Lately I’ve been seeing them. Every time I open an new email or listen to a podcast, the signs are there.

I can sense the desperation, the hidden panic, just below the surface. The numbers aren’t what they should have been. They aren’t increasing at the rate that was hoped. Some of those numbers are decreasing rapidly. Where is the growth?

Businesses and bloggers are struggling to keep their high numbers. Forward my email to a friend, they ask. Rate my podcast and share it with your friends, they beg. Tell everyone to come read, come watch, come listen, because the numbers aren’t what they should be.

Everyone wants more page views, followers, reviews, fans, listeners, subscribers and customers. There’s never a moment when we don’t want more, and that’s okay. If you’re striving for big goals and focused on hitting those numbers, carry on, but never forget on the other side of the statistics are humans with different desires and dreams.

It’s tempting to have shiny object syndrome, or click on those links that promise to show you steps on how to get to 5, 6, and 7 figures each month. Or how to get 6,000 page views per hour (okay, that was sarcastic, per month is more like it). Although most people are working hard, they don’t talk too much about the failures and struggles. They don’t talk about the months and years it took to get them where they are today. They focus on the positive, the celebrations, which is a mindset trick, and important to do.

Yet, as of late, the online business world has seemed a bit hollow to me. The voices begging me to take their course to learn how to conquer the world, listen to their podcast for business tips, join their email list for great freebies, and sign up for their value-packed webinar, just aren’t compelling enough for me.

I’ve started mass unsubscribing from email lists, because they are cluttering my inbox. I even attempted to unsubscribe from the weekly Bed, Bath and Beyond email with their 20% off coupon. I don’t think it worked, those emails keep relentlessly popping up in my inbox.

My circle of influence has been narrowed to my favorite people who give value every single day without begging. Those are the people I want to surround myself with. Those are the people I look up to and want to be influenced by. The online business world is changing and growing, and I’ve seen the drop off in engagement, especially on Facebook and even in several Facebook Groups I’m part of. I’m calling it, that platform has begun it’s slow death, although the older generation will carry it for a while.

Hollow Ring of the Online Business World

All this to say, I’ve seen the overused marketing strategies and tactics and I’m tired of it. I’m ready for new, fresh ideas. I’m curious to see what this generation has to bring to online marketing, and how the trends will change for the better. My challenge to you is – instead of replicating what everyone else is doing, especially in the marketing world, find your own tune. Take what works and make it your own. Make sure what you’re doing rings a bell with you, that way others (like myself) won’t hear the hollow tune and pass it up. Here are some of the changes I’d like to see:

  • Instead of begging people to invite their friends to watch a video or listen to a podcast, leave a click to tweet so it’s easy to share your content.
  • Instead of sending mass emails about your upcoming webinar, ask past attendees to share their experience via social media, video or email.
  • Instead of annoying your email list to death with your next course or product launch, ask for affiliates and have them promote your course to a new audience – not the one you currently have.
  • Instead of asking for comments, ask people how they like to share their thoughts. Many people read and never comment because it’s not comfortable for them.
  • When asking for feedback, instead of asking open ended questions like “how can I help?” or “what’s your biggest struggle?” get specific and detailed. “What do you find frustrating about selling your novel?”
  • Instead of getting annoyed when people follow and then unfollow you on social media, follow accounts you actually enjoy with people you’d like to work with or who work in your community. It’s not a numbers game.

If you run a business, there are many digital marketing techniques you’ll need to evaluate to ensure they help you reach your goals. But more importantly, you’ll need to work in a way that is authentic and encourages people to fall in love with your brand.

What are you doing to ensure you stand out from all the noise online?

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