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TGIF: Your “Subtle Selling” is Not So Subtle At All

Please tell me you’re reading this post from your mobile device while sitting on a patio somewhere (preferably sipping on a spicy caesar, but a craft beer or large glass of wine will also do). I don’t know where you are right now, but it is sunny and plus-20 north of Toronto. Add “self-employed” to the list and you have the perfect recipe for a Friday afternoon.

I guess I should be careful with these TGIF posts, or I’m really going to start confirming the stereotypes about writers and their drinking habits…

I digress.

It’s been a fun week. I kicked off Monday morning with a social media presentation for a group of financial advisors. I got to stand up at the front of the room with my precious Power Point slides and talk about social media best practices for 45 minutes. Hopefully the attendees enjoyed it as much as I did.

One of the main points in my presentation was about putting in an effort to make the social media experience more authentic. We’re all constantly bombarded with advertisements on the daily, and rather than adding to the noise, you need to find a way to give your fans and followers a freaking breath of fresh air. 

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a realtor at a social media consultation this week. She was telling me about a colleague who has befriended her on Facebook and is constantly selling from his Facebook profile. I showed her the handy-dandy “unfollow” button, and she was immediately relieved.

Know why? Because she was sick and tired of her friendship being exploited as a sales tool.

And I totally feel her pain. We all have that friend on Facebook whose marketing tactics are so obvious, we cringe at every status update.

Don’t get me wrong, Facebook can be an effective marketing platform, but you have to stop being so damn OBVIOUS about it. Constantly pushing your products and services at me is only going to force my hand to remove you from my news feed with a simple click of the mouse.

So please, for the love of Mark Zuckerberg, stop with the car salesman approach. Instead, teach me about what you do without making me feel like I’m being sold to. Show me how you can make my life better without the annoying sales pitch. Help me see why I should trust you instead of making me feel pressured into buying your shit. This is called subtle selling, and it’s a much more effective approach.

Now, onto my weekly reflections…

Highlights This Week

What I’m Writing:

I think my wanderlust may be getting a little obvious, especially after this week’s post for The Reply. Basically, I’m writing about how envious I am of all of the travel adventures I come across online, and then wrapping up by reminding myself of all the reasons I’m still grateful to be where I am. The article is a clear reflection of the battle I face on the daily – and if you can relate at all to these sentiments, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

What I’m Reading:

My favourite read this week was Kali Hawk’s post on changing your life by changing your mindset. I am so behind the arguments she makes on how positive thinking can bring meaningful impact. This line sums it up pretty accurately:

We attract what we think about. We become what we think about. Positive thoughts yield positive results.

It reminds me of the “magical thinking” author Sophia Amoruso writes about in #GIRLBOSS. You may remember this term from a recent post I wrote for The Reply. A lot of circumstances are out of your control, but at the end of the day you control your mindset, and when you practice positive thinking, you start to see just how much is possible.

What I’ve Learned:

I’ve had some exciting stuff happening in my personal life this week. I won’t get into the details (yet), but my husband and I are working towards a significant life change. It’s been quite the journey along the way, and I’m reminded just how valuable a role intuition plays in making big decisions. I’m such a believer in “thinking with your gut,” and trusting this method to lead me in the right direction.

What I’ve experimented with:

My blogging friend Cait from Blonde on a Budget recently launched “Mindful Budgeting,” an e-book with printable worksheets to help readers become more financially aware of their spending habits. I started using the worksheets this week, mapping out my budget for the month ahead and tracking my spending with good old-fashioned pen and paper. I have to agree with Cait here, there’s something about having to physically write down every purchase you make that makes the thought of a Starbucks tea latte a lot less enticing. I’m excited to see how these mindful check-ins help me reach my financial goals (because I have some pretty big ones coming up).

How has your week been? What are some of the challenges you faced this week? Any big plans for the weekend ahead?


Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is the founder of Web of Words. She helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Her work has been published in Maclean's, Canadian Business, Zoomer, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and fur-babe. To learn more, check out her portfolio at charlotteottaway.com and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.

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