If you’ve ever been made to feel inadequate by marketers who use jet planes and ferraris to grow their audience, then listen up. Flashing the cash is not the way to create a community. The key to successful marketing is to create a message that you really believe in, and it has to run deeper than money.
What is Bro Marketing?
“Hey bro, wanna make a million dollars?”
I’m almost certain that this phrase conjures up some very specific images in your mind: a guy with a six pack pushing himself out of the pool, doing doughnuts in his ferrari or stepping onto a private jet (that, in all honesty, he probably just rented for an hour.)
Social media apps like Instagram and TikTok have given rise to what I call “bro marketers”: guys – and girls – who sell their courses and programs by flaunting their wealth. Their message is money, plain and simple..
It’s Not What It Seems
Social media is a lot of smoke and mirrors. The truth is, anyone can rent an expensive car for a day or an AirBnb mansion for a weekend.
Similarly, a lot of people don’t realise that it’s possible to buy your way into Forbes magazine. Many business coaches and marketing gurus show off about being featured in Forbes. What their followers don’t realise that this is not the amazing accreditation they’ve been led to believe.
In fact, research by The Outline found that many brands out there buy their way into the press. The old adage of “don’t believe everything you read” certainly rings true here.
But Doesn’t Everyone Want to Make Money?
For a long time, I used to beat myself up about my inability to do this kind of marketing. Technically, I could do it, but I would never, ever feel comfortable. Bro marketing is inauthentic to me and I would never stick at it long term.
You too might be looking at bro marketers and thinking “I can’t do that.” Again, it’s not that you can’t do it, but that you won’t do it. It’s not attuned to who you are. That’s not a failing of yours. In fact, I would even call it a strength.
As bro marketers began to flood the internet, I decided not to talk about creating a million pound firm. However, my clients do end up creating amazing and lucrative businesses. I’ve certainly taken clients from 200k per year to a million or more, but that’s not what I lead with – and it never will be.
If you look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, money is very close to the bottom. Money equals security. It’s a basic need. Bro marketers are speaking to the bottom of the pyramid.
Community, freedom, strength and self-esteem all sit higher up on the pyramid than money. If you can develop a message that speaks to these higher human needs and says something more than “look at my jet” then you will be able to build a community that shares in your mission.
Yes, people want nice houses and fancy cars but more than that, they want to belong and to believe in something. If you have a meaningful message to share with the world, you will be able to create a far bigger movement with that than by posing next to a flashy car.
Building a Movement
The thing is, I actually do have a nice car and a lifestyle that I very much enjoy. No private jet just yet, but maybe someday.
However, I know that accountants and bookkeepers couldn’t care less about the car I drive or the size of my house.
They care about my mission: uplevelling the accounting and bookkeeping industry.
I don’t do what I do to make bucket loads of cash. I do it because I am tired of seeing accountants and bookkeepers being underappreciated and commoditised when there is so much value within their services.
Yes, I do specialise in helping accountants and bookkeepers earn more profits, land higher value clients and build better practices but that’s all part and parcel of my bigger mission to uplevel the profession.
I know that if we can get every single accountant, bookkeeper, outsourced CFO and financial coach believing in themselves and charging what they’re worth, the impact will be huge. These professionals have the power to transform so many businesses and lives around the world. It only takes a few people to change the trajectory of an entire profession.
This is what gets me out of bed every morning. This is why I’ve been able to build an online community and help thousands of accountants through my programs.
I didn’t reach them by promising them millions in the bank. I did it by showing up and sharing my message every single day – and I was only able to do that because I believe in it 100%.
In order to successfully market your accounting or bookkeeping practice, you need to show up day in, day out and share your message.
It’s fine to feel nervous about showing up at first, but if you feel disingenuous whilst doing so, you will never, ever stick at it.
Never in a million years will I find the desire to prance around on TikTok. If that was how I chose to show up every day, I wouldn’t get very far. That style of marketing is not authentic to me, and it never will be. I would find excuse after excuse not to do it each day and my audience would be nonexistent.
Unless money is the only thing you’re after – and if you’re reading this article, I doubt that very much – bro marketing won’t get you anywhere.
Don’t let your reluctance to join the rank of bro marketers make you feel small. In fact, that’s exactly what they want! These marketers want to make you feel inadequate so that you’ll buy their course and learn how to be just like them.
My advice would be to tune them out. Focus on crafting and sharing a message that you genuinely believe in, and that appeals to a higher purpose than simply earning money.
When you’re out there sharing the right message, the right people will follow along. The people who only care about swimming in cash are not the people you are trying to help. Leave them to the bro marketers and focus on speaking to your ideal client.
Remember that self-actualisation (which is a fancy way of saying achieving one’s full potential) sits at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy, not a vast fortune. Creating a community of prospects who want to better themselves and their businesses is enormously powerful.
I’m not saying that money doesn’t matter, but it’s not the only thing that matters, or the thing that matters most. It’s a means to an end.
For me, helping accountants and bookkeepers to generate more profit is part of the larger goal of uplevelling their practices, and therefore the profession as a whole. It’s not the end goal in itself, and so it’s not what I lead with.
As an accountant or bookkeeper, it’s important that you present yourself as VITAL:
Lucrative is part of being VITAL but it’s not the entire picture. You’re not just helping your clients make more money – you’re helping them to be better and do better. You’re bringing them into a community that’s rallied around the same mission. What bro marketers don’t realise is that there are things more valuable than money, and that is where your opportunities lie.