Culture of "mass market" and understanding personal brand
The domain of “helping people to wake up” has turned into the inflating market. And it will only continue to grow in the next few years.
Whether you are a counselling psychologist, a life coach, an embodiment facilitator, a spiritual teacher or a healer — you are in human2human sector.
If you self- promote, create landing pages, deliver regular emails into personal Inboxes and post on social –media channels with popular hashtags, there are only two options why you are doing this.
- You want to sell something.
- You want to change something.
In the first case you are a business. In the second you are a brand.
Businesses deal with customers. Brands deal with humans.
And since you are in the domain of working with people one on one you have to be a brand, not a business.
Use it as a temporarily framework to see why it is a resourceful shift in how you perceive yourself in your professional domain.
First of all, we are all “metaphors” in other people’s heads.
Sometimes these metaphors become so powerful that they become “brands”.
Being a brand means that when people think of you they strongly attribute certain qualities to “the way you do it”.
If you ask them “what is it that you love most?” The majority will name completely immeasurable qualities. Many will say something like “It’s just her!”
Which is not to say that they love YOU. And it also doesn’t mean that they love a number of techniques you are supposed to teach. They certainly appreciate it a lot, but this is not what they LOVE.
What they love is something that their limbic system recognised as “this is for me”. It is the level where we are deeply rooted about our important choices. It is the level of beliefs — and not the level of behaviour. It is also the level at which people love your unconscious competence — and not your expertise.
Unconscious competence is that which drives geniuses. It is that competence, which you yourself can’t break down into a process. It is that competence, which puts you into the flow state. And it is that competence, which makes people look at you and think: “ I just love the way you do it”. But on the back of their minds they think: “Geez.. how are you doing it!”
This means that if tomorrow you start teaching how to crochet instead of how to “become who you are” these people will say: “This is gonna be incredible! Sign me up!”
When this happens than professionally you have become a brand and people know your signature.
It doesn’t mean that tomorrow you have to try the new thing to see if this happens. 100% the opposite — brands are being born in the narrow niche.
Brands take time, because they take trust. You can’t quite put it into a strategy- you are just doing what you are doing. But if all of a sudden you disappear — people start missing you …
When this happens — you have become “a brand”.
Although shedding light on some of your unconscious gifts can reinforce them and make them more fulfilling, you will never be able to measure what it is precisely that people love.
The major part of your unconscious competence will always be a mystery — and there is a reason for that…
However, what you can “measure” is PEOPLE who love it.
Why start with them?
Let’s look vice versa … what happens when you are not acting as a “brand”, and you are acting as “a business”. And you are “selling”, not “caring”. And you don’t have a feel for your audience. And you are for everyone…
Your "self-promotion" is generic…
Your landing page takes 5 minutes to scroll down. You have 15 references from clients who use the most generic language to express how you changed their life forever.
Once my eyes finally stumble at the prices of what you are offering I see the below:
Here my instinctual brain is supposed to send me signals to rush for my credit card until it’s too late to get to know you at a discounted price.
I scroll further down …
It is telling me about your education, your “breakthrough” story, and how much you want to make me free and abundant… And again the prices! Now the CAPS LOCK screaming into my eyes how lucky I am to have opened this email today.
MONEY BACK GUARANTEED if I am not “satisfied”…
And then the list of complex cognitive skills and “human states” I am supposed to develop as a result of this purchase…
And (Post Scriptum): couple of spots left by INVITES ONLY …
You know what I feel?
For TWO reasons:
1. It takes too much of my time.
2. It says nothing about me. (Not in a direct way, it doesn’t support my view of authentic interaction. And I feel like I am being sold to).
By doing so you are acting as a “business”. You substitute yourself for a” value proposition”, me for a “customer” and that which is supposed to be an invitation — for an “advertisement”.
The gist of the advertisement is a constant interruption of someone’s private process without any selectivity.
Advertisement is aimed at peoples’ behaviour. Advertisements are for customers. Customers are people who select by price and forget you the minute your discount is no longer available.
The message you are sending by this “advertisement” is that you have no idea who you reach, and the people you reach have no idea why they need it. And since they have no idea, you have to flood their inbox and SCREAM INTO THEIR EYES so that they notice you.
And once they notice they will go directly to this:
And this :
And hopefully BUY IT …
But most probably — not.
Coming back to brand …
Like elsewhere, in human 2 human domain brands are being born with time and the most powerful setting is your real presence. This is when you are not “doing anything” while doing the magic. People scan it on a visceral level. And when they “buy” — they “buy” how you make them feel.
They also buy “who they think THEY ARE WITH”.
They “buy” a potential affinity.
That’s how people are buying brands not a product of mass market.
The cost of information is going down with a frantic speed. Everything is on the web. Simultaneously, the cost of time is going up because we have more and more distractions. The fact that someone has opened your email, or a landing page, or a video is already a contribution. You have grabbed their attention, the most valuable asset.
Attention is priceless. Distraction is very costly. Studies show it takes about 23 minutes for a human brain to refocus back on the process.
Be concise, creative, and intimate with your audience in the most intelligent way.
Intimate means that you KNOW me, not trying to seduce me. You speak my language, my images, and my beliefs. And appreciate my attention.
This is why I choose you.
And I don’t want a discount for this choice.
The abundance of transformational work and “awakening” options has already built an industry. Wether it will turn into a huge market place or preserve its uniqueness is almost out of question.
It feels like this trend is basically creating another layer of confusion under the label of “personal growth” or “waking up”.
But the hope is still there …
Whether your content is practical, lyrical, mystical, poetic, or anything else — people you are trying to reach will love it for their own reasons. Do you know WHY?
Even such “mass market” brand as H&M is using AI to look into people’s behaviour on social- media before taking an informed decision about which colours to put into a new collection.
Because getting to know these people is not a “marketing trick”. It’s a gesture of care.
1. Speak real language. INVENT your language. This is the best way to find YOUR audience. If our language is similar — I will hear you. If your language cracks me open — I will not forget you. Don’t copy what other people say. Copying other people’s “fixed expressions” lands nowhere.
2. People are processes. But metaphors are not. Our neurology “edits “other people in metaphors. Once you become a metaphor in someone’s head, it is very difficult to de-construct it. This metaphor will be a combination of all my deep impressions about you. Be yourself through all the mediums of interaction. Otherwise the metaphor of you will gain no trust. Brands are strong metaphors. (If you speak genuine language at a private session, why do I see you selling yourself with discounts on Facebook?)
3. Appreciate people’s time. You only need couple of seconds to make someone want to learn more about you. Be creative with these couple of seconds.
4. All the above doesn’t work if you think it is about marketing. Marketing per se doesn’t exist. Marketing means knowing your people. You will be surprised how it may change your narrative.
5. In human2human domain more then anywhere else you are looking to have your loyal audience. Loyal audience is a niche. Narrow down. Know your niche and take care of it.
6. Once again — narrow down. And serve your niche.
If you are in service of transforming people, but your self- promotion has no codex of authentic interaction, then you are almost responsible for creating a culture of mass market in the domain where the most valuable point is exclusivity.
As the Godfather of marketing Seth Godin said: “How many people is enough for you?”
Studies show that as many as 80% of the mass- market audience couldn’t’ care less if tomorrow they will not see your post on Facebook.
The nature of “being a brand” when you work with people one on one is 100% relational.
You as a brand are relational. There are no you without your people… even if there are only ten of them on Earth.
Get to know them.
“The more fulfilment exists in the least amount of options”
— Matt Khan
Download a checklist to define psychographic of your authentic audience.