There are a million “I make money online!” sites out there. They’re everywhere: How I made a bazillion dollars from blogging, and you can, too!

It reminds me of that scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas (my son’s favorite):

Find the true meaning of Christmas. Win MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. Enter the Neighbourhood Christmas lights and display contest!

I  can’t deal with any of them.

So, when I read this a new book called UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. by Scott Stratten (h/t to John McLachlan), I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Finally, someone who is not all about the sell! sell! sell! Scott is all about creating relationships.

UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

First of all, I hate selling. I really, really hate it. I’d rather die than do a cold call. My first job out of university (you have to understand how desperate I was) was selling carpet cleaning. Trust me when I say, I am a terrible telemarketer, and I didn’t last long.

The most basic and grounding principle of my business is: Marketing is creating relationships based on trust, and it applies both to my business and to the work that I do for my clients. If I can write enticing copy and I have a good reputation with the media as a publicist, I should be successful at what I do. And I am. Without having to make cold calls, thank goodness.

The book has many case studies: some negative, but mostly positive ones, of businesses who give exceptional customer service, and are very successful (ie: @Zappos and @Freshbooks). But he also talks about some of the basics of running a marketing campaign online: transparency, authenticity, immediacy, and relevancy.

If you’re looking for a book that has lots of specific technical “how-to” techniques, this is not it (although there is a section the explores how to create something “viral” that I will be interested to try out). It’s much more about the theory of how things work, and it keeps coming back to one main point: the relationship.

When you’re good, you tell people. When you’re great, other say it for you.
–Scott Stratten

I loved this book because it validated everything that I believe and have been talking about with regards to social media over the last few years. Plus the footnotes are hilairous: it’s worth buying the book for the footnotes alone.

I reccomend it very highly.

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 3

  1. Thanks for the review on this, Rebecca. As you know, I wrote a little about it after I saw Scott Stratten at BlogWorld Expo in October.

    I think there are a ton of great points in this book though I’m not really crazy about the format. 56 chapters? I found in his presentation at BlogWorld that half the audience LOVED him and the other half were polite. I thought he was a little mean at times and missed the mark on some things.

    One example was a story about a coffee shop that a customer tweeted about saying they didn’t have enough electrical outlets for the customers. The coffee shop replied that maybe this person should just unplug for awhile. Scott’s take on this was to diss the coffee shop with a big fat #FAIL but to me, I think I admire the authenticity of the coffee shop for standing out by not encouraging the use of laptops. Good for them! They stood by their principals which is authentic.

    The customer is not always right. If an artist held this attitude, they would never create anything news and daring. If Apple thought this way, they’d never have taken the floppy disk out of a computer (or now, the optical drive out of a MacBook Air).

    The other “inauthentic” thing I found was that he had ten reviews on Amazon the day his book was launched, all glowing. In other words, he sent out review copies and people wrote reviews. How “authentic” is that?

    So, I had to work hard and filter out the solid content and suggestions he has in that book with the knowledge that I found some of it kind of manipulative. The kitchy “un” thing is just a traditional marketing hook and ploy.

    I feel strange even saying anything against it because he would just rip me apart and probably call me a troll and he certainly made it clear what he thought of trolls in his BlogWorld talk. I’m not that and I think he’s got great ideas on the book.

    Maybe I just have a wonky interpretation.

  2. Thanks for being so frank, John. You are not the first person who has said they are not crazy about Scott’s way of highlighting the negative.
    And I also think that if you are going to be out there in the world, you have to have somewhat of a thick skin. Not everyone is going to love you. That’s just how it goes.
    Remind me I said that if I ever get famous, okay? 😉

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