How To Market Without Using Hype


Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie teaches consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win their ideal clients by becoming seen as authorities in their field.


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How To Market Without Using Hype

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Don't Believe The HypeThere used to be a time when over the top marketing hype was restricted to get rich quick schemes and the like. But these days it seems to have infiltrated almost every sector.

In my own field there now seem to be daily offers and webinars that promise to teach you how to get floods of clients without selling, make millions in passive income just by knocking up an ebook or online training course, or to make six figures from group coaching just by holding a few webinars.

Of course, none of it works. Or more accurately, it doesn't work for 99% of people who try it. The truth behind these extravagant claims is usually that…

  • They've taken the very best results that someone got on a small scale and extrapolated it with the implication that everyone will be able to get the same results, or…
  • The solutions work in very specific markets and conditions that are almost never reproducible (like the guys with hundreds of thousands of email subscribers and big joint venture relationships who give the impression you can get the same results as them even though you're starting from scratch), or…
  • They extrapolate figures that sound plausible if you've no experience in the field but are actually completely unrealistic (like “all you have to do is sell 100 copies of a $100 ebook each month and that's an extra $10K every month you're earning”. Really? Have you ever tried selling 100 copies of a $100 ebook month in, month out? Almost no one does it), or…
  • They talk about huge improvements without mentioning just how bad the original situation was (and it turns out that the improvements were due to things you're already doing).

Now sometimes they actually believe their own hype. They convince themselves that those very best case scenarios are reproducible somehow. “If one person did it, you can do it”. And sadly, some of them just plain lie, they don't care whether you succeed, they just want your money.

I'm sure you've seen this sort of thing in your business too. And faced with competitors making those sort of claims it's hard not to think that the only way you can compete on a level playing field is for you to make similar outrageous claims too.

I know I sometimes feel that way when I see the kind of hype that's sneaked into my field of helping consultants and coaches get more clients.

But, of course, your ethics and your common sense tell you that this isn't the right route to follow. It almost always ends in disappointment for the client and you. Even if you do a great job it can't live up to the hype.

So when all around is hype and exaggeration, how can you market in a way that still gets you clients?

The answer, I believe, is to understand who your buyers – your ideal clients – really are.

You see, people who buy based on hype fall into two camps: the newbie and the desperate.

The newbie doesn't know it's hype. They get taken in. They get disappointed. They might get a refund. They're more careful in future.

The desperate know in their heart of hearts it's hype. But they wilfully ignore the warning signs. It's their last roll of the dice, and they need something miraculous to pay off for them. Even if your rock solid service completely delivered for them, it wouldn't be enough.

Here's the thing: you probably don't want newbies and the desperate as your clients.

A few weeks ago I interviewed Dov Gordon for some upcoming podcasts I'm doing on email marketing. I asked him a question about how he came up with the content for his emails which I've always found to be very insightful and his answer was that he writes for his ideal client, which is someone who already has experience with marketing. They've tried a few “quick fix” approaches but haven't really got results. So they're coming to him for deeper insight.

It's probably very similar for you.

You probably focus on quality rather than price. You probably do your best work for clients who appreciate the extra help you provide, the personal touch, the little differences.

The good news is that by-and-large, those sort of clients see through hypey marketing. They're turned off by it. They don't trust it. They've maybe fallen for it in the past and are wise to it now.

Simply put: to get clients without resorting to hype, you need to target clients who don't respond to hype.

Figure out who they are. Where they “hang out”. How you can reach them. And vitally: what messages resonate with them. What they really care about.

When you see your competitors resorting to hype, don't get flustered and absolutely don't copy them. Focus on who your real ideal clients are and what messages work for them.

It won't be hype.

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Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie teaches consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win their ideal clients by becoming seen as authorities in their field.

  • user

    AUTHOR Derek M.

    Posted on 4:44 am August 28, 2013.

    Great artical Ian, also very true!

    Simply put: to get clients without resorting to hype, you need to target clients who don’t respond to hype.

  • user

    AUTHOR Oleg

    Posted on 8:15 am August 28, 2013.

    You hit the bull-eye, Ian. Very very true.

  • user

    AUTHOR Shakyakumara

    Posted on 9:44 am August 28, 2013.

    Nice – and I’m so glad its true :-) Thanks, Ian

  • user

    AUTHOR Jen Havice

    Posted on 11:53 am August 28, 2013.

    Thank you! Especially since I’m online so much of the day and dealing with the social media world, I’m constantly feeling barraged by the hype. It gets to the point where that kind of way of selling seems normal and totally acceptable. It’s counterproductive for all the reasons you stated above. I want people coming to me who see the value in what I do and understand that there are no silver bullets.

  • user

    AUTHOR Cathy Goodwin

    Posted on 1:05 pm August 28, 2013.

    I’d like to re-pbblish this as a guest post on my blog with a link back to you.
    This is SO true. One very respected marketer says, “Just get 90 people people to pay you $97 a month…” Or a coach mentor says, “Get 10 people to pay you 997 a month…” These goals ARE realistic for some people but it takes a long time.

    Even orse than everyday marketers , many mentors will encourage people to sign up for big programs $10-20K a year with claims like, “This is what I did and you can do.” Their success may be based on a combination of luck, timing and ability to reach a hungry market. I actually wrote an ebook on choosing mentors.

  • user

    AUTHOR Ian Brodie

    Posted on 6:02 pm August 28, 2013.

    Hi Cathy – feel free to re-publish. I really dislike that “I maxed out my credit cards to buy a program that made me successful, so so should you” thing. Some genuinely believe it, but don’t realise they may just have got lucky and the other 99 out of 100 who did the same went bankrupt. I’ve also seen that angle being deliberately worked into their “origin story” so they can call back to it and encourage struggling folks to take big risks.

  • user

    AUTHOR Get Clients Online with Jane

    Posted on 1:16 am August 29, 2013.

    I struggled with this issue in trying to come up with a service that would help people get fast results. Everyone else was promising results in 30 days etc, but as a marketing coach, that just doesn’t work. Granted, you can improve your results quickly if you’ve already got systems in place that just need tweaking. But you won’t get instant results if you’re starting from ground zero. It’s like building a house – you have to put the foundations in before you try to put the roof on :-)

    In the end I concluded that people looking for super-fast results probably need to get a bit of a reality check, and yes, they wouldn’t make great clients. Someone with a more realistic perspective would know that it takes time to build momentum and traction before you start seeing good results :-) I guess it’s like gardening – sow the seeds, nurture, wait for the flowers – fruit comes later :-)

  • user

    AUTHOR Ian Brodie

    Posted on 10:13 am August 29, 2013.

    It’s tricky isn’t it? I’m sure you have a number of clients who’ve got results very fast working with you – but they’re probably the exception and it’s wrong to give the impression that everyone will get results in 30 days etc. For many it needs something more fundamental.

    I like to give specific examples that show what others have achieved, but not to imply that everyone will get the same results.

  • user

    AUTHOR Stephen Lahey

    Posted on 10:26 pm September 4, 2013.

    Your post illustrates the difference between operating from a long-term, strategic perspective — versus a short-term, tactical one. Great food for thought, as always.

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