Mixing business with your philosophy of life

by Raydal
28 replies
I was reading a blog post by a well known online marketer and the
post was really about one of his philosophies of life rather than
directly about his niche. I see a lot of marketers that do this as
well. They share a lot about their views, whether political or
about life in general.

Just wanted to know what Warriors thought about this approach
and whether you think you should separate your "beliefs" from
your business. So in other words, if I have a weight loss blog,
you are not interested in what I think about global warming.

-Ray Edwards
#business #life #mixing #philosophy
  • Profile picture of the author arrival7
    Actually I think they go hand in hand rather marketers or anyone else discuss this issue or not. I think your philosophy of life has a lot to do with your success or failures. I think the real problem is that we do not discuss the issues enough. We hear about how much money the guys make in the Forbes mag, but it is never documented how much they give back, and the truth is most of them are big time givers.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    I think integrating my philosophy on life, especially political philosophy could alienate half of my potential customers, so I leave it at that.

    On the other hand, using your example of weigthloss niche. If my philosophy is to eat only clean organic foods, it would probably not be a problem

    al
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

      On the other hand, using your example of weigthloss niche. If my philosophy is to eat only clean organic foods, it would probably not be a problem

      al
      Do you think it is OK to share your reason why you believe in eating only clean
      organic foods if it is beyond just health reasons?

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        Do you think it is OK to share your reason why you believe in eating only clean
        organic foods if it is beyond just health reasons?

        -Ray Edwards
        I think it is a fine line. If your reason is that you feel large farms are evil coporations, then you might have a problem. It all depends, like I said if you interject a philosophy that is really divisive then you might alienate a large portion of your audience.

        A good example would be famous sports figures. Very rarely do you see them interject any political philosophy or any life philosophy that might be deemed as controversial. And the reason is they do not want to lose 1/2 of their fan base

        al
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        • Profile picture of the author discrat
          Don't do it , Ray !! lol

          Mixing your most deepest and most sacred beliefs and trying to monetize them might make you money...
          but at what cost ??

          In the long run , your deep rooted passions and beliefs should be just that.

          And trying to exploit them for money is a sure way to sacrifice your sanity.

          Imo, there are more important things in Life than Money.

          And actually the money is just a vehicle so I have the Freedom to actually pursue the "philosophies" in Life that are so dear to me


          - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        Do you think it is OK to share your reason why you believe in eating only clean
        organic foods if it is beyond just health reasons?

        -Ray Edwards
        Creflo Dollar
        T.D. Jakes
        Charles Blake

        Just three in a list of dozens of wealthy people who cash in on their belief.

        So, there are huge markets if you cater to them. None of these guys worry about alienating customers.

        gjabiz
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        • Profile picture of the author discrat
          Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

          Creflo Dollar
          T.D. Jakes
          Charles Blake

          Just three in a list of dozens of wealthy people who cash in on their belief.

          So, there are huge markets if you cater to them. None of these guys worry about alienating customers.

          gjabiz
          Yep.
          Btw, did Creflo get his $50 million dollar plane yet ?
          Talk about cashing in on Beliefs lol
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        • Profile picture of the author Raydal
          Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

          Creflo Dollar
          T.D. Jakes
          Charles Blake

          Just three in a list of dozens of wealthy people who cash in on their belief.

          So, there are huge markets if you cater to them. None of these guys worry about alienating customers.

          gjabiz
          Those are giving messages within their niche. But here I'm talking about
          marketers who share their beliefs about women, marriage, child raising,
          alcohol consumption, evolution, ... things that have nothing to do with
          their market.

          -Ray Edwards
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          • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
            Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

            Those are giving messages within their niche. But here I'm talking about
            marketers who share their beliefs about women, marriage, child raising,
            alcohol consumption, evolution, ... things that have nothing to do with
            their market.

            -Ray Edwards
            So, why do it if just in a marketing situation, a selling of a product?

            Guys like Gary North, Kurt Saxon sell tons of products and include their beliefs in their promotions, doesn't Bill Bonner also weave his belief throughout his promotions?

            IF you are a 'personality' selling stuff, why not? If just selling stuff, then why?

            gjabiz
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    In some of the examples, your 'philosophy" is part of the niche. Other times it is not.


    For example, the survivalist or "prepper" niche often has an underlying philosophy of anti-government, libertarian views that eschews the idea of big-government and government "interference" in individual lives.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Ray, we may have read the same blog post. If so, then occasional "my life view" posts are par for the course, especially around times like New Years when introspection kind of goes with the territory.

      If the weight loss blog is one of those "personal journey" sites based on the owner's life, then weaving some of the owner's personal philosophy in from time to time isn't a bad thing. It can deepen the connection between blogger and audience.

      On the other hand, a ham-fisted rant out of left field can leave people cold. Especially if it's a clumsy attempt to sell a product.

      When I ran my fishing newsletter many years ago, I often mixed in pieces on conservation issues, sustainable harvesting, etc. These deviations from the practical how-to stuff often generated the most discussion (there was an old school email list included with the newsletter sub, and I used the mailing list software to distribute the newsletter).
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Ray,

        You are the business!

        When you're a solo business owner I think it's a great idea to share your life philosophies with your customers.

        Few would argue that you need to create a "voice" in your business; a positioning of your product or service that is unique to you. This "voice" or persona comes out in your emails, your offerings, your products, etc. The "voice" is who you really are . . . and in my mind, you can't help be have your life philosophies shine through because they are a reflection of your thoughts, attitudes, and personality.

        How many times have you seen a testimonial where the person says something like . . . "I buy everything that Joe Marketer creates - he is so awesome." The testimonial is about the creator, not his product. You don't find such allegiance and loyalty to individuals who don't open up and share their personalities and attitudes.

        You are the business and people buy from you because they like you, or agree with you, or trust you, or relate to you, or want to be your friend.

        So I say, open up and let your customers and prospects see who you really are. Sure, some may be alienated by that. But just as many or more will appreciate your openness and sincerity.

        Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
        It depends on your market. Sorry for the boilerplate response. But that's my personal belief and philosophy (ha, ha). But seriously, I've had products where I share my personal philosophy with my target market and it made me feel more approachable, humane and like them.

        And I've also had products where I kept my beliefs, philosophy of life, etc. to myself. Why? Because it had little or no bearing on the results my customers wanted from my product.

        For example, I don't really care about my mechanics philosophy of life, just fix my brakes and call me when you're done. But I'd be interested in my mentors, managers, business partners, people I hire or even affiliates philosophy of life.

        In short, anyone that is trying to nurture a long term business relationship will eventually require the revelation of your philosophy of life in some manner. It will eventually come out in your words or actions anyway to the observant. IMO.

        However you do it (if you choose to), it should be done gracefully and gradually. Not hammered over someones head or shoved down throats like I've seen some clueless people do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I see a lot of marketers who freely share what they think about religion to
    politics and everything in between. For example, Dan Kennedy shares a
    lot of his life's philosophy in his products. Nobody seems to care while
    he is providing business value. It would be hard to be totally separated from
    your belief system, but the more successful marketers seems to dish it out
    more often than others.

    The question is: Was it the sharing of their life philosophy that made them
    successful, or because they are successful they don't care what you think?

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      I see a lot of marketers who freely share what they think about religion to
      politics and everything in between. For example, Dan Kennedy shares a
      lot of his life's philosophy in his products. Nobody seems to care while
      he is providing business value. It would be hard to be totally separated from
      your belief system, but the more successful marketers seems to dish it out
      more often than others.

      The question is: Was it the sharing of their life philosophy that made them
      successful, or because they are successful they don't care what you think?

      -Ray Edwards
      Ray, I've noticed that there is a difference between sharing and proselytizing. It's the difference between "I do this because I believe that" and "Everyone must do this because I believe that."

      Outside of the TV Religion industry, sticking to the former seems more effective to me than the latter.
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      • Profile picture of the author MValmont
        Even if people don't agree with your views, they will RESPECT that you are speaking FROM YOUR CORE in an AUTHENTIC WAY.

        For example, I don't agree with anything that Donald Trump says, but I must admit, I trust this guy and I respect him a lot...I would not hesitate to make business with him.

        In today's world, it's all about expressing yourself without filters. This is how good marketing is done in my opinion.
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        • Profile picture of the author Raydal
          Originally Posted by MValmont View Post

          For example, I don't agree with anything that Donald Trump says, but I must admit, I trust this guy and I respect him a lot...I would not hesitate to make business with him.
          That's an interesting perspective because every marketer and his cousin talks
          about the importance of building relationship first, then asking for the sale. And
          one of the principles of persuasion a la Caildini is "liking". So I guess you don't
          like what he says but still trust him?

          -Ray Edwards
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          • Profile picture of the author MValmont
            Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

            That's an interesting perspective because every marketer and his cousin talks
            about the importance of building relationship first, then asking for the sale. And
            one of the principles of persuasion a la Caildini is "liking". So I guess you don't
            like what he says but still trust him?

            -Ray Edwards
            Look, one of my best friend is a financial advisor. I like the guy but I would NEVER invest money with him, NEVER. Why? I don't trust him with my money. The guy is ALWAYS late, he is not organized and loses stuff all the time. I like the guy, but I don't trust him on this issue.

            When money is involved, it's all about trust in my opinion. Even if you like someone, that doesn't necessarily mean you would do business with that person.

            I read Cialdini books and they are great. I agree with pretty much everything, including the Liking principle, but in my opinion TRUST is also very very important. I would much rather do business with an expert, someone organized and that tells the truth than just some cousin that I happen to like.
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            • Profile picture of the author Novotny
              Well, I wouldn't look at that as "mixing" business with philosophy.

              If the post is on a personal blog of a known marketer, why should all the posts be about a niche and try to promote something? A blog is supposed to be personal, sharing your point of view on life, your ideas, experiences and plans.

              Visitors will keep coming back to read your personal blog because of your personality, not because of the current niche you're trying to market. Niches change.

              Even if it's a weight loss blog as you said in your example, most people are interested in your story and your attitude towards life. And a good story brings continuity, thus returning visitors.
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              • Profile picture of the author someoneinjapan
                Here's an interesting but unusual example of mixing these: Perry Marshall.

                Adwords marketing, 80/20 and .... Evolution 2.0 (the title of his latest book). If the "debate" -- open warfare -- between Evolutionists and Creationists isn't one of the most controversial philosophical fracture lines out there, I don't know what is.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    I was reading a blog post by a well known online marketer and the
    post was really about one of his philosophies of life rather than
    directly about his niche. I see a lot of marketers that do this as
    well. They share a lot about their views, whether political or
    about life in general.

    Just wanted to know what Warriors thought about this approach
    and whether you think you should separate your "beliefs" from
    your business. So in other words, if I have a weight loss blog,
    you are not interested in what I think about global warming.

    -Ray Edwards
    I think people often do this to show there is a person behind the business and to help connect to others. I am back and forth on it, I generally think it's a decent idea, but some people take it too far. I am also on the belief that you shouldn't discuss politics, religion or gun control as they are too widely debated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    I was reading a blog post by a well known online marketer and the
    post was really about one of his philosophies of life rather than
    directly about his niche.
    I think that if the philosophy somehow relates to the niche, then it's actually a good thing to share it.

    For instance, I learned from Copywriter Gary Bencivenga the Napoleon Hill "failure/adversity" quotation that, on the surface, isn't all that relative to Marketing.

    However Gary explained how one successful business used that philosophy to sell more products. It's a fascinating article (See MarketingBullets.com).

    Generally speaking I wouldn't share anything that is unrelated to my niche. Why? IMO it kind of "dilutes" your expertize. Nobody can be an expert on everything.
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

      Generally speaking I wouldn't share anything that is unrelated to my niche. Why? IMO it kind of "dilutes" your expertize. Nobody can be an expert on everything.
      This is may stance that I've taken for years now. I teach copywriting and I don't
      introduce my personal beliefs about the essentials of life except general morality
      such as be honest, respectful, etc. But when I look around this seems to be
      the exception rather than the rule. Some marketers even assume a certain
      personality for marketing purposes.

      There is one tenet that says don't mention controversial subjects, while another
      says mention them so those who agree with you will rally on your side.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        There is one tenet that says don't mention controversial subjects, while another says mention them so those who agree with you will rally on your side.
        I think the latter can definitely work. Not my kind of approach though.
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  • Profile picture of the author daalmans
    I could imagine that mixing business with private insights and opinions to more general objectives can be helpful for your business. It depends upon who you are. If you are well known, an expert, an authority, a brand, I can imagine that a lot of people, your fans, want to know also more about you. They buy your products because they trust you. In that case you can improve your trust by mixing up the niche content with private opinions about more general topics. Sure your fans want to be informed mainly about your subject but also about you as a human being. However as long as you have the status of a nobody I think you have to build your image as an ongoing expert first by keeping focused in your content to the niche you want be recognized for in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author mustafavanancio
    This is an interesting one.

    What if some of your views are opposite to those of your subscribers?

    In this case wouldn't sharing your views risk alienating your subscribers and cause you to possibly lose some of them?

    There's one marketer who publicly states that he goes out of his way to alienate his subscribers in order to retain only those who agree with his views. Strange as it may sound but this marketer is popular and is considered as a leader in his niche.

    Not sure how well this would work for everyone but it works for him.
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    • Profile picture of the author daalmans
      Is it a problem to lose some subscribers because they don't follow your more general opinions? If you at the same time are more attractive to those subscribers that keep in your list, those will convert better. A subscriber becomes of value if he/she is buying. Supposed you don't sell your list for Solo Ads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Lex
    Can you please share which blog you mean? Sounds interesting. I would like to read that post.
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