Where do we go from here?

First off, big thanks to the surly crew that showed up for the conversation about the new way of marketing and building your business yesterday. Y’all are the wind beneath my wings!

(Missed this? We’ll send out a recording soon – to get on that delivery list, sign up here.)

Second, many of us around these parts are seeing that the marketplace is changing.

We’ve been talking about this for awhile here, but I need to put on my ‘copywriting hat’ and do a little real talk with you.

For the past 8 years, I’ve been writing copy with and for business owners. In that time, most of us were following Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula – which is a particular way of structuring an email campaign into phases, and building up people’s appetite to buy whatever it is you are selling.

To be clear: years ago, when I first read this book, I got really excited. So excited, in fact, that I bought it and sent it to several of my private clients.




Real talk: I still like the structure that Mr. Walker taught. It makes sense to build up buzz and anticipation. To think through the phases of a marketing campaign. Etc.

But like all conversations, the conversation about marketing has evolved.

Conversations are living, breathing things, after all.

What’s been frustrating to me over the years is to have a person who is essentially new to their business trying to pull off a Product Launch Formula-style marketing campaign.

Because too often, this strategy gets sold to newer business owners as a panacea for whatever ails them, revenue-wise.
But the truth is: email campaign marketing is not for beginners.

It’s an advanced marketing tactic that takes a fair amount of study, wisdom, and discernment to get right.

And even then, you can count on getting it wrong – and learning – and getting it wrong – and learning – and getting it wrong – and learning again… before you get it right.

But I digress.

My point is: beginners in business have no business investing their hard-earned shekels in studying an advanced marketing tactic like the Product Launch Formula if they expect that to net an immediate return on their investment.

I’d rather see beginners invest their money, attention, and efforts elsewhere.

Like talking to people, having conversations, getting their heads screwed on straight and—when the timing is right—allowing a potential client to invite you to work with them, for starters.

(See what I did there? Part of the new paradigm in marketing, sales, and business building is that you, business owner, do not do the inviting. You structure the sales conversation in such a way that you allow your potential client to invite you to work with them. This gives them back their power, which is an important and radical act in a marketplace that preaches ‘empowerment’ from one side of its mouth and disempowers people with shaming and fearful sales messages from the other.)




What’s good for the beginner in business is actually good for the rest of us as well.

If this isn’t your first rodeo, now is the time to shore up your relationships—with your leads, yes, but also with your allies and colleagues.

Now is the time to go back to basics – the good, old school fundamentals of your practice of business.

Get out in your community.

Find and nurture relationships with allies who ‘have your back.
Carve out time for reflection amid your days of working ‘in’ the business…

Run a ruthless inventory on anything you’ve been doing in your business – marketing-wise, sales-wise – that offends your own soul, or that you’ve outgrown, or that never fit or felt right in the first place.

Cut away anything that is not a part of your mission.

Now is the time when we move to higher ground.

There’s nothing to fear here.

In fact, it’s quite a thrilling time.

But know this: the old ‘rules’ that have governed marketing and business for this last stretch of road?

They’re crumbling.

And, as this happens around us, in the words of one of my favorite poems by D.H. Lawrence:

Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.



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 www.stellaorange.com/newmarketing.

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