This Is What Good Marketing Looks Like

Jim Woods by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

You’ve built something.

You’re hoping you can spread the word about what you’ve made. We all know that traditional “hope marketing” doesn’t work. That’s the kind of marketing when you make something or provide a service and just hope the customers will come.

It’s the marketing equivalent of fishing with an empty hook. OK, you’re putting something out there, but there isn’t even any bait on your hook.

There’s no compelling reason for a customer to actually buy something from you. You don’t even know if there are any fish in the water!

But I’d like to propose a new kind of hope marketing: one that really works. It all stems from one simple question.

What do people actually want when they hire you or buy from you?

That’s one of the most important questions in marketing. Think about it:

  • People visit Facebook, because they want it to entertain, inform or connect them.
  • People donate to a charity, because they believe the work of the charity will make things better for others
  • People relocate to a nice area, because they believe it will improve their quality of life.

So when people buy from you, they are hoping for something. It has to be clear what it is they are hoping for; you have to know what it is they are hoping for.

Message + Initial Offer + Products = Good Hope Marketing

A Real-World Example

One of the greatest examples of good hope marketing is Marie Forleo. She creates content to inspire and help people achieve their dreams. Let’s take a quick look at her website.

Notice how clear it is? courtesy of Jim Woods/

And her bio is also crystal clear too. Notice how short it is? courtesy of Jim Woods/

Marie really lets you know all about her in just three sentences. You can see she is an entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist, and unshakeable optimist. I think the last part is really important. The reader is thinking, “What’s Marie the unshakeable optimist going to do for me?”

That’s the message: Marie is dedicated to helping you become the person you most want to be.

As you stay on her website, this gorgeous pop up comes up, unlike any other popup I’ve ever seen. courtesy of Jim Woods/

That’s the offer. Marie wants to give you some free audio training to get the clarity and confidence to build your dreams, on your terms.

The “how to get anything you want” angle is highly compelling as well.

What About Products?

Marie offers two books and two courses. Her new book, Everything is Figureoutable is out now. That’s it. Very simple. In addition, notice how genius the SEO is on Marie’s book title. Super smart!

Take a look at Marie’s sales page. Does this look like a sale page to you? by Jim Woods/

Marie’s sales page has a unique, friendly tone. It looks like a blog more than a sales page. For the first-time visitor, Marie is laughing at a joke over lunch or dessert. Take a look at the copy: Everything we offer is designed to help you create a business and life you love.

This copy is very friendly. I’d only offer one small comment on this: it would be more effective if the copy was more personal. I vs. we. But to be honest, the image overrides the copy here. Overall, it still has a personal feel.

Let’s Look At Marie’s Different Channels

Her Youtube is self-titled: marieTV. This alone is amazing branding. You’re not watching just any old YouTube video, this is marieTV. by Jim Woods

Notice the copy?

No matter your dreams or obstacles, you have the power to change your life and change the world.

This isn’t just a YouTube channel, it’s an inspirational hub to help you change everything.

Here’s Marie’s Instagram account. by Jim Woods

Her bio here is just a quote from Oprah. Yes, that Oprah! She mentions her MarieTV, her podcast, and that she’s a bestselling author.

Here’s a glance at some of the content on Marie’s Instagram account. A picture of Marie lying on top of a mountain of copies of her newly launched book: by Jim Woods/Marie Forleo’s Instagram

Here’s a snapshot of a few of the photos on her account. She has a great mixture of stylized pictures, a quote, and some casual photos too. by Jim Woods

Now, let’s take a quick look at Marie’s podcast page. Here’s what it looks like. What is your first impression? by Jim Woods

I first noticed that cover art for the podcast has a great fun photo and she mentions the Oprah quote again. The copy is a bit longer here, and the copy could be tightened up a bit. Here’s the copy after the social proof.

In this show, Marie and her guests share actionable strategies for greater happiness, success, motivation, creativity, productivity, love, health, contribution and fulfillment — often with a lot of laughs.

That’s a lot of different things. I wonder if she is stacking the description for better SEO? Or it has been like this since the very beginning of the podcast. Either way, it really doesn’t matter too much when you have Oprah calling you a thought leader!

The listeners of the show know who Marie is and they’re probably finding the podcast from Marie’s Instagram, website, or MarieTV.

The Takeaway

OK, so what have we learned from looking at Marie’s marketing? First, Marie is intentional with her marketing. She’s also in it for the long haul. She wants her content to make you feel good. She wants to make you laugh and smile.

How does she do this? By being a leader. By smiling herself. And also by being herself. There are several videos on her Instagram of just her dancing around. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. She wants to have fun. This carries through to each member of her audience.

What All This Means For Your Marketing

Now let’s look at your audience. They’re hoping for something too. It isn’t always obvious what. Realize that your audience is not everyone. If you think your audience is everyone, you don’t really have an audience.

Don’t be afraid of telling a possible customer, “I’m sorry, but my product/service is not for you.” This sentence takes a lot of courage.

One of the best ways to say that sentence without saying it out loud is to be yourself. Gary Vee does this really well. He refuses to water down his message.

Do This Next

Your next step is to go find a leader that inspires you. Then break it down, just like I did with Marie in this post.

Dig deeper. Don’t settle for the surface work. Dive in and analyze things.

Think about things and then start to experiment with your own marketing. Test out the copy. Get some helpful feedback from a pro. If you’re not sure where to start, get someone to help you.

Stop waiting. You are a personal brand and your marketing needs to be clear. Your audience is waiting to finally hear your voice. Tell them what you are ready to say.

It’s time. Get started.

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Stories are powerful. That's why I write.

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