The Type Of Marketing That Does The Human Good – Shamelessly Ambitious Episode 121

Filed in Business Strategy, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Development, Podcast, Sales Psychology — September 26, 2023

As an entrepreneur and a therapeutic business coach, I have always felt a deep responsibility towards the way I market my business. More than that, how my presence affects other humans. My journey has been marked by a commitment to ethical practices and a determination to make a positive impact on the lives of those I reach. The ethics of marketing and the shift from pain point marketing to possibility marketing is crucial…

The Importance of Ethical Marketing

Marketing is a powerful tool that can either uplift or harm people. It’s a double-edged sword that we must wield with care. For me, the ethics of marketing have always been intertwined with my role as a human (&& therapist) first and a business coach second. As a therapist, I took an oath to “do no harm,” and this principle guides every aspect of my work, including marketing.

Client behavior is shaped by countless marketing messages every day & as leaders and mentors, we must consider the human impact of our actions. This means finding a balance between self-expression and being mindful of how we influence others. It’s not about being a people-pleaser, but rather about ensuring that our marketing leaves a positive mark on people’s lives.

The Problem with Pain Point Marketing

For years, pain point marketing has been the norm, taught as an effective way to draw people into our offers. This type of marketing highlights the problems, negativity, and pain that potential clients may be experiencing and positions our services as the solution. While this approach may seem effective on the surface, it has some ethical and psychological drawbacks… 

Pain point marketing often triggers negative emotional responses and dysregulates the nervous system. It can make people feel inadequate, alone, or even ashamed. Picture this — Someone is having a great day, feeling high-vibe and motivated, then they stumble upon your Instagram post that points out all the things that are supposedly “wrong” with them. Suddenly, they feel like a failure, and they associate those negative feelings with the brand responsible for the message… you.

The Transition to Possibility Marketing

So, what’s the alternative? I’m proposing the concept of “possibility marketing.” Instead of dwelling on the pain and problems, we focus on painting a picture of what’s possible when someone engages with our product or service. Here’s some examples…

If You’re a Money Coach:

Imagine how amazing you would feel if you knew exactly where your money was going every month. You had investments on automation, clarity, and empowerment in managing your finances. This is the possibility we offer.

If You’re a Copywriter:

Picture having a website that instantly connects with your ideal clients, making them hit the buy button with confidence and clarity. This is the possibility we create.

If You’re a Business Coach:

Envision having a personalized and individualized long-term strategy that adapts as your brand grows and the industry changes. This is the possibility we provide.

You see, when we shift to possibility marketing we encourage our audience to see themselves benefiting from our solutions instead of dysregulating their nervous systems.

The Power of Vulnerability

Now, there can be a time and place to talk about “pain” — but it’s all about relatability and vulnerability. Rather than telling people what they feel, share your own experiences and struggles. Allow them the opportunity to self-identify with your story and invite them to relate. This creates a genuine connection.

For instance, when I was promoting my program about money, I shared my own journey through financial challenges, bankruptcy, and the steps I took to change my money mindset. By sharing my story and inviting others to self-identify, I created a relatable and authentic connection rather than a dysregulated nervous system response.

The Olfactory Effect of Marketing

Marketing isn’t just about words, it’s about triggering emotions and memories. Our brain has an olfactory nerve that connects scent and memory. My mom has a very particular perfume and whenever I smell something similar on another person, I automatically think of her. Similarly, marketing can create associations and trigger reactions in the minds of our audience. If they associate our brand with negativity, they may actively avoid our content because their brain is telling them we are unsafe.

A Call for Ethical Marketing

I’m here to say that ethical marketing is about more than just selling products or services. It’s about connecting with people on a human level and leaving a positive impact. When we embrace possibility marketing we inspire, empower, and uplift our audience. We become a beacon of hope and a source of motivation.

So, I encourage you to remember the human on the other side of the screen. How you make them feel truly matters. We all desire to be seen as humans, and ethical marketing allows us to achieve this.

Show your audience what’s possible, and let your marketing be a force for good, leaving a lasting, positive impact on those you serve. && If you’re looking to simplify your social media strategy while remaining ethically grounded, I invite you to explore my program, POTENT. For just $97, you’ll gain access to a wealth of knowledge on creating a magnetic social media presence that really aligns with your values.

Thanks for joining me on this journey towards ethical marketing and the endless possibilities it brings.

xx, Ash


Building a business without restraint because big bold moves equals big bold results

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Ash McDonald is a 3 time founder and multi 6-figure CEO. She’s a therapist turned business mentor that helps female founders scale their legacy with a psych-backed, human-first approach. She studied at the University of Northern Colorado where she received her BA in Sociology and holds 2 masters degrees from the University of Colorado Denver in Counseling Psychology & Sociology. 

Before stepping into full-time CEO, Ash ran a private practice where she served and helped patients for 4 years. During this time, she also provided consulting & business strategy to other aspiring private practice therapists. After closing her practice she continued her entrepreneurial journey in the network marketing space - successfully owning & operating two separate six figure companies. During her 7 years in network marketing, she spoke on stages in front of thousands, traveled around the world to consult with other business owners, and established herself as an industry leader. 

In 2019 Ash founded her online coaching & consulting business that she’s spent the last 4 years building into the empire that is Ash McDonald, LLC today. Best known for her therapy-backed approach – Ash merges sales psychology, therapy and strategy to help female founders create soul-aligned businesses and scale their legacy. 

She believes that being bold enough to build a business takes so much more than strategy and perfectly timed schedules. It takes tapping into your humanness, being willing to hold space for your dreams and the space for the people you serve, while addressing your own emotional intelligence, sense of safety and expanded nourishment. She believes that every woman is layered & individually unique and therefore requires a personalized & multidimensional approach of coaching. With this strategy, she’s successfully helped hundreds of women establish their brand identity and find their voice, build offer suites that are in complete alignment and scale their businesses to new heights. 

Ash McDonald is your coach's coach…or at least you hope she is. 

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