Why You Need To Stop Listening To Marketing Trends And Gurus

Every year there is a tonne of content and posts that talk about the latest trends and what you should be doing that year. Because let’s face it, we are all the same and should think like sheep, right? (yeh, insert sarcasm here 🙃)

I disagree that you should aimlessly follow a trend or use the latest bright & shiny gadget just because some guru or expert tells you to. That is insane.

Heck, I am not even telling you to do everything I am suggesting either because every business is different and so are the people you are targeting.

So how should you approach your marketing efforts in changing times?

Listen and learn.

Read Episode Transcript

Hey, it's Tanya here Chief Of Everything at Digital Conversations and I want to talk about something a little bit different today. You know me, I like to do stuff differently because I'm a bit of a marketing rebel. I don't like to do the same thing as everybody else. Hence why I have a podcast called Sales Without Socials. But I think we need to be really mindful of, as business owners, doing what's right for us. Right? So today, I'm going be talking about why you shouldn't listen to all the marketing trends, and all the gurus, and all the experts this year to propel your marketing forward.


Now every year, there's a ton of content in post that talk about the latest trends and what you should be doing because let's face it, we're all sheep and we should be following what one person says. Right? Insert the sarcasm here.


Social media giants, you know large marketing agencies, experts, gurus, all the general marketing commentators - they all have an idea. They all have an opinion. They like to share their tips on the biggest trends for the current year in marketing. Although I want to talk about the next big thing that you should be doing. Currently, that's probably AI. Everyone's talking about AI and don't even start me on that one. But I think you need to ignore them all because you can ask 100 different people the same question and get a hundred different answers. Now, some might be right. Some might be wrong. But that doesn't matter because the marketing you do in your business needs to be right for you and your potential clients. Not what all these other people are telling you you should be doing.


Now just because some marketing person from some big brand says they are doing this one thing - and they think this one thing is going to be a game changer - doesn't mean you should listen or do the same thing. Now, I disagree that you should aimlessly follow a trend or use the latest bright and shiny tactic just because some guru expert tells you to do. I just think that is insane.


I'm not even telling you to do what everything that I'm suggesting because what I'm suggesting and a lot of other podcast doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be right for you either. This is just about sharing information and opening your mind up to new ways of thinking. So just think of it, I guess, like a diet. There's so many ways to lose weight, right? You might have found one way that works for you but it doesn't work for your best friend or your partner or your sister. That's because we're all different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dieting just like there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing.


So if you shouldn't listen to all the experts or care what the current latest trends is, what should you do?


Well, I'm glad you asked because I'm about to tell you.


The first thing is to start by educating yourself.
Find out about all those options that are out there and there are plenty of options, right? To marketing your business but go and do some research. Now, you've got to be mindful because the experts selling webinars will tell you that you must do webinars; and experts selling podcasts, tell you that you must do podcasts. If they're selling social media management, they're going to tell you that you must be on social media and you're going to be all over that. You get the picture?


So you really need to be mindful of what you're listening to and really broadening your horizons and listening to lots of different things and reading lots of information. Because as I said, the experts have an agenda and that's to sell more of what they do which is why they're going to tell you that you need to be doing that one thing.


Certainly, you need to be aware of trends and the new platforms; because you know, they're all constantly happening. But you also need to put a veneer of your own business or your clients over it, okay? Because not everyone or not everything that you hear is going to be right for you or your business. It won't be right for your clients and how they want to communicate with you either. So make sure you read, you watch, you listen to a bunch of content, and learn about the options that are available.


Educating about your options these days are easy, right? There are hundreds of ways to market and you can't possibly do them all and nor would you want to. That's why understanding the options and which ones align to your personal values, your skills, and where your clients are spending their time are super valuable.


There is so much free online education right? You can watch webinars. You can listen to podcasts, like this one. You can get free downloads, reports, watch Youtube videos, go to events, listen to keynotes, go to a TedX, and read books - there is so much stuff! There is literally no excuses not to educate yourself and learn about this stuff, okay? Because it's only by understanding the various marketing options that you can make an informed choice as a business owner. Even if you don't want to do this stuff yourself, you owe it to yourself to actually educate yourself around some of these things so you've put a better understanding about it.


When you are reaching out to suppliers that might be able to help you with outsourcing some of this stuff, you understand what they're talking about and you understand what might be right for you. So a random person doesn't know you or your business and they can tell you that you should be doing this and you should be doing that. And it's not necessarily the person to listen to. But you do have to start with educating yourself around the options and what could be a right fit for you.


And of course there are lots of different options there, right?


So the next step, after you've got some sort of an education and understand, is to shortlist the marketing tactics that you think are best for you.


You need to be realistic in the amount of time you can dedicate to each of these things. So for example, do you have enough time to create and do a weekly podcast? You might love the idea and think, "Oh my god! I'd love to do that!" But unless you commit the time to it, there's really no point. So you need to factor in all the time you're going to need to do some of these things, as well. So for example, a 30-minute podcast takes a lot longer than 30 minutes. Because you've got to do your research, you've got to reach out to your experts, you've got to conduct your interviews, you've got to edit, upload, promote. You know, all that extra stuff. So when you're thinking about the different tactics, you've got to think about all the other things that come with that. So whether it's uploading stuff to your website or blog, and editing, and creating images, or whatever it might be, it's not just the time to take to do that one component.


Don't worry about too much about the number of things on your list when you get to the shortlist stage, okay? Because this is just the first step. And the next steps I'm going to share with you are going to help you eliminate more of those and help you to figure out really what marketing you need to do.


So the first step is education.


The second step is shortlisting some of those tactics you think might be okay for you.


And then the next one is to think about how much time you realistically have.


Now, I touched on time in the last point but you know you can't really go and commit to something that's going to take four or five hours a week if you just don't have that time. Because you know what? It is going to fail and then you're going to feel like a failure and then you have this whole ripple effect from there. You've got to be realistic with this stuff, guys. You know I've seen this stuff happen time and time again. Someone says to me, "I'm going to write a blog every week," and then they might write 2 or 3 and it all falls over because they just don't have the time anymore to do it or they've lost enthusiasm or whatever it might be.


But if you think about what your week looks like, overall, and also think about the fact that you don't actually need a massive chunk of time to get stuff done, you might have 15 or 30 minutes a few times a week and you can realistically dedicate that to some marketing, that's fine!


You don't need a full day every week or once a month. But you need to be realistic in your approach to what you can actually achieve. So once we've got our short list, what I would say to you is the next step: to go and list next to that short list how long you think it will take to do each of those things. So then you've got an idea of what is that up to in a week or a month. Now if time is a big problem for you, then the next thing obviously you can do is consider to outsource some of those tactics that you want to deliver and be honest with yourself again about what that might cost and how much time it will take because you still need to have some sort of a role in that whether it's approving what they've written or done or whatever. You need to factor a little bit of timing for that as well.


After we educate ourselves, and we shortlist, then we've got to bring in this time factor element, right? The next thing or the fourth thing I would encourage you to do is work out if it aligns with your overall business goals.


Now there are lots of different things that you can do but is that thing actually going to help you achieve your overall business goal? If it is, fantastic! Might be a good fit! If it's not, then why do you want to consider doing it?


Okay, so if one of your goals is to learn how to use Linkedin more effectively then spending a bunch of time learning how to do Facebook ads doesn't really feel like an aligned fit and makes very little sense, right? So when all these opportunities come up, because they do, there'll be things that'll come up and workshops and courses and you know things that just pop out going, "Hey! Learn this! Do this," you need to ask yourself, "Does it align with what I'm trying to achieve?" and if it doesn't then it could be a not-for-me or it could be a not-for-me right now. But I'm going to consider that in the future because I'm really interested in it. So don't think that everything that comes up is something you need to consider right away but you do need to make sure that it does fit with those goals because only by understanding the various marketing options can you make an informed decision about what you need to focus on. And that's super important.


You need to focus on the tactics that are actually going to align and get you moving forward in the next week, the next month, the next quarter.


Now the next thing to do is eliminate the distractions. Now our inboxes are filled with emails with all sorts of stuff that's just not relevant to where we are now and what we're trying to achieve. I'm the same. I get stuff and I go, "Great, that's awesome," but it's just not what I need to see. I'm subscribed to a bunch of emails and sometimes I just buy them straight away or I delete them straight away because they just aren't relevant.


At other times I'll read, I'll file them, and go, "You know what? I'm gonna read that later because I am interested in that but I don't want it to distract me from where I'm at right now." Now we all do it. Okay, we all get distracted by stuff, but we need to start to think about how we can filter out those distractions.


And hey, I get it. It can be easier said than done. But if we continue to look at the stuff that isn't relevant to us including those distractions then we lose focus and we procrastinate and we lose traction and momentum and we waste time and we don't move the needle forward. We stay stuck because the shiny distractions keep us there.


Now, the other thing I want you to consider is can you commit to whatever these tactics are consistently for a year? A very common mistake that I see nusy business owners have is having a grand plan in January with lots of good intentions and then they get busy. And by the second quarter, it's all stopped as you're now too busy or you think you are too busy. I'd ask you to consider this question right now: Have you already stopped doing something you planned at the start of the year? Be honest. You probably have. But the thing is, consistency is super important on any marketing channel so you need to be able to commit to something.

So even when you're not busy or you're not feeling motivated to continue, consistency builds a habit and that is how you learn a new skill and move the needle. There's no point starting a vlog, a video blog, for a month and then stopping it because it's not getting the views you want. Or by starting a Linkedin newsletter and expecting to generate a bunch of new leads in a few weeks or maybe sending an EDM every week and getting upset that no one's buying from you; and you've had a couple of people unsubscribe already. You've got to forget about that and remember that this stuff takes time. You have to put in a consistent effort to everything you want to master and that includes your marketing.


Now I remember my first blog when I did it. In fact, my first twenty were probably all horrible. Actually, you don't know that they were horrible but I learned, too, then do them better. So I practiced. And I looked at tools that might help me. I looked at how to deliver them more professionally and I did some training. I learned how to present myself better and over time they become so much better. And my videos today are very very different. I was consistent so they got better over time because I didn't expect to get overnight results. And you need to think of it that way. You need to start thinking about it like training for a Triathlon: consistent training, small improvements until you really get a new strive and then you hit that finish line.


This stuff isn't rocket science. This stuff doesn't happen overnight. It does take time and effort. So I'm gonna burst your bubble. Business owners are looking for this quick fix. It's like, "Oh I want to lose 5 kilos in a week" crap. It does not happen.


You've got to be prepared to do the work. Put the time and the effort in and not be distracted by some of this stuff that is just taking you way off course. So before you start to go and implement all the stuff that these marketing gurus tell you and all the stuff that's on trend that you should be doing, think about where you're at, what your goals are, and what's going to work for you. How much time you realistically have to dedicate for it and what you can consistently do because that's the stuff that's actually going to make the real difference.


Now, we know that there are hundreds of options to market your business both online and offline and you can waste a huge amount of time by following trends or crazy things that just don't work for your business. So what I don't want you to do this year is make the same mistakes that you've been making. Keep it simple. Keep it realistic and relevant. After all, you want to enjoy what you do and that starts with not feeling overwhelmed by something that should be fun. And marketing is fun, if you let it be.


Now, over to you to go and create a plan. Shout out if you need some help. And never let anyone dull your marketing sparkle.


What now?

If you want help with your marketing, I would suggest starting with a 2-hour exploration session so we can uncover the missed opportunities and gaps that are costing your business. You will find all the details at or email me at

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– Tanya

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