So as a digital marketing expert, I’m always looking at how others do things and how I could improve how I do things. Things I can pick up, lessons learnt, ideas sought.
Being freelance and learning about social media in an ever-changing landscape can be exhilarating and fraught. Where once words and a well-placed image was enough to capture someone’s interest, now we have live streaming, blogs, webinars, tutorials, vlogs and more. So as much as I am supporting my clients to understand the rich capabilities of the new marketing landscape, I’m also learning as I go, reading blogs, watching webinars and adding to my knowledge.
There is a lot of content out there for free, blogs that can be read, webinars that can be watched.
Recently I’ve been struck by how many people are promising me an almost nirvana existence of self-employment. One where I will be rich beyond my wildest dreams, taking in not only 6, but 7 figures. That’s a lot of noughts! Where I will travel to exotic places, drive fast cars, have bouncy shiny hair and be sought after in podcasts and Huffington Post articles, have an army of people dress me and do my makeup.
All I need to do is believe, follow their structure, stick to their well-trodden path, follow the map and this nirvana is mine for the taking. The money is out there, believe me.
And so to even write a blog post, questioning this, seems to point to me not believing in myself, not believing that there is enough money out there for everyone. Not believing 7 figures can be mine.
Marketing by its very definition is there to sell us our dreams. But somehow this type of marketing has us questioning our very existence. If I’m not earning those elusive 7 figures, maybe it’s because there is something intrinsic missing in me? Maybe I’m too cynical. It’s because I don’t believe, deep down, not really, and therefore I’m still not rich beyond my wildest dreams.
Those selling us this dream have this perfect get out clause.
The self-help manual has merged with business advice and we’re all being sold a dream of self-employment, of 7 figure life styles.
I remember reading The Secret when I had cancer, the premise being that I could basically get anything I wished for, I just had to wish for it hard enough, and if a check for £500 didn’t arrive in the post, it wasn’t that the book was a load of baloney, it was that I hadn’t wished hard enough. Bah.
This 7-figure marketing tactic works in much the same way. We watch a 2-hour webinar promising to give us some elusive tips on how to fill our businesses with rocket fuel. The first 20 minutes is them telling us how they were poor, how nothing worked, how they were on the tread mill of self-employment and then boom they discovered a secret and everything changed and now they’re spending time on yachts and hardly working at all and super rich.
Then they share barely nothing, like a basic customer funnel and then spend another hour hustling to get you to sign up to their course. How can you put a price on 7 figures? Just pay £3,000 and you too will be earning 7 figures. Well, when you put it like that! The problem is they are on 7 figures because they are convincing others to give them their money so they can earn 7 figures and on and on it goes.
Now some of these social media marketing gurus moguls are awesome and do deliver what they preach, but most are just tosh and other nothing new to the market. Hey to be an expert I just need to know a little more than you! It’s an open shop, everyone is an expert, anyone can earn 7 figures, all you need to do is convince enough people to pay you for your expertise and you can earn 7 figures.
That’s it, that’s the deal.
So why does it bother me so much? Why do I feel that we’re cheating people? I certainly don’t want to market my products in this way. I want to be truly authentic, running a business is hard work. Working for someone else is also hard work. It’s just a different type of hard. I’m not saying it’s not fun and I don’t love working for myself – because I do. But it is hard work. And I don’t want anyone or myself to feel cheated because we’re not earning 6 or 7 figures, or that we’re not good enough, or that everyone else is doing it, why can’t I?
I see behind the scenes with business owners who are successful, who are paying their bills, a pension, own a car, go on several holidays, yet they feel less worthy than they are, because they are constantly comparing themselves to this 7-figure yacht lifestyle.
At what point did we all have to become millionaires to be deemed a success? The constant striving isn’t healthy. We’re not able to enjoy our present successes because we’re always looking for new shinier objects.
These gurus are just marketing their product in the only way they know how, through the dream of the ultimate perfect self-employed life. And why not? It’s just I don’t want to feel forced to have to market my services in this way. I don’t want to offer my clients the world on a stick, I just want to offer them more knowledge and power, so they can go and build their business, feel more confident and have greater clarity over how to reach out to more customers.
It’s a more honest way of going about things, much less sexy than offering 7 figures, but for me it’s an offer based in a reality.
So, I’m working on another marketing ploy – work with me and together we can improve your business, make it better than it was before, you’ll have more clarity and confidence and get more customers. You probably won’t be earning 7 figures in the first 6 months though – is that OK?