Ripeness vs. urgency in the #NewMarketing

As we progress on the path towards creating clients without poking at people’s fear of missing out, shame, guilt or ‘not enoughness’…

Questions arise.

Like this one:

If using ‘pain point marketing’ rubs you the wrong way, here’s how to think of it instead:

In the old marketing, urgency is used as a psychological trigger to motivate people to act.

On its own, that isn’t predatory or problematic.

We DO need to understand why our core customers choose a particular moment to ‘cross the threshold’ on their journey to more in their lives.

We DO need to speak to what their urgency is.

But in the New Marketing, what we DO NOT need to do is construct fake urgency. (That’s that ‘artifice vs. truth’ distinction from last month’s presentation. If you want to watch the whole thing, you can do that here.)

In the New Marketing, we do NOT need to:

  • Slap a countdown timer on it
  • Talk about how this is a once in a lifetime deal when you’re offering it again in 2 months
  • Use hokey visual language designed to trigger people’s fear of missing out – e.g. ‘the doors will close forever’ or ‘don’t get locked out’

Tip #1 – When you think about urgency in your marketing, think about what makes the situation urgent for your customer (not what you can artificially set up in your campaign to make people get freaked and buy).

If you’re a divorce coach, maybe the urgency is that they just had one more fight, and she knows she needs to make a decision to stay or go.

If you’re a health coach, maybe the urgency is that she can’t bear her partner seeing her sick, tired, and diminished one more day. She is tired of living with digestive issues. And she can’t go on the way it’s been.

If you’re a speaking consultant, maybe the urgency is that she wants to speak internationally, but doesn’t have the bandwidth to map out her message in its most potent and powerful form while running her business – and she just got invited to speak at her dream conference in Dubai. (If this is you, please email me – I may have a client for you).

Tip #2 – Change paradigms – stop thinking about urgency. Frame your communications around ripeness.

I’ve been doing this for awhile and it makes all the difference. First of all: notice the energy of the words urgency and ripeness. Would you rather have a neighbor show up at your front door with something urgent or something ripe?

Would you prefer an urgent basket of strawberries, or a ripe one?

I can hear the old marketing guard barking and trying to tell me I’m wrong: “IF YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT URGENCY, YOUR MARKETING WON’T WORK.”

(They speak in commands and all caps. Hazard of the business.)




Listen, I can hear those guys’ voices, too. It’s transgressive to give these old marketing ideas the slip and run out the door, to go meet your customer, human-to-human, hero-to-hero, instead of trying to control, manipulate or – heaven help us – convert her.

Caveat: if you are new to business and new to marketing, you really do need to frame your business around helping your core customer face a challenge she desires to face in her life.

So think about what that challenge is.

Then think about what makes someone ‘ripe’ to face it.

For many of the coaches, healers and consultants I work with, ripeness for their customers looks like:

  • hearing the call to more
  • knowing they can’t stay where they are one day more
  • deep down, knowing their situation is changeable (esp. for health stuff)
  • a little voice inside whispering encouragement, hope and daring
  • some event that crosses a ‘line in the sand’

So if you want more great clients for your healing, coaching or consulting work, look at the way you frame ‘why now is the time.’ For us in the New Marketing paradigm, it’s actually not about ‘why now is the time to hire me’ and ALL about ‘why now is the time for YOU to cross the threshold to improve your life in this way’. That’s huge. And subtle. And there’s no formula for figuring out how to create it for your business – you just gotta lace up your boots, put on your backpack, cross the threshold, and go on the journey yourself.

But I’ll go with you and keep you company and feed you snacks along the way, if you want. Ask me questions, and stay in conversation with me and 81 other like-minded people who are all creating great clients – by joining Write Club.

Big love,

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

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