Light Marketing

George Kao


I’m going to introduce a phrase that I’ll begin using occasionally — “light marketing” or “lightside marketing” — to represent the kind of marketing I aim to practice.

What might come to mind by the word “light” is that it’s ineffective. That’s not what I mean by it, of course. In fact, Light Marketing is more likely to be sustainable for a solopreneur. The consistency of showing up — lightly! — then brings greater effectiveness over time, and a grounded Self-confidence, compared to doing heavy marketing which tends to burn us out and make us avoid doing marketing altogether.

Here are the two characteristics of Light Marketing…

Light Effort

The key to Light Marketing is light effort with each marketing activity.

Whether we are creating and posting content, or announcing our services to our social media audience, we do it all with lightness of touch. In my joyful productivity course I call this “working lightly”.

Why is that more effective, you might say, compared to “getting it right the first time and making a splash”?

Because marketing is a skill that’s developed with a lot of practice, and most solopreneurs have the fantasy that they can just get it right from the get go, when in reality, they are more likely to make a splat than a splash…

So once again, bring lightness to each marketing activity. Yes, bring minimal effort. Work lightly. Don’t take any one post, offer, campaign so seriously! See it all as an ongoing process of exploration and experimentation.

It’s not that we’re trying to be sloppy or overly casual. By doing Light Marketing we simply understand that excellence is a long-term, continuous practice of kaizen.

Also, and this is key — by reducing the effort in one’s self-promotions, we save time and and energy which can then go into improving our products and services. I’ve come to increasingly see the wisdom of this — avoid any solopreneur who tries too hard to market… that time was spent away from improving their service.

The Light Side of the Force

Light Marketing is also meant to be contrasted with the “the dark side” of marketing

This unfortunately is how most marketing is done and taught — based on persuasion psychology, neuromarketing — and basically, cleverly manipulating people until they buy from you.

Annoying sales funnels, pressure-filled scarcity tactics, and bait-and-switch disingenuous content.

Even though those cynical strategies “work” to “convert” people into buyers sometimes, it tends not to build a long-term loyal audience.

For sure, it brings more deception and anxiety (fear of missing out) into the world. It doesn’t make the world more beautiful, even if it temporarily makes money.

Light Marketing, on the other hand, takes more patience in the beginning, but then over time, it gets easier and easier to make money because you’ll have an increasingly loyal audience who is willing to share about your content and offerings. Their trust in you will be well-deserved.

Hold Lightly

I practice holding lightly to ideas. This means I’ll allow this concept of Light Marketing to continue evolving, seeing how it may become truly useful to others.

I also very much welcome anyone to use this phrase. If you find Light Marketing truly useful, please do use it anywhere.

En-joy 🤗



George Kao

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"