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Smelling Our Own Farts

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In this episode of marketingXP—Smelling Our Own Farts—Rachel calls marketers out for being too focused on our slick messaging while ignoring what our audiences really need. Get three tactics to fix this flatulence trend and share them with the big Cs in your life (clients and C-levels)!

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Episode Transcript

Welcome to marketingXP. This first episode of marketingXP podcast is going to be Smelling Our Own Farts. Now, some of you may be asking, okay, I’m sorry. Say what? What are you talking about with smelling our own farts?

So for those of you who watch South Park, you may recognize this reference. There was an episode of South Park that was around electric vehicles and how people would buy an electric vehicle and suddenly they became very pious and they named the electric vehicle in South Park, the Pious, rather than what we all know as the Prius.

But essentially it turned every owner into someone who is very into themselves. They felt very good about themselves. You know, I’m helping the environment and they started smelling their own farts in the episode.

They would go, they’d fart, and then they’d just take a nice whiff in and just like, Hmm, that smells good. Gross, right? We’re all doing it. Marketers, I’m talking to you. I’m talking to myself. We smell our own farts. And if you’re grossed out by that notion, listen on. We will come up with messaging and marketing materials, content, collateral, and we are so stoked on it.

We’re like, oh my gosh, I have made something truly amazing. It’s creative, it’s compelling, certainly people are gonna love it. I just assume that everybody’s like me and is gonna rave about it and just love that I put this into the world. You are smelling your own fart at that point. Now I’m gonna dig into this.

I want you to think about one relationship in your life. It could be a partner, it could be a child, it could be a lifelong friend, a colleague, a peer, anything like that. So we all have at least one, hopefully, relationship in our life where we’re like, oh my gosh, this person is an asset, an advantage to my life.

Except there’s always going to be something about that person that is distasteful; let’s just imagine they have really bad smelling farts. Okay? You love having them in your life, except you have to overcome that aspect of who they are. So let’s use smelly farts as an example.

You love somebody, but my gosh, when they let one go, it makes you kind of wanna dry heave but because of everything else that that person brings into your microcosm of life. You put up with it. You tolerate the fart. The smelly fart.

So when it comes to marketing, we’re talking about relationship, okay?

It is not about broadcasting out, blasting a message like a billboard that goes one way. It is, in this day and age, marketing is very relational. It’s a back and forth. Now when you are, I’m gonna get back to when you’re putting out your messaging and your content, you’re thrilled about it. You’re like, oh my God.

So amazing. Everybody’s gonna love it. I’m totally like gonna put it in my portfolio ’cause it’s beautiful. That does not matter because if you put it out there and literally nobody reacts to it. That’s gonna tell me, oh god, people didn’t like my fart.

Great. That’s what you have to gear up for is to say, all right, I’m putting this out there. Your job as a marketer is you’re going to be putting something into the world. You want an exchange there. You want the audience to do something with your content, whether that’s giving you an email address, which is today’s currency, basically, or buying something on your website, actual monetary currency, or believing something or just starting to explore through your marketing funnel. You want something from them. You’ve got to compel that person to put up with your farts. Usually that’s gonna be the price tag, the opt-in form for getting their email, ’cause now that means they’re gonna get emails from you, maybe texts. There’s always that fart that the person has to overcome but still want you in their life. And that’s what I mean about marketing and how we need to get out of this awful approach of smelling our own farts. We are our biggest fans of our own content.

The people out there are not, they have no reason to think we’re awesome unless we compel them and convince them, Hey, I’m still awesome, or My brand or my product, or my service is still awesome and something you need, just get over the fart part. That’s, you know, you giving me something in exchange for being in your life.

So now I’m gonna offer you three different ways to get out of the smelling of our own farts.

You-centric writing.

First up, you-centric writing. Now what I mean with that is stop leading your writing and your content with “we”. If I see another social media post from a brand that starts with like, we did this, we just released this.

We thought, we, we, we, we -stop that. Stop it right now. By starting off your content with we, you’re smelling your own fart. You kicked off with that. You’re already in the frame of mind, like, well, obviously we’re amazing and I need to just keep smelling my own farts. You’re totally gonna be on board with that.

If you would start rather with a you, or your, or yours in your writing, you can help yourself get outta that mindset and think, okay, I’m now not me. I am my audience. Why does this matter to them? Why does what I’m messaging and what I’m producing and publishing, why should they care about this? It’s a great way to get out of that me smelling my own farts mindset in marketing and into your audience’s brain.

And why is this important to them? And that’s what we need to think about. You’re gonna see this as a recurring theme in a lot of these episodes. But put it this way. Do you walk up to people at your local coffee shop or tea shop and you know, you see a stranger and you walk up and say, oh my gosh, I’m so awesome. I came up with this new product or service and you’ll love it. Of course you don’t. Nobody does that. You would never do that. You’re gonna ease into the conversation and start, you know, trying to learn about, okay, is this person even like in the market for what I would be doing?

But you learn about them first. It’s them first, okay. And I promise you, if you fart in front of that stranger, they’re gonna be like, oh my God, I’m moving away. Right? Versus if you develop a relationship first and then you do fart and they’re like, okay, well I’m gonna put up with that. But. I like what they’re saying or what they’re bringing into my life.

Hero story.

The second tactic you can do is develop a hero story. So, this comes into messaging and marketing particularly as you’re coming up with ICPs or ideal customer personas. You’ll also hear me often break down a lot of these acronyms that I have a whole episode dedicated to that coming up. I wanna remind you of this when you think about your customer’s experience, you, dear marketer, me marketer.

We are not the hero in that story. Our customer is the hero. Duarte has great resources for this on how to really suss out your ideal customer personas, who they are, what they worry about. But that’s why we wanna get into that. And I wanna give a shout out to a former boss of mine, Liesl Leary-Perez.

You can find her on LinkedIn. She’s one of my prior marketing bosses. She really drove this home with me when she first hired me. She does this with all her new hires. She basically will craft a hero story for you. The new hire. You’re the hero in your story of your career. She’s not the hero as my boss.

She’s someone who is a guide or a sage to be like, let me help you accomplish your mission and win your mission and the goal. And that’s what we need to do as marketers. We are not the hero of this story. We don’t come to the rescue or anything. Our customer is on a mission, on a quest, and this again boils right back down to video games.

My favorite game of all time is Mass Effect. Commander Shepard is the hero in that game. It’s not the Alliance, it’s not the Normandy ship. It’s her or him based on who you wanna play as. They have to accomplish a mission. Everything else coming in there, the Normandy can be a guide to that.

The Alliance can help them, but they’re not the hero. Commander Shepard is. And your customer is the hero in their experience with you, not you.

Just think about whatever your favorite fictional story, a book, you know, a character in a movie or a video game. They need to win and accomplish something. They’re the hero. And our job as a marketer is to be a guide or a sage. And that’s, that’s it. So be the guide, be the sage. Don’t try to be the hero in your customer’s experience with you.

Survey your audience.

And finally, a really great way to get out of smelling our own farts and marketing are surveys. Before you even start trying to market to an audience, you and I and all humans in marketing are going to default to how we feel or think because that’s just what humans do. It’s what we do. And we’re gonna guess how people respond to our message.

I can guess how people are gonna respond to this podcast. Stop guessing, put together a survey, a free Google form. You can do this with a Gmail account for free, or use the free version of SurveyMonkey. Again, just register with an email address or any other platform that lets you publish a form that’s a link available to the general public.

Just ask some simple questions. What do you think? What’s your problem? You know, what’s your pain point? What keeps you up at night right now? What’s giving you anxiety? And you can learn that stuff from them. And help let that inform your marketing message. And again, stop smelling your own farts.

Okay? That is the whole crux of this episode. I hope that you’ve heard these and gotten some good insights here. Some things you can start practicing today to stop smelling your own farts in marketing. I would love to hear of more that you might have again, if you go visit, You can leave comments on that page and tell me what are your ways to stop smelling your own farts in your marketing and get out of the brain of how amazing you are and into your customer’s brain.

Tooltip: ClickUp

Now what I also like to do on these is a tool tip. So I like to share tools. We all have tools in our tool belt as marketers. One of my favorite tools.

ClickUp. There are a ton of different task and project management tools out there. I love Click Up. I use Click Up. I use the free version. I’m using it right now. I’m reading off of a task where I kind of drafted out. I’ve got a list of my podcast topics in there. I draft out the bullets I wanna tackle in that podcast episode.

And it’s all right there. So, And then I can arrange them. I can put due dates, I can add fields and export, and it’s just super cool. So Click Up is my favorite. Click I probably have an affiliate like link somewhere. I might drop in the show notes. But that’s my tool tip. That’s it for this first episode of marketingXP podcast.

And again, our topic with smelling our own farts. I’m going to bring you more episodes that have pretty witty, quippy titles in them, but always will bring you something super basic, but super relevant for your marketing. And of course, everything through the lens of fun. So thank you all for listening.

Follow and subscribe wherever you like to listen to your podcasts. And do feel free to find and follow me online. @RachelHasTheMic everywhere. Thanks for listening.

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