To Hell With Marketing: 8 Things We Won’t Be Doing In 2017

This year, let’s stop “marketing our businesses.” Let’s quit making sales funnels and secret million dollar strategies and putting everything on autopilot. It’s all crap.

Instead, let’s put our focus on experimenting until we find an original way of consistently reaching out to people who are interested in our help.

Because the world needs our original ideas. And the best customers aren’t interested in us rehashing the same tried-and-true systems and formulas.

So here’s what we WON’T be doing in 2017:

1) Stop saying marketing is about “converting” people. I don’t know a single human alive who lays awake at night, looking up at the stars through her bedroom window, and dreams about “being converted.” No more using the word “converting” when talking about people. The rest of us will throw you out of the room until you come back to your senses about relating to other human beings.

2) Skip “touching their pain” if it makes you feel bad. I may look like a copywriting teacher, but I swear that I’m running a recovery program for coaches, healers and self-employed professionals who have told they ‘must’ make prospective clients feel bad in order to get them in the buying mood. Nuts to that, I say!

3) Resist using the tired, cliché line “leaving money on the table.” This is a classic “fear of missing out” move. Ick! Let’s boycott playing on our audiences’ FOMO in an unoriginal attempt to sell something. Maybe we were leaving that money on the table because we didn’t want to work with a certain person, or we weren’t convinced we could help them. Let’s not be vacuum cleaners for dolla billz, y’all. It’s tacky.

4) If you don’t like telesummits/social media/webinars, don’t do them.  Let’s find the communication channel that works best for your skills, personality, and ideal client. (Shannon Hernandez over at the Writing Whisperer has a great quiz to help you figure out which of the 5 main content ‘channels’ are for you).  No more forcing yourself to be someone you’re not – let’s build on our strengths so you can get out there and connect with great clients.

5) Get over calling yourself a heart-centered entrepreneur, a mompreneur, a femmepreneur…. Some people in business are narcissists who are only out for themselves. Can we just call them that, instead of wasting syllables qualifying who we are?

6) It’s OK not to write a blog. If writing makes you relive a traumatizing comment from an unhappy adult in your childhood, you have two choices: 1) find a way to get over it (check out our Shut Up And Writeathon, which will help you do this) or 2) find another way to build relationships and nurture your leads. There’s more than one way to do this. Find yours.

7) Don’t freak out about keeping a marketing calendar. Lots of marketing people have really good content marketing calendar templates. But  people’s creative processes – and brains—work differently. There is no one way to do marketing. Study what other people are doing, take what resonates, and add what is uniquely your own.

8) Please don’t do internet marketing when a phone call works better. Do not expect to get your first 12 paying clients from the internet, your website, or sitting behind your laptop typing things. This is not how it works. We all need to remember that picking up the phone and having conversations with people is the fastest way to connect and create clients. (If you want help, see Matthew Kimberley’s 5 Things You Need to Do Every Morning To Get More Clients in 60 Days eBook here).

Bottom line: “marketing your business” is so 2016. It’s time for a change. It’s time for a snazzier, more interesting, more original approach. One where you trust yourself. Use your real voice. Create a unique way of reaching out and nurturing relationships with prospective clients that feels like you. Where you’re consistent. Where people know they can count on you. Where you finally locate the words for what you do, so you can get out there and make the difference you know you’re here to make.

Stella Orange teaches her clients how to effectively market their business by telling a better story in their marketing— the story of the hero answering the call to more. A professional copywriter whose writing has generated millions of dollars in sales, Stella knows that the story we tell in our marketing matters a whole lot, because on a fundamental level, it shapes how people think about themselves and what’s even possible for them. Three times a month, Stella hosts a 90-minute Shut Up And Write session via videoconference for members of her Write Club community. She is based in Buffalo, New York, where she lives with her husband, the Philosopher, and their dog, Chachi. Get a copy of Stella’s position paper The New Marketing: How to Create Clients Without Feeling Gross, Icky or Manipulative at


  1. So much gratitude for you, Stella!

    • Stella

      Received and felt. I feel the same way about you, Rena…

      • Rena


  2. Yes.. Just love you Stella! 🙂 Ditto Rena

    • Stella

      Blowing you kisses, NR!

  3. I love all that, thanks Stella! And let’s also stop saying marketing is about “acquiring” customers. I don’t want to be acquired.

    • Stella

      AGREED! You got it, Kay. Thanks for reading!

  4. Thank you, Stella, this is just what I have been needing to hear. I have a free workshop next week that I intend to do just for the people who have chosen to register. Of course I would like to have them all for clients, but I just need to CONNECT with some people outside my circle and all 6 people signed up are people I do not now know.

    • Stella


      Yep, the CONNECTION is the trick. Connect with people at your workshop, offer them a conversation, and ask questions to determine if you can be of service. Best of luck!


  5. Hey Stella
    I loved this post and your way with words. I am a coach and I particularly resonated with not using emotionally manipulative sales copy that preys on people’s fears, frustrations and the like or makes them feel badly in some way. I have never been a fan of that and don’t use it. I want people to purchase my products and services because they resonate with me and my work and know it will be of benefit, not because I ‘pushed’ the right buttons or made them feel like they might as well off themselves if they don’t buy it because their life will just continue to suck. Great stuff!

    • Stella

      Great point – if something doesn’t feel aligned, that’s a signal to NOT do it. Glad you’re listening to your own ‘still, small voice’ and following her wise counsel!

  6. This is some fine advice, Orange. And thank you for the mention. Big love

  7. I wish I had more to say than “amen!” and “heck to the yes!”

    The part about how you don’t HAVE to do anything was a revelation to me when I stumbled onto it. Validation is always welcome.

    I blogged for a year or so, butt in chair, and it was awesome. I wound up with over 100 articles before I hit the wall. Then I decided to revise, merge, prune, and get even more focused. That was even more awesome. Now I have a website that’s largely a “greatest hits” package. So keep evolving, y’all.

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