Be More Repulsive


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A simple, counter-intuitive idea for you today.

You’ve likely been told the importance of niche in marketing. Likely you’ve heard this from myself. You’ve likely heard about the importance of honing in on who you want to reach, to identify your ideal client, chosen audience or target market and maybe even to create a client avatar.

And those are all fine ideas.

But I want to suggest something you might not have considered doing before.

And, until the other day, I hadn’t either.

One of the central roles of marketing is to not just get the attention of your ideal clients but also to make sure you filter out the clients for whom your work will not be a fit in the same way that a window screen allows fresh air in but keeps out the flies.

And so we’re told to write all of our marketing material with our ideal clients in mind. We’re told to write our marketing materials as a sort of letter to them and only them.

And I think that’s good advice. I think it handles 95% of the issue of filtering.

But I’d like to give you an approach to writing sales copy that is the icing on the cake.

Step One: Identify your nightmare client. Get clear on who you never want to work with. Think about all of the worst clients you’ve ever had all rolled into one. Take 20 minutes to map this out a bit.

Step Two: Pick a sales letter or your homepage.

Step Three: Read the sales letter as if you were that Nightmare Client and ask yourself, “Would reading this repel me?” and, if not, rewrite the sales letter so that this person would never even think to call you. Make your materials repulsive to your Nightmare Client, not just attractive to your Ideal Client.

If you’re tired of emotionally needy clients, you might decide to say, “I’m not your mother. I’m not your best-friend. If you’re looking for someone who is touchy feely and who will hold you while you cry for hours and listen to your stories, I’m not it.” Or you might say the opposite, “If you’re looking for a nuts and bolts tactician, that’s not me. I’m here to hold space for your emotional process.”

You might say, “I’m a fundamentalist Christian and so, if my speaking Jesus’ name offends you, then you should stay away.”

You might say, “If you a building a business in the mining, tobacco or oil and gas industry, don’t come to my marketing workshop. This is not for you. I don’t want your business to succeed.”

And you might say all of that less directly but in a more implied manner. I’m not suggesting you intentionally be rude or offensive, but I am inviting you to consider a new level of candour that your ideal clients would love and that your less than ideal clients would be actively repulsed by.

You’ll figure out how but, I can promise you that this will make your sales copy better.

Additional Reading:

Get Rejected Faster

About Tad

  • Karen Lee

    Never thought of this approach. It is hysterical. I can already imagine my letter:

    “My acupuncture practice is a place of peaceful calm. If you like to show up high on sugar, vats of coffee, Big Gulps, alcohol or stoned out of your mind, please find another place to go.
    I am an acupuncturist, not a psychologist. Needles do the work — not me doing talk therapy.
    If you have weeping sores, large hernias, cancers and other serious illnesses, I do not want to see them or touch them. I am not an MD or even an RN. Go to a hospital.
    I am not a free clinic. Find one if you can’t afford my already rock-bottom community acupuncture prices.
    If you feel you need to explain to me what points and herbs I should use because you looked up some stuff on the internet, well, kudos for your proactivity, but I do have 20 years of experience and medical licenses.
    And please do not call this middle-aged Nasty Woman a Little Needle Girl. I will not tolerate insults, condescension and lack of respect.
    Oh, and if you want to engage in repeated no-shows, get real with yourself. Just don’t make any appointments.”

  • Ha! I love it. And honestly? Something in that neighbourhood wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

  • David Jurasek

    Love this bold invitation, Tad.

    Love the example that Karen, you offered below…

    Encouraged, here goes my off the cuff rant:

    If you’re looking to vent about women or blame your partner for a lackluster relationship, or worse, for your cheating and being a jerk to them, expect to get your ass kicked here! Respect the zero BS space or be promptly sent on your way!

    If you want a lot of free information and rich theory to fill your head and make you feel good about yourself, because you already know all that or you like holding onto ideas and not doing anything about them, this place will disappoint you. In fact, it’s mostly about YOU taking time to get real about your feelings and your behaviour – the heart of what matters between you and your partner.

    Still here? Ok, so if you want to take an honest look at yourself and you relationship – even a brutal, clear, and possibly heart-breaking look AND then find out what you can do to create the love you have been longing for…

    Well, first, I gotta tell you… it ain’t gonna be easy or free.

    Just like in relationship, you gotta give and take for it to be worthwhile.

    I recommend you start by finding some courage and take this online quiz about your #1 barrier to finding and keeping true love. Warning, it’ll be a waste of time if you zip through it mindlessly or multi-task. Conversely, it may shock and surprise you if you take 5 mins and answer honesty. Though it may shatter some of you ego, we believe that the truth is the soil for true love to grow in.

    PS – This deceptively simple and quick quiz is also our gate to keep out men who we don’t want in our community (victims, complainers, macho a-holes). And it’s our test to sort through and find the men who are ready to look at themselves and become more powerful and loving. If you take the time to take this step and do it honestly, congrats you pass and warm welcome!

  • Karen Lee

    It is very tempting.

  • Love it.

  • Iris P. Weaver

    Oh, this is great!! I love the concept, it’s so helpful.

    The examples are funny and really make the point.

  • Iris P. Weaver

    So do it! Probably a little less in your face, but it could be really useful, I think.

  • Iris P. Weaver

    Ok, I’d sign up!

  • Nic Cornell

    love this! it is in line with what has been on my mind the past week.