An introduction to honest marketing.
You may or may not know how much marketing goes into everything you see around you. For nearly every purchase you made today or will make today and likely every day of your lifetime, significant, or, at the least, a small amount of marketing went into persuading or convincing you to make the purchases that you made OR the purchases that someone made on your behalf. In fact you can thank marketing for the diapers you wore, the soother you used, and on and on it goes!
This applies to large and small items, expensive and inexpensive, helpful and useless items, and applies to both services and products.
Whether you purchased the item because someone told you about it (referral marketing) or because you saw an ad and liked what you saw, marketing was responsible.
When I teach business courses in Colleges, or give my workshops on business, I share the 9 main ways to market your business (stay tuned for a future article on these different areas). Just as you were influenced for some reason and in some way to make the purchases you have, whether it was conscious or not, you also want to be considering how you will be using marketing to promote your service and products.
With this in mind, we arrive at the topic for today… do you choose to be on the Light Side of the force in marketing or will you go over the line and move into the Dark Side of the force in marketing?
At this point, I can tell you that most large corporations are desperate for you to buy their product and they therefore use what are called Black Hat marketing techniques. Unfortunately, as more small business owners have learned from ‘marketing gurus’ the secret Black Hat marketing techniques that the large firms use, they are now using them as well. In fact one of my health mentors who has many many subscribers and followers now uses several of these techniques without even knowing that they were at one point considered black hat.
The truth is he is actually quite naive and has no idea that they were ‘black hat’. In my opinion, meaning I have no evidence to prove this either way, he is so committed to his cause, for which I am aligned, that he sought out some of the top marketers on the planet to help him. The unfortunate side is that that top marketer that he worked with uses these methods because they work and then teaches other people to use them as well.
Although they were initially called Black Hat Marketing Techniques, over time as people became used to them, the term Black Hat (which was not too attractive) lost its lustre in their eyes and therefore that part of the term was removed. Those techniques, however, were not removed or lost. So now it is quite common place to see small business owners applying them without any knowledge or second thought of the integrity behind them.
I prefer honest marketing for a couple of reasons. One is that I can sleep with a clear conscience knowing that I am being honest about my work. Two, I do what I do to help others and therefore being of service is my priority, not profit. Profit is my second priority!
Successful marketing, the honest way, comes down to three things – so get your favorite note making tool handy! (and bookmark this page!)
Successful Marketing the honest way comes down to:
2. Offering an exceptional product or service that is so helpful that it nearly sells itself!
3. Offering exceptional customer service so much so that your client or customer or patient wants to come back to you because of how warm, friendly, honest, and caring you are even if #2 is not the case!
Integrity is the priority. It means you care about your clients and therefore are honest with them in every way about what you do and why you do it. When you are of integrity you do your absolute darndest to walk your talk, stay open, and make service the priority over profit.
In case you ever wonder what marketing without integrity would appear as, it would be a business or business person making profit their priority and selling at all costs – honestly or dishonestly. This could include a hidden agenda, manipulation such as playing with your emotions and focusing on your ‘pain’, hiding important information you should have known before you made the purchase (it is usually in the fine print), etc. (believe me when I say this happens A LOT!!!!)
In future articles I will be sharing some of these ‘black hat marketing techniques’ so that you don’t get taken #1 and so that #2 you don’t use these techniques. I say this because if you do use these techniques and your clients begin to realize this, you WILL lose their business and likely forever!
The truth of the matter, these days, is that honest marketing is becoming taboo. Business owners are becoming more desperate, and are going further and further trying to make sales. There are multiple reasons for this including: a dramatically and constantly changing economic landscape, more and more ‘competition’, emotional insecurity, more people taking risks in starting a business without proper planning and without working with a coach to guide them along, and lastly due to bad teachers!
Actually, it is now common to receive from some of these marketers, 3-4 e-newsletters per week trying to overload you to get you to buy their products! And this is just the beginning.
With this said, if you can focus on marketing successfully the honest way by applying the three items mentioned above, you should find that business and profits flow to you more easily.
If you are following those three, but still not seeing great sales, then the issue is not in how you are offering those services, but rather whether enough people are finding out about your business or not. As I mentioned stay tuned for future articles on how to promote yourself using these 8 main marketing methods!
I hope this article stirs you to begin thinking about how you can come more from integrity, how you can improve your product or service, and how you can enhance your customer service through e-mail, by phone, and in person. 😉
Until next time, here is to your long term business success!