Marketing is a word that raises a range of emotions within me – on one hand it invokes the feelings of frustration and annoyance thinking about pushy sales people and cold callers; on the other hand it reminds me that marketing is one of the best ways of sharing our gifts with the world.
And of course, being surrounded by advertising and promotional marketing constantly has made us, as consumers, fairly certain that all marketers care about are the techniques in which to make us part with our money. That last bit, may or may not be true but that is certainly how I feel whenever I think I’m being ‘market’ed to.
4 Simple Steps to Not-Marketing
The challenge in thinking and feeling that way is – what do WE do when we find ourselves in the position of needing to market our products and services? On one hand, I certainly don’t want to join the ranks of people who simply attest to theirs being the best product simply to make people part with their cash, on the other hand, I want people to know and trust that what I have to offer is the very best of me – so what do we do?
1. Tell YOUR own story
The thing about marketing is that we always feel, in fact, we know that marketers rely on telling us a good story in order to get us to buy in to their product or service. Much of the time, it is typically an emotional story – a childhood friendship (John Lewis Christmas), a easier time for mum (washing detergent), children growing up strong (milk powder), a slimmer, healthier body (diet programme).
The thing about these stories is that they are very cleverly (and very clearly) made up in order for us to believe that when we buy in to that particular product or service, we too, will (emotionally) live the story, as advertised.
Where it falls down is when, we don’t buy in to their story, because, often there is a disconnect between product and the story, an instance in which we as consumers question the validity of the story – and that is when we turn off from buying.
The strongest position you can be in, is one in which you know everything about your product (or service) and how it came to be.
When you can tell your story about how it all began, the sentiments, emotions and experience that brought you to your journey, you not only share a little bit more about yourself, but you allow others to see a little of themselves in you and in your journey.
When you think of marketing as telling your own story, you realise that what you have is something special and one-of-a-kind – for no one else can live your life story.
2. Share your emotion and your enthusiasm
The story, the one that you tell is the one that invokes your own emotions – the one that you will never get tired of telling.
No matter how much you think that it’s not something others want to hear, no matter how typical your story may be, the funny thing about human nature is that we all relate best to someone else’s real true to life experience.
It’s easier to put ourselves in another person’s position and see how that perspective and experience can relate to our own, and in doing so, we form an emotional tie-in.
The reality is, every single purchase is an emotional experience. Tapping in to the emotional reasons for someone to buy what you have to offer will always be a decision that they make for them to feel better about themselves, which brings us to the fact that what you have to offer is…
3. Not just for anyone or everyone
Whether your product is one of a kind or one of multiple options, it is hardly likely that what you have to offer will appeal to everyone.
Perhaps more to the point is the fact that you and your product will only appeal to people who make an emotional connection. Whether it is the product, your message or simply your personality that they like, being able to relate directly to something about what you say is essentially what it takes to make a sale.
That said, there’s no possible way for you to appeal to everyone, and that’s OK.
To be confident in what you have to offer, to know that you have your clients’ best interests at heart – all those are messages that come through clearly when you step back from trying to sell (and market) to everyone and instead work on creating an atmosphere in which you are sharing your own story and experiences.
4. Selling to yourself
Perhaps the most valuable perspective anyone can have about convincing others about the value of their offering, is really the ability to convince themselves that what they have to offer is the very best – of themselves and for their market at large.
Remember again, that your audience, will not consist of everyone but just enough of the people who will choose to take the time to listen to your story, trust in what you have to say and know that what you have to offer is the best solution for them at that time.
If you can convince yourself of the inherent, unwavering value of what you have to offer, then your marketing is done.
So What is Selling Without ‘Marketing’
Marketing does not have to be the sleazy, dirty thing we often feel it has become. It is not about getting people to part with their money.
Marketing is really about sharing your best solutions, your most effective work-arounds to problems that you have faced yourself.
Marketing is, first and foremost about ensuring that you believe that what you have to offer is the best of you out there in the world.