Quick Note: “Mom, it’s okay, my friend Margo said I could title the blog this. She’s a good influence on me, honest.”
If you are a human creature in that millennial sweet spot of early to mid-thirties, chances are you are on Facebook. If you are a millennial entrepreneur, you are probably on Facebook for both business and pleasure. You are also likely looking at online articles and blogs pertinent to being a successful small business owner and making more money with your small business.
And if you are a human female millennial entrepreneur that spends time reading articles about being successful in business and uses social media, you’re going to notice a few things:
Your targeted Facebook ads are now going to implore you “not to do xyz” with your business until you click the link and download some random “free report”.
Your targeted Facebook ads are now going to tell you that everything you are doing for your small business is “wrong”, but don’t worry, the well-meaning company behind said Facebook ad has a “free webinar” to show you what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it. Also, the webinar is closing in 8 seconds and is almost at capacity, so you need to give them your email address and phone number, like, now if there is any hope of redeeming yourself, and your business.
Your Facebook ads are now going to display images of luxury vehicles, helicopters, stacks of money, and hopelessly well-groomed women alongside a “rags-to-riches” story about how the well-meaning entrepreneur behind said Facebook ad made $20k in their sleep on their first digital product launch and they want to give you their exact blueprint. But you need to sign up to gain access to the blueprint now, because this offer is only good for the next 8 seconds.
Your Facebook ads may or may not include untraditional ways to navigate your menstrual cycle, including but not limited to menses panties, cups, and other trendy implements for your lady parts.
If you are like me, which you may or may not be, you are likely reading these Facebook ads during the course of your home office work day in the midst of 1,800 small tasks that equal one long independent work day.
A Quick Note About “Home Office Work Day” Luca
“Home Office Work Day” Luca is not Facebook Live-ready with shiny hair and bold lipstick, and “Home Office Work Day” Luca is certainly not in the mood for any patronizing, high-pressure, scarcity marketing bullshit from her business coaching/consulting peers.
I think about how so many new entrepreneurs are still finding their footing with their new indie operation, see these ads, and begin to doubt their own unique brand of business and their expertise in their niche. I think about how many women have been doing the hard hustle to drum up sales are just plain tired, and how reading a humblebrag Facebook ad about waking up to thousands of dollars can be insulting, or worse, make them feel like someone else’s alleged success is their failure as a small business owner. I think about how these emotional marketing tactics are preying on entrepreneur’s fears of inadequacy and failure and how these ads are manipulating the promise of hope.
And to that I say, “F!¢k the blissfront. F!¢k the pretense. F!¢k the kumbaya.”
You don’t have to buy the blissfront.
Being a female business owner is not always glamorous. It’s just not.
When you peruse the carefully curated Instagram accounts of these coaches and digital marketers, remember that it is most certainly part of their marketing strategy, especially if they are selling packages specifically designed to help their clients make money.
Being an ladypreneur is not just ridiculously high heels with the red bottoms and getting your nails did and selfies with a new iPhone. It’s waking up every day determined that you are going to make your own opportunities, and working hard to honor your vision of success. It’s committing every minute of every day to showing up and being present. It’s being hopelessly and relentlessly optimistic when when you feel more down and out than on the up and up.
And it’s also staying true to your mission, walking your own path to your own beat, and cutting through the noise of the howling digital marketers.
“Storyselling” is part of marketing.
Whether it’s done authentically or otherwise, marketing is about telling a story and selling that story. Many marketing professionals will implore you to pepper your marketing with personal stories about triumph and failure. Why? BECAUSE PEOPLE LOVE STORIES ABOUT TRIUMPH AND FAILURE. It humanizes the brand, and establishes a connection between the brand and the prospective customer.
In that vein, Sally “Super Moneybags” Boss Lady Pants is selling a signature program for $3,997. You’ll learn about that later. Right now she’s smiling broadly at you from a tropical destination in a Facebook ad and telling you she has a system to get more clients/sell digital products that you can “set and forget”, and she’s going to share with you her exact foolproof system so you can can make thousands in your sleep and live the life you deserve in an undisclosed tropical location, too.
First, she’s going to walk you through her story of failures: The failed business she tried to start before this one, the mountain of debt, the divorce, the split-ends, the earthquake where she lost everything.
She will then explain how she turned that all around when she built her new brand and discovered a system for selling her product/service [Funnel systems/email marketing/Pinterest/Webinars] and playfully illustrate her success with screenshots and splashy graphics representing her income figures/followers/website traffic.
Next up is the free download; Perhaps it is a .pdf guide, a tutorial, or a seat in a free pre-recorded webinar. You’ll be baited with bits and morsels of information that’s just enough to get you excited, and eager for more.
Then you’ll learn about Sally’s signature program and how it’s only x-amount for x-amount of time, a discount of x-amount! Just for you! Because don’t you deserve to be happy and not working so many hours every day and spending more time with your cats, I mean, kids?! You’ll envision how Sally’s signature program will work for you and your business as she hits all those pain points you’ve been stressing over with the promise of identifying solutions that you can use.
And how did you find this digital oasis, brimming with hope and promise and virtual manna and quail? From a Facebook ad.
If you are a human female millennial business owner, being bombarded with sales pitches from every Sally “Super Moneybags” Boss Lady Pants can get pretty obnoxious. And after awhile, they all really start to look, sound, and feel the same.
Now how exactly did you get the Facebook ad? From Facebook targeting, based on your interests, activities, the websites that you visit, the newsletters you subscribe to, your age, your sex, your location, etc. Why, yes, even that well-meaning check-in at your local coffee shop was logged and stored into your Facebook consumer avatar, another demographic that can be harnessed by skilled Facebook advertisers to sell you hope in the form of business coaches and period panties.
Bleak, sure. But should you take out Facebook ads for your small business, you’ll be using those same targeting tools to niche down your audience and get higher conversion rates. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What does this mean for your marketing?
There is a marketing phenomenon that is trending white hot on Facebook right now. I’m going to throw out a series of keywords, and I want you tally up how many times you’ve seen these in an ad or Facebook group today:
Boss Lady, Boss Babe, Lady Boss, Lady Babe, Ladypreneur, Femalepreneur, anything with the word “Tribe” in it, anything with the word “mastermind” in it.
I should probably make Bingo cards around this, right?
I want to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with using these buzz words if you connect with them for your business marketing and branding. I especially want to emphasize that you should always use marketing language that is authentic to YOU and your brand, and feels right for talking to your ideal audience.
If I were to start addressing my audience as lady bosses, I think they would assume I had a gas leak in my house.
One size definitely does not fit all when using Facebook ads to promote your business. Just because everyone else is employing similar lead generation/sales tactics doesn’t mean you have to jump on the Sally “Super Moneybags” Boss Lady Pants Bandwagon. You bring you to your brand, and your voice will resonate with the right audience that is meant to connect with your business.
And if there really is a Sally “Super Moneybags” Boss Lady Pants out there who is offering free webinars on making a million Bitcoins during a mid-afternoon nap with a funnel conversion system, I preemptively apologize for calling you out on the rug. -_-
TL;DR (Or, Points to Take Away)
Remember that the prime mission of a Facebook ad campaign is to compel you to perform an action: Sign up with your e-mail address, attend an event, request more information, purchase a product or service.
Not every person using the hackneyed “make money in your sleep” sales strategy is trying to swindle you or has a terrible, nefarious intent. That is the marketing approach that they have chosen to leverage in order to move more units of a product, secure more client leads, build an email list, or sell a digital product.
Can you make money in your sleep? Sure you can, with proper infrastructure, a marketing strategy, business plan, and brand identity. I can teach you, but I need your email address first.
Other people’s success is not your failure.
Don’t believe (all) the hype. Sometimes sales language is just that: Words.
Scarcity marketing is a real thing. People will tell you there is not a lot of something, including time, to strongly encourage you to make a purchase.
You don’t have to glamorize your personal brand for professional success, unless that’s the voice, tone, look, and feel that jives with your small business. In which case, have at.
You don’t have to use the same language or employ the same marketing strategy just because the cool kids are doing it on Facebook. Strive for authenticity. Use your original voice and tone. Leverage the coolness that is YOU in your brand identity. And if the term “boss babe” feels right, by golly, use it in your sales copy.
Sales language in many instances is designed to get you to open your wallet. This will include pushing your buttons around fear, insecurity, inadequacy, helplessness, and a perceived boost in personal empowerment.
Buy things for the right reasons. Invest in your business through coaching and workshops and programs because you are approaching it from a place of excitement and abundance, not scarcity or fear.
And Google the hell out of everything, aways.