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Sunday, October 17, 2010

For Goodness Sake What Exactly Are You Marketing! A Rant

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I haven’t really become contrary in my old age! But it seems that since I launched my Ebook ‘Rip Up the Rule Book” (click on the penguin if you like) that's the appearance I’ve been presenting.

 That said here’s another slightly provocative post!

Maybe I have a different mindset to a lot of Online Marketers but I do like to look for the differences that identify and characterize achievers rather than look for the common denominator.

I accept the rationale that copy and pasting and automating specific ‘proven’ systems should offer the best chance of success in any area of life but…..

Systems reach a tipping point or saturation point where wisdom that was once recognized as groundbreaking evolves into Bland, Tepid, Vanilla– uninspiring and soulless.

There is a big push amongst many marketers to promote Personal Branding as the holy grail of Internet Business Success. 

The irony of course is that so many are using virtually the same swipe files, automated email messages, blog platforms, software for accumulating social network followers, and promoting the same traffic generation systems – that truth be told are merely excuses to capture names – and its doubtful if 1% of the promoters are actually using the programs!

Why am I a little different? And I’ll qualify that comment with the observation that different doesn’t necessarily constitute BETTER – in fact different is often and rightly so, considered MAD!

 Well here’s the thing. I actually take the time to check out my Facebook connections' INFO and as long as I can find some modicum of identification will send an actual personal reply and thanks for the connect. This is not at all feasible if the goal is to simply hit 5000 connections as soon as possible.

The benefit as I see it is obviously not in playing a numbers game but I get to see what people are about – their sense of humour motivation etc.

After a few genuine comments are shared I’ll invariably check out their primary business web page and/or Blog.

This is where it gets weird!

Some of the websites are truly awesome – opt in boxes – fantastic plugins- content about every imaginable subject relating to motivation, inspiration, traffic generation, and so forth.

What’s peculiar? Well it kind of feels like a repeat of a movie I’ve seen sometime or a book (probably Magnetic Sponsoring!) - the problem unfortunately is that it’s just not that memorable.

Jump onto a dozen marketing Blogs have a look around be awestruck and then try and remember a few days later, which was which? What stood out? What was outstanding? Not outstanding because it was professional but outstanding because it was memorable.

I quite like some of Seth Godins content and delivery. Not because its presented with any particular gloss – but simply because the message is invariably short and concise. It matters little whether I agree or not – but if it causes pause for thought that’s outstanding.

Charlie Page is another. Yes I know his material is designed to solicit my purchase of his Ezine Traffic books and advertising BUT it’s upfront I know what the agenda is and am more than happy to check out the content.

OK –enough of the ramblings! Despite some conventional wisdom that states that no one is interested in your business and that they’ve got to like and trust you and feel bonded and connected because you’ve provided them with so much brilliant content –and all for FREE- then and only then is it permissible to mention that you have a business opportunity that might work for them….

 I get this strategy –it’s the softly softly approach. Offer free content to build trust, capture a name and then market to the list – BUT…

Where’s the belief? I see so many people online who absolutely radiate Hope rather than Belief. Those that truly believe in their business opportunity shouldn’t need to wrap it up in some enigmatic riddle that is exhaustive to fathom out.

I click on people’s websites to see what they're about. I’ll see the usual lead capture pages and free gifts (yep I do offer free gifts myself –it’s all good – but…) and I guess at what the business is that they are actually ‘promoting’

The industry is often very visible – but not the actual program.

I believe there is a market place for that weird, insane individual who basically proclaims –‘here is what I do –it’s awesome – check it out and hook up if you’d like to quit your job next year.'
Not subtle – but incredibly duplicateable!

There are some online Bloggers that I really admire –their style, authenticity and researched content but I sometimes scratch my head and wonder how exactly do they make a living, because their primary business is almost impossible to identify and that being the case how is what they are doing scaleable. 

OK this sounds like a rant – that’s not the intention –it’s none of my business how people go about their business. If they spam me on Facebook I can ‘disconnect’ it’s not hard – but playing the devils advocate can be enlightening –just a thought

Hope I haven’t upset anyone –actually that’s probably the point, sssshhhh –that’s a secret…

PS: it would be ironic in the extreme if I didn't provide a link to my primary Business Blog (click on pic below)- where I jump up and down and explain why it's so great!! Feel completely free to ignore the blatant pitch...or not


  1. Oh man-oh-man Kiaran, I'm sooo with you on this one!

    Exactly why, after joining & working with the two most popular "systems" for so-called lead generation - I quit them both after two months!

    Then developed my own, self-hosted blog as my nerve center & leads generator, which by the way, has given me more "leads" than the other two combined ever did.

    If you go down to my blog today...tralala, you'll see a link in the pages tabs that says "Partner With Michael" - and it tells you in NO uncertain terms what my primary business is.

    I'm proud of the company, proud of the products & proud of the people I work & associate with within that business.

    I have a right to tell others about it!

    On the other hand - I DO NOT spam others Face Book walls with my links or marketing hype. I do share product & company news from time-to-time via my own profile status.

    What's the use of building a business, being in business, if you're not "allowed" to advertise it?

    Since when was "attraction marketing" so secretive in nature. Network marketing means relationship marketing - so let's get out there, work on establishing & building relationships, then lets NETWORK.

    If that means sharing my business & what it can do for you - then that's what I'm going to do.

    Great post! Stay inspired...


  2. Hi Kiaran,

    there's a certain truth to what you are writing, and as you know, I definitely like your wrtiting style. What if some people hadn't a so-called primary business and if they simply promoted their lead generation system ? That could be a reason for not finding anything about it.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

    Take care


  3. @ Oliver - good point Oliver - I guess it's those very elaborate and professional looking sites that obviously are designed as funnels to something more

    - but its just so exhausting to go through the processes reqd to find out - thnx for taking the time for the feedback always appreciated!

    Cheers K

  4. haha! Brilliant post Kiaran.

    You do like to tackle the established 'norms' and I can't wait to read your ripped up rule book. (Took me a wee while to locate the penguin by the way)

    I especially love this post because I'm doing some of what you describe, so it's helped me to question exactly what I'm doing and why.

    It's true that online marketing post Mike Dillard is largely about elaborately crafted marketing funnels, and I believe from my own observations and experience that this still works.

    Is there a need to brand yourself and be different more than ever before? Absolutely! My approach is to master the essential marketing elements and then throw the rulebook away, whether this works long term I'll let you know...

    As for the marketing funnel being so opaque that not a glimmer of the business behind it shows through... Mmmm... that could be overkill. Then again, if anyone actually manages to find it, they must be dedicated and keen which is a great qualifying process!

    Thanks Kiaran, an awesome read as always.


  5. Loved the rant. I often rant so can't complain about that. Ranters unite! I do love personal branding because to some their network marketing businesses are just a means to an end. They nee to make money and they need some residual income but there real dream is something beyond juices and tonics so why brand your business. Why not brand what you are really about and just be a marketer for that business. There is usually a system by which each network marketing company wants you to introduce the company to prospects and usually that system works, so of course you don't want them clicking on your primary biz page and making up their mind in 5 seconds. Anyway, my primary blog is not where I market my business. My primary blog is a means to a bigger goal of writing. I offer my primary business on the side as a resource but that is about it. If there was somebody looking for a business I suppose they would ask what company I am involved with. Loved the post. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I am not sure I believe in a duplicatable system, Kiaran.

    I've tried many of them and came to realize that brilliance and dedication cannot be duplicated.

    You have to stand out or even just stand on your own two feet for a change.

    Success won't come by following somebody's footsteps; you HAVE to take what others came up with, adopt it, and make it your OWN.

    Great food for thought.

    Ana Hoffman

  7. Hey Kiaran,

    You're right. I'm guilty as charged. I am going to test if it is a good idea to expose my primary opportunity. It can't hurt.

    But at the same time, I know many successful people who don't tell the world about their primary opportunity upfront. I assume they know what they're doing.

    It's definitely a personal choice.

    My question is, is it worth worrying about? Is there an agonising need to know what others are doing, if they're quite happily going about their business?

    If you really wanted to know, I'm sure tell will tell you when you phone them up - most do have their contact details displayed.

    Curiosity is a double edged sword. Sometimes it can cause you to waste a lot of time and energy.

    Thanks for the thought,

  8. Wow wow wow!
    I think I've been misplaced here. I don't have personal business I promote yet but I blog for publicity and social networking. I intend to introduce a business idea later when I'm fully prepared for it. For now I'm open to learn and make the best of every opportunity that comes.

    Nevertheless, I love this post and the comments. I think it's outstanding and fun to read. :)

  9. I'll add a WOW - the Blog comments are worth a Post in their own right - appreciate the time and consideration that went in to all the above comments -I thought people would be more upset lol!

    Cheers k

  10. Hi Kiaran,

    Yep, there's definitely some wishy washy stuff out there, that, in my opinion is a complete and utter waste of time. I do not know how some people make a living. When I first started in Network Marketing it didn't take me long to realise that even I had no idea what the product was about, it was more to do with the amount of money you could (or couldn't in our case as we just couldn't push a product that was of no real use) make.

    I now stick to affiliate marketing because I actually use the products and am proud to market them as they are!



  11. I also agree that just using a "duplicatable" proven systems will only hurt your chances of success - standing out is the way to go.

  12. Hi Kiaran,

    I agree with you. There is so much "sameness" out there parading as unique and they don't realize it. The good thing is that it's really not that difficult to stand out - just do the opposite to to what all the sheep are doing!


  13. Hi Kiaran,

    I totally needed this because I was struggling with this very issue. Everyone says don't put your primary business on your site, but how do you sell? So guess what, I am going to put my primary business on my site and be proud of it! I am not going to write about it often and I am not going to paste it on every page, but if someone wants to know what I do, they can find it. Thanks for helping work out the problem I was having!

    Cori Hughes

  14. Hey Kiaran,

    Interesting post. I'm more interested in the value that other people are providing rather than their primary opportunity.

    Maybe that's because I'm not looking for a business opportunity and I don't really need to know how others are going about their business. That's just me ;)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

  15. Hey Kiaran,

    Today, it is all about standing tall and being different. Everyone is sick and tired of hearing about the same system. There is so many ways you can package up a system and sell it.

    To stand out is not difficult at all if you put your mind and take action.

    Great stuff!

    Chat with you later...

  16. As a new person in the social media marketing scene, I've found it funny how many people make living--or try to--by marketing marketing. Not a typo. Not that I'm not glad to have had some guidance from the pros, but I expected people to be selling something other than marketing. Maybe I'm just and oddball.

    Jennifer Becton
    author of Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

  17. Hi Kiaran

    I agree that so many blogs do all look the same, full of stuff to sell or affiliate programmes to join.

    I think most people are trying to monetize their blog so I guess they will be promoting similar stuff and therefore look much the same.

    That is not my intention with my blog nor is it a place to market my opportunity.

    You might ask what it is for! Well it is to offer value and inspiration to existing network marketers and to brand myself as an authority. As a result people approach me about what I do or download the free ebook I offer. Then we can talk.

    best wishes
    Charlie Holles

  18. Hi Kiaran,

    I can see both sides of this. There are pros and cons to both.

    Personally, if I really want to know what someone's primary company is, and IF they even have one, I'll just ask if the info isn't right there.

    I haven't met anyone yet that wasn't happy to tell me once I asked. ;)

    Thanks for an entertaining read. :D


  19. You have a lot of interesting ideas and thoughts but I'm not sure how they fit together. Sure there are many who follow the flock and utilize some form of attraction marketing when it comes to network marketing. There are just as many (a flock) who throw it your face (I think it's called spam or annoying you so that you want to unfriend them on Facebook). You don't want people pitching on Facebook // You do want them being upfront about their "primary."

    One thing we can agree on. Rip up the Rulebook. On the other hand one rule is pretty certain: Those who create something of value are most certain to gather wealth, or at the least, a decent living.

    If I seem to critique your overall point, it's also true that I have no really "different" suggestion for an MLMer. I'm not sure of the "best" way to do MLM online except that being different really helps. I keep talking about niche to people but for most MLMers, their niche, even online, is still "everyone." And that's why so many blogs look and feel the same. As Ana said above, duplication is the problem.

    Right now, you would have a hard time knowing my "primary" because it is staring you in the face. I don't have a hidden MLM I am trying to get anyone into.