Most ‘Guru’ Marketing Programs Won’t Work For You — Here’s Why

I’m not advocating that you should toss everything out the window. Reinventing the wheel is not smart.

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve probably purchased online training courses and programs. And if you’re anything like me, a majority of them are sitting on your hard drive collecting dust.

You may have also implemented a good portion of the ‘guru’ marketing advice you’ve received. The problem: you’re not getting results.

The good news is that you’re not alone. The even better news is that you don’t have to completely toss those systems out of the window. You can make them work for you.

Here’s a revealing look at why some of those guru marketing courses have put you in a pickle.


1. You’re marketing message is all over the place.

Many online marketing programs don’t take into account who you are and what truly matters to you. One-size-fits-all marketing strategies and tactics can limit how we express our values and brand. If your image, tone and personality doesn’t match the course creator you’ll feel misaligned.

If you aren’t fully convinced by your message, how can you expect others to buy into it?


Photo: © Yeko Photo Studio, YFS Magazine
Photo: © Yeko Photo Studio, YFS Magazine

When you worry about whether you are doing or saying the right things instead of letting your brand personality shine through, your message falls flat and it’s not convincing.

One of the challenges with these systems, especially for multi-talented entrepreneurs, is that they often assume you operate in a cut-and-dry niche. However, for many creative entrepreneurs magic happens when ideas, skills and tools come together. Stepping into a box is limiting and frustrating.

So the result is a mixed pot …  a random message derived from bits and pieces of incongruent information they learned from various trainings. Instead of communicating one cohesive message they appear like a jack (or jane) of all trades.

In order to make online programs work for you, you’ll need to find the golden thread that ties all that you do into a cohesive narrative.

Take a step back to understand the principles behind the strategies and tactics to make them work for you.


2. You’re forgetting that relevance is the name of the game.

They don’t take into account your personal style or how your ideal clients want to be communicated to and interacted with

Many coaches and consultants I work with do really well when they’re making connections with clients and can tailor their approach. However, when it comes to marketing, 

the final copy and content fails to make meaningful connections with their ideal clients.

Words that aren’t backed by emotion and conviction are just noise. It just doesn’t strike a cord.


Photo: © katie_martynova, YFS Magazine
Photo: © katie_martynova, YFS Magazine

Many of those templates and checklists are filled with generic jargon that is too superficial and not relatable for many audiences (unless you’re talking to the academic crowd).

Ask yourself, “Am I using too many buzzwords and jargon? If so, do I sound like everyone else?”

Whether intentionally or not, many guru systems encourage conformity and imply that if you don’t follow the systems to a T you will not succeed.

 (And don’t get me started on those “five minutes of fame” coaching calls with no context.)

Don’t waste precious time, money and energy on busywork.

 Don’t feel like a lack of big words means you’re not good enough, or “expert” enough.


3. You’re not creating a holistic marketing plan.

Most of the time, online trainings are focused on one specific topic. You’ll download a blueprint for Facebook marketing, another on writing a book and a checklist for Instagram fame.

Essentially, you’ll grab a strategy here and a tactic there, and then string them together without considering how they come together with synergy. Without an overarching marketing plan, many creative entrepreneurs fail to create a cohesive narrative that communicates their relevance and highlight their strengths.

Even worst, they sound like schizo from one platform to the next. As a result, you’re doing a lot of busywork as you chase bright shiny objects. Worst of all you’re wasting precious time, energy and money!

To make the pieces fit together design a plan to nail your core message, tap into your strengths and speak to your value.


I’m not advocating that you should toss everything out the window. Reinventing the wheel is not smart. But you gotta start with your unique superpowers that drive the expression of your marketing, instead of letting the tools and tactics drive your message.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Ling Wong is an Intuitive Brainiac | Copywriting Alchemist. Through her unique blend of business and marketing coaching with a mindset and psychic twist, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate and transform their why into content that connects, resonates and converts – by way of her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.

 Get her brand new website copy alchemy video here. Connect with @slideberry on Twitter.


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