Ugh. Grrrrr. Seriously?! Stop! Delete. What a waste of my time! These are just some of the common reactions we all have when we encounter sleazy marketing tactics. You’ve been a victim. I’ve been a victim. Yet these marketing tactics are still being used over and over again. It makes you wonder. Do these actually work? In some cases, they might, but is it really worth it to risk your reputation?
As a matter of fact, just this week, someone on LinkedIn sent me a friend request. I accepted and was immediately hit with a message that screamed “look at me and my services”. Some marketing experts would argue that we, as business owners, need to do something to get prospects’ attention. As a proponent of heart centered and authentic marketing, I think there are better solutions to the sleazy marketing tactics that some people are trying today.
Your reputation is important. As a coach or course creator, you want solid and long lasting client relationships. Your business is built on trust and the fastest way to lose this trust is to engage in any of these five marketing tactics. Let’s take a look and talk about what you can do instead.
Sleazy Marketing Tactic #1: Cold Pitching in the DMs
I’m sure this has happened to you. Someone reaches out to you to connect on LinkedIn or Facebook. You accept their friend/connection request. Immediately you receive a message in your direct message inbox with a pitch about their services. They hardly say hello and more often than not, they don’t even read your profile or know anything about you. It’s a turnoff because no one wants to be “sold to” without even a hint of a relationship. Imagine if you showed up for a first date and the person asked you if you wanted to get married. You would run as fast as you can away from that person. And this is exactly what happens when people cold pitch us in the DMs. We run! Running could mean we delete that person, or it might even trigger a snide remark. A polite person says “No thank you, I’m not interested in your services.”
Do this instead:
It is completely fine to use social platforms to connect with new people. That is how we expand our network. However, there needs to be a strategic and authentic strategy for actually building a relationship with these people. Connect and engage with their content. Start a real and honest conversation in the DMs. You can even consider inviting them for a virtual tea or coffee. Consider dating for a long period to see if you would even want to do business with this person.
Sleazy Marketing Tactic #2: Follow and Unfollow
This strategy happens a lot on Instagram. Random people will follow you with the only intention of you following them back. Once you follow them back, then they unfollow you. Or if you don’t follow them, they unfollow you. Their only concern is getting lots of followers. It’s a one sided relationship and it’s sleazy. All they are concerned about is themselves and their content/services. No one wants to do business with someone like that.
Do this instead:
Follow people you have a genuine interest in. These could be competitors you want to learn from. It could be people in your target market that you are genuinely interested in serving. Or you can also follow partners that share the same audience as you, only offering a different service. This allows opportunities to network and share potential leads. Do not follow people you have no interest in interacting with. Do not follow people just because they follow you. This will dilute your social feed and make it difficult for you to engage with the people that are important to you.
Sleazy Marketing Tactic #3: Fluffy Webinars
Have you ever seen an advertisement for a webinar that promises to give you information or answer questions that are important to you? You sign up and anxiously await the date of the webinar. When you join, the speaker beats around the bush and never gives the information you wanted. You receive a water downed version that leaves you frustrated and wanting more. On top of that, they spend half or more of their time selling their latest and greatest product. This is called a “fluff” webinar. There is no real value provided. It’s a bait and switch tactic. And I don’t recommend you use this approach.
Do this instead:
The purpose of a webinar is for your audience to receive real value from you. These webinars are intended to build credibility and trust with your target market. They are meant to serve your community and help your people receive real transformation from you. The last thing you want to do is irritate your listeners by giving them fluff. Rather, give them what they are looking for so they are excited about wanting to go deeper with you. Is it okay to sell your offer on a webinar? Absolutely! The rule of thumb is to provide value for 45-50 minutes and sell for 10-15 minutes.
Sleazy Marketing Tactic #4: Withholding Sharing Value in a Comment Thread
It is not uncommon for people to ask for advice on social media. A question will get posted on a platform with hopes of receiving some solid input. Most people will freely give tips but sleazy business owners will comment “Sending you a DM.” Their hope is to get into a private conversation with you so they can sell you on their services. The person asking for advice did not ask for you to message them privately and this does not give you permission to slide into their DMs.
Do this instead:
Freely give advice. Let this be an opportunity for you to highlight your expertise and an attitude of service. We must always be willing to give value for free before anyone would ever think about investing with us. So help the person. If they have more questions, continue to answer them. Let the person seeking advice guide your interaction. If they want to learn more about how you can help them, they will message you privately. And always remember, there will be others that read your advice and this opens the opportunity for even more relationship building.
Sleazy Marketing Tactic #5: Fake Promises or Information
The internet is filled with fakes. Business owners that fake how much they make. Fake promises about the transformation you will receive from their products or services. Flashy marketers standing in front of Lamborghini’s and multi million dollar homes. All in hopes of convincing you that if you buy their offers, you will have the amazing results they’ve had. Of course, some people have great results from any product, but it’s not always the norm. And the norm is rarely discussed. Of course, you want to showcase the best, but be careful that you are not misleading your audience and promising something that you can’t deliver on. This will only leave them feeling discouraged and tricked, not to mention demanding refunds.
Do this instead:
Showcase real results from real people. Let your clients do the talking about the transformation they have received. Do video testimonials so that your target audience can hear from people just like themselves. Talk about the struggles too. Don’t paint a picture that the journey is always rosy and immediate. Be real. Let your potential clients know that there will be obstacles and that you will support them to overcome these hurdles. If there are disclaimers that need to be mentioned, don’t put them in such fine print that they are never read. It’s better to be open and authentic than risk a disappointed customer in the end.
So these are some of the sleazy marketing tactics I hear people complain about. What about you? What are some of the tactics you’ve experienced that left a bad taste in your mouth? Share in the comments so we can all learn what to avoid.
Amazing OBM is not sleazy. We are honest and authentic marketers with a heart for serving our clients. If you are a coach or course creator and need support on content marketing, funnel building or launch management, visit our website at www.amazingobm.com.
5 Sleazy Marketing Tactics You Should Never Use
June 7, 2022