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Calling out manipulative marketing

Calling out manipulative marketing by content creators

Lately, I’ve seen more than a fair share of bullshit from a handful of creators/coaches.

So this is a shameless rant.

A manifesto against smarmy bollocks, if I may…

To paint a picture: the main offenders (in my experience) are typically 30-something charismatic white dudes who talk a big game about climbing out of poverty. They have thousands of followers thanks to their straight-talking, no-fluff, no-BS approach to building businesses.

(And yes, I’m sure they do come in every flavour of human, but the irony here is hard to ignore).

They’re good at what they do. That’s fine. No shame in building wealth, and in teaching others to do the same. (FYI, I’m also in their audience, otherwise I wouldn’t see what’s in their sales funnels).

I admire them for their determination and “beating the odds”. Hats off to them for building a solid following over many years. Kudos.

They have my curiosity, and my respect…

That is, until they offer coaching programs via sales funnels with these kinds of slimy messages:

“If you’re actually serious about building a business…”

“Maybe you just don’t want to succeed enough…”

“You can stay in that “victim mindset” of poverty, or you can start investing in yourself…” (I heard this in a webinar recently, and promptly unsubscribed from him on every. Damn. Platform).

“If you claim that you’re struggling that much, you can’t afford NOT to sign up…”

Fuck that child support payment”.

Okay, that last one was a joke, but you get the idea.

Fuck. Those. Asshats.

And listen… I get it.

Their price point won’t be for everyone.

That is fine.

I wholeheartedly agree with not lowering your prices to suit everyone. Every creator deserves to know their value and hold firm on their price point — I’m absolutely not saying they need to sell their stuff for less.

Creators are professionals and they deserve to get paid. It’s actually bloody hard work, ain’t it?

And a lot of these offers are very good value for money, frankly.

But don’t you dare belittle your audience or dismiss someone’s struggle as trivial, or someone’s literal inability to buy from you (with or without dipping into credit) as stupid or short-sighted.

Don’t tell us we “just don’t want it enough”.

Yes, we need to invest in ourselves and our futures — but we’re not all in the same boat. Some of us have families to care for. Credit to pay off. Disabilities to manage. Shitty economic crises to survive through.

So fuck them and their “low price” (at half a grand or more) programs that “anyone could afford”. The value of money is relative. Some people own planes, while others don’t own a car.

And especially fuck them for saying they’re “from poverty” (Pffft, aren’t they all? Who doesn’t love rags to riches tales?), when they seem to have forgotten what that’s like from their current position of privilege and comfort.

And that’s assuming the stories about their hard-earned success are even true.

You know what? Maybe it’s true for them. But some will say “I get it, Samantha! I was poor once!” … all while knowing sweet eff-all about you and if your situations could ever compare. Maybe they really did have holes in their shoes. Or maybe Daddy stopped paying their credit card. Who knows? Not me. They tend to keep those details nice and vague.

The value of money is relative, so the personal definition of “poverty” is also relative.

Did this sound bitter? Abso-fucking-lutely. Jaded? Probably.

By the way, I do invest in myself and my skills with various courses and memberships (the prices of which can vary wildly), to the best of my financial ability — but I sure as hell don’t buy from people who insult their audience or make crude assumptions about other people’s passion and commitment (or lack thereof) without so much as a one-on-one conversation.

And, as a fledgling creator myself, please hammer me in the kneecaps if I ever forget my own origins to the extent that I turn to manipulation and guilt-tripping my audience for sales.

Creators: you don’t have to be nice — I’m sure as hell not.

Just be kind with your marketing, for fuck’s sake.

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