A while ago, one of the entrepreneurs whose list I subscribe to sent an email with a subject header that made me think.
I forget what it was exactly, but it was along the lines of ‘Use this trick to explode your audience!’
And I thought: what complete hogwash. (and yes: I unsubscribed)
For one thing, what’s this ‘explode your audience’ thing?
Why would you want to explode your audience?
Sounds pretty messy to me.
Sure, I get it: it’s a figure of speech.
But it’s a figure of speech around a concept that is designed to beguile people.
Because sure, you can do things that make your audience grow big, and very fast – but whatever you do, it’s going to be hard work.
It’ll take time, and lots of it, and you’ll probably have to invest money too.
SEO, design, crafty copywriting… you don’t get an ‘exploding audience’ for free.
Just won’t happen.
And yet, marketers will jump at every opportunity to try and fob off yet another push-button, never-been-this-easy, fully-automated-business-building-machine widget or course.
It’s what made some poor ill-advised guy come to me a few years go, when I still did copywriting.
He wanted to invest $1000 with me, which he thought would get him a website, copy, traffic, and sales.
He earnestly thought that for 1K you can build an automated money machine.
Disregarding the fact that if that were possible, I’d be doing it myself instead of for others.
But, he’d been told by some scuzzy marketer that this stuff really works.
Of course you’re not that gullible.
But, the marketing industry has spent about 100 years becoming really very good at selling stuff, and you don’t even need to be gullible to be taken in.
Not if the seller knows what he’s doing.
After all, the biggest cons in history happened to some really smart people.
Psychology is behind it: the smarter and more experienced we are, the easier it is to think that we won’t fall for a con.
And it’s exactly that confidence that a con artist preys upon.
That’s why it’s called ‘con’ – short for confidence. Confidence is what sells, and it’s the ethics of the seller that determines whether or not a buyer gets conned, or gets something truly valuable.
And to me, the kind of marketer who uses hype and manipulation and the promise of mountains of money or insanely fast audience growth, is no better than Bernie Madoff or someone who tries to sell the Brooklyn Bridge (which a man George C. Parker did many many times. True fact).
So be on the lookout for things that seem too good to be true.
They usually are.
Why this advice today?
Because I want you to know that when someone wants to sell you something with the pure intention of making your life better or solving your problems, they’ll do it in such a way that you won’t feel manipulated.
A good and ethical seller will give you all the options, realistic expectations, and, most importantly:
The full power of deliberation and choice – in your hands.
If you do exactly that same thing, you’ll never have to be salesy, won’t have to manipulate or push people.
Instead, you’ll become someone that people want to buy from, so that you don’t have to sell unto folk.
And that’s good for sales – and it’ll give you a higher percentage of satisfied buyers as well.
Which in my book is a good goal to strive towards.
Also published on Medium.