Beware of “Be Your Brand” marketing
I want to speak out against the rising tide of social media marketing towards coaches and entrepreneurs. Much of it is an old school pyramid scheme wrapped with beautiful spiritual veneer. Its full of mixed messages like be authentic, drop your masks, be vulnerable. Yet each post is filled with perfectly orchestrated photos, glowing makeup or filters and standardized representations of western beauty (skinny and blonde). The constant perfected-beauty pictures are making things worse. You contribute to the society’s messages of “not good enough” when EVERY post and picture is so flawless. How dare you use messages like “the rising feminine” and then post pictures of yourself wearing a waist trainer?
“Look at me. Look at my life. I have it all and I can teach you how to have it all. I can heal you. I want to help you.” It feels gross. Something feels off when I see it. Why is it all about them? I think they are preying on people. Preying on people’s desperation to have a better life. There are so many hard-working people that would love the idea of making money overnight and living a picturesque life, 1 hour a day of work on your laptop and the rest of the day at the beach or spa.
Their rebuttal to people who challenge the egotistical marketing is that if you don’t like it, you are being triggered because you are not in alignment with your own abundance. That’s another way of saying “Don’t be jealous, you can have it all too. If you don’t have your dream life, that’s your responsibility because you aren’t doing the work.” It’s a form of gaslighting. One person was marketing how to have a “Sacred Ecstatic Sexual Relationship” – she’s in Bali and taking different lovers. I’ve got no beef with that. My issue is just because she found something that works for her – doesn’t mean that works for everyone else. Another woman responded with some dismay, “I can’t do that. My husband and I both work, we have 3 kids, one of them is disabled. I don’t have 2 hours a day to myself to have ecstatic sex. How can you help me?” The sex coach had no response.
I want to be inspired by the real-world people out there dealing with real world problems. If being authentic and vulnerable about lost luggage is your version of dealing with difficulty – that’s not enough.
The newest gurus out there are now claiming messages from plant medicines and psychedelic journeys. They promise short cuts, galactic activations and downloads and you don’t even have to travel to the Amazon jungle. Here again, psychedelic plants can contribute profoundly to healing, but it’s not honorable or respectful to the plants to market your divine plant journey as the path to become a self-made millionaire.
They are giving lip service to heart centered service. “Be like me, be wealthy, be beautiful, you can have it all, and make money helping others.” Being a truly effective coach is NOT about teaching other people to follow in your footsteps.
I certainly don’t want to teach people to be like me! I want to help guide people to their true self. I want to aid them in moving past the guilt, shame, fear and anxiety that blocks them. As a therapist, I would never say, “Do what I do.” My goal is to help people find their own answers, their own wisdom, their own path. I want to see diverse expressions of real people – not shellacked cookie cutter replicas of popularity.
Don’t be fooled. Don’t be sucked into jealousy. Be sure to take breaks from social media and focus on the life YOU are building.