Rise and Shine

Loss of Inspiration: Marketing that Falls Flat

Photo of Rachel Ann PolingIs your marketing suffering from a loss of inspiration? Do you feel you’ve stalled in your attempt at social media marketing? Do you feel it’s a waste of time, and it’s not getting you anywhere? Are you inwardly growling at the person who suggested it to you or pushed you into trying it? Do you feel frustrated that it’s not working for you like you thought it would be? I want to help you get out of this rut, so put on your thinking cap and let’s get down to business – let’s infuse your marketing with the inspiration it needs.


Before We Get Down To Business…

You need to be introduced to this video of a TED talk given by Simon Sinek on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”.


You can watch it if you’d like, and I highly recommend you do. For those of you who are in a hurry, I will summarize what you need to glean from this video to understand this post. He drew a picture that looks like this:


Rachels notes on the TED conference

My notes from when I first watched the video. Pardon the scrawl. 😉



Simon talks about how the motivation, the “why”, behind great leaders gathers followers to them like bees to honey. People emotionally connect to a passionate “why” for doing what you are doing. The problem is, so many people present themselves by saying, “This is what we do, and this is how we do it.” They never share why they are doing it.


Why we do what we are doing is the heart and the motivation of everything we do, and it comes across in what we do and how we do it. This is true of everything in life, so it is also true when it comes to inspiration in social media marketing! The smart thing to do is to find and cultivate a great “why”, because it will show in your marketing efforts.


If your social media efforts are flat-lining, chances are, you’ve not taken the time to think about understand your “why”. Because of this, your “what” [you are doing with social media] and “how”[your are doing it] are not in line to be profitable for you.


Try This On For Size

Here is a generic example of why we do social media marketing. I give you full permission to steal it and customize it for yourself.


Why We Do Social Media Marketing

We do social media to

  • connect with our fans and customers on a more personal level
  • engage with them in their daily lives
  • build meaningful relationships with them
  • be a resource and a help to them
  • be open, clear and honest about who we are as a business
  • allow them a place where their rave reviews and troubles with our services are appreciated and heard.


By doing this we will become a recognized friendly face and a trustworthy and reliable source for good information. By acknowledging their complaints and problems and doing our best to fix them we will separate ourselves from the pack because of our human way of dealing with problems. Because they like, trust, and engage with us, our fans and clients will remember who we are, become repeat purchasers, become loyal to us in their purchasing habits, and will recommend us to their friends.

(psst, little secret: Brand loyalty, repeat customers, recommendations to friends = $$$ )

Let me ask you:

Does this sound like what you are doing right now?

Does this sound like it might work?

If you said no to the first, and yes to the second, there is some work to be done!


Ok, So This All Sounds Good…

… but how do you implement it?


It’s rather simple really. Get a piece of paper and draw the three circles with the why, how, and what. Tape that picture up where you can see it clearly from your computer.


When you sit down to write a Facebook post or a tweet (or other update), look up at your picture and remember. As you are writing, think about why you are writing this post.

  • Who is it for?
  • How does this help my customers in their daily lives?
  • How does this inspire conversation?
  • Does this help build a two way relationship with my fans?
Tip: it helps to turn statements of fact into questions and thought-provoking suggestions.


I guarantee, if you start thinking about this, your posts will come out of your keyboard differently. They will be more conversational and friendly, and they will have a much greater potential for inspiring conversation among your fans.


Here’s an example:


This tweet: Rachel Poling is performing at Chez Poling on Monday, April 9th at 7:30 PM


Turns to this tweet: Hey All! I’m super stoked to see you at Chez Poling on Monday! I’ll be performing at 7:30. Tweet me if you’ll be there!


Three last parting thoughts:

  • Always remember, social media is not a cure-all. It’s just like a microphone. When crap goes in, you only get louder crap coming out.
  • Your “why” needs to be at the heart of your whole business. It cannot be the icing on the cake; it is the egg in the batter. Egg frosting simply does not work. Neither will faking sincerity. Most people have a “fake-o-meter” built in.
  • Social media is not a mystery, it’s just a new way to connect with real people. So, just be a real, honest, helpful human.


Tell me your thoughts in the comments:

  • What’s your “Why”?
  • Do your social media strategies reflect your “Why”?
photo credit: micaeltattoo via photopin cc


Rachel Ann Poling
Latest posts by Rachel Ann Poling (see all)


  1. I love this – “…
    social media is not a cure-all. It’s just like a microphone. When crap goes in, you only get louder crap coming out.” It isn’t American Idol either, we don’t have judges to tell you that you can’t sing. Self awareness is a gift from god.

    I think some people may not understand your last example, how you get from your announcement to the second one. I took it like this: The reason why you’re performing is to connect with the people who will show up. You’re grateful for the opportunity and encourage everyone to notify you of their presence so you don’t miss them, and can meet as many people as possible. 

    I also liked the part of the video where Simon relates this model to biology, with the limbic system and the neo cortex of your brain. This concept is really nothing new however. One thing I dislike about TED talks is that the speakers basically re-hash the recent viral conversations in their respective industries. 

    • Thanks Adam! I like the microphone bit as well. In a sense, we do have judges: our audience/customers. I’d take a chance and say that if you are hearing crickets or backlash from your social media efforts, it should raise the alarm that you are doing something wrong. Just like American Idol though, sometimes alarm bells that should have been rung obviously weren’t.

      Yes, The difference I see in the two last example tweets is how the same information is approached. The second tweet is about the audience, giving them a friendly heads-up (being helpful), and letting them know that you care about them (building a two-way relationship). The first one just feels impersonal and spammy. The information is basically the same, but the intent is different.

      Yes, the concepts in the TED video are nothing new. Even that particular video is not new… it’s from 2006 I believe. They are new to someone who hasn’t watched them before. 😉 This particular concept, I think, is evergreen.

  2. hello, would you be interested in being a trainer/coach/facilitator at http://www.attractitude.com. We need people like you!

  3. aspectwi /

     Inspire Action

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