This episode is a short one, some might call it more of a rant actually. But I have something I want to get off my chest: I’m in the middle of a launch right now, and something’s come up that I would really like to talk about a little bit. And this ties in nicely with last week’s episode as well, where I spoke with Maggie Patterson about building a standout brand without being sketchy or sleazy. So if you haven’t listened to that, I recommend tuning in to that conversation after this episode!
The thing I want to talk about is this: Like I said I’m currently in the middle of a launch. I’m launching a group programme. So naturally I have a sales page, and I’m promoting it on social media, sending out emails to my list… you know, all the usual launch stuff. But with my spin on things, because a full-on launch is just… too much. And hey… burnout is no fun, and neither is feeling like I am spamming people and almost forcing them into buying my thing. So I’m opting for a gentler approach that aligns more with my brand values and my own personality.
And here’s the thing: 2-3 people have reached out to me to suggest changes to my sales page and my sales copy, changes that would help make me more money or land me more sales.
But you know… My sales page deliberately doesn’t have any false scarcity, it doesn’t have any very pushy or persuasive sales copy. It doesn’t have a lot of urgency… I mean I’m keeping my cart open for an entire month, because I want people to have enough time to make a decision, so they’re sure this really is for them. Because I want to attract the right kind of people, not any kind of people. Yes, there’s a timer on my sales page. It’s there merely as a visual tool to tell you the deadline to get your application in. It will not be reset towards the end to add extra time. Yes, I say I only have six spots available. That’s scarcity, but it’s not fake scarcity. There are genuinely only six spots, because this is the beta round of the programme and I want to make sure I can deliver quality to the people who sign up.
I know this. I know all these things. I mean… I made a conscious decision to write my sales copy in this way. And still… receiving that advice made me doubt myself and my approach. For a while there, I considered caving in and making my sales copy harder, punchier, more persuasive. I considered ramping up my email frequency (which, given I usually only email my list once a week and I’m already doubling my weekly emails for the launch, would likely make a lot of people go “Whoa! What happened?!”)
And then I paused for a second. And I was like “hell no!” I decided to stick to my gut feeling. If that means I don’t fill the spots I need to run this thing… then so be it.
You know, I just think it’s so sad in a way… it’s like we are so accustomed to these kinds of sales tactics, that when we spot someone who is not using them, we don’t quite know what to make of it because it’s outside of the norm and so… I mean, I know for a fact that all of the people who have reached out to me have done it out of kindness; they’ve done it out of a desire to help me, and yet…. It’s just contradicting everything I want to stand for in business and with my brand – and so then I felt as if I had to start to defend my reasoning and my choices for why I’m not following the “rules” so to speak, the standard way of doing things.
And yeah, I could probably sell more, I could probably make a lot more money if I started to incorporate some of these very common practices and sales tactics, but I am not that person. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to scare people into buying my stuff. I don’t want to shame them, I don’t want to make them feel like they’re missing out or like their business isn’t going to do well unless they buy my product or service. I’d much rather give them the time that they need to make a decision that feels good to them. Because that way I know I’m going to get the people in whom I really do want to work with and who are certain that they want to work with me. So yeah… I just don’t want to be that person with the sketchy sales tactics, even though I know they work. I mean, they’re tried and tested, we all know they work. We’ve probably all experienced them from the other side as well. Like I said… I just don’t want to go there. I don’t want to feel icky about the way I promote my stuff. I’d rather sleep well at night.
We are so deeply conditioned to accept the standard sales practices as the norm, I really want to be a part of a change here, I want this to change. So here I am, questioning it all, and asking you to consider doing the same. If you can.
I realise that this is an extremely privileged position to be in, but I am in a position right now where I do have a very stable service based business. And so whether I sell these six spots for my group programme or not, it’s not going to be the make or break of my business, you know? Even if nobody buys this offer, I’m still going to have a solid business next week, next month. And yes, that does put me in a very privileged position, but it also puts me in a position where I can join the fight against all these very common practices.
And you know… it hasn’t always been like that for me. I have had longer periods in my biz journey where…. Well… I’ve literally hardly been able to scrape together enough money to contribute to the family expenses. Which… feels rubbish. I felt really low in those periods, but I still did not want to resort to business practices, sales practices and sales tactics that made me feel not good about myself. And so I think that it’s absolutely possible to stay true to your own business ethics and values regardless of where you are in your business.
Yes we are all running businesses. We need to make money. And that’s ok. Making money is a good thing! What I am not ok with is screwing other people over for our own profits. There are ways to run a business that doesn’t involve scaring people or shaming people and… yeah… we should all just stop doing that.
I want to make it clear again, that these people who got in touch with me are all wonderful human beings, and I know for a fact that this is 100% coming from a place of kindness and wanting to help me, which I really, truly, deeply appreciate. But then at the same time I am just saddened really because… the advice they are bringing to me is rooted in these very common and toxic practices that I don’t agree with. We are so conditioned into believing that this is the way we should be doing business. And I want to challenge that. All of these scarcity, fear based, shame based practices are very much opposite to the way I want to do business, to my business values and my inner compass.
I am fully aware that I am probably stomping on someone’s toes right now. And I’m probably making some people feel a bit icky. But I just want you to know that I am not talking about this to shame anybody, I’m not talking about these things to make you feel bad if you are using any of these tactics. I just think it’s so important that we address these things and that we start to de-normalise the shadier ways of doing business. And I think one of the ways out of this mess that we find ourselves in within the online biz world, is to start to create more heart centred, more value centred brands.
And hey, guess what? That is something I can help people with! I realised that the work I do with my clients can actually help them carve out their own path and their own way of doing sales and marketing – in a way that feels good to them and to the people they serve. Not because I’m great at sales and marketing (I’m not!) but because I’m rather good at helping people define their brand values. And when you’re clear on your brand’s values, it becomes so much easier to allow those values to lead the way in everything you do – including how you approach sales.
So I guess if I was to tell you where to start if you too want things to change, it would be to:
1: Spend some time working on your brand values. Who do you want to be as a brand? What do you want to stand for? What’s important to you? Your brand values act as guidelines for how your brand will behave, so when you have those in place you have a solid platform to stand on for step two, which is:
2: Start to question things. If you find yourself resorting to methods that give you a sour taste in your mouth; ask yourself “Why does this make me feel uneasy? What can I do differently here? How can I re-do this in a way that feels more aligned with my brand’s values?”
3: Focus on creating and nurturing real connections. You’d be surprised how far a good network can get you – but only if it comes from the heart. We’re all human beings, we’re all individuals. No one likes to feel like they’re “just a lead” – that leaves us feeling devalued and used, right? Approach the people you connect with online (or irl for that matter) with genuine interest and aim to help and give value more than cold hard sales. It may be a slower way to grow than throwing a shedload of cash at a scarcity/urgency/fomo based FB ads campaign, but it’s also a more sustainable way.
That’s it. Just three steps that you can do that will help move the needle in the right direction, if you want to be part of the change!
Today’s rant was brought to you by the Brand it! Boost group programme!
(I can’t round off without mentioning it, can I?!)
When push comes to shove; you are the one with the key to unlock your brand’s potential. But who said you have to do it on your own?! Well, you don’t. Have to do it on your own that is.
Brand it! Boost is a small group programme designed to help you unlock the power of your unique brand personality – so you can do the work you love for the clients of your dreams! It’s based around my tried and tested Brand it! strategy framework, and it aims to make brand strategy both fun and uncomplicated. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you join Brand it! Boost, you’ll dive into the very core of your brand over the course of 8 weeks – in a small group setting and with 1:1 guidance from an experienced brand strategist. You’ll get video guides for each step of the framework, Voxer office hours and a bi-weekly group call with hot seats so you can get help if you’re feeling stuck, and a community of like minded business owners to cheer you on!
So if you’ve been putting off working on your brand strategy because you’re not sure where to start, or it feels a bit intimidating; this is an ideal place to start.
For the beta round, spots are limited to 6 participants, and of course: there’s a special beta price tag, meaning that if I ever run a second round… the price will be higher. (And given the topic of this episode: no, I’m not just saying that to give you FOMO!)
PS! If you’re tuning in on or before the 26th of March 2021, you can still apply to join the very first round. If you missed the deadline, you can still visit that page, add yourself to the waitlist for the next round, and you’ll be first on the list when/if I do another round!
Until next time,
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