Does "faceless" content marketing work?

38 replies
Hi, guys!

I would like to start doing content marketing. This means creating content that generates goodwill and also sells.

Frank Kern talks a lot about this, and I really like the way he does things.

Here's the problem: I'm a big time introvert and don't enjoy being a "celebrity". In other words, I don't like being the "face" of the company.

Also, if I decide to sell my entire business down the line (along with the content I had created), I obviously couldn't sell myself along with it.

I have seen popular blogs that aren't created by one person but by an entire team. Examples:

DigitalMarketer.com/blog

ThriveThemes.com/blog

AuthorityHacker.com/blog

Each post on these blogs is written by a specific "author" (who has a first and last name). I imagine this helps readers connect to the "brand" more easily.

Now, I want to do content marketing in a specific way, and don't want to outsource this to "blog authors." I will create the content myself.

My question is: How can I do this without appearing to be the "author"?

One solution I have come up with is to have a generic name for my domain, Youtube channel, Facebook page etc. For example, not "John Doe" but "Best Widgets Online."

And then, I wouldn't identify an author anywhere.

There are some successful Youtube channels that provide value and people love them - without really knowing the name of the video creator. Example:

youtube.com/theschooloflifetv

Their very description is "The School of Life is a global organisation dedicated to fostering emotional well-being..." (organisation - not specific person).

Do you have any thoughts on the above?

Thanks in advance!
#content #faceless #marketing #work
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    This can work if you focus entirely on the buyer persona and talk about them...their frustrations, fears, goals, dreams...and shared experience stories.

    As long as people feel you're "talking about me," you'll be fine.

    Ever played Skyrim?

    Each playthrough of the game is a little different...but every player gets to experience the same set pieces. Therefore when they meet, they can enthusiastically share these experiences, and the other player knows and appreciates what the speaker is talking about.

    Do you need to know the name of the person speaking? Nope. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    It can work but keep in mind having a "face" and being real helps build trust.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    This has been discussed a lot. Pen name
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    You shouldn't consider yourself as "faceless". There are alot of people online who run successful businesses without promoting their face everywhere. Just write and promote good content and dont overthink things. Overthinking leads directly into procrastination. Which leads to wasted time.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Flm
    I wouldn't show my face on video but it's a necessary evil since conversions are higher.
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  • Profile picture of the author nowservingpixels
    It absolutely works. I know we're in the era of everyone and their dog wanting to be a personal brand, but just being a regular old brand that solves problems for people still works.

    I have half a million people watching my content on YouTube every month and not a single one of them would recognize me if I bumped into them in public. They're not watching because I had a smiling picture of myself with thumbs up in the thumbnail of the video; they're watching because they have a specific problem and I have a solution for it.
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  • It is common that people are using pen names for posting content in different niches. It still can be successful if you are able to provide unique and quality content.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Dra
    Write the content in a testimony review manner. They won't care about the author thing anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    A lot depends on the niche and the primary audience you are trying to reach. It is almost impossible to be "faceless" in some niches but in most it won't matter if you are doing everything else well.

    There are millions of YT videos with people that spend 10 minutes saying absolutely nothing of value.

    The most successful website I have ever had and still run has no pictures of me, no videos of me and I use a pen name in the few places that I even post that.
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  • Profile picture of the author schttrj
    To add to what everybody said, two things need to be kept in mind:

    1. Is the author identity or credibility required? For example, If you are publishing about medical topics, it helps you if you show that you are a doctor (or whatever).

    2. Is every one doing it? This can be a bummer. If you are in an industry where it is expected of you to get in front of the camera (or mention your name or such), you have got to do it.

    I would sum up by saying that it depends on the business and on your target audience's needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    What do you want to achieve, exactly? What's your end goal?

    If it's to sell courses / training then you also have to sell yourself, to some degree.

    Originally Posted by perneali45 View Post

    My question is: How can I do this without appearing to be the "author"?

    One solution I have come up with is to have a generic name for my domain, Youtube channel, Facebook page etc. For example, not "John Doe" but "Best Widgets Online."

    And then, I wouldn't identify an author anywhere.
    You can buy a stock photo image, and use a pen name.

    With video you could use explainer videos or animated... or even powerpoint slides with a voice over.

    You don't have to show your face but you'll build trust a lot faster if you do, especially with video.

    I've done it both ways because I'm the most introverted person you'll ever meet, with heaps of social anxiety.

    From someone who's been where you are right now but has somehow managed to get the balls to shoot videos everyday and upload them, here's my advice.

    Grab your phone and record yourself talking about something you love, it doesn't matter what.

    Watch it back, analysis it. Save the recording but don't share it with anyone.

    Do the same again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that but delete the recording.

    After 2 weeks of this, save one of your recordings and compare it to your first one.

    You'll see how much you've improved, and that's going to be a massive confidence booster.

    Remember; even when you start uploading videos nobody is gonna see them for months and months, so it doesn't matter if you're not very good.

    It's most likely going to take 6 - 18 months to get traction, organically, with content marketing so use that time to practice over and over, refine it, and the act of doing will build your confidence and make you improve.

    Everyone who's a success, even Frank Kern, started out like this.

    Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author perneali45
      Thanks for all the advice so far!

      Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

      What do you want to achieve, exactly? What's your end goal?
      My end goal is to build a company that sells software products we develop, and other software we are affiliates for.

      I want to do this by providing value, without manipulation.

      I don't want to personally be an identifiable cog in the entire process. I don't want the business to succeed because of my "celebrity status" - I want it to succeed because it provides honest value and solves problems.

      I want to be able to sell this business down the line, without the business losing any power for the new owner, even though I won't be around anymore.

      Thanks!
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by perneali45 View Post

        Thanks for all the advice so far!



        My end goal is to build a company that sells software products we develop, and other software we are affiliates for.

        I want to do this by providing value, without manipulation.

        I don't want to personally be an identifiable cog in the entire process. I don't want the business to succeed because of my "celebrity status" - I want it to succeed because it provides honest value and solves problems.

        I want to be able to sell this business down the line, without the business losing any power for the new owner, even though I won't be around anymore.

        Thanks!
        It's called a product-based business and is carried out all the time.

        Focus on the problems and solutions for your customers.

        You don't need to be a guru.

        This idea that fame and internet celebrity is required to succeed in business is a lie.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
        Originally Posted by perneali45 View Post

        My end goal is to build a company that sells software products we develop, and other software we are affiliates for.

        I want to do this by providing value, without manipulation.
        Thank you for the clarification.

        You don't need to be in front of a camera with that business model, so the pressure is off.

        One idea might be to present case study examples so your prospects can see a) what the software does and b) what results it gives.

        Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Some of these responses have been interesting.

    Just because "everybody" is doing something one way doesn't mean you "have to" do it that way also.

    Way before the Internet we had other distribution channels to bring marketing to the masses. We had this thing called television. And we had these other things called magazines, and newspapers. Guess what? there was content marketing delivered through these media.

    And much of it was 'faceless'!!

    Advertorials without a byline.

    Video commercials of products without a spokesperson.

    A quarter-page ad with a call to action...and no human's face or name in sight!


    Is there a signatory to the Seven Signs Of A Quality Mattress advertorial? Nope.

    Do you see the narrator of the car commercial where the luxury sedan makes broad turns down a forest road? Nope.

    Does the ad for XYZ Plumbing have the owner's name on it? Nope.


    I have read review sites over the years that are written in the first person ("I") ... and the writer never signs their name. This is especially useful for free signup affiliate marketing offers. As long as the tone comes across convincingly, that you're "listening" to a real person, it's effective.

    Brick and mortar companies that sell products do not rely on fame to sell. Sure, some may hire a celebrity spokesperson. But many are selling just fine with a nameless voiceover or standard copy unattributed to any particular human being.


    The key is to get past your personal hangups about whatever...identify them, and move on. Get into action--produce some content, get some calls to action out there in front of your target market. Every day you spend agonizing about this question is a day lost.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Just because "everybody" is doing something one way doesn't mean you "have to" do it that way also.
      It sounds like the OP wants to emulate a Frank Kern style business model and I'm struggling to think of any "guru" who produces courses but doesn't show their face. Help me out, you'll have my thanks.

      Clarification needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    It sounds like you are shooting for the exact opposite of Krank Kern approach, since he's largely about selling through his presence and persona.

    You speak of establishing and branding a business.

    With that considered it would benefit you to show the person behind the business (curently). It doesn't need to be all singing and dancing. Just be present in places where it matters even if it's just a small picture.

    Failing that, you've got Fiverr at your fingertips, to have a cartoon version developed of yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kinya Shelley
    I've heard that people want to see a face on a brand. I think it can go either way. I, personally, am not comfortable posting my face everywhere online. This hasn't stopped me from making money, but I have never tried to sell my brand or business either.

    You can always create a persona for your brand. I have seen this done repeatedly. Prolific business creators/sellers will create an owner, slap a random face up there, give them a personality and keep going. It's not really about the owner. It's about whether or not the business is worth buying or if it will continue to profit. Pretty sure you don't need a face for that.

    Could be wrong though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ruth Inyama
    If I were to give you an advice on this, I would say build a business brand. And from what I know, a brand is the service that you offer and that is what people pay for and relate to. It isn't your face....If you want to build a transferable wealth then focus on giving a top notch service to your customers.

    I don't think I even know what the owners of Coca-Cola look like but who cares about that as long as I gain optimum satisfaction from their products.

    Face business only thrive in show biz where you have to deliver a service yourself.

    However, having a face is cool, but focus on the content which is the "service" you're rendering
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Volkin
    I agree with Ruth
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  • ETSY, PYPL, SHOP,Mailchimp...etc

    Build a real product/service and brand it.Who gives a toot who the owner is?

    I find when most gurus focus on their name....it's to deflect away from what they are actually selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Albany
    As Ruth said, build the brand. The "face" as you put it is really just another angle for brand and there a many ways around needing it if your brand is strong elsewhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author msulcs
    Don't be an author (representation of yourself) but be a brand. Author of the posts can be "Brand XX". It is completely normal.
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  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    Of course this works. You don't need to put a face in the brand as long as you can build with a good reputation, then people would still buy what you are selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Focus 100% on the reader. Focus virtually 0% on yourself. You can be author. Or generic. Or anything. But give no energy to you and all to your readers....and you'll pull it off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Clemons
    If you don't want to use your actual face, you can create an avatar persona like "Mr. Marketer" or something along those lines, but nothing beats the realness / trust factor of being a real person. It also depends on how you are angling your content.. Like, are you giving personal recommendations / product reviews etc..? Or, are you just sharing / teaching general stuff, without that personal touch.



    A lot of those big blogs have guest posts and multiple authors writing content. That is also an option.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    The following is my humble two cents on such a fascinating question:

    I would say that at this point in the game it's certainly possible to market yourself without showing your face.

    However, if you analyze any business model (be it blogging, email newsletter publishing, teaching, or even freelancing) one could deduce how many businesses could probably be (at least minimally) enhanced by utilizing powerful "face showing" branding mechanisms such as Instagram and YouTube.

    This is just to play devil's advocate, of course; I honestly think that the single most important thing for business success, in accordance with most economic theory, as always, is providing value to an audience, and by definition "facial branding" isn't requisite in this theory.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    How long was Amazon around before most anybody knew Jeff Bezos was behind it? When I land on one of Google's myriad properties do I see a "face?"

    "Guru's" trying to convince people that they are "the one" is about the only business model that requires a "face."
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  • Gotta figure always the massivest levers are pulled by the silentest evah f*ckers.

    Throwin' in a yummily dinksy avatar is merely window dressin', trust me.

    Bottom line is ... WHAT YOU SAYIN'? & TO WHOM?

    Fix that sweet on your horizon-summonin' Cosmos lens adjuster thang & prolly ground got a chance to fall at your feet.


    Otherwise .. go breed hamstahs for the Fluffily Mwahwannitz.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author themarketsoup
    I had the very same dilemma at a lot of times over the years. Which has led me to procrastinate and not do many of the interesting, valuable ideas I had in mind. As you say, I am also an introvert and shy in nature. Don't like being a face of something even if it is very good thing I have created. I really loved what Jason Kanigan and Randall Magwood said in the beginning. I was very skeptical of me being successful without showing my real name and face. What others have said has certainly built some confidence and would be willing to try it soon. Having filled with confidence from others' opinions I would also add, now, that being faceless and a brand will definitely succeed but quality should not be compromised. If we focus on providing the quality the reader deserves as a brand then we can definitely succeed. This is what I have come to conclude and feel pretty relaxed about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ankush Mittal
    Yes faceless content marketing helps there are many methods to do content marketing without showing your face.

    for example you can start a blog and there you can simply write you don't need to show your face.

    you can also start a podcast and there again you don't need to show your face.

    you can also create whiteboard animation or screen sharing YouTube videos so there again you don't need to show your face and people are really crushing with those videos.

    and you also know that these things are working pretty well.

    and also you can do one thing you can simply create a brand name where you don't need to show your face you can simply show up with logo or you can also have someone other as your brand face because I have seen many brands have been successful using others face for example Burger King used Jared's face.

    so you don't need to show your face to build a brand but when you will be having a face people are more likely to engage with you because they know there is a person like them and they like to interact with someone like them.
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  • Profile picture of the author bandyscorer
    Well it's a matter of trust.

    Faceless marketing can very well work in Blog etc. But showing your face build trust to your audience
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  • Profile picture of the author saisaanvi
    If I haven't show my face means what will happen?
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    How many people have ever seen the face of Allen Says, the originator of Warrior Forum?
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  • Profile picture of the author satvikg
    Yes, it works.

    "James holt" was a twitter account which sold online courses and did 6 figures in sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author priyankaarya
    I am not sure it may work it may not without a face gaining trust in marketing is difficult and which may affect marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author bugzy
    Nowadays, if you want people to trust you and believe on what you're talking.

    You need to put yourself out there, literally.

    I'm not saying that marketing w/out putting yourself out there won't work, it will still work but it's going to be hard and long process.

    Ask yourself a question, if you will trust someone on the internet and you're choosing between a person who want to talk to you via video chat VS a person who only wants to talk to you via messenger/chat. Who would you trust more?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    Faceless marketing can work but your results will be better with your face and name for credibility purposes.

    I am also 'introverted' but still have over 700 you tube videos out there.

    Being an Entrepreneur isn't always comfortable.
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