By: Lisa Manyon
There is a BIG shift occurring. Several years ago I was asked to contribute to a book and write about my thoughts on marketing on the Internet. Even then I felt the collaborate shift in marketing and business. I highlighted this in a chapter titled “How the Ever Changing Landscape of Internet Marketing Affects Your Message and Why You Must Adapt.”
I noted that many of the standard marketing techniques, especially in the copywriting arena, were antiquated and not as effective as they once were. The list included hyped-up claims, overly “sales-y” spiels, hard-sell tactics, broad-based messages, scare tactics, stretching the truth, false claims of scarcity, over-dramatizing pain and problems and more. All tactics that don’t resonate with me and that I felt deeply were not resonating with conscious, heart-based entrepreneurs in general.
Several years later, my predictions continue to hold true. There’s a shift from competition to collaboration and the Internet allows us to reach more people, connect with other creative, conscious business owners and do the work we love from the comfort of wherever we might be. This shift also requires a different approach to marketing. It requires creating marketing messages with integrity.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to writing, marketing and advertising. I grew up in a home in very rural Northern California. I was blessed to have both my mom and dad in the home. When I was a small kid, we only received signals from two television stations and watched the tube on an old black and white model with modified rabbit ear antennas (keep in mind, we were one of the houses ‘in town’ that actually had electricity). The old rotary dial telephone is still the trusty standby in power outages and life is pleasantly simple there. My exposure to advertising and marketing was limited to the two television channels and few radio stations. I can still remember watching commercials at a very young age and thinking “I can do better than that”. Even then advertisers and marketers were missing the mark (and even as a child, I could see that).
In fourth grade a gal pal and I created the first school newspaper for our elementary school. We produced it on a mimeograph machine (yes, I know I’m dating myself). Even then I knew I had a voice and that I needed to share it to make a difference. I also know I am very blessed to have parents who supported me in that pursuit.
For women especially, it’s hard to share our voice. I was shocked to find that the saying “Children should be seen and not heard” “is a Victorian-based idea that obedient, quiet children are superior to other children. Interestingly enough, it originally applied specifically to young women.
With history like this, it’s not surprising that the societal and generational impact of specific sayings like “It’s not polite to brag,” and rhetorical questions like, “Who do you think you are?” continue to hold back women (and men, as well) even today. It’s hard to imagine a time when keeping to yourself was seen as a superior quality. I imagine this programming makes it difficult for many women to create marketing messages to support their businesses.
Fast-forward to present day, and we see that many women still find themselves bound by the invisible chains of antiquated thinking and even familial programming. They shrink, hold back and don’t speak up. They are subconsciously afraid, maybe because they were taught as children that bragging isn’t polite or they simply don’t want to outshine their peers because they crave acceptance. The possibilities are endless, but the fact remains the same: Each of us is born with a unique gift. Our particular gift or talent might be similar to others’ but it cannot be fully duplicated because it is uniquely ours. To take it a step further, we must accept that we are meant to share our gift with the world. When we don’t, without realizing it, we actually do a disservice to the world. One of the ways to get our message out is by marketing. In fact, if you don’t market your business, a funny thing happens… nothing. We must market to thrive.
We’ve got tons of information coming our way about the right way to build our businesses and how we need to go about it. We receive faxes, e-mails, telephone calls, cell phone calls, instant messages, text messages, QR codes, blog posts, social media updates and more. There’s permission marketing techniques, outrageous business growth philosophies that tout being aligned with your customers, qualifying prospects, the need for a website and comprehensive marketing plan and the list goes on. Many of the techniques being taught are dated and no longer apply (they just aren’t working like they once did). On the flipside, getting back to basics has more merit than many are recognizing.
As the landscape of marketing and advertising continues to change there are some tried and true principles that remain solid. My dad taught me some of them without me realizing it at the time. When I started selling ads for my high school and college papers I asked my dad to advertise his woodworking business and he wasn’t interested, I was baffled. He simply didn’t want to reach out to the masses. In fact, he refused to have his business telephone number listed in the phone book (you get one complimentary listing when you have a business line). Instead, my dad was really clear on his values and his mission. He limited his accessibility, accepted work only by referral and he turned down work he didn’t want to do. This in turn increased the demand for his work.
I didn’t know it at the time but my dad was teaching me to create my niche, be uniquely different, work with only people I want to work with, limit my accessibility to be in higher demand and be true to myself while maintaining integrity.
As I continue to step into what I’m truly meant to be doing I’m discovering new ways to market my business (and the businesses of my clients). I’m finding that the formulas being taught for copywriting (the foundation of all of our marketing messages) aren’t working as well as they once were. These formulas are not resonating with women who help make the majority of all purchasing decisions.
I challenge the age old industry adage that “Copy is King.” I’ve found that copy is actually QUEEN and content strategy is KING and together they are the key to creating strong and effective results. Even the best copy in the world won’t work if you don’t have a strategy in place. Think of strategy as masculine energy and copy as feminine energy –both are vital but if they are not working together it’s a struggle.
I’ve also found that the traditional copywriting formula of “Problem. Agitate. Solve.” isn’t resonating with women. Women are looking for solutions to their challenges. What’s really working is the new copywriting formula of “Challenge. Solution. Invitation.™”
In the traditional formula we highlight the issue, we agitate that issue to focus on the pain points and then we solve the problem. I believe people are in enough pain. We don’t need to be agitated to make a decision. In fact, especially for women, when someone acknowledges our challenges (and really understands where we’re coming from), provides a helpful solution and extends a friendly invitation, we’re more likely to take action. Nothing truly flows when it comes from a place of pain and fear…
When we know in our hearts we are meant to make a difference, we owe it to ourselves and our fellow humans to step forward and be heard. More women are choosing to express these gifts by starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur. We create new opportunities as a conduit to share our gifts by providing services and benefits for the greater good. We have the power to share our gifts in many ways, and one of the most important ways is by letting people know how our unique gift can benefit them and creating marketing messages with integrity. The new marketing model for success comes from a place values and service first. Anything else is transparent and not in a good way. How do you choose to market your business? Are you creating marketing messages with integrity?
Lisa Manyon’s new marketing model for success has been featured Inc. Magazine. Her “Challenge. Solution. Invitation.™” formula is changing the way we market forever. She offers content rich articles and a free Copywriting Action plan on her Apex award-wining blog www.writeoncreative.com/blog
She is “The Business Marketing Architect” a content strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She’s the creator of the new marketing model for success as featured in Inc. Magazine. She teaches a relationship based approach to marketing with integrity with her “Challenge. Solution. Invitation.™” formula. Lisa’s Content Strategy Plans and innovative marketing vision have been known to accurately predict marketing trends and generate over $40,000 in the first email campaign when incorporating her methods. Her big vision and ability to see all the pieces of your marketing puzzle allows her to help you reverse engineer your big ideas into tangible action steps to turn your dreams into reality. Lisa is a regular guest expert on Experience Pros radio, her philosophies are featured in the book Wonder Women: How the Western Woman Will Save The World and beyond. Lisa is available for speaking engagements and you can learn more by visiting her media kit lisa.instantmediakit.com.