When you think of marketing yourself or your clients, you might identify it as a task, job, department, or all of the above. You might see it as something that is done TO people to get them to buy products and services.
In comparison, UNmarketing bucks trends and ignores “rules” of marketing.
It’s not something you do TO people. And it is NOT a task, job, or department.
That shift in mindset and approach is what Scott Stratten introduces you to in his book, UNmarketing.
And it applies whether you’re marketing yourself as a freelancer, or on behalf of a client. Scott’s UNmarketing strategy is to be authentically authentic. That is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or the big “UN” points in his book.
You stand out by being you, instead of following the herd. Consider how you want to be treated. As a consumer. As a person. How do you want to be marketed to?
Turn the tables. Apply that to those you want as customers.
But What If the Business Is New and Just Starting?
UNmarketing does take time, especially when you’re starting out. It’s not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. And it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at it.
Time is your most important resource to building an online presence. And the best way to do it is one platform at a time.
You don’t need to be everywhere. It sounds counterintuitive, but it works. The “Power of One” applies here too. Just like campaigns fail when you’re not speaking to your ideal prospect, building an online presence by trying to be everywhere — at the same time — wastes a lot of money (and time) for little to no results. It’s the best way to leave you convinced “it doesn’t work” for you.
This idea of building your presence one platform at a time is also reinforced by the Godfather of content marketing and author of Content Inc., Joe Pulizzi.
Where Should I Hang Out?
You need to be where your customers are.
It doesn’t matter how comfortable you are on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or whatever other platform is created… if your clients don’t use it, you shouldn’t either. Not for business.
There’s only one place almost everyone checks out at least once a day… email.
But there’s a catch…
Even if you focus on one “best” platform where your customers are, even if you post regularly, and even if prospects join your email list, if your posts are shouting “buy my stuff,” you may as well not post at all.
So if you’re focusing on one platform and not sharing product offers, what do you do?
Networking vs. Pitching
Social media is social. It’s about engagement.
You can’t get prospects to engage and build relationships posting on a platform that isn’t where your customers hang out. And if you just pitch, pitch, pitch, they’re going to avoid you.
Instead, you network. You’re social. You share and communicate instead of asking and announcing.
Tip the Scales in THEIR Favor, Not Yours
You need to give before you can take. Offer value before asking for something in return.
Scott uses a bank account analogy. You can’t walk into a bank open an account and immediately withdraw funds before you’ve deposited anything.
You have to put something into your relationship with prospects before you can take anything out.
You don’t want to be “that person.” We all have one. “That person” is someone who calls only when they want something. When you see their name on your phone, you know it’s not to check in, to see how you’re doing, or even to just chat about the weather.
They’re calling because they want something from you.
Don’t Be “That Person” to Customers
Be the person who cares. Be the person who wants to help.
Offer value. Show support. Educate. Inform.
And do it without being blatantly obvious that you have an ulterior motive. Yes, as a business, at some point you do have to ask for a sale. But the bank balance should never be in overdraft. Always put in more than you take out.
UNmarketing involves building a relationship with your reader. Ryan Deiss from DigitalMarketer says you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and ask them to get married. There are steps, progressions, in personal relationships just like there are in business. Giving more than taking is going to help build the relationship, earn trust, and create advocates who become repeat buyers and promote you and your products.
Marketing Yourself Is About Relationships, Not Trends
There’s a sentence that’s often repeated in UNmarketing…
“If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.”
Relationships help position you — and your client — as an expert who cares about the person, their experience, and not just making money.
Relationships Are a Two-Way Street
“If you say you have no time to listen and to talk with people in your marketplace, then you are saying that you have no time for your customers. You need to make time to be in that conversation. If you believe business is built on relationships, then what could possibly be more important?”
If it’s not something you, or your client, would do, then don’t do it. Regardless of how popular or trendy a platform or approach might be, if it doesn’t fit the brand, the voice, or the customer, don’t do it. It’s like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. It won’t work.
UNmarketing is not about following the rules or the trends, it doesn’t focus on selling, and it’s not about you or your client. It’s about giving value and supporting customers. And it’s building authentic, genuine relationships.