Open any social app and you’re sure to find posts from friends and brands you love with amazing photos and well-crafted copy.
Today’s age of scrolling has given us so many new ways to connect and communicate, yet it has also contributed to the rise in narcissism. And that’s not healthy, personally or professionally.
Narcissism, very simply defined, is a person’s excessive self-interest and admiration. 1 in 200 people qualify as having narcissistic personality disorder, yet just about everyone—yes, even you—has exhibited some of these traits thanks (and spanks) to social media.
Whether you are interrupting your vacation to post pictures during vacation, or posting about why your business is so great on social media, I find too many people get social media wrong because too many are trying to emulate influencers.
Not all narcissistic traits are bad. It’s the unhealthy behaviors like arrogance, entitlement and lack of empathy that’s bad for your brand.
You may not claim to be a narcissist, but your marketing strategy might say otherwise.
It’s time to take your marketing strategy from selfish to selfless.
Selfless versus selfish marketing
Too often, I see leaders become engrossed in chasing likes and views, narcissistic behaviors unknowingly creeping in and distorting the image they believe is being projected.
Sharing relevant, valuable, helpful, educational content (selfless) before self-interests (selfish) is the way to build loyalty and a positive reputation.
Your marketing should be purposeful and service-centric, a less-is-more approach: Less in service to your brand and more to educate and inspire your customers and people looking for answers.
Get over yourself
If you’re obsessed with your website and social media are constantly criticizing or in quest for perfection, do yourself a favor and get over yourself.
Yes, it’s healthy to have a professionally designed website and photography. But it’s unhealthy to constantly tweak page copy or have what I call “compare despair” always whining that some other leader or brand is doing more with social media than you are.
Websites and digital channels are important, but focus your effort on solving problems and not staring longingly at your reflection like Narcissus.
Think before you post
Highly intentional leaders want to be in service to clients. They want to be visible and attract clients who are also smart: who might read something on their site, or blog, or watch a video and feel like they were helped.
Versus posting frequently, post when you have something important to say. If you post too much, you may set the tone that you’re on social all the time, which may send a message of desperation or full-of-yourself-ness.
Just be aware of how you come across to your audience because that’s who you’re going to attract.
Every approach to sharing is different. At the end of the day, what you put out there should be to educate and inform—not for the thrill of the like.
Take feedback differently
If you feel offended or insulted if your posts don’t get enough response or if you have not-so-positive feedback from a client or an online review, hold up before you respond.
Instead of making it about your self-image, note these moments as a chance to learn and make things right. For many of our clients, we look at the most popular posts and least-responded-to posts of the month and learn from what people liked and didn’t.
And if you have a negative review, rather than shifting to defense and lashing out, really listen to what is being said. Dig deep into the why. You’ll make the right impression that speaks louder than any yelling could.
Don’t put others down to build yourself up
In my post, the power of positivity in marketing, I highlight the importance of taking a can-do approach. Success comes in CANs, failure comes in CANTs.
Narcissists are overly critical of others because of feelings of shame and insecurity.
Don’t talk down the competition. And never, use fear, guilt, or shame to get clients in. Putting down customers by telling them things they’re doing wrong will eat away at your reputation.
Listen to your gut
Is your marketing agency’s strategy for your brand feeling more selfish than selfless? If so, it’s time to pivot.
Do your vendors use tactics that make you feel uncomfortable? Talk about it with them.
Are you finding yourself being lured by partners who make you feel bad to win your business? Chances are they may not be the right fit for you.
Simple marketing Rx
To avoid narcissistic marketing, do this:
Put your customers’ needs first.
Simple as that, this will help avoid defaulting to narcissistic marketing tendencies to drive business.