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Fake It Till You Make It and Other Awful Marketing Ideas – GM52

“Fake it till you make it” is a bad idea for a marketing strategy plan. Learn how to be honest and succeed online in today’s Grey Matters.

Fake It Till You Make It? How to Make a Webinar Successful with Honest Marketing Techniques

[0:00] – Introducing this episode of the Grey Matters podcast: “Fake it till you make it.”

  • The Catholic concept of venial sins and mortal sins also applies in the world of business, at least as far as marketing goes. There are certain mistakes that you can – and can’t – be forgiven for.

[3:09] – The pitfalls of preselling a course that you haven’t even built yet.

  • There are a lot of philosophies in the online space which, in principle, sound good under certain circumstances. A closer look at how they're actually brought into play, however, reveals how they can be very, very bad ideas. 

  • One technique that’s presented as an easy and efficient way to ensure profitability is to create just an outline of a course instead of actually building it first, and then launch it with a webinar, and then presell to your community. Essentially, you will be selling something that has not yet been developed. The perceived benefits of this are revenue generation and making sure that there’s interest for what you’re offering. However, this is extremely deceptive, and an outgrowth of the “fake it till you make it” attitude.

  • Preselling is a terrible idea for a first-time course maker, because you are unaware of potential roadblocks, have no way to gauge the amount of actual effort you’ll need to put into developing said course, and are thus not in a position to be able to deliver it successfully. In many ways, it is like taking your friends on a vacation by piloting a plane yourself, when you’ve never flown a plane before.

[7:58] – Build and Deploy versus Seed and Grow.

  • This phenomenon is reflective of a real generational divergence in what's happening in the online business world. When baby boomers and Gen Xers came up in the business world, building a business was based on a “build and deploy” strategy, which involved a very long process of conceptualization, design, and distribution. 

  • Nowadays, though, modern channels have made it easy and convenient to adopt the “seed and grow” business model: You plant an idea or a product, see how the marketplace reacts to it, and then evolve the product as you go. 

  • Unfortunately, some people take it to an extreme where you don't even really have to have a firm idea or the experience in order to be able to deliver a finished product, choosing instead to “fake it till they make it.” 

  • “Fake it till you make it” means that you are not just learning about what your customers and what the community is interested in as far as your product goes, but also learning how to develop and deliver that product yourself… AFTER positioning yourself as an expert. This undermines trust in the community and in ourselves, and ultimately ruins the credibility of the space itself.

  • When we consider the different sales techniques that are available to us, they're almost social engineering aspects where we understand human nature. Then, we create different mechanisms in our sales funnel. People go through the sales funnel to determine whether or not they're going to purchase a product from us. Some of these social triggers, unfortunately, can be quite manipulative.

  • There's a potential of damaging our reputation at some point, if we push it too far in through the dark area between what we promise and what we can actually deliver.

  • Gated content, in which you offer people a snippet of information, but require them to provide their email address to get what they actually need, is another legit but irritating tactic, though not necessarily immoral. Similarly annoying is the “call for pricing” model.

[18:28] – Some “mortal sins” to avoid in your marketing strategy plan, and how to make a webinar successful with honest marketing techniques.

  • The biggest mortal sin is dishonesty. Often, this manifests through artificial or rigged scarcity, in the form of limited-time discount offers. Another way is by offering arbitrary expiring bonuses, which also undermine your credibility.

  • Building a business is hard, and figuring out all of the new opportunities and where we fit is even harder. 

  • Recognize that there are both fast tracks and shortcuts to building an online business – techniques that will help us accelerate the growth of our community and of our business.

  • Measure what you’re asking your community to do, and how legitimate that is. Often, it's just going to come down to your gut reaction, your “Spidey senses,” so to speak.

– Prerecorded webinars, and how to be honest about them.

  • Be upfront with your audience about whether your webinar is live or prerecorded. It's an unforgivable sin to lie and manipulate your audience in that way. People must know exactly the truth of the event that they are sitting through.

[34:30] – The generational divide, and what each side can learn from the other.



There are a lot of really bad ideas in the online marketing space, that seem like good ideas when you first hear them.
But at the top of the list:
Fake it till you make it
Not only does it undermine the credibility of the person faking it, but it also hurts the credibility of the entire space.

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