some of your targeted work falling flat.

If you know that you have this problem in your business currently, here are steps to take to understand your target audience better. If you follow them through, you’ll know how to discover your target audience and start fine-tuning your aim for them in all your campaigns.

Brainstorm your target audience.

The first thing you should do is sit down and brainstorm what you already know about your target audience. Think about the characteristics that all of the individuals who are most likely to buy your products will share. Are they in the same age group? What is their job title; what kind of salary do they earn? You should also look at the common challenges, needs, and objections that this group of people might face in their life.

One great tip is to take a look at the audience that your competitors are targeting. How does that group differentiate from yours? Examine the data-driven insights using the right tools to understand the entire funnel, and how you can leverage this data to incorporate your USP to retarget.

Take advantage of brand trackers.

Use a brand tracker to get measurable and actionable data on your audience. This data can give you various, but specific insights. For instance, tracking brand awareness will tell whether or not your ideal target audience actually knows about you. As well as that, tracking brand consideration will show if they would consider using your brand. You can also track this data for your competitors and compare how your brand fares against them. 

In addition, you might even discover that this isn’t actually the best audience for you to be targeting. By digging deep into all of this brand tracking data, you might see new audiences appear that you had never previously considered. Just make sure to choose a brand tracker that caters to niche audiences.

Develop a persona for your target audience.

Now it’s worth creating a persona of what the quintessential member of your target audience is like. There are so many benefits from audience personas, so why not use it?

For example, if you target the millennial generation, go beyond a generic idea of a millennial and think more closely about who you are selling to. If you find that millennial females who live in urban areas and work in the tech sector buy your product more than anyone else, then their defining features and characteristics should also be those of your audience persona. 

Once you have made a persona, it’s important that you inform everyone on your team. To keep everyone on the same track with all their strategic work, you all need to be targeting the same persona.

Start targeting.

Now that you know who you are aiming at, it’s time to start trying to reach them. In order to target your audience, focus your efforts on the channels they use most often. 

If you know that your target audience spends a lot of their online time using Twitter, then it’s worth starting a campaign on that social media platform. However, if you are targeting an older audience who might prefer to spend their evenings in front of their TVs than tweeting, think about running some TV adverts.

Researching the channels that your audience use really can help you immensely — not doing so could end with you shooting blindly and completely missing. 

How does running marketing campaigns help find your target audience, you may ask. Well, how can you be positive that they are the audience for you unless you see if they work? And don’t forget…

Continue to monitor.

So you research your target audience well and then start to target them using suitable methods and channels. Job done, right? Not quite.

Sure, you’ve taken the right kind of steps so that the right kind of consumers will see your brand marketing. But how do you know whether that’s really happening once your adverts and promotions are out there in the wild? How do you know that they are helping your sales?

Keep your eye on the ball and monitor how your marketing efforts are doing. You can do this by tracking your brand guidelines and campaigns to make sure that they are hitting the spot. 

It’s also worth noting that target audiences can change or shift over time, so monitoring them is a continuous task for every brand manager. As long as you do make monitoring a habit of a lifetime, then there’s no risk of you ever being left behind by competitors. 

Those steps don’t sound too difficult, right? If you follow through with them, you should discover new things about your target audience that you might never have realized. And those nuggets of wisdom could help you polish up your marketing campaigns like never before. 

Not only that, but you can now carry out all of your campaigns confidently, as your target audience shouldn’t be even easier to reach.

By: Steve Habazin Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

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Adam Erhart

How To Identify Target Market | Target Market Examples Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/2HxjQRa If you don’t properly identify your target market then none of your marketing will work. Period. Not your ads, not your content, not your website, not your social media, nothing. It will all fail miserably. And I don’t want that for you. So in this episode I’m going to be breaking down exactly how to identify your target market and give you a few examples of what that might look like for your business. ***Marketing Resources: Work With Me: https://bit.ly/2FY2vzF Our Advertising Agency: http://aerh.co/1oVVeEc Facebook Ad Image Guide : https://bit.ly/2H9EPt9 FAST Content Formula : https://bit.ly/2JEu5kz 60 Second Video Ad Script : https://bit.ly/2GQF0Kl One Page Marketing Plan : https://bit.ly/2v6HPBp ***Let’s Connect: Website: http://adamerhart.com Click here to subscribe on YouTube: https://bit.ly/2HxjQRa Twitter: http://twitter.com/adamerhart Facebook: http://facebook.com/officialadamerhart Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamerhart

The 3 Most Common Mistakes Online Course Creators Make

Adding an online course to your product suite and having a passive income stream on autopilot sounds amazing, right? And it doesn’t only sound amazing, it truly can be if you put in the work and take the right steps at the right time to create a digital product that sells and is scalable. 

But many course creators are guilty of either one or multiple of the following mistakes, which derails their progress before they even create the online course. Let’s shed some light on the three most common mistakes course creators make. 

Related: 4 Crucial Things To Consider Before Creating An Online Course

Mistake No. 1: Not creating a proper foundation

Building an online course is no different than building a house. When you build a house, you make sure that its foundation will withstand storms. You also don’t start building the roof before you know the cement that makes up your foundation has dried properly. 

So before you start recording your course content, you must validate your course idea and identify your dream students. You also need to create a name and a market proposition for your product that expresses the results of your course preferably in one word, or maximum in one sentence. 

Paying lots of attention to building a strong foundation at the beginning will set you off on the right path to be able to scale later on. 

Related: 5 Tips for Creating Your First (Successful) Online Course

Mistake No. 2: Never finishing the course

I speak to dozens of people every single day who have attempted to create an online course and have given up halfway through because they didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t know the next steps to take. Valuable knowledge has been temporarily parked on a Google drive, which then turns out to become a permanent parking spot. 

It’s easy to get distracted and discouraged when you embark on a brand new journey yourself and you haven’t done it before. Many course creators think they can do it alone and it’s easy to “just record a few videos” and “chuck the content into an online platform” … but it really isn’t.

Creating an online course is a project, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Facing difficulties and hurdles is normal and will happen to you no matter what you do. It’s no different with online courses. You must prioritize and focus on finishing it. 

Related: Are Free Online Courses Worth the Time and Effort?

Mistake No. 3: Not knowing how to market and sell your online course 

At the beginning, the course is brand new to creators themselves, so it’s hard for them to market properly. Many course creators think they can just run Facebook ads to their sales page and see how it goes, only to end up burning lots of cash. If you are just starting out in your field and your course is new on the market, always start off with organic marketing

It takes time to perfect your marketing message, learn about your customers’ objectives and write amazing copy. If you write bad copy on Facebook or in an email, so be it. You lost some time, but you can go back and tweak the copy. But if you write the same bad copy and place ads on it, Facebook becomes a black hole for your hard-earned money. 

Being successful with your online course does require you to build a strong foundation, create the amazing content your audience is asking for and figure out how to market it properly, short-term and long-term. Once you do, you will reap the rewards of your labor.

By: Tina Dahmen Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

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Lucy Griffiths 5.41K subscribers

10 BIGGEST MISTAKES WHEN IT COMES TO ONLINE COURSE CREATION AND CREATING YOUR DIGITAL PRODUCTS // When people are wanting to create a course, they make these key mistakes that can impact their sales and success. My online courses have now sold over 30,000. And now I want to show you how to create your digital online course that sells, how to create an online course, how to sell your online course, and how to successfully sell a digital course. WATCH MORE HERE: Pinterest marketing: https://youtu.be/FuXPZWJjqxM Repurpose Your Content: https://youtu.be/qXdzhV2qGOY Start a YouTube channel 2020: https://youtu.be/g_m5FVq3UwE Maximize your Facebook Business Page: https://youtu.be/9FCFCIao1-g Launch and Market Online Course: https://youtu.be/9wOJQF_-BMo Add a Custom Thumbnail to YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/M6Ff0oxxAUU *GRAB my course creator* http://mycoursecreator.com/ CONFIDENT ON CAMERA COURSE for JUST $19 – https://video.lucygriffiths.com/cc Online Course Creation: *Confident on Camera Course – https://youtu.be/TgZMhVtL4cs *How to sell over 2000 courses – https://youtu.be/kIYoMHpC_bg Click to SUBSCRIBE – https://bit.ly/2zSYARd ====================================== JOIN MY EXCLUSIVE GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Onlin… ====================================== Get to know me more… Website: https://www.lucygriffiths.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lucygriffit… Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucyGriffith… Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyGriffithsTV LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucygriff… Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LucyGriff… *Grab my FREE GET VISIBLE GUIDE* http://bit.ly/GrabYourGetVisibleGuide#LucyGriffithsdotcom#onlinecoursecreation#digitalcoursecreation

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20 Ways to Make Money as a Social Media Influencer

Mike Schmidt Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer Founder home August 31, 2020 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people think we’re at the peak of the “creator economy,” pointing to supply saturation, overvalued tech startups and creator burnout as their central arguments. But I think we’re at the beginning. After building a technical product that has facilitated thousands of influencer marketing activations, I can assure you that technology has a long way to go to help existing and aspiring creators achieve their financial goals.

One-third of kids between the ages of 8 and 12 aspire to be either a vlogger or a Youtuber. Kids are no longer aspiring to be doctors, lawyers, engineers; many kids want to become creators on social media. Social media exposure seems to be influencing kids’ future career aspirations.

Pair that with the facts that Youtube made $15 billion last year, with nearly half of that going to content creators. Youtube is the social content forerunner; whenever there is economic opportunity, creators will go. It’s no surprise that Tiktok unveiled a $200 million fund for creators and Instagram is going to start sharing revenue with creators on IGTV. That said, Instagram has a long way to go given that they made $20 billion in revenue last year and barely shared any with creators.

Related: 10 Ways to Kick Start Your Career As Beauty Influencer

The barriers to entry are nearly zero. Networks reward content creation and more macroeconomic trends such as ecommerce support the growing digital economy.

Here are 20 strategies to help you grow your career as a content creator.

1. Put keywords that can help identify your interests in your bio so that search engines pick up your profile

There are a lot of influencer and publisher search engines, including more prominent platforms like Google. Search engines aren’t magic; they need something to anchor their decisions. If you help them index your page, you will show up when brands are looking for you. If you’re a mom with three kids, put that in your bio! Do you have a French bulldog? Put that in, too! Imagine if you’re a brand or agency. PR teams look for specific things and they will use tools to search for particular keywords.

2. Don’t buy followers or pay for likes on your posts

This one should be straightforward, but a majority of brands have bot detection services at their disposal. If they determine that your account has a lot of bots following you or engaging with your content, it will be too much risk for them to partner with you.

3. Pick a category that has a lot of ad dollars and optimize your content for that category

PR managers and talent managers are continually searching for new talent to prospect and pitch. If you’re in a popular category, it’s likely to get more results. The most desired influencer advertising categories are animals, lifestyle, travel, beauty and fitness. 

Related: How to Become a Travel Influencer on Instagram?

4. Delete old branded content 

Many brands look for conflict of interests and brand saturation in your feed. You’ll want to remove old branded content. Modern influencer marketing tools can also tell brands and agencies the percentage of how much sponsored content you have. If you have a double-digit percentage of sponsored content in your feed, it could be a major turn-off.

5. Tag and show other influencer friends in posts 

Brands and agencies love when you know other influencers — they see it as a two-for-one deal. You also benefit from getting more shares and organic traffic.

6. Run ads to gain followers

Many aspiring creators don’t have a lot of followers in the beginning. Instead of doing the follow and unfollow trick or buying likes, followers and comments, buy targeted ads to get your channel to at least 3,000 followers.

Many search engines don’t track influencers with less than 3,000 followers. You’ll need to pay to play here, but rest assured that creators who do this well eventually make money. If your career is to be a social influencer, invest in your business.

7. Include your pet

The animal category is the highest sought-after category for influencer marketing. Most brands lean on the pet and animal category to hit their growth targets when numbers are sluggish. Pet content gets the most clicks and PR specialists know that. You’ll notice many brands like Ford sprinkle in a dog here and there — now you know why.

Related: 10 Ways How Brands and Influencers Can Grow Their Social Media Presence

8. Make your content consistent

Brands love predictability. Use the same filters, styling and story formats. If you’re looking to work with big brands and agencies, they like to know you are safe to market with. Think about what brands want. They want to drive sales and awareness, so work backward on what you think will make your content appealing in these scenarios.

9. If you’re new to the content game, create at least 20 posts

PR reps will be very scrutinous when evaluating your page and longevity is something they’re looking for. If you’re starting fresh, post frequently at the start. When you cross the 20-posts milestone, start staggering your posts so you don’t come across as spammy. If you’re cleaning up your feed, delete anything that’s not on spec.

10. Remove any NSFW content

Some of the largest spenders in the influencer marketing category are consumer packaged goods brands, and they have strict brand safety guidelines. One post that doesn’t align with their philosophies will get you vetoed from their upcoming campaigns.

11. Create a business account on Instagram

Brands and agencies can often only see your posts if you have a business account. You may lose out on a potential deal if you don’t have one. Furthermore, if you do get a deal, they will likely ask you to connect your account with an analytics service and in doing so you will need to create a professional account.

Related: The Future of Influencer Marketing Post Covid-19

12. Make sure your contact information, including a business email, is in your bio

Search engines index text on your page and parse our email addresses. The more information you put here, the easier it will be for brands to reach out to you. Search engines also show accounts higher if they have contact information. This is so brands and agencies can have a better experience when reaching out.

13. Reach out to influencer marketing platforms

Find influencer marketing platforms and reach out to them to ensure your data is displayed correctly. A lot of deals are passing through these tech platforms and you want to make sure you are appropriately represented. Many modern platforms will let you connect your accounts, fill in personal details and more.

14. Put your birthday month or your horoscope in your bio 

Ecommerce teams love to send influencers gifts. It’s a very strategic move for creators to include their birthday month or a horoscope in their bio because brands often look for unique ways of engaging influencers. Remember, brands are trying to get in touch with you as much as you are trying to get in touch with them.

15. Have a secondary social channel

Having more than one channel to promote on will help you in the long run, but the main reasons you want to invest in this early on is because brands love when you have a multi-channel strategy. Another benefit is that search engines parse this data and link your other social connections to their databases. The best channels to invest in are Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube and blogs.

Related: Now Is the Ideal Time to Invest in Influencer Marketing

16. Find a niche and be different

Do research, create a spreadsheet of creators in your space and be unique. Update your competitive sheet every month.

17. Survey your audience every month

Learn about what your audience loves and be customer-obsessed. Engage with your customers in new ways and try to connect with them. The hardest thing for creators being more disciplined in this category. It’s not just responding to comments — it’s jumping on a videoconference and asking your fans when they love about your content.

18. Go live

Nearly every digital platform is trying to disintermediate TV. Live content is the toughest to produce and therefore the most sought-after. Social platforms will do everything they can to promote it. If you were a product manager at Facebook, what would you do? Send more notifications? Promote more content? Host AMAs, do live contests and have giveaways. It doesn’t need to be fancy — just try something!

19. Be nice

This seems obvious, but creators lose deals with brands because they aren’t easy to work with. This doesn’t mean you have to do everything that brands ask all the time. It just means that creators should engage in business matters professionally — after all, this could be your job!

20. Don’t use hashtags

Unless you’re working on a campaign with an instructed hashtag, avoid it. People know what spam tagging looks like and it looks desperate.

Related: 6 Ways How Entrepreneurs and Influencers Can Work Together to Build A Powerful Brand

By: Mike Schmidt – Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Is Passive Income Truly Achievable?

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For the last several years, has been hailed as a near-perfect approach to generating wealth, appealing to entrepreneurs, investors and average working professionals alike. But the promise of effortless income generation sounds suspicious on its surface. Is there really a way to generate without hours of work? And if so, is it accessible to the majority of the population?

The Idea Behind Passive Income

Strictly speaking, passive income is any kind of recurring income that is generated without ongoing demands for your time and effort. Wages are paid hourly and salaries are paid on an annual basis, with both forms of compensation contingent upon your working a specific number of hours; these are not passive. Instead, a passive income source would be one that sends you a check in the mail periodically, without any effort on your part.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Extra Income Even With a Full-Time Job

Common Examples of Passive Income

To better understand what passive income is and how it works, let’s look at some of the most commonly cited examples of passive income in action:

  • Dividend-paying stocks. First, there are dividend-paying stocks. Stocks represent fractional shares of ownership in public companies. In many cases, those companies decide to distribute profits regularly in the form of quarterly dividends; shareholders can count on a set amount of quarterly income based on the number of shares they hold.
  • A monetized . If you start a blog that generates a sizable amount of traffic, in the realm of thousands of visitors per month, you can start monetizing it with the help of ads, affiliate links, premium content or other paid features. You’ll earn a share of revenue based on the number of people you attract, the number of you make or other factors.
  • Rental properties. With rental properties, you can buy a property, attract a tenant and collect an amount of rent that exceeds your monthly expenses. With a decent profit margin and a few properties under your belt, this can add up to be a lot of income.
  • Digital goods. You can also make passive income with the help of digital goods, like eBooks or stock photography. After developing these digital goods and marketing them consistently, you may be able to generate recurring revenue from all their future sales.

The “Passive” Income Myth

All these methods are proven to be capable of generating income. More than that, they’ve been responsible for developing many self-made millionaires. But it’s not the “income” part of the term we’re concerned with as much as the “passive” part of the term.

Passive income is rarely passive in the truest sense; while these (and other) passive income sources may require less effort than a full-time job, they may require effort in other formats and in other contexts.

Let’s take a look at each of these:

  • Stock research and initial capital. It’s not hard to get involved with dividend stock investing, but you’ll still have to spend time researching which stocks are available so you can maximize your return. Additionally, you’ll need a sum of initial capital to achieve a meaningful stream; many dividends only pay 2 to 4 percent annually, so investing $100 won’t give you much of a return.
  • Blog setup and maintenance. According to The Blog Starter, “It’s easier than ever to start a blog — but even with a good plan in place, there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful. It takes a lot of time to create content for the blog, research your target audience and refine your approach over time.” Since you’ll also need to produce new content on a regular basis, even a successful monetized blog will require at least a part-time job’s worth of effort.
  • Property research and maintenance. Investing in rental property requires significant upfront capital (not unlike investing in stocks), and to be successful, you’ll need to carefully research and vet each prospective property. You’ll also need to maintain your properties and manage tenant turnover, or else cut into your profits by working with a property management firm.
  • Digital good development. If you want to sell an eBook or stock photography, you’ll need to produce those assets first, then find a service like Shutterstock where you can sell them. This often requires dozens, or even hundreds of hours of upfront effort, and then you’ll need to market your work.

Related: 10 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep

Some people have claimed that passive income is a myth, but that may be a little extreme. Instead, a more accurate assessment may be that passive income isn’t truly passive. No matter what, you’ll still need to put in the time and effort to make your income-generating strategy work; it’s just in a different format than your conventional job.

By: Anna Johansson – Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer
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5 Confessions Marketers Are Afraid To Admit, Even To Themselves

As someone who’s been marketing things online for about a decade, I can tell you first hand that the fear of marketing is real. It prevented me from growing my business in the earlier stages, and it still does from time to time.

It also held me back from taking on client work for YEARS.

But thankfully, I also learned that I’m not alone. In fact, most marketers can probably tell you at least one or two things that cause them anxiety when it comes to marketing. Here are 5 of the most common.

1. Can I actually market?

Can I Actually Market for marketing confessions

The kind of SEO results you want to be able to send to a client.

Maybe you’re looking at all the shiny emails in your inbox, trying to figure out how email marketing works, how SEO works, and it just seems like it’s too much. So you think to yourself, “I can’t do this.”

One of the biggest fears for marketing newcomers was echoed by Margo Aaron, founder of The Arena, the first virtual coworking space for solopreneurs.

“I hear from marketers all the time and it’s their biggest fear: Can I actually market?  

They develop niche expertise, like design or editing or SEO or headlines. But actually getting more customers into a funnel or increasing sales (or just awareness) for their clients – that creates impostor syndrome.

I definitely had this when I was consulting. It’s part of what’s been so fun about being on my own, I get to control the entire funnel and can actually judge my chops on their own merit (whereas with clients, you might control the website copy or design, but you’re not responsible for sending it traffic).” – Margo Aaron

Let’s get this straight. No one is born out of the womb knowing how to market. It’s a skill that we all have to learn, and it’s possible. It’s also always changing.

You don’t even have to go back to business school (unless you want to) because the internet is a goldmine of marketing resources. Find a course that teaches digital marketing skills or hire someone who can help you and teach it to you.

The other thing is that doing things for other people is HARD. I don’t care if you’re doing copywriting or mowing a lawn. Sure, I can mow my own lawn, but if somebody else is paying me for it (and paying me well), can I do it to their satisfaction? Maybe not.

The problem is that many people get stuck in the learning phase. Why? Fear. Every time you learn something, go try it out and see if it works for you. This is the only way that I know of to truly learn and get over fear and the imposter syndrome that many entrepreneurs suffer from.

2. I’m a spammer

“That they’re one of those spammy marketer types that everyone not so secretly HATES.” – Kaleigh Moore

I get it. You don’t want to come off as the person spamming everyone’s inbox or be the person behind the website with all the pop-ups. But there are tactful ways to get people’s attention without annoying them.
I’m a Spammer for marketing confessions

Please don’t be this guy. Do this instead.

Take for instance the businesses or person whose emails you can’t wait to read when you see them in your inbox. You don’t roll your eyes but instead, you’re excited to read them. What sets them apart from everyone else? TRUST.

They offer value, they delight, they sound like real people. They teach you something new or interesting. They are not pushing a sale every time they send you something.

When you give – whether that’s offering tips, resources free guides etc., and you are consistent – people will naturally show up at your doorstep when you have something to sell because by then, you’ve already won their trust.

And remember: attract, don’t chase. Chasing is what you do when people are running away. Chasing is what causes us to look for tools to do our jobs for us.

3. I want this tool to do my job for me

“If I buy this tool, it’ll put my marketing on autopilot.” – Me for my entire career, including the horrible purchase below.
I Want This Tool To Do My Job For Me for marketing confessions

But seriously, am I the only one who bought this?

If I asked you to write out the top three marketing “tools” you’ve wasted money on, you’d probably have to think for a second. Not because you don’t have three, but more because you have over ten and you’re just trying to rank them.

We’ve ALL bought tools hoping they’d do our jobs for us: make starting new relationships, getting sales, etc. easier.

The great thing about marketing in the 21st century is that there are many tools to help us automate tasks. We can schedule Twitter or Facebook posts for several weeks in advance or program promotional materials to be sent out automatically.

But this doesn’t mean we should try to put all our marketing on autopilot and pray for the best, especially when you’re just getting started.

No current clients or customers? You don’t need an outreach tool.

No social media followers? You don’t need a post scheduler.

In both of the above cases, you just need to start talking to people.

Most of the people trying to sell you on the dream of entrepreneurship are also trying to sell you some sort of product or tool. You don’t need them.

The world of marketing is always changing which means the strategies you use today will change next year or in less time, so while automation helps, it’s best to devise a strong strategy and keep yourself aligned with it.

And even with the right tools, the human part of marketing is absolutely necessary. Trends change, algorithms get rewritten, comments need responses, but what will set you apart from the rest is you. Your unique voice and perspective is a huge part of your marketing strategy whether you know it or not. And it cannot be replaced by any tool.

4. I’m just selling this to make money

I’m Just Selling This To Make Money for marketing confessions

“Depending on which side of the fence they fall on… That they might be selling something to get a financial leg up rather than something they’re 100% passionate about. Which, by the way, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes I think those of us who don’t want to be a ‘sleazy marketing person’ go too far to the other side and think everything we sell has to save the world”. – Caroline Zook, Wandering Aimfully

The reason why many marketers struggle with this one is that subconsciously or consciously, we’ve been taught money is the end all, be all. Whether you believe that or not, it still doesn’t dismiss the fact that we all need money to survive.

service@paypal for marketing confessions

I realized this was true when I got on the email list of a famous joint venture (JV) marketer. He’s famous for setting up big affiliate programs and bringing a ton of affiliates on board.

Ever see a big launch where it seems like everybody was promoting a product? That’s probably him behind the scenes. But, what I didn’t realize is that most of the people promoting the product had never even seen it.

He’d sent out videos and slide decks and landing pages that told you all the giveaways they were doing for top affiliates and how to set up your affiliate account, but when I asked to see the product…

he told me it wasn’t even done being produced.

I asked how people could be promoting it without ever seeing the product and he could not, after five more emails, understand why I’d have a problem with that.

Authenticity matters more than ever in marketing so next time you promote a product (or even your own product) consider whether it’s making the world better for other people, or just yourself.

5. I wouldn’t buy what I’m selling

I Wouldn’t Buy What I’m Selling

That’s right, many marketers aren’t even sure about the prices they charge their clients. One marketer confessed he still struggles with pricing. Asking for $10,000 for a consulting agreement when he wouldn’t purchase that himself is a weird paradox for him. He KNOWS that the training he’d provide or the work he’d do is part of a larger six-figure budget in both cases.

“Even though I’d never buy this for myself, it’s still priced correctly. Yep. They’ve budgeted for exactly this. It’s priced at or below market it’s a good option logically but the emotion is what it is.” – Kade Dworkin

There are two main reasons why marketers feel this way:

  1. Lack of confidence in their own skills.
  2. Confusion about what the market rate is.

In order to overcome the first one, you must remember all you’ve accomplished in order to get to where you are today. This means the number of years you worked in a related field, the number of years you spent in school, or even just the soul-searching part of your life that brought you here. Those were all not easy things to get through but I don’t have to tell you that. Factor this in when you are coming up with your prices.

Second, If you don’t know what your competitors are charging, you’re missing out on crucial information. Find out what they’re charging. Do this for several people and you’ll have a good idea of where your rates should be, which should help you stop questioning yours.

You need to know that there are people in need of the skills you have who are willing to pay for it. Do not water down your commodities for clients who will not appreciate it.

The bottom line

Business marketing can be scary especially if you’re just starting out, but don’t let the professionals who’ve been in the game a lot longer scare you. Everyone had to start somewhere and just like any skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Amazing talents or products do speak for themselves but in our overcrowded market today, you need to do marketing to lift it up, otherwise, no one will be able to hear you.

The best piece of advice I can offer is this: continue learning, and try what you learn.

Don’t be afraid to admit and confront these confessions.

That’s the only way you’ll truly get over your fears. Just remember that your skills and talents are unique and someone is looking for them. And when you find those people, charge what you’re worth but also deliver the heck out of the results.

By: Jeff Bullas

Forbes calls him a top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers and the world’s top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among 50 online marketing influencers to watch. Inc.com has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Oanalytica named him #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer. BizHUMM ranks him as the world’s #1 business blogger.

Source: 5 Confessions Marketers Are Afraid To Admit, Even To Themselves

John Crestani

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The Integrated Marketing Organization: How to Lower Waste, Increase Collaboration, and Turbocharge Performance – NewsCred

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Integrated marketing — possible now more than ever because of technology — is the solution to many of the challenges facing marketers today. The old established marketing models have broken-down, there’s mounting revenue pressure and scrutiny on marketing investments, and there’s a laser focus on minimizing risks and maintaining security, especially in the new era of GDPR………

Read more: https://insights.newscred.com/ebook-the-integrated-marketing-organization/

 

 

 

 

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