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Jarom Adair

By Jarom Adair,
Head Solopreneur

Marketing trend: your professionalism may very well be hurting your business…

Steve Washer may be an expert in video marketing, but I really enjoyed his insights below on the way you present your business in any marketing format.

I thought this was worth sharing with you. He writes…

You’re a professional, right? So you want to project a persona of professionalism, don’t you? Well, not so fast. You could be doing harm to your business, just by trying to do the right thing.

Our progress, culturally speaking, is not linear at all. It’s not even cyclical. It’s more like a pendulum swinging between one extreme and another, making your marketing effective one year and ruining it the next.

Right now what this means is that looking ultra-professional might be the worst possible approach to talking to your potential customers today.

The pendulum is swinging back…

In The Pendulum, by Roy Williams and Michael Drew, they make a powerful case that all developed human societies move from Me time to We time in 40 year increments. In the Me time marketing paradigm, it’s best to talk to people about their aspirations and potential. In the We time marketing paradigm you need to talk to people about how they can fit in.

But the critical part of all this is how the “We” part or what the authors call “civic” time takes shape, because in each cycle it works differently than the cycle before it.

In the last civic cycle which took place from 1923 to 1963 “We” marketing was all about conformity. Keeping up with the Joneses.

The new “Conformity”

Now, let’s fast-forward over the whole 40 year period of Me marketing because that’s over, and that lands us in 2003, the pivot year of the new civic cycle. The way we market has to do not only with conformity, but conformity to a new set of rules. And the way this cycle has been forged is through the demand for authenticity.

Of course, Authenticity can mean anything you want it to. These days you can’t go into a grocery store without half the packages of vegetables shouting Natural to you from behind the freezer door.

And that’s part of it. In this cycle, Authenticity is a reaction against artifice and phoniness and brute strength marketing, Push marketing. It manifests in the desire to see you warts and all. It seeps into our brains through popular culture.

That’s why since 2003, movies and music have been all about deeply flawed heroes rather than awesomely perfect heroes, because heroes are a concept of the Me or idealistic cycle, not the We or civic cycle. Here, the virtues of relationship and taking small incremental action are valued more highly than the grand gesture and the larger-than life action hero.

Perfection is actually something to be avoided because that now means, ipso facto, you’re being a phony.

So it’s a much bigger sin that it used to be to be phony or stand-offish, at least until 2043.

For example…

For example, if you’re a coach or a speaker in a business that teaches and inspires people to reach for the stars, I’m almost willing to bet you’re having problems if you’re talking to people in those terms. You need to understand that since 2003 those kinds of messages are being filtered out by the new B.S. meter that says “stop trying to sell me, and show me who you really are”.

But if this is your authentic message, you’ll need to translate the idea of personal transformation into maybe why we’re in this together. And you’ve got to be authentically you while you’re doing it, or video (what I specialize in) will be the single worst way to get this out, because in video, unlike print, you have nowhere to hide.

However, that also makes video the single most valuable way to get your new message across. There’s just no better way to communicate your authentic self than in video. And then there’s no telling how far you can go.

So reach for the stars, but keep your feet on the ground. I’ll be working on this concept more and more in my own videos. Maybe we’ll be working on it together.

Steve Washer
Brainy Video

What I hope you got out of this

I’m not entirely certain the older generations have fully embraced this new “civic cycle” (I have, on occasion, received emails from people telling me that my conduct should be less personal and more professional). But the younger generations certainly have. Do be aware of this as you revisit the marketing message you’re sending out into the world.

I’ve really enjoyed learning from Steve Washer. Steve is not only a video marketing expert, but he is very big on helping you make the right connections with your audience.

If you’re interested in either of those topics (and I sure hope you are!), Steve has great insights to share with you on his site. I recommend you grab his Fast Start Video Marketing Kit in particular.

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Yours in success,
-Jarom Adair

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