Online Marketing Not Working Like It Used To? It Might Be You. Or Not.


I recently received this comment
from a colleague who unsubscribed from my e-mail list: “I just have too many emails coming into my box, I need to streamline, you understand!”

I certainly do understand. In fact, so much information comes in through my inbox, twitter stream and Facebook feed (to name a few), that I find myself deleting strings of e-mails before even seeing the subject lines.  Time is of the essence.

One potential client called me on his way to work, the sounds of the New York City streets punctuating our harried talk. He expressed interest in my latest offering. Even though the post included detailed information, he had no idea what the course was really about, or even if the dates or times worked for him. Another symptom of information overload.

The information super-highway is overcrowded with traffic. We now have an environmental problem. You may be doing EVERYTHING right — your posts may include just the right amount of vulnerability, your headlines could be catchy enough, you may be using language that suits your audience and doing exactly what your business coach told you to do — and you still may find yourself frustrated at your inability to break through the pollution.

Online Marketing Not Working Like It Used To? It Might Be You. Or Not. Share on X

But even so, there are three mistakes I see people making:

1. You are Faithfully Following Someone Else’s Formula — What I’ve noticed about internet business success stories, is that their growth has been organic. These people or small businesses, almost by mistake, tapped into a throbbing need that resonated for many people. Most of these “accidents” happened before the online  / social media market was saturated, I’d say, before the decade began. So the formulas that they now offer you about their success, which emerged ORGANICALLY for them, were a product of being in the right time and right place. It doesn’t mean your offering isn’t resonant. It just means there might be another way.

2. You’re Trying Too Hard — For my latest launch, in an effort to get people’s attention I shared a headline that was so uncharacteristic of me, I couldn’t even look at the stats after I sent it. I knew I was working too hard to get people’s attention and had betrayed my normal tone of communication. Lesson learned — although I don’t at all regret trying something new.

3. Giving to Get and Getting Angry — Bob Burg’s amazing book The Go Giver has been a platform building and social media bible for many. Genuine giving and adding value as a social media strategy can bring about incredible openings. But it also can be another formula. If it’s not coming from a genuine place, then the expectation that your giving will be reciprocated can stir up the utmost frustration.

Here’s the thing: Don’t stop. Someone once stopped me in a coffee shop to let me know she reads every article I post on Facebook, but I didn’t even realize we were friends. Don’t give up on the fact that social media and online marketing enable you to touch and reach people with your message.

But recognize that, unless you like sitting in traffic, there are other ways to increase business.

Let’s start with some IRL connecting tips:

1. Build REAL Relationships: Have you forgotten how to do that? You’re not alone. (OR, maybe you ARE alone, which is probably a good reason to learn, or re-learn.)

2. Learn How to Embody What You Do: IE, talk, in real life, without a script, and without jargon in a way that expresses your craft and enthusiasm.

3. Take a Breath Before You Engage: It helps you connect to you.

4. Look People in The Eye: It helps you connect to them.

As you can see . . .  this means we need to start connecting locally, too, in our physical communities.

Effective practice groups that help you ground these and other principles start this week: Learn how to be seen and heard. Email me or click the sidebar or highlighted text for more information! 

13 responses to “Online Marketing Not Working Like It Used To? It Might Be You. Or Not.”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    You are awesome and this is awesome. It’s given much needed excuse to finally exhale without even noticing that I’ve been holding my breath doing, doing, doing waiting for everything to click.

    Small wins are the best fuel out there. Waiting for the big kahuna and we’re in for a joyless ride. Trying, iterating, playing, engaging… it’s the way to go.

    Thanks, Blair!


    • Blair Glaser says:

      Alli, so glad it inspire a good exhale. Now you are inspiring me to do the same! And reminding me and us all about the value of small wins, even though small wins won’t always pay the mortgage.
      Much love,

  2. Dan Forbes says:

    Hi Blair, Thanks for your great advice. I tried to find something with which I might disagree, but couldn’t. It’s spot on.

    I’d like to schedule a Google Hangout on Air with you in November to continue this discussion. Would you be up for that?



    • Blair Glaser says:

      I’d be honored Dan. I think it’s a rich and much needed discussion and I am glad you are taking up the leadership to continue it! So nice to see you here!

  3. Excellent article Blair. I find that I enjoy connecting with those who are true to themselves and their mission, not trying to copy anyone. We all have a unique message to bring to the world…trust in that.

    • Blair Glaser says:

      Thanks so much for your insights and for stopping by.
      And for reminding us to trust in our unique message!

  4. Don Purdum says:

    Hi Blair,

    I couldn’t agree with your premise more. In fact, my blog is very popular but I don’t get a lot of business directly from the Internet very often… not because my blogs aren’t good, they are. Over a months time I will get close to 75 to 100 high quality comments and lots of engagement both there and on social media.

    But you nailed it, information overload.

    Compound that with I’m a business-to-business company. Guess what? Executives, entrepreneurs and business owners are busy. They don’t have loads of time to be watching Facebook and reading lots of blogs, even if they do help them.

    So how does it work for me?

    I network and gain referrals to meet my target audience. What does my blog do for them? It validates me and offers credibility. It almost always seals the deal after they visit my website.

    I don’t stop marketing, engaging, sharing and networking online. I have met some great clients, but it just takes longer to get through the clutter where people will engage, interact and inquire from you when you really solve their problems.

    To me that’s the key, but very very few businesses understand how to think like their consumers and then solve their problems. A lot of people talk about it but few do it. They may mention a problem but then they turn to talking about themselves. And we wonder why people aren’t engaging with us online or guying from us?

    See, I have a strategy, goals and objectives; and I know my audience.

    It takes a lot of hard work and effort to do. But, it’s so worth it.

    Great post Blair! It’s great to have read your article and see, it does work because Ande Lyons tagged me on Google Plus.

    Have a great finish to your week!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Blair Glaser says:

      Your comment was packed full of valuable information, thank you! This sentiment in particular ” very very few businesses understand how to think like their consumers and then solve their problems. A lot of people talk about it but few do it. They may mention a problem but then they turn to talking about themselves. And we wonder why people aren’t engaging with us online or guying from us?”
      This is so true! Coming from a background of theater, being able to put yourself in your client’s shoes is paramount for empathy and understanding — key aspects of good marketing. You need to know who you’re talking to!
      And, I have a sense you’d agree, in order to really know our target market’s problems and how to solve them, we need to know a little bit about ourselves, too.

  5. Phenomenal post. I keep telling myself that, if I started such and such project a few years ago, I would be a major success now. The truth is, there is always time to start.

    Richard Branson says great business ideas are like buses, there’s always another one coming.

    As you have mentioned, the key is to keep our eyes open for a new way that WE can contribute to society and creatively start a new business. We can’t use other people’s methods, we need to discover and develop our own.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. You NAILED IT Blair! For almost 2 years I spun my wheels trying to duplicate other’s success formula and ultimately ended up with a big pile of NOTHIN! It took a lot of soul searching and a complete rebrand for me…but since {about 6 months now} I’ve gone back to being 100% me, using the slang and sass that oozes out of me, I’ve made more connections, clients and money than in the entire 2 years.

    So I can say without a doubt…it WAS me!

  7. […] her excellent post Online Marketing Not Working Like It Used To? Leadership and Relationship expert Blair Glaser notes how you can be doing everything right, and […]

  8. Brian Robben says:

    I definitely can get lost in the “digital world” and look at everything in terms of subscribers, views, and book orders. So this article is a great refresher for me to focus on building relationships, especially with other bloggers, and seeing where that takes me. Great insight!

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