Boo! Marketing is Scary

At the Excel 401(k) Conference this past week, I taped an upcoming episode of the Retireholi(k)s. If you’re not familiar with them, think TPAs, ERISA and beer – discussed by a group of passionate and prepared Southern California types from Plan Design Consultants. The show is there way of adding value to the advisor community – without another boring webinar.

They’re a disruptive force in our world of 401(k) marketing.

As we chatted about two specific marketing concepts I’ve been exploring – on being unforgettable and out caring the competition – the topic of marketing and fear was discussed. As an example, every time I push the send button on one of my these emails, to a list of 7,000+ industry professionals, it takes an act of courage.

Courage to be different, courage to think different and courage to act different; courage to feel like an impostor and keep doing good work. The impostor board meeting in my head goes something like this:

  • Who am I to put myself ‘out there’ as a marketing expert?
  • Why would anyone care what I have to say?
  • What might happen if I make a mistake?
  • OMG, what happens if someone doesn’t like me?

But I take a breath and just push send.

I often hear that compliance is the biggest hindrance to doing good marketing. My challenge for you is to peel that onion a tiny bit. Chances are, you might be wondering if your work is good enough to share with the world.

There are two books that tackle this subject head on; about feeling the fear of creating and creating anyway. Check them out.

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin

War of Art, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield

During our taping, JD Carlson shares a very similar feeling regarding marketing and courage. I’m certain you’ll enjoy the conversation. Once the episode is live, I’ll post a link here on

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See you soon?

I’ve been on the road a bit, speaking at a variety of industry events and meetings. In a few weeks, I’ll be in Chicago discussing all things branding and client experience. I hope to see you there. (Or, book me for one of your events.)

Schwab Impact 2017: Out Care the Competition: How to Use the Power of Brand and Client Experience to Differentiate Your Firm