In Part 2 of our series “Disruptive Marketing”, we’re going to dive into the nitty-gritty. You’ll learn how to market on social media using disruptive marketing, customer avatars, and passion-based niche.
Last year, I met my buddy in Boulder, Colorado, to do some rock climbing.
We picked a pretty popular spot called Jurassic Park, which has a vertical canyon wall of red rock and a mind-blowing view of the Rockies.
We had planned a couple of hours climbing, and started on some smaller routes. My buddy was worried about his energy levels and had brought a couple of packets of Guu—a high-glycemic athletic food—but I just laughed at him. He made me put one in my pocket anyway.
It was beautiful weather, and we climbed hard for a couple of hours. We saved the best for last, a long sport route right up to the top of the canyon, where the views are the best. We were lead climbing, so we could climb side by side.
By the time we started that final route, my muscles were shaking. I was running out of gas. I could barely hang on to a decent hold.
My friend, meanwhile, was tearing up the cliff. How is he doing that? I wondered. I was just as good a climber as him. It was so frustrating! Then I remembered, a few minutes back, he slurped down his packet of Guu.
I ripped open my own packet of Guu and sucked it down. It tasted better than I expected. A little sweet, chocolate flavor. I rested against my harness for a minute or two while I let the sugar kick in. I reached out for the next hold—suddenly, I had strength again. My muscles still felt like melted cheese, but I was actually making a progress.
A few minutes later, I was standing, sweaty and exhausted but victorious, beside my friend at the top.
That’s the last time I climb without Guu…
The Basics of Disruptive Marketing
What you just read there was an ad for a fake product called “Guu”.
(Full disclosure, I have never been rock-climbing in Boulder, CO. Sadly.)
But you might not have noticed that because it was also a story. A story about challenge, frustration, competition, and victory.
This is the same kind of story you have seen a million times in advertisements. A young athlete is struggling against the competition. Through sheer perseverance, they score the winning goal. And they’re drinking Gatorade. (Also, for the sake of dramatic effect, it’s raining.)
Huge brands run story-based ads like those all the time because they resonate emotionally with their audience. That’s the foundation of what’s called Impulse/Disruptive Marketing.
Disruptive Marketing is what advertisers use to go after audiences who aren’t looking for their products. Instead of talking about their products, they tell an emotional story the audience can relate to. Something that tugs at their heart and shows them how they can be a better version of themselves.
And, it turns out, entrepreneurs like you can use this same kind of Disruptive Marketing super effectively on social media.
This is exactly how I turned a profitable Shopify business, making $100,000 a year, into a cash cow, bringing in $2,000,000 in nine months. It took me a lot of trial and error. But it all clicked for me when I figured out effective disruptive marketing on social media.
And I want the same for you, too.
Why should Entrepreneurs Market on Social Media?
In Part 1 of this article series, I go into a lot of detail on what disruptive marketing is and why it works so well on social media. You should read Part 1 it if you haven’t already, but here are the cliff notes:
Social media is the place to market as an entrepreneur (especially a small business or eCommerce entrepreneur) because it has so many users and so much freely available targeting data, which means much cheaper, more effective ads.
Right now, most advertisers seem to be using Intent/Need marketing, which appeals to the audience’s logical brain. That’s a mistake.
Social media is NOT an advertising platform. It is a content platform that allows you to purchase space on people’s feeds. Let’s take Facebook for example.
When people log in to Facebook, they are in a very open and receptive state of mind. They’re looking for something that will make them feel good, happy, loved, or connected. This gives us our opportunity to capture their attention. Thing is, most advertisers are giving them… you guessed it… advertisements. And that’s why they fail.
Impulse/Disruptive marketing targets a person’s emotional heart. Just the thing people are looking for when they’re surfing their Facebook feed.
So tell a story to sell a click, not a product. If you can tell them a story that speaks to them, they’ll be intrigued to learn more. And once people get to your website you, then you can sell them with logic.
But how do you tell a great, compelling, heart-tugging story?
First, we have to know our audience…
Want to Know Your Customer? First, Know Thyself
If you understand your ideal customer perfectly you will be able to target the exact person you want, with the exact product they want, and the exact message they need to hear.
There’s a shortcut to doing this, and that’s by being your own ideal customer.
What do I mean by that? I’m talking about passion-based marketing.
Remember that rock-climbing from the beginning? Well, I think I wrote a half-decent ad for Guu, but I’m only passingly familiar with rock climbing. That probably wouldn’t be the best business for me to be in. Because rock climbing isn’t my passion, I don’t really know how to speak to that audience with emotion.
When you don’t know your audience, you’ll likely find yourself falling on Need/Intent based strategy and messaging. The wrong tactic used in the wrong market.
Making this mistake not only means that your messaging isn’t emotional, but it’s also unoriginal. It means joining the crowd of similar businesses, selling and saying the same thing.
So if you are able to tell a story, you automatically set yourself apart from the herd. And the best way to tell a story that will capture hearts and resonate is to tell it with passion. I shouldn’t be selling rock climbing Guu, I should sell something related to the things I love (like my dogs).
There are all sorts of stories you can tell, but the most effective ones address us where we are most vulnerable.
Getting in Touch with Pain Points
Anyone, no matter their gender, age, wealth, or any other demographic, has a paint point. An area in their life they feel needs fixing, or at least some help. Stories that address these pain points get people’s attention.
Human nature compels us to get rid of our pain as fast as possible. That gives us marketers an opportunity. If you understand the pain points of your audience, you will understand how to craft a compelling ad in an authentic way that will draw them in.
Essentially, what we’re doing is causing the pain points to be activated through our copywriting skills, and then offering them our product as a solution to the pain we brought out in them
Disruptive marketing is like walking up to someone, cutting them with a knife, and then selling them a band-aid to stop the bleeding.
Though touching someone’s pain point doesn’t mean you have to leave them traumatized. Good marketing can also be uplifting and empowering. That is what your product does, so it’s possible to end on a message of healing and transformation.
And pain points often go deeper than we might think. Someone who wants rock climbing gear might not just want to scale the toughest rock. Their true pain might be that they need more adventure in their life. So talk about adventure, not the rock.
Simple enough, but real pain points, ones that sell clicks, are not always easy to come by. And that’s where customer avatars come in.
Creating an Ideal Customer Avatar
Another trick marketers use to understand their target market is to create what’s called an “ideal customer avatar.”
An ideal customer avatar (or just “a customer avatar”) is a profile of a made-up person that marketers use when crafting their marketing campaigns. It’s really an exercise that helps us understand our customers more deeply.
If you are selling your passion, then you can easily use yourself as a model for your ideal customer. What else is important to you? What type of job do you have? What do you do to relax? What’s your favorite music, shows, or movies? Write down everything that matters to you and helps define who you are.
Do the same with your friends who share your passion. Chances are, your other interests, pains, and defining qualities will be similar. With these defined qualities, you’ll be able to better identify not only pain points, but pathways for a story of empowerment.
If you rejected my advice earlier and found your way into a niche where you are not the ideal customer, this exercise is even more important. Try to find some people who are potential customers and casually interview them to build your avatar.
Keep in mind, nothing is ever guaranteed. You may not hit the bullseye with every pain point or story, but an ideal customer avatar will always give you a good place to start.
To test your avatar, create a disruptive ad that accesses your ideal customer pain points with a story. Position your product as the customer’s vehicle to solving that pain. Iterate the messaging and offer, and see which combination has the best return.
The Secret to Becoming an eCommerce Millionaire…
The beauty of eCommerce—especially with my formula for disruptive marketing on social media—is that it works best when you’re selling something you know and love.
Do you realize how cool that is? Forget your soul-crushing nine-to-five, you can be your own boss at a job you actually like (and make millions of dollars from home).
You can turn any passion into a profit. With your niche ready, tell stories, trigger pain points, offer solutions, and turn social media into one of your stores best resources.
Are you ready to make this your life? Join me as a Shopify entrepreneur. Check out the links below for free resources I created to help you get started.