The Sleazebag and the Magician: A Tale of Two Marketers

I’ve been thinking a lot about marketing lately. I know, I know. You hate advertising. Can’t stand self-promotion. I get it.

The Sleazebag and the Magician: A Tale of Two Marketers

But guess what? If you’ve got a message that deserves to be shared, you need to care about marketing. There are two ways to go about this, to spread an idea or promote a project.

One is the Way of the Sleazebag

You beg, plead, and generally cajole people into paying attention to you. You rant and annoy and put a lot of pressure on the people who love you.

The problem with this method, ironically, is it works. Which is what makes it so dangerous. Through bribery, shame, or some other questionable tactic, you got what you were looking for. And now you have to continue making compromises in order to keep the attention.

Talk about something that will drain you.

The other is the Way of the Magician

Some people just have a certain charisma about them. They’re cool. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold with little to no effort. But their secret sauce isn’t magic. Not really. No, it’s something even more mystical: patience.

They practice subtlety, wait for just the right moment, learning and listening the whole time, and finally speak up. And when they do, we listen.

Really, that’s the difference. Between jerks and geniuses. Between the brilliant communicator and the broke one. It’s all about patience, about taking your time and earning trust.

Trust and permission

When I look around at people succeeding, it’s usually those with a long-term approach who are doing the best.

These people don’t give in to the temptation to compromise their work to earn a buck — or a “like,” for that matter. Instead, they demonstrate integrity. They stick around and keep showing up, knowing that little by little is how influence is earned.

Millionaires will tell you the same thing: There’s no such thing as overnight success. The only way to “get rich quick” is to do it slowly. The same is true with all creative work.

If you have something you’re just dying to promote, take your time. Don’t neglect promotion, but be patient. The last thing you want to do is appear desperate.

How do you feel about marketing? Share in the comments.