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How to Survive in the Age of Un-Marketing

Traditional advertising not working lately? I’ve been hearing that a lot. Has the new Facebook algorithm shift killed your traffic and engagement? Yup, heard that one too. I keep hearing all these things about why the same old same old marketing BS that’s being used isn’t working.

You know what? I don’t want to hear it anymore so I’m going to change the tune. I want to talk about marketing using the disruptive techniques I’ve coined un-marketing.

People are tired, burned-out, and generally allergic to generic business marketing. It’s everywhere! In the middle of my Youtube videos, and now my Facebook videos. While I’m reading an article, searching a website, walking the dog, taking a bath, watching TV, nearly every activity contains some form of advertising.

Now tell me, when was the last time a shiny ad earned your click? For me, it’s extremely rare. Both because I don’t notice the ads anymore, and because I know that clicking that ad signs me up to see even more ads just like them. Ew.

I don’t trust crowdfunding or whiteboard videos, podcasts or blogs, stale muffins or dinner recommendation without someone I know and trust assuring me it’s the right choice.

This brings me to un-marketing. You see, more and more people I know will go out of their way to garner a recommendation before choosing a service. Ads be damned, I want a real, live, warm-blooded human being to tell me they had success with the product or service before I’ll touch it with a 10-foot -pole. What about you?

I know from experience the supreme power behind un-marketing and I’m going to share it with you.

What is Un-Marketing

My definition of un-marketing is marketing that you don’t pay for with dollars or doodads. It’s something that cannot be bought by traditional means. It’s earned in only one way – by being exceptional. Un-marketing relies on your ability to meet the promises you make your customers AND THEN SOME.

Before you start to panic, being EXCEPTIONAL does not mean you need to be PERFECT. Exceptional is your ability to deliver on your claims while going above and beyond with your customer service skills. Customer service is your ability to make your customer or client happy. It’s that simple.

Why Should I Listen to You?

If you’re a struggling business, this is vital stuff.

When I first started my business, I was running an event planning agency. There were two of us that needed to make a living off the business and two working in and on it. Despite all of my efforts, I could not manage to get us enough work to live off of. Then two became one and I was struggling to make ends meet.

I did what I always do – got resourceful. I examined my event planning business and promptly threw it out the window. It wasn’t my zone of genius nor did I have the time to embrace it fully. I decided to go back to what I knew the best; Providing support to business owners virtually.

Being back in my own wheelhouse felt good and it allowed me to provide exactly what I said I could and always with a smile. I put all my focus on my clients and their success. I make them feel good about their choices, helped them get unstuck, and bring in new business and new hope. I find such deep satisfaction from providing this support that I find it easy to couple it with exceptional customer service.

You know what happened? One person told another, then the next client told two, and the next even more. As I grew more confident, so did my clients grow more confident in me. They take pride in referring me because they can feel safe in the knowledge I will take care of the people they care about.

That is the true power behind un-marketing and why I feel uniquely qualified to offer this advice – it’s how I’ve built my entire business.

How Can I Use Un-Marketing for My Business?

Speaking of business, I bet you’re wondering how you can apply this to yours. I’ll give you a simple 3 steps to un-marketing magic. They are:

  1. Find Your Zone of Genius
  2. Provide Exceptional Service
  3. Make It Easy to Refer You

Do these things, and rinse repeat where needed, and you’ll be on your way to compounding un-marketing karma.

Find Your Zone of Genius

Whether you like your zone of genius or not, we all have those things that we naturally excel at. For me, that’s customer care and the foundation of my business. Starting in your zone will allow you to feel confident in your abilities. Confidence helps your prospects turn into clients.

Your zone is also generally where you are your most productive. When you are confident and knowledgeable, you can often complete a task fast than someone who is not. More work for less time increase your ability to make money.

Provide Exceptional Service

Since we are operating in our wheelhouse, we need to pay less attention to how the work is done and more about how to present the work you do in the best possible light. It’s easier when you know what you are doing to focus on the smaller details like customer care.

I know I said this once before however it must be emphasized. Exceptional does not mean perfect. It’s going above the call of duty, though that’s not to say something won’t go wrong. Exceptional service is about picking up the pieces and still building your clients dream product.

If you show a client that you will always go above and beyond to ensure they have their needs met, they will keep coming back for more. Why rock the boat?

Make It Easy to Refer You

You simply cannot forget this part! If you make things hard for someone to do, especially when there is nothing in it for them, they won’t do it. Making it easy is your best chance for a successful referral.

I make it easy in a few different ways. First off, I show my clients through my own actions that I will post and share their content. This is good for me and for them, so why wouldn’t I? In return, they often will like or share my content.

When I conclude a project or service with one of my clients, I ask for feedback and directly ask for referrals. If they know someone who could use your talents, it would be a crime not to. If you’ve completed steps one and two, this will be lucrative. (Or at the very least helpful.)

Finally, I follow up on the product or service I provided and give them an easy way to provide me information which I add to my portfolio. My clients get visibility and link back credit, and I get to share my awesome clients and the cool things I do for them.

I want to give them every opportunity to share me with the world, without being pushy, overbearing or demanding to much.

Sacha’s Secret Un-Marketing Sauce

Even when I think there’s nothing more I can add to a blog post, I still manage to whip out a little value-add. The Value Add is my very favorite method of doing business.

If there is a product, service, or piece of advice I can offer someone without detriment to myself or my company, you can be darn sure I’ll do it. I’ve done graphics on the rush for a referral and built websites for non-profits to help them find success. These activities don’t net me cash, but they give me un-marketing karma instead. When I am in need and looking for support, it’s those that I have supported that will be the first to act.

I especially like offering technical support. Many folks find technical things beyond them. Sort of like I feel when I have to do my taxes. In a world becoming more and more reliant on technology, those individuals are in a pickle. What might take me 5 minutes could leave them stumped for months. I’m happy to lend a hand to help get someone unstuck because eventually, that karma will come around. It comes back two-fold: I get to provide support while getting to know someone else and their unique story, and in most cases, they will offer my name up for business when the need arises. Win-win.

My methods may not be for everyone, but they have worked wonders for me. If you want to chat more about it, book a call or send me an email. I’m truly here to help. ~Sacha Brant

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