Why I don’t try to keep up with marketing trends

When you try to learn marketing, you’ll come across a lot of “tips and tricks” to get more visibility on social media, more traffic to your website, more ways to “grab” the audience’s attention, more software to automate your outreach.

Sometimes you find a few marketing tricks that feel authentic to you — if so, keep using them and keep trying things that intrigue you.

Most of the time, though, learning marketing means always feeling slightly (or very much) behind… there’s a constant pressure to keep up with the latest trends and techniques, otherwise risk falling behind others.

Breathless.

In this post, I offer you a deeper and more sustainable way of doing marketing that you can count on, month after month and year after year.

The method is simple: to improve the substance of your marketing… and not so much about the trendiest tricks, techniques, and software (which will always come and go.)

Substance in marketing:

  • You have integrated your experiences and learnings…
  • … to discover something you really want to say
  • … that really helps others (whether or not they buy)
  • … which also gives excellent context for your products/services (for those who are interested in eventually buying.)

By dedicating yourself to this work, you also become more connected to your ideal audience and their real needs and wants.

You’ll get their attention consistently, not because you are using tricks to “grab” their attention or to “attract” them like some shiny object. Instead, you’ll be someone they feel a deep yearning to follow, because they sense substance here that can truly help them.

What about Style?

Style is fun. It’s flashy. It’s attractive. You may enjoy playing with style, imagery, visual branding, humor, entertainment value. Style is seductive.

Is marketing all about style? Some people think so, and that’s what they chase: to be more attractive and clever than their competitors. It’s always about measuring oneself to others.

It’s also exhausting, trying to keep up with whomever is stylish in your industry. “Trying” to get your audience’s attention is trying…

On the other hand, substance is about measuring yourself against your own history: what progress have you made, regardless of what other people are doing?

Have you found a deeper or more impactful message than before? Are you finding better ways to write or speak your message? Do you understand your audience even better, so that you can help them better?

How to keep improving Substance:

  • Keep creating content authentically (whether it’s writing, videos, audios, or yes, even imagery as long as you stay true to your sense of artistry)…
  • …on a rhythm so that you are consistently engaging (and therefore growing) in the process of self-exploration and creativity…
  • …and keep observing your ideal audience’s reactions to your content: what are they responding to — and not responding to?
  • Consistently be in some kind of 1–1 contact with various audience members, to better understand and feel where they’re at in their life and journey of transformation, so you can truly understand, in mind and heart, how to better reach and help them.

What I avoid using my energy for:

  • Trying to keep up with the latest marketing software — instead, I observe first. As other people (those who love keeping up with the latest trends) try out the newest software, there are usually mixed reviews. Softwares come and go. But over time, if I hear great things consistently about a piece of software, I’ll finally give it a try to see if it will be truly useful for my clients too. In other words, I’m no longer an early adopter. I’ll let others fill that role.
  • Trying to keep up with the newest social media platforms — instead, I let other influencers go and try them out. Over time, if I observe that substance can be communicated through that platform, and if it’s not too hard to use (easy enough for my clients?) I’ll then recommend it.
  • Trying to be more clever in how I “get” your attention, using tricks (visual, auditory, mental) — instead, I keep working on the substance of my content.
  • Trying to be more attractive — instead, by reconnecting with my authentic purpose and grounded presence, I naturally attract kindred spirits like you.

Keeping up with trends feel to me like I’m dissipating my energy that could instead be invested in continually improving my substance.

Therefore this is how I set myself apart in my industry — to learn how to care better for my audience, and to bring better and deeper thoughts. Gratefully, this is more aligned with my life purpose: to grow in love and wisdom. What a wonderful thing: to be able to spend my working time also working on my life purpose.

I believe this can be true for all of us, when we dedicate ourselves to building an authentic business. Instead of dissipating our energy in anxious chasing of trends, we keep connected to our deep purpose and presence, and letting that energy be the guiding light for our marketing and our ideal audience.

Originally published at www.georgekao.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store