• Ask Lisa Your Burning QuestionsWhile hosting a conversation on the California Women’s Conference Virtual Stage (that eventually led to winning the People’s Choice Award and a speaking spot at the conference) I asked participants to share their BIGGEST marketing challenge and provided answers.

    Q:  My biggest marketing challenge is expressing how I am different in a sea of marketing that is using manipulative words… and don’t mean what they say. (Or worse, are only one step ahead of the people they are trying to get to hire them!) ~ Submitted by Shannon Cherry

     A: That is a big challenge for many. Over the years, after working with hundreds of women (probably thousands now), I’ve learned the biggest disconnect in creating marketing messages, especially for women, is the use of antiquated approaches, formulas and manipulative marketing. I firmly believe that you cannot create an effective marketing message is you are using a formula that doesn’t feel right. So, I simplify things by sharing “if it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right.” This specifically applies to the “Problem, agitate and solve” formula that has been taught by copywriters and marketers throughout the years.

    Many mission-based entrepreneurs and business owners don’t resonate with that approach because it doesn’t feel good to manipulate people by focusing on pain points, agitating those pain points and then swooping in like a pseudo marketing hero. That’s exactly why I created my NEW formula — Challenge. Solution. Invitation.™. This simplifies the process by guiding marketers to 1) acknowledge the challenges their ideal clients face 2) offer a solution from a place of true service (not just numbers and projections) 3) extend a friendly invitation to take the next step of doing business with you (note: no pushy, salesy, tactics are needed with this approach).

    Marketing is really all about relationships — NOT sales. Yes, you should profit from your passion AND you must first build relationships for that to happen. In fact, when you are BEing of true service, you don’t have to SELL. So, how do we get to that point?

    First, be very clear on your values and the value you deliver. Make sure you infuse your values in your marketing message. This allows you to easily attract the clients you are meant to serve by truly BEing in your brilliance. From there you can craft a message the highlights why you are the natural choice. The people using manipulative tactics and techniques will be obvious to those you are meant to serve.

    It’s also important to realize that just by being YOU, you offer a unique approach that no one else can duplicate even if they are trying to copy you (which happens and is unfortunate). Regarding being “one step ahead” of those we serve. It might be helpful to shift that thinking and consider an approach of collaboration. I believe we are all peers in different places on our journey and we can learn a lot from each other. It’s all about collaboration. As Michelle Patterson says “We are better together.”

    I hope that helps and you might also find this blog post “How to Create Disruptive Marketing Messages that Matter” helpful https://writeoncreative.com/2014/03/26/create-disruptive-marketing/.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts?  Feel free to weigh in by leaving a reply?!

    Do you have additional questions about advertising, copywriting and marketing? Submit your questions here and I might just blog the A to your Q.

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog


    18 responses to “Ask Lisa: How can I stand out from the sea of manipulative marketing?”

    1. Agreed, people are tired of manipulative marketing – I can spot it a mile off and am quite surprised it’s still happening

      I love this and say yeah “It’s also important to realize that just by being YOU, you offer a unique approach that no one else can duplicate even if they are trying to copy you”


      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Thanks for the kind words, Trudy.

        You are correct. What I offer is a framework that isn’t cookie cutter or paint by numbers. My approach allows people to share in a way that feels right to them and highlights their magic.

        It all boils down to being of true service and coming from a place of value based on your values.

        Write on!~


    2. Lisa, I completely agree that real marketing is about building relationships! It is not manipulative.

    3. Lisa, I love your marketing approach. It’s refreshing. I agree that effective marketing is about connecting with others in meaningful ways. Thanks!

    4. By the way, I forgot to say congratulations on winning the People’s Choice Award!

    5. Mitch Tublin says:

      Creating relationships is the best marketing especially for those in a service based business. By adding value to others we allow ourselves to become part of their lives in some small way. Over time the relationship builds to where referrals are made and clients and customers are found.
      Totally agree with you.

    6. THANK YOU!!! I’m so tired of manipulative marketing and have never been comfortable with the idea of this. I must prefer simply being myself and allowing those who are seeking what I have to offer to be attracted to that viewpoint and that method of working together.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Yes, being true to who you are and how you can serve is vital to making real connections. When you build a solid foundation based on value and service you cannot go wrong.

        That’s why I often share “Values equal value.”

        Way to honor yours.

        Write on!~


    7. lumbie says:

      Lisa, this is a great post! I also believe in building relationships, being myself, and collaborating. I practice it and it works for me.

      I hope many people get to see this post.

      Thank you.

    8. Deb Coman says:


      Thank you for a great message about doing business with integrity and in the spirit of connection and collaboration. There is plenty for all of us! I am sharing this!

    9. Jan Deelstra says:

      Hey Lisa, just a note to say congratulations -and by the way, well-deserved, People’s Choice Award.
      As far as this post goes, I can honestly say that as a consumer and a marketer, manipulation is a HUGE turn off. Honesty and authenticity go a long way whereas the slightest stench of ulterior motives is sensed long before the perp moves in for the “close.” Kudo to you for the valuable content AND for the award. Nicely done.

    10. Robyn Ellis says:

      My personal goal is to spend 2015 refining my way of marketing my offer in a way that is honest, integral and authentic. To attract people who resonate and see the value. We are taught that our opportunity should sell itself. Coming from a background with sales really draws a fine line. I was never ‘sold to’ when I found my business so it works.
      Love your post.
      Congratulations on your Peoples Choice Award!

    11. Congrats Lisa on winning the People’s Choice award that is awesome! I am so over the tired ways of marketing and I know a lot of people are with me on that. Authenticity and building relationships are where it is at. thanks for your post!

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