Marketing and Ickiness
Talk about raw.
This post is being written immediately after reading yet another FB post on the topic I'm about to rant ... and I can't NOT write this.
I am tired of icky affiliate marketing.
Note: I'm not tired of affiliate programs. I get it. They can be beneficial for all involved.
What I AM tired of is the relentless competition between affiliates when promoting the SAME program.
Today, Marie Forleo opened her B-School program. This, if Facebook and her promotional videos allow any insight, is a very popular program training people how to build a brand and become successful in their business.
I've never taken anything from Marie. I enjoy watching her occasional videos and enjoy her charisma and tips, but B-School is definitely not for me.
Marie has a lot of people who have been through her training, many of which are more popular personalities on Facebook. Apparently, she also has an affiliate program for B-School.
For the past week - and reaching an exploding climax today - my inbox and Facebook feed has been bombarded with "unbelievable bonuses" from those affiliates if you sign up for B-School through their affiliate links.
People offering coaching through her program, their own books and programs, and extras that could seem absolutely irresistible to anyone considering signing up for B-School anyway. If I were a potential client, I would be like a kid in a candy store trying to decide from whom to choose.
There are the hidden (and not-so-hidden) marketing techniques in the affiliate promotions - showing, I guess, that each one of them learned at least something about marketing to the human psyche either through Marie or somewhere. And each of the affiliates are using some angle to promote their business alongside B-School. Facebook status after Facebook status, email after email, I hear why I should sign up for the program...and do so through that particular affiliate to receive the UNBEATABLE deal.
I'm SO VERY TIRED OF IT.
In a fabulous book that I'm reading, I came across the following when discussing why people take risky choices.
"..because anticipating rewards - any rewards, whether or not related to the subject at hand - excites our dopamine-driven reward networks and makes us act more rashly." (p. 170, Quiet, Susan Cain)
These rewards are everywhere. No wonder so many sign up - even if they are on the fence. There is such excitement over getting SOMETHING for (seemingly) nothing. A FREE bonus? Yes please!!
I will make it very clear - as I have no interest in attacking anyone - that I firmly understand why Marie and each affiliate are doing what they are doing. I know at heart that each of them want the exact same thing that I do - to be happy, successful by our own definitions, and to avoid suffering.
I am frustrated by the culture that makes us feel like we need to do these things. I am frustrated by the continued pursuit of business "success" by these methods. I am frustrated when I see so many - INCLUDING MYSELF - falling back into using these methods because we see no other way.
Yes, this is an emotion-fueled rant. But it is also a plea, to all of us, to take a breath.
To pause from all of this frenzied push, go, market, sell, buy, NOW, click, share, NOW.
To examine why we are doing what we are doing...not in order to find some tweetable terms or catchy phrase so we can then SELL the why, but in order to live lives filled with integrity.
To be able to NOT feel icky when we contribute to, or read through, our Facebook feeds, to live and run businesses in such a way that we feel fully in line with our nature of kindness, compassion, love, and desire for mutual success.
Let's all take a deep breath. No, let's take five breaths. Five, full, conscious, I'm-here-and-thinking-of-nothing-else-but-this breaths.
And on about our days we go....hopefully a bit more free from the icky.