Table of Contents
Who wants a sassy AF take on sales and marketing? Step right up!
On today’s episode of Your Sparkly Brand, we’re discussing an unethical approach to sales and marketing, which every business owner should avoid – bro marketing.
Bro marketing uses slimy and manipulative sales tactics to drive people to action. We’re giving you healthy alternatives to marketing that drives sales.
Watch The Episode
Key Points For This Episode
- Meg’s TikTok live directs a client to her.
- Lauren hires two project managers.
- Bro marketing is a specific type of unethical sale and marketing tactic.
- People of all genders tap into bro marketing to take advantage of people.
- Bro marketing is highly manipulative.
- An unaligned offer can feel like bro marketing to a consumer.
- Faux empathy.
- False scarcity.
- Anything that makes the reader feel bad.
- Get rich quick promises.
- High pressure tactics.
- Sexist undertones.
- Cringey metaphors.
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Megan: Hello and welcome to Your Sparkly Brand. We’re here to inspire and empower entrepreneurs just like you. This podcast is all about delivering no fluff, high value content that helps you to grow your business. Doesn’t matter if you have no budget and you’re still DIYing everything on your own. We’re giving you the tips, tools, and strategies you need to build a sparkly empire.
I’m Megan Gersch, your resident branding and website designer, and I’m here with my co-host, the copywriter extraordinaire, Lauren Tassi. Hey Lauren. How are you?
Lauren: I’m good. How are you?
Lauren: Good. How is your week? What’s your sparkly moment?
Megan: So I think I mentioned this last week, but I’ve been doing these daily TikTok lives.
And it’s brought a lot of new eyes to my business, which has been interesting. But, the other day I was on live and I was helping this person and they wound up coming to me as a website prospect. So, essentially gave her some tips and we’re gonna have a call next week to see if it’s possible to redesign her website.
So that’s pretty exciting.
Lauren: I love that. That’s like the perfect example of like, you don’t have to gate, keep your knowledge and your services, just put it out there and the right people will find you. Yeah,
Megan: Absolutely. What about you?
Lauren: So mine also relates back to last week. I feel like it was good for us to be like, Hey, what are our goals?
What are we working on? One of my goals was to hire a project manager, and I now have two project managers. Yes. Awesome. Yeah. One of my writers reached out to me and said, she’s looking for more work. And I was like, yeah, if you wanna take on some other tasks. So she’s gonna help.
And then one of our mutual friends is looking for some work and I’m like, you know what? We come from the same background. I would love, you know, our brains work the same. Let’s do it. So I have two project managers now.
Megan: That’s awesome. Well, everything should be super organized.
Lauren: That’s the idea, I’ll update you on that soon.
Okay, perfect. Awesome. And so let’s get into our topic for today, and we are getting a little sassy today. This is kind of something I feel like we hint about it. We talk about it a little bit, but today we’re talking about bro marketing, like what it is, how to spot it, how to avoid it, and what to do instead.
I don’t know if there are other people that use this term – bro marketing. I don’t know that it’s like all that Googleable of a term. But it’s really like a specific type of unethical sales and marketing techniques. So this is just like our take on it. You can take it or leave it. It’s also like, it’s not limited to men.
I don’t want this to be like a gender thing. This is literally just kind of like a way to identify, marketing or sales methods that don’t agree with you. So plenty of people of all genders use bro marketing. It’s not about, you know, that kind of thing.
Megan: Yeah, and so bro marketing is basically marketing that is highly manipulative.
So it takes our natural insecurities as humans and basically uses those things against us. So it uses a kind of slimy kind of tricky sales tactics and psychological triggers that essentially drive people to action. And a lot of it does come from a place of fear and a place of lack. And so, yeah, we’ll get into a, a little bit about like why this is not like the best practice in your business and why we both don’t believe in this stuff.
Lauren: And I think it’s also like as a consumer, so. It can feel like bro marketing when really it’s just a completely unaligned offer or not the right audience. So it’s, it’s very, like, it’s a subjective thing, but I think it’s one of those things that like once you hear our take on it, you’re gonna be like, oh yeah, that’s that.
I can spot it there, I can spot it there. And really be able to not just, I don’t wanna say protect yourself, but just be aware, right? It’s all about like awareness and knowing what’s happening and not being like, manipulated to make decisions. So let’s kick it off. So one of the first things that you can use to spot bro marketing is faux empathy, right?
So this is like anybody who uses that sort of like I was once where you are, or you know, I started out just like you, I was making $10 a day doing nothing. And they’re, they sort of have this story, but there’s not, like, there are holes in it or you just know it’s straight up not true. And it helps them like build trust and like that no, like, and trust factor that we talk about, but it’s just like, it’s not rooted.
In fact, it’s kind of used to manipulate you to make a decision. So the alternative to that are to like share your real story, to be vulnerable and helpful, but like don’t like over exaggerating your story to connect with people more or make it seem like, you know, things were worse off.
Megan: Yeah. And I just wanted to add on that too. Like, one way to, you know, share your story and to share, kind of that validity in your story is to show examples like from your past, if you have screenshots or you have photos or, you know, before and after type thing, like. Those can be so powerful when you show people that like, Hey, I actually was here, like, here was my, you know, whatever you’re trying to show, like before and after.
But yeah, like being so truthful is, is so, so important. And, you know, ethical marketing in my opinion.
So the other bro marketing tactic that we wanna talk about is false scarcity. So, This is when you say like, basically there is only two days left to join this program when in reality you will continue to take people after that.
Maybe you open the cart and then close the cart. But like if you’re saying you’re gonna close the cart and you don’t actually close the cart, that’s false scarcity. So you really want to make sure that you are. basically being legit with your offers and you know, when you say you’re gonna close the card or you say you’re gonna close the door on a program – like actually don’t let anyone else in until the next launch.
Lauren: Yeah. I think it also like, there’s just something inside of you, especially if you’re like launching or showing up in, in a way, in your marketing, right? Like if you’re going live and you’re talking about, well, are the doors closed tomorrow? And in your head, you know, that’s not true. It’s like it’s gonna, something’s gonna be disconnected, people aren’t gonna buy it, it’s gonna seem slimy.
So like actually setting those boundaries or those rules or whatever they are for your business and sticking to them means you can go out there and sell your program and be like, yes, the doors are closing tomorrow and there’s an actual reason to inspire people to.
Megan: Yeah. And like one thing with that too, like especially if your program has some kind of like live element, obviously you don’t wanna be like taking people in like mid-program or like that looks kind of weird and kind of sketchy.
So you know, always thinking about like, what are the elements of your program? Do they need a timeline attached to them? And like really sticking to that.
Lauren: Yeah. I think the same thing can go for like products too. Like sometimes you’ll be like, oh, it’s gonna sell out soon. Like, hopefully, it will. Or do you have a garage full of this stuff and you’re just desperate, like, then do a two-for-one sale, do a limited-time sale.
Like there are ways to move product without sort of saying things that are just not true because again, it’s, there’s gonna be a disconnect in how you are showing up.
So another bro marketing tactic is to make people feel bad. And I hate this one. You read it and it’s like exactly what makes people hate copywriters, hate marketers in general.
That’s like anything that like, makes you feel like you’re not good enough. It’s like body shaming, all the weight loss stuff, diet, culture, and the list goes on and on. So instead of making people feel bad, use your words, use your messaging to motivate and inspire, instead of focusing on the negatives.
Megan: Yeah. That bro marketing tactic is so, so common amongst, marketers. And I think it’s like, it’s interesting to kind of like walk that fine line between, like there’s obviously, we talk about like pain points in marketing and stuff like that, but there’s a difference between like talking about pain points and like really like abusing that to like make somebody feels bad.
Lauren: Yeah. And I’m glad you brought up the pain point thing because a lot of times, like if it’s at the pain point and you’re. Pushing on it, but then not like offering a real solution or not being at like every, I I’m big on like empathy there, where it’s like, this sucks right now, but you know what, so many people go through this and we’ve helped people do this and blah.
And just sort of like that instead of like, you’re all alone, you’re, you know, suffering or whatever your problem is. Using that empathy in there can really help take away from the manipulative side of it.
Megan: Yeah. And so the next bro marketing tactic that we wanna talk about is any kind of like, get-rich-quick type promises. So like if you see somebody that says like, make a hundred thousand dollars in the next 30 days or in the next 24 hours. If it seems too good to be true, it’s probably not real. So the alternative to this would be to set realistic goals.
So like, you know, talk about like how you can make six figures in the next year or so, going back to the weight loss thing, like maybe you can lose weight over time, over a set longer period of time so that it’s more sustainable. But just think about like, if you see one of those things, like, and it seems too good to be true, like it most likely is a scam.
Lauren: Yeah. And another bro marketing tactic is like any sort of high-pressure tactic that just kind of, You know, sales is a lot about, about tension, right? And so sometimes we, you know, salespeople will put on something to just kind of make you squirm a little bit. And that’s not always a bad thing, but if it’s really like coming from a bad place or really sort of like upsetting you emotionally, take a step back.
Take a moment and like figure out what’s going on in your mind. And that’s, some of these things are like, , they tell you to like, get the credit card right away. Like, don’t get off the phone until you get a credit card. This is sort of like, really those used car salesman tactics that we hear about.
They’ll make you feel like if you don’t do this right now, you’re gonna, you’re gonna lose out on everything, right? Your life is gonna get terrible if you don’t, you know, buy this thing or join this thing. What I like to do, especially on a sales page or where we’re.
Trying to get somebody to make a decision is to put the power in the buyer’s hands, right? If you feel called to join us, you know, right now you can change your life. Join us today, or whatever. It’s just something to like motivate and inspire versus manipulate. I think that’s kind of like the common theme here.
Megan: Yeah, I had a coach once that essentially was encouraging our group to like get on sales calls and like take the person’s credit card number ourselves, like over the phone. And I was like thinking to myself like the entire time, like, I don’t want that responsibility. What happens if something happens to that person’s credit card information?
And I’m like, held liable. Like I just don’t want that responsibility. So, definitely stay away from that.
The other bro marketing tactic that I wanted to talk about is any kind of sexist undertone. So most of the time, this is not like super in your face, but there’s just something about it that like, makes you feel like kind of icky and gross.
So like, if you can avoid any kind of, those undertones, like just avoid it at all costs. Do your research, know your target audience, like know their triggers and stuff like that. And you know, just be conscious of that, like when you are putting together your messaging.
Lauren: Yeah, I think this goes on to our next point too, and that’s like really cringey metaphors. know, I’m doing a lot of sales training right now, and this is where a lot of this episode came from, but like somebody the other day was like talking about like closing as in like when you’re, you know, trying to sleep with somebody and I was just like, oh my God, this is killing me right now.
So like, anytime it’s like, like this, that one is both right? That’s sexist and it’s a terrible metaphor. I also see like, violent metaphors a lot. You know, this is war, take no prisoners, or like rap music metaphors… again, if it’s your audience, that’s fine. That’s appropriate. The example I’m thinking of here was not necessarily appropriate, or like there were a million other places, you could have found some metaphors. So just like think twice about that kind of thing. If you default towards war metaphors, that might not be the best thing depending on your audience.
So use those sparingly. Also, sometimes I will use them for humor, right? Like if I’m talking about. Fake lashes or something. These are your take. No prisoners. Lashes. But that’s obviously like a joke and everybody’s in on it. So just sort of think about, you know, your words have power, and if somebody might be like, eh, this is kinda uncomfortable, think twice about using it.
All right, well, that’s our take on bro marketing. We hope you are feeling inspired, torn towards the light and avoid all these bro marketing tactics that we just talked about. So thank you so much for listening. Until next time, stay sparkly.
About The Your Sparkly Brand Podcast
Your Sparkly Brand is a podcast for badass, game-changing business owners who aren’t afraid to sparkle and stand out. We’re all about fighting the status quo in marketing and branding so you can reach more people and make more money. Coaches, creatives, and thought leaders — here you’ll discover how to become magnetic AF so you can build and scale a Sparkly Empire.
Is there a topic you’d like us to cover in an upcoming episode? Are you a business owner who wants to join us on the podcast to share your story? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Find Lauren at laurentassiagency.com or on Instagram
Connect with Megan at megangersch.com, on TikTok and Instagram