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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

Do You Believe These Alternative Marketing Facts?

We've heard a lot of so-called alternative facts recently from some in our government. Another name for an alternative fact is a lie – something that simply isn't true but is believed to be true. 

You don't need to go very far to find myriad alternative facts about marketing. Many believe them, but I want to prove to you that they're not true. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Marketing shouldn't be so hard (or it should be easy)

This is much like saying math shouldn't be hard or cooking, or milking a cow or doing push-ups. All of these tasks simply take the effort required to produce results. 

Marketing is an activity business owners do to attract clients to their business. It's something that they learn and implement. Different people experience certain parts of marketing as difficult and some experience other parts as easy.

The problem with this alternative fact about marketing is that it lets you off the hook and helps you justify not doing any marketing and then complaining about it. 

Marketing takes too much time

How much time is too much? Is a few hours a week too much? Perhaps when you believe this you think of all the time you've spent on marketing activities that were ineffective. 

In the early days of marketing my business I put a lot of time into learning how to market myself and implementing what I'd learned. Some of it was effective, some ineffective. 

But after a number of years of practicing marketing I got better and better at it. Think of learning marketing like learning music. That takes a lot of time too, but at the end of the path you're a musician. At the end of the marketing path you're a magnet for new clients. (And I believe marketing is a whole lot easier than learning music!)

Marketing is all about manipulation

Yes, a lot of the marketing you see out there is manipulative. It's not honest; it has no integrity; it presents alternative facts. But that doesn't mean you have to do that kind of marketing. 

Manipulative marketing doesn't work for independent professionals. What does work is authentic marketing education that provides valuable information so your prospective clients understand how you can help them. 

Authentic marketing is based on relationships, trust, clarity, and proof. It is the antithesis of alternative facts. It's a clear expression of the truth of what you offer your clients and the results they gain when they work with you. 

Marketing is an interruption

Many people have told me that they feel marketing is an unwelcome interruption of their prospective clients's time. This feeling comes from the mistaken belief that you are not good enough or not worthy. 

You meet someone who shows an interest in your services. If you think marketing is an interruption, you become passive, and wait for the prospect to make the first move and contact you. You might wait a very long time!

When you are confident about the value of your services, however, you never feel you're an interruption. You then take any interest in your services at face value and find a way to connect with prospects to explore if your services are a fit for them.

Marketing leads only to rejection

Now we're getting to the heart of why we cling to these alternative facts about marketing. If we don't market ourselves we get to feel comfortable and safe: No effort, no wasted time, no manipulation, no interruption, no rejection. 

The payoff of apparently staying safe overrides the possible results of implementing marketing activities. But we fail to notice that this so-called safety is based on alternative facts – things that are not even true. 

We must abandon alternative facts for sound reasoning and the search for what really works in marketing our professional services. In doing so, we'll discover new possibilities for connecting, communicating and having meaningful conversations that lead to great clients and a growing business. 

Just say no to alternative facts. 

In the same way we're saying no to the alternative facts promoted by some in our government, we need to say no to the alternative facts about marketing promoted by our fearful minds.

Cheers, Robert


+1 # Lyle Lachmuth 2017-02-14 11:18
You're naughty ... but nice.

It is great to be reminded of the truths of marketing.

Keep on telling the truths.

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+1 # Geoffrey Kelly 2017-02-14 17:13
Nice piece Robert.
But your assumption about alternative facts being a lie simply isn't so. For example, many zealots on the Left play gotcha politics such as holding up Denmark as a country to emulate with its social programs - surveys show Denmark is the happiest country. So the zealots of the right counter that Denmark as the highest per capita use of anti-depressants. Facts are facts, but too many cite facts to prove a point that isn't justified by the context. That's driving the current argument about alternative facts. The real lies are in avoiding context by both sides.
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+3 # Robert Middleton 2017-02-14 17:40
That's an interesting point Geoff, but this article was not political in nature. I just used the alternative facts meme to attract some attention. The point of the article is to be aware of beliefs about marketing that are not true. We live in a sea of beliefs. We take beliefs for granted and really believe they are true just because we believe them. "I think, therefore my thought is true." I think it's useful to question all beliefs, especially the ones that are holding us back in some way.
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Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has for 30 years, been helping Self-Employed Professionals attract more of their ideal clients.  He offers the online membership site, The More Clients Club, and individual coaching and consulting through his Marketing Action Coaching. If this is your first visit to the More Clients blog, make sure to get a copy of the Marketing Plan Workbook and join the Marketing Club Forum for free.