I know marketing has felt sleazy and out of alignment with your values at some point – and maybe it still does? If so, it’s time to get over it!

Here’s a really helpful guest post from Marketing Expert and Blogger Extraordinaire, Lisa Barber of Roots And Wings, to help change your mind.

Lisa was in the top 10 finalists of the UK Blogging Awards 2016 and really knows her stuff.


Guest Post from Lisa Barber

Sleazy Car Salesman - marketing feels sleazyWhilst supporting people doing transformative work to find clients, I’ve heard these words time and again.

“I hate marketing.” Or, more specifically … “I don’t like promoting myself.” Or … “I really enjoy the work I do – why do I have to do all this other marketing stuff?” 

Or, when I probe a bit deeper … “I feel like a sleazy car salesman. I’m far too introverted to be a pushy networker.”

Can you relate?


It’s a growing trend and one that concerns me. So many people in helping professions are allergic to marketing. So many helpers and healers view marketing as sleazy, embarrassing, frustrating or overwhelming. Most people doing transformative work tell me they find the whole getting clients bit hard, confusing, unnatural, or just plain scary.

Why are so many heart-centred business owners allergic to promoting themselves?

Is it because, as buyers, we’re repeatedly on the receiving end of deceitful marketing tricks? Or perhaps it’s because we’re consistently bombarded with print and electronic media screaming at us to ‘Buy! Buy! Buy!” Could it be that we’re finally tired of being manipulated into saying “yes” to products and services we don’t want or need?

One thing’s for sure

In the name of marketing, people have done lots of things that are very easy for us to dislike.

Marketing feels sleazyThey’ve written the flyers you didn’t want through your letterbox. They’ve drafted the scripts of cold callers.

In the name of marketing, people have created pushy website sales pages. They’ve blocked your path on the High Street. Given your details to others. Sent you spam. Rung your doorbell when you’re in the shower.

In the name of marketing, people have exploited vulnerable targets, including young women and the elderly, for commercial gain.

Now it’s hardly surprising you have a natural aversion to marketing, is it?

Fear, guilt and scarcity don’t mix

Traditional sales and marketing simply aren’t aligned with your values. Fear, guilt and scarcity don’t mix at all well with empathy, credibility, integrity and trust. Your instinct to resist traditional sales and marketing techniques is actually keeping you safe. But here’s the thing …

Marketing isn’t what you think

Marketing doesn’t have to be the monster you’ve envisioned. Marketing can be generous. It can be amusing. It can be comforting. It can bring about connection, collaboration and community. Marketing can connect your care with the very people who are looking for it. It can bring a huge sigh of relief to the strangers searching online for exactly what you offer – in exactly the way you offer it.

Marketing doesn’t need to be sleazy, pushy, intrusive, manipulative or hyped. It can gently and generously let your perfect-for-you people know where there’s help and hope available for them.

Marketing is often the very first glimpse of hope

Marketing is also the ‘About’ page on a website that helps your Right People feel ‘got’ and less alone – sometimes for the very first time in their lives. Marketing is the thank you Tweet that can brighten a day and remind someone why it is that they do what they do. Marketing is the vulnerable share on Facebook that connects a whole movement of people with similar values, passions or concerns.

It’s the free download that gives a desperate teenager their first glimpse of hope. It’s the midnight Google search that connects someone in pain with the person best placed to help. It’s the free support circle for women with ‘unexplained infertility’. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.

Marketing is when you let people know you’re there, who you are and how you can help. That is all.

When you know in your bones that you’re doing good work, telling others you exist is the most generous act your business can perform.

Over to you

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please pay it forward by sharing with someone with an aversion to marketing. Or jot down your thoughts in the Comments section below. We’d love to hear how all this lands with you.

Want more tips like these?

Be sure to check out Lisa’s free 12-minute audio training ‘Know, Like and Trust’ here.

And grab a copy of my free Quiz, Discover Your Hidden Blocks to Money & Success, to help you uncover the biggest internal blocks standing in your way of achieving the success you want and deserve.

Money Blocks Quiz

It’s your first step to freedom!


About Lisa Barber

Lisa Barber, Roots and Wings - when marketing feels sleazyLisa supports people doing work that helps or heals to set up their businesses for the long term and attract more perfect-fit clients. She believes marketing can be free to do and completely aligned with Who You Really Are.

Want to boost referrals and attract more clients in a gentle and truthful way? Sign up here for instant access to Lisa’s free 12-minute audio training ‘Know, Like and Trust’.

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14 Comments on Read this when marketing feels sleazy or manipulative

  1. Wonderful words – thanks Linda and Lisa. My head knows the truth of this – my heart still isn’t fully convinced!! I’m working on it.. with the absolutely wonderful help of Linda 🙂 I especially love this: ‘It’s the free download that gives a desperate teenager their first glimpse of hope…. When you know in your bones that you’re doing good work, telling others you exist is the most generous act your business can perform.’ Thank you 🙂

  2. This post really resonates with me. So well explained and yes it’s true: Individual practitioners have a duty to market their services in the right way to create a more interesting world and increase the choice available. Otherwise many of us would never be able to diverge from main- stream services which have no problem in communicating their benefits.

  3. Oh my goodness I absolutely love this article and where you’re coming from…. I wish I’d read this a few years ago! Thank you to both Linda and Lisa

  4. Thank you Lisa for such a practical, no nonsense, know your value marketing piece. If you stay in the wings of your own stage, who gets to see what you have to offer? As Marie Forleo encourages: “the world needs that special gift that only you have”. Go forth and spread your word with pride in what you do and the love of how it can help those who need what you have to give. Thx for this candid yet gentle reminder. Fiona

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