Excerpt from The New Marketing: A Story of Hope in the Age of Insecurity

I just finished a new position paper, The New Marketing: A Story of Hope in the Age of Insecurity, which we’ll be sending to subscribers later this month. Below is a series of excerpts:

Marketing tells the same old story

Underneath most marketing is the same old story.

It goes something like this:

You (potential customer) have a problem.

It hurts so much and has gotten so bad that you want relief.

I (the business) have the magical solution.

I will sell it to you.

This story has been told through advertising and marketing since the beginning.

We’re told that if we want clients, we must tell this story, too.

To recap, we’ve been told that to get clients:

We must touch people where it hurts.

We must poke at their insecurity.

We must connect with their overwhelm.

We must agitate their discomfort.

Gut check: how does this story make you feel?

The problem with the old marketing

As any coach, teacher, healer, or person who’s overcome anything in her life knows, the story we tell ourselves inside our own heads matters a whole lot.

Not everyone knows this, of course. But I bet you do. And I bet you do this work with your clients, on some level. So you know these stories can be swapped out, shaped and polished.

So let me ask you this:

Why would anyone think that telling people stories about their hurt, pain or suffering would lead to great clients?

This is the problem with the old marketing.

The old marketing would have us to tell prospective customers a story about how they can’t solve their problem without a Professional or an Expert (or their magical solution).

It would have us connect with people around feelings like struggle, overwhelm, fear of missing out, or ‘I’m not enough.’

Worse, it would have us set up a power dynamic where we (the business owner) have the magic beans.

I find this story terribly misleading.

And rather dull.

Plus, if you are a coach or healer who’s committed to reminding people of their own power or freedom, trusting oneself above external authority, or remembering Who We Really Are, telling this old marketing story might pull you out of integrity.

Old Marketing

Mass market

Generic

Conversion

High-pressure sales

Predatory

Coach or consultant knows what’s best (external authority)

I will save you

Transactional

Codependent

Formulaic

Rationalizes credit card debt in order to increase sales

Promises beginners unrealistic results

Sells the dream

Seeks as many sales as possible (volume)

Artificially low pricing to drive sales

Connects with potential clients’ feelings of scarcity, fear of missing out, and struggle

New Marketing

Curated, boutique

Original

Connection

No-pressure sales

Right relationship

Coach or consultant acts as ally, guide or mentor (inner wisdom)

Save yourself

Relational

Right relationship

Conversational

“If you don’t have the money, this isn’t for you”

Sets appropriate expectations for beginners and their results

Sells the journey

Seeks the right clients (discernment)

“Quality costs what it costs”

Connects with potential clients’ feelings of desire, possibility, and love of a good challenge

Stella Orange is the founder and creative director of StellaOrange.com, a company that helps people spread the word about their good work. As a copywriting teacher, Stella shows her students how to nail their moneymaking message and find their writing voice so they move their audiences to action with a quirky, human touch. Stella’s clients include self-employed professionals and one-person businesses seeking to develop clarity, confidence and sales through the written and spoken word. She is the creator and leader of the Shut Up And Write Club, a community for lifestyle business founders on a mission to improve their copywriting results. Stella is based in Buffalo, New York. Find out about upcoming writing labs and events at www.stellaorange.com.

One Comment


  1. Stella… great post. I love seeing the 2 lists together. It’s so clear which camp I am / want to operate from. Thanks

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