Why I don’t agree with Brendon Burchard and B-School 2016

I initially started writing this blog, in response to something I’d seen Brendon Burchard recommend in his latest training about building a Facebook audience. As I started writing, Marie Forleo’s promotion for B-School 2016 began, which spiralled me into some bigger and deeper thinking about where we are at right now, in regard to over-kill on social media and email campaigns...

When is it too much? When are we Over-Exposed?  When is enough... Enough already? 

It is so much easier than most of us realise to tip someone from FANDOM into BOREDOM.... To take them from 'YAY!' to 'Yawwwwwn...'  

 Even Tinkerbell gets bored sometimes...  

Even Tinkerbell gets bored sometimes...  

We are at a point in time when the content we post and the frequency to which we post could now become more refined... more authentic and in flow... Our audiences are far more intelligent, sophisticated and aware than we give them credit for - particularly when talking to a spiritual and entrepreneurial audience...  We don’t need to be in people’s channels/faces 24/7 for them to see a campaign or want to buy something... 

How many times have you signed up to someone’s email list because you have liked what they do on social media or beyond - only for them to send you emails daily or even weekly - filled with marketing nothingness...  Do you switch off after a short while and stop opening or even noticing them?

However there are the ones you really look forward to - which ones are they? And why? 

I've started to explore my YAY! / Yaaawwwnnn response to what drops in my inbox or pops up in my feed... We all have it on some level - start to really notice it... 

 Are you the cat or the girl in this situation? 

Are you the cat or the girl in this situation? 

We follow leaders and their systems based on their successes, experience & learning… But when is it the right strategy for us? 

When Brendon Burchard crossed the 4 million mark on his Facebook page last month - some would say that means we should follow his advice on how to create a Facebook audience.

And while I love watching and learning from people such as Burchard and co. who are always crossing new boundaries in marketing - such as the way he free live streamed the filming of his latest training program - it is also very clear that he is in a totally different ballgame to most people - and so different rules apply. When Brendon started out on social media it was a completely different landscape…  To quote him on this

“Facebook and YouTube were just a few years old and "online marketing" was in its infancy...”  

NOW I am not taking away from the fact that Burchard is an online marketing legend with his 4 million Facebook fans, the hundreds of millions of views of his YouTube channel,  incredible sales of his books, digital products and courses et al...  BUT most of us are not Brendon Burchard - even though he is selling the fact we 'could all be him' -  we are not.

The piece of advice that caught my attention was actually where he suggests we post x4 times a day to Facebook…  This is what really made me think about everything we read and see online and how best to absorb advice we get given… 

Posting to Facebook x4 times a day is the total opposite of what I advise my clients to do particularly on FACEBOOK…

 Taken from a Facebook post Sept 2015

Taken from a Facebook post Sept 2015

And while I agree with him about creating original content, with recycling and using quotes and reposting old popular quotes (I do this with a number of my clients ), 4 times a day is a LOT of content for most people to create - as it needs to be something engaging,  relevant and meaningful to their audience… 

I have built a Facebook page with over 1 million fans -- going from 100,000 to 1,000,000 in just 6 months - by posting x1 per day on average. 

And I usually advise my clients to post just x1 per day to Facebook though in fact I'm now erring towards even less! It depends on who you are and what you do. We don’t even need to post everyday - in fact it is good to give people some time off sometimes...  

Give it space to breathe... and make it count when you do want their attention or to share something of value.

How would you behave in a room full of your friends, fans, colleagues, clients and contemporaries if you have something to share?  How would that be? If we start to think of Facebook or other platforms as digital common rooms… shared open plan digital hang out / work-spaces... Think about how would you would behave in that environment...  

 This is how I would behave in that environment.. 😂

This is how I would behave in that environment.. 😂

I only post more than x1 per day with clients who have a lot of original content, who already have a large established audience/ fanbase, that want to hear from them regularly on key topics...  Ones that enjoy certain content types (such as spiritual / motivational Memes - which is what plays a heavy part of Burchards content strategy on Facebook) or posts that I know are going to popular with that specific audience and so work well with Facebook’s elusive algorithm…  

If Facebook’s algorithm or even the word algorithm means nothing to you or sends you into a slight sweat - I googled up a couple of recent articles to help explain what this is in relation to Facebook, who are making more changes to how we see what we see in the Newsfeed again this month… (Feb 2016)

“News Feed will begin to look at both the probability that you would want to see the story at the top of your feed and the probability that you will like, comment on, click or share a story. We will rank stories higher in feed which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see near the top of their News Feed.” Facebook

In other words, the posts you see first will be determined by the likelihood you'll want to see a particular update, as well as how likely you are to engage with a post — via Liking, commenting or sharing. [Mashable]

"To speak of Facebook’s news feed algorithm in the singular, can be misleading. The algorithm is really a collection of hundreds of smaller algorithms solving the smaller problems that make up the larger problem of what stories to show people."  Slate.com

To create x4 pieces of original, popular, shareable, engaging posts per day for your page is-  in my opinion - way too much pressure and not required.  Particularly if you have an audience smaller than 10k - you probably don't have enough organic reach to make each post engage well. In fact the x 4post a day strategy will actually work against you as per the algorithm - as your stuff just wont get seen and will affect what will get seen in the future… 

Which leads me to B-School...

It is currently taking over my inbox and my newsfeed… For those of you unaware of B-School - it began c. 2011 (so it’s been running for a good 5 years now) and it offers to...

Effectively help you sell your products and services online. This exact framework helped me build a highly profitable, global brand with nothing more than my laptop and a dream...
— Marie Forleo

Like Burchard, Marie is a hugely successful digital marketeer - and she has done amazing things - selling millions of courses, inspiring millions of people and making millions of dollars.

A few years ago Marie was leading the affiliate curve by teaming up with a number of other well known entrepreneurs on the scene, such as Gabby Bernstein, Danielle La Porte, Kate Northrup and Amy Porterfield to name but a few. They create their own sign up initiatives, bolt on products and content in exchange for 50% of the sign up fee ( $1000).

I did the maths last year when a client of mine signed up for B-School through Amy Porterfields affiliate link - the closed Facebook group had 350+ people in it - which meant Amy had just made a cool $350,000... That’s a nice side income if ever there was one! 

And I am not knocking that - I am all up for everyone being super successful and making big money online - especially when they are doing it through social media and great digital content!! Cha-ching! And I don't want to take away from what B-School is, what it has achieved and what it is doing to help people with their businesses. 

But this year it feels different.  Last year the marketing campaign was still interesting (to me anyway!) But this year it feels too much. In fact even the affiliates seem to know it has gone too far as one email I received today was this... (Really tune into the language used here... !)

I asked my Instagram fam what they thought about it all this week and here are a couple of comments which show I am not alone...

“I’m at the point where I’m unsubscribing from every B-School email I receive. Im also finding the 3 free videos and then sign up for X routine quite irritating” Rachel 
“TRUTH… It makes me question authenticity and feel a little, well, yucky” Courtney
“After the same kind of launch as the last 3-4 years (all the affiliate convos, the training video series, and same info) I’d like to turn it all off. I am tired of seeing/ hearing about it." Morgan

And this leads into a much bigger topic of conversation around social media and digital marketing right now in 2016… 

We have just moved from the Chinese Year of the Sheep to the Year of the Monkey...  Perhaps it is time for us to stop being so sheep like following the crowd and create our own monkey marketing magic...! 

We are evolving and changing quickly... moment by moment... and the advertising and marketing we see and its effect on us is evolving too…  We have been dominated by a broadcast heavy, linear, success/ goal/ sales-orientated, systematic, male-centric WORLD for too long...   The world is changing and the internet as an expression of ourselves is affecting that change - so lets evolve together.

There is a reason you are resistant and hesitant to engage in and with this kind of marketing.... 

 My face when I see another  "Sign up for my FREE video series” 

My face when I see another  "Sign up for my FREE video series” 

In the same way everyone fast-forwards TV ads, have stopped clicking on banner ads... Well the same now goes for repetitive marketing campaigns, boring sales copy and funnels. We will just start (if we haven’t already) zoning out and not taking notice (or screaming with annoyance)...

Which is actually rather exciting. 

It means there is space for a new kind of marketing to emerge… A more feminine, less formulaic, softer flow of content and conversation... 

So let us start to play with this new way…  And lead the way by finding our own creative, unique ways of sharing and selling our services,  products and passions online.