Something’s wrong in the world of Online Marketing

The Gentle Business Revolution Manifesto

Listen, right now, there’s something very wrong happening in the world of Online Business and Marketing.

Never before have entrepreneurs had easier access to create a thriving business and make a positive impact in the world.

And yet, instead of using this incredible platform that we call the internet to make the world a better place, it is being abused. It’s contributing to an ever growing feeling of isolation and  anxiety – on a global level.

Here’s what’s happening:

>Have you noticed that the number of emails with a promise of a 6 or 7-Figure business have drastically increased over the past few years?

>Do you ever wonder when it has become a common marketing practice to use false urgency (‘last call, you’ll never have this opportunity again’), manipulation (‘do this if you really want clients’) and wealth signaling (‘how I made $1’456’235 through one webinar’)?

> Has that also left you doubting your own value and lacking the confidence to show up in your own authentic way because it made you feel less than, just another ‘entrepreneur, coach, consultant, service provider’ with no compelling (and unique) value proposition?


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Isn’t it interesting how with all the technology we have access to today (automated emails, mass webinars, chat bots etc), we have lost touch with the Human Connection.

And isn’t it interesting that the World Wide Web was actually built to help foster this connection?

It’s true. That was the initial mission. To bring people closer together and give power to the customers and no longer let companies dictate what we should consume.

In 1999 Rick Levine and friends posted a manifesto with 95 points establishing the ‘rules’ of the internet. The work examines the impact of the Internet on marketing, claiming that conventional marketing techniques are rendered obsolete by the online “conversations” that consumers have and that companies need to join.

Here’s an extract from the Cluetrain Manifesto and some of the relevant points that underline the importance of Human Connection:

From the Cluetrain Manifesto:

  1. Markets are conversations. [Markets refers to the ‘Online Market’]
  2. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
  3. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
  4. We are immune to advertising. Just forget it. [‘We’ refers to the modern day consumer]
  5. You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.
  6. We want you to drop your trip, come out of your neurotic self-involvement, join the party.
  7. Don’t worry, you can still make money. That is, as long as it’s not the only thing on your mind. [‘You’ refers to the companies or in our case the entrepreneur]

So what happened?

Well, it almost seems like entrepreneurs became the new companies, using similar mass media techniques the big names used in the 90’s.

Without being fully aware of what we were doing, we started using guilt, fear, false urgency and manipulation in our marketing. Maybe not in the same aggressive ways as the big internet marketing gurus, but subtle, almost unconscious ways to convince more clients to buy our products and services. We started talking AT our customers instead of WITH them.

So something got lost along the way.

It’s true, it wasn’t our fault. We didn’t do it on purpose. We have been trained to believe that that’s how it’s done if we want a successful business. And everywhere we looked, that’s what we saw. So we complied. We used the templates, the success-recipes and ‘persuasion hacks’… and we gave up our authentic selves. We forgot that it’s all about the Human Connection.

The truth is this:

The current Marketing paradigm is broken. Again.

Prefer to download the Gentle Business Manifesto in a beautiful pdf presentation?

Click HERE (no opt-in!)

In his book ‘Marketing Rebellion – The Most Human Company Wins‘ Mark Schaefer explains that we are in fact at the beginning of the third, and perhaps final, consumer rebellion.

Schaefer sums up this 3rd rebellion as ‘The End of Control’. Consumers want no more lies, no more secrets, they want no more control.

What they want instead are more human impressions.

These observations are backed up by stats and research.

So we’re back where we started when the internet was invented.

We got sidetracked for 20 years, created more tech, more automation, more AI.

And yet, we had the answers already. The fundamentals haven’t changed.

Author Daniel H. Pink writes the following in his book ‘A Whole New Mind’:

“ We’ve progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we’re progressing yet again – to a society of creators & empathizers, of pattern recognizers & meaning makers.

What consumers really want is:

More purpose and meaning.

More human connection.

More community and belonging.


That’s why people are tired of the old bully marketing.


Imagine what would happen—for us, for our clients, and for the world – if we would use more kindness & empathy in our business and marketing? Inclusion instead of exclusion. And we’d use today’s technology to our advantage, in order to make a bigger impact.

I believe it would be a whole new world.

A kinder world, a world without anxiety. And I believe it’s possible.

In fact there are signs everywhere that it’s possible. Mark Schaefer shares stories from big companies that chose to integrate human connections into their marketing, which stood up for their values, which created a sense of belonging for their customers. He mentions Nike, Harley Davidson, YETI (a premium ice cooler), Lululemon and others.

Can you see the potential for us entrepreneurs if even these huge corporations can do it?

Think about it. What if, instead of coming from a scarcity mindset, we approached marketing from an abundance mindset? Instead of using fear, lies and guilt to sell more, we would use joy, transparency, empathy and more human connection?

What if we gave ourselves permission to do marketing and business our way? Not following anyone else’s rules? Going back to the Human Connection?

And if we’re willing to stand up for our values, our strong moral principles and give ourselves permission to do marketing our way, coming from a place of strength, confidence, and abundance, we can show the way.

Just like the big corporations mentioned above we just need to correct our path.

There are plenty of examples in the entrepreneurial world who are already marketing that way and they have thriving businesses. I’m thinking of Danielle Laporte, Brené Brown, Todd Hermann, Jonathan Fields, Dorie Clark and many more…

You can be gentle AND have a thriving business!


Thanks for reading !

This is an extract from the Gentle Business Manifesto.
To download the entire beautifully designed pdf c
lick HERE (no opt-in!)

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