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Strategy

7 Secrets for Standing Out Online in an Unpredictable Marketplace

I was raised to be humble by my Thai Buddhist mother… it’s just not in my nature to really promote myself.  

But I’ve realized that I may have held myself back by not promoting myself more. 

And I think a lot of entrepreneurs who are in the business to help are like this. 

We don’t want to come across as arrogant.

But the fact is that there are so many people out there with way less expertise and experience than you and me claiming credibility… and building massive audiences online who are hanging on to their every word.

That’s why this year, I’m vowing to put myself out there more — on YouTube, on Tiktok, on the stage, on podcasts — because I’ve earned the right to claim my space in this vast online universe…

And so have you!

Which is why I wrote this post with 7 secrets to help your business stand out online… so you can attract YOUR perfect people (aka your customers!). 

Let’s dive in!

But quickly… this post is really in-depth… so I’ve given you a quick outline so you can scroll past any of the secrets that don’t peak your interest (although I highly encourage you to check them all out :))

Secret #1: Become a Facilitator

Secret #2: “Choose Your Own Adventure” Marketing

Secret #3: Experiences OVER Information

Secret #4: Practice Radical Self-Expression

Secret #5: Be Fractal

Secret #6: Build the Know, Like & Trust Factor With Short Video

Secret #7: Take Advantage of Tools Like ChatGPT

Secret #1: Become a Facilitator

It used to be that everyone you met was an author, speaker, influencer, artist or personal brand… 

We chose labels for ourselves that described a mostly one-way flow of content and inspiration — from us to our audience. And that just reinforced the Web 2.0, guru on the mountain approach to building a business and a following.

But, now that we’re drowning in content (and the value of information continues to drop), people will start seeking out facilitators — who are focused on designing experiences that facilitate real conversation, community and transformation at scalerather than content creators.  

Years ago, one of my students drew me a picture that said, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener,” which sums up being a facilitator perfectly.  

At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have to say or share; it’s about what people do with what you say or share. How do they integrate that content into real-life results or transformation?

Secret #2: “Choose Your Own Adventure” Marketing

You may have heard of the Third Wall.

In a book, movie, play or other live performance, it’s the so-called “imaginary barrier” that separates the characters from the audience.

And when you “break” the Third Wall, you’re bringing awareness to the fact that they’re reading a book or watching a movie or performance. 

You’re making the brushstrokes obvious. 

As the guru is being taken off the pedestal and facilitators are becoming the new heroes of the online business world, I see a trend towards breaking the Third Wall more and more in webinars and virtual events and really inviting the audience to become active participants — or even heroes — in the action.

While webinars and teleseminars are online events that used to be primarily a one-way stream of content and information — perhaps with a Q&A at the end — they’re becoming more personalized and interactive from start to finish (check out Trend #3: Fighting Webinar Fatigue for some ways to amp up the engagement in your events). 

I call this “choose your own adventure” marketing and education — and like to call my company, Live Your Message, a “choose your own adventure business coaching and training company”.

My friend, Roger Hamilton, says that as markets become more sophisticated, the most successful businesses shift from being product-focused to being market-and-customer-focused. In other words, meeting the changing demands of their customers and cultivating higher “lifetime customer value”.

And this extends past just your virtual or live events and into other aspects of your online presence including your website. You can create a “choose your own adventure” website where you give your visitors a choice on the path they want to take with you. If you serve both beginners and advanced people in your niche, you no longer want to just dump them all in the same funnel or program… you need to meet them where they’re at.

We are currently in the process of redesigning the Live Your Message website based on this philosophy. When someone lands on our home page, they’ll have 3 different ways to continue their relationship with us:

Option #1: Get Into Consistent Business-Building Action — This will link to a page for my free Workshop — Unlock The Science of Consistent Action (that page is coming soon!). But if you don’t want to wait and you’re ready to GROW your business one tiny action at a time… check out Live Your Message LAB! Each month, you’ll get a step-by-step business growth experiment plus the coaching and community you need to make it happen.

Option #2: Create a Highly-Engaging Online Course — This will link out to a page to register for my free Course Creation Masterclass — How to Use Your Knowledge, Skills or Passions to Create a High-Impact Online Course.

Option #3: Grow and Scale Your Online Business — This will link to a newly redesigned page for our one-year business accelerator, Momentum.

But we’re hoping to take it a step further by customizing the experience for each visitor. Further down on the home page, you’ll be able to click on what best describes you from 5 different options and we’ll customize your experience on our site to fit your needs.

Because remember — business isn’t one-size-fits-all — and your marketing and programs shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all either.

Secret #3: Experiences OVER Information

There’s a reason why I’ve been on a mission to reinvent the online education industry… 

Because for far too long, online courses just dropped a bunch of information in their students’ laps… resulting in a pathetic 3% completion rate. 

And those students don’t become repeat customers… leading to businesses spending far too much time, energy and money constantly trying to acquire new customers. 

And in today’s volatile online and economic landscape, you simply can’t afford to do that. 

Which is why you have to focus on experiences OVER information.

Your audience already has all the information they need… and what they’re really after is transformation. 

So in 2023 and well beyond, focus on helping your customers achieve something real… using experiences in your online course, product or program to get them to take consistent action and cross that finish line. 

Because once they get that sweet taste of success, they’ll turn into superfans, and superfans are likely to buy anything you create next — including your high ticket offers — and refer you to their friends. 

And if you want to increase the chances of success, think of ways to use experiences outside of your course content or program content to keep students fully engaged during the duration of your program. For example, try a Messenger campaign that sends important reminders or create an exclusive forum, group or community where students can hold each other accountable. 

In our programs, we use both online communities and messenger campaigns. And I know a lot of you are hesitant to create a group for your program because you think you have to do it on Facebook. You don’t! We actually built our latest online community for our new program — Live Your Message LAB — in Xperiencify. So the program content and the community are all in one place.

Secret #4: Practice Radical Self-Expression

In a world where everyone’s talking about the same thing the same way and people are fed-up with overused marketing and sales messages…

Radical self-expression shines like a diamond in the dust.

It lets you stand out, be seen and heard by all the right people and it’s based on a simple, unbreakable rule…

Be yourself or be ignored.

Radical self-expression is basically about showing up as yourself no matter how boring, how different or how crazy you think you are 🙂

It’s about letting people know what makes you tick and what ticks you off. It’s the secret sauce to building a loving, loyal customer base of people happy to buy everything you put out there because YOU made it.

So here’s the thing…

Only you can give yourself permission to practice radical self-expression…

Only you can step up, speak up and allow yourself to be who you truly are in your business and not a weak imitation of someone else.

So if you’ve been hiding in the shadows, it’s time to step out and embrace radical self-expression because the world needs you to be YOU…

We need every single authentic voice we can get because authenticity breeds curiosity, creativity and growth…

The stuff that leads to world-changing — world-saving — ideas and innovations.

For some inspiration on practicing radical self-expression from 3 entrepreneurs who’ve each built a massive and rabid fanbase online… check out Gary Vee, Rachel Pedersen and Trae Crowder (and be sure to check out my ultimate guide).

Secret #5: Be Fractal

Being fractal means to be so clear and specific about your message that no matter what you’re saying — telling a story, sharing a case study, delivering the core content of your message — it’s reflecting the whole.

This relates to a concept in Buddhism called the Jeweled Net of Indra. It’s like this gigantic net and at each point of the net, there’s a gemstone. And that gemstone reflects all the other points of the net. So at any one point, you can see the entire world. And that’s what it means to be fractal.

So in any single piece of your messaging — no matter how small — you want your audience to be able to see the whole of your message.

You do that by getting super specific about the problem you solve for your audience. A lot of people only want to talk about the solution and they bypass the problem. But in Buddhism, they also say that the lotus flower grows with its roots in the mud. So you want to understand the root of your audience’s problem. What’s that thing you’re allowing people to do?

And be so super clear and specific on the problem you solve and use stories to create a picture of what someone’s future self could be by saying “yes” to your work.

When you’re so clear and specific on your message, that’s when you know you’ve got it super dialed in and then you can be on all the different internet marketing platforms (from Facebook to LinkedIn to TikTok)… because every single message you put out there is reinforcing your core message… the one that differentiates you. 

And if you don’t have a message or a business that’s lighting you up every day or you haven’t started your business yet… I’ve got a FREE Masterclass for you called Discover the Business You’re Truly Meant to Build & How to Share It With the World.

Give me just 60 minutes and you’ll learn the 7 things you must have to identify your most profitable & fulfilling dream business. Just choose the date and time that works best for you 🙂

Secret #6: Use Short Video to Build the Know, Like & Trust Factor

I’ve been saying for years that we’re now in an Attention Economy (but only when it’s the right attention) where those who can get and keep attention win.

And with the rapid rise of TikTok over the last few years, short-form video is one way to get a LOT more attention.

The short format means that you have precisely 1 second to stop viewers in their tracks (as they’re scrolling) and hook them in — usually through gestures, movement, costume, appearance, action, location, things that move faster than language…

With the end goal of follows and shares and even comments that you can use to start conversations.

However, these short videos are usually forgotten as soon as they’re shared… it’s no wonder there seems to be a new hot trend every single week on TikTok.

Even the most virally shared videos are gone within a few days (remember the Ocean Spray Guy that went viral back in 2020 on TikTok? Even the attention on that viral video only lasted a few weeks before we moved on to the next thing).

So you might be asking: Marisa, why would I focus on short videos if they’re gone in the blink of an eye?

Well, the way to use short format videos is not to hope for a viral hit — since virality is notoriously difficult to manufacture — but to use the short format to maintain contact with your existing audience while growing that audience through shares.

It’s well known that there’s a psychological tendency to form social relationships with people who are physically close to us… and I believe that consistent communication through things like short-form video creates this sense of physical closeness even in a virtual relationship. And that builds the know, like and trust factor that leads to sales. 

(I’m on TikTok… finally!… give me a follow (@liveyourmessage) because I’ve just filmed a bunch of valuable short videos 🙂 I’m also sharing every day on Instagram… if that’s more your jam)

Secret #7: Take Advantage of Tools Like ChatGPT (Once You’ve Got Your Strategy Dialed In)

In December, my friend and 13-time #1 bestselling author, Mike Koenigs, shared how he used ChatGPT to produce quality content at a breakneck pace…

His team created a brand for a client in just 3 hours… something that would have taken him and a team of three 2-3 weeks to accomplish.  He calls ChatGPT and tools like it the ultimate Capability Amplifier — you’re able to augment yourself to be 3-100X more efficient and effective.

And the more specific the prompts you put into ChatGPT… the better your results.

I’ve started experimenting with ChatGPT and AI in our programs… namely our brand new program — Live Your Message LAB.

I had my husband, Murray,  create an interactive survey for our students for next month’s experiment — The Micro-Niche Experiment — where students will answer several questions and based on their responses, ChatGPT will spit out a list of potential micro-niches for them to target.

And even better… Murray had ChatGPT write the code for the interactive survey!

So freaking cool. And I’m super excited to be able to offer this to my students and can’t wait to continue to explore and create more interactive content using AI.

But here’s the thing — Mike and myself have been able to have success using ChatGPT because we’re focused on strategy first and live and breathe our message. So while it’s super fun to explore what this tool can do… you’ll get the best results if you have your strategy and message fully dialed in FIRST.

There ya have it — 7 things to focus on right now to stand out online to not only attract and engage your perfect people… but build long-lasting relationships with them.

One important reminder before you go…

It’s really easy to put the cart ahead of the horse and let the technology drive you. Everyone says you have to be on Instagram, you have to be on TikTok, you have to use ChatGPT.

But the truth is — You have to know without a shadow of a doubt what you do, who you serve, why you’re different and how you transform people’s lives… BEFORE you focus on all the tools and tech.

And, even more important is that you have to believe it. And sometimes that requires going out and doing things, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t work, fine-tuning and putting it back out there.

If you don’t have this clarity, you’re not going to see a lot of results online. You may be working hard, but chances are you’re not seeing a return on your investment. Because if you’re not clear, your audience won’t be clear and they’re definitely NOT going to stick around to try and figure it out.

So before you invest a lot of time and money in building a website or building up your social media, I’d recommend mastering your foundation — Your unique message.

All right. We’ve covered a lot. Just to summarize, the 7 secrets to standing out online are:

Secret #1: Become a Facilitator

Secret #2: “Choose Your Own Adventure” Marketing

Secret #3: Experiences OVER Information

Secret #4: Practice Radical Self-Expression

Secret #5: Be Fractal

Secret #6: Build the Know, Like & Trust Factor With Short Video

Secret #7: Take Advantage of Tools Like ChatGPT

What’s your secret to standing out online? Let me know in a comment below!

Further Reading:

State of the Internet 2024: 11 Trends That Are Redefining Online Business As We Know It

Thank you for reading 🙂

But one thing before you go…

Are you ready to build a business that stands the test of time?

A business that gives you the life you’ve only dreamed of?

Then, you need to discover your True North Business (the one you’re meant to build).

And that’s what you’ll uncover in my free, 60-minute Masterclass — Discover the Business You’re Truly Meant to Build & How to Share It With the World

During our time together, you’ll discover:

  • The 7 key criteria to identify the perfect niche for you… so you can make great money AND have the impact you desire
  • The 3 questions you need to ask to help you zero in on what’s most important to you so you can design a high-impact, high-profit business you’ll love
  • And why you may not have the businesses of your dreams right now and how to tune into what you really want…

Plus, much more!

So if you’re ready to build a business on a rock-solid foundation — instead of one built on sand — save your seat and I’ll see you there 🙂

 

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Sefire Bahaa Avatar
    Sefire Bahaa

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  2. Gilberto Moreno Avatar
    Gilberto Moreno

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    1. Shannon Goodell Avatar
      Shannon Goodell

      Wow! Thanks so much, Gilberto! Marisa so, so appreciates your love and support!

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    1. Shannon Avatar
      Shannon

      Wow, thank you so much for the love! Marisa and our entire team appreciate it so, so much!

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