It’s not a generational thing, it’s an epidemic across all ages! Self-promoting ads and posts can be seen across the internet and social sites, expanding as the audience grows. Not all are on the same level of ‘bad’, but most could do better. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the waves of organizations that market themselves by talking about themselves.

I’m not sure where we have this assumption that everyone thinks we’re fabulous, already knows who we are and wants to know everything about us. I’m including myself in this as I think it’s a common tendency and one I have to ‘QA’ for in everything. This selfie marketing simply doesn’t work for most brands. And this isn’t new. When we create our value proposition and we meet new clients, we know to ask questions and connect their pain points to the solutions we have. We already know this! So why do we falter?

Because it’s easier. It’s easier to talk about ourselves than find the right combination of words that resonate with our target prospect. It’s easier than explaining “why”. Let’s look at this easy example:

selfie marketing

This was an ad on Facebook and I’m sure the product is excellent. And as a business owner I know why Review Solicitation is needed (I was obviously targeted). But this ad only speaks to what the download is about. It doesn’t speak to why would I want to build my online reputation. It doesn’t answer how this would impact my life or business for the better? Or how will ignoring it make things worse? Maybe I do this already, can you tell me what I’m doing wrong? Maybe a slightly better line would read, “When your business gets noticed, have those 5-star reviews do the selling for you!”

We all want to tie ROI on the ads that we put out there. We want to show a direct connection to our efforts and the increase in sales. However, for most companies this requires more than a single ad and its click-through rate (and a lot of this ROI is indirect). The building of an engaged following can benefit your organization in many ways (learning more about your prospects, building loyalty, etc.) And building this relationship takes a bit of time and a bit of effort:

  1. Connect to your clients and prospects by talking to them about what they like and want (not only about YOUR product/service). It’s of the upmost value to gather any information about your prospects and clients. What do they do in their spare time? Where do they shop? What do they read? How do they get to work? What radio station do they listen to? This is valuable data that can be used to further target prospects.
  1. Share something fun! It doesn’t always relate to what you’re selling, but that’s okay. Most often you can relate your shares indirectly to your business. Getting your followers to talk about ANYTHING is a good thing. It can create a friendlier vibe and reduce discussion anxiety. Who hasn’t experienced that phone call you receive 30 seconds after filling in a form to download that report? A company that is too anxious to sell will lose any chance on connecting long term with followers – and probably lose the sale. You want to be seen as a helpful organization that understands their needs and has ways to help. ONE of those solutions is your product or service, but the rest are free, friendly and not connected to making a sale.

A warm audience is more receptive to and more tolerant of your sales pitch. If you have a relationship with them they will better tolerate your ‘sell’ and listen to the offer. Besides, you’re more likely to gain third-party testimonials and brand advocates by building your relationships.

I’m not the only one who feels this way. While looking at examples online, I came across this little ditty that sums up my feelings exactly.


Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder of WindWater Marketing, a small business marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada. Carolyn works with her clients to plan and implement marketing strategies that resonate with prospects and lead to sales. For more information, visit or email