Let me start by saying this is NOT a judge-y post! I want to share MY struggle and at the end, I really want to hear your perspectives too!
To be clear
I am NOT saying that no-one should go out on Black Friday and make purchases. Clearly there are bargains to be had, and if it’s something you need, or you have waited for, or plain have expendable income you want to, then knock yourself out! It’s your life and I am certainly no queen of financial planning AND I love a good bargain, so there is NO judgement here! (Just don’t rub it in when you get that killer shoe deal, ok? A girl has limits!)
That said, consumer magazine Which had a good hard look at the ‘bargains’ and here’s a brief summary: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42050642
I’m in business, and I’m predominantly in online business, and Black Friday is a great big fat payday if you work it right.
Yet every year, I struggle with it. Call it over-functioning, if you will, but I know I’m not the only one who finds themselves going:
I MUST buy ALL the courses because they’re on sale at this awesome price… I mean, courses that I’d never normally look at, and that I’ll NEVER actually open, but that are ‘such good value’ that I should buy them now before I miss out and kick myself forever!
See the FOMO (‘fear of missing out’)?
And herein lies my ambivalence.
REASON 1: I want my clients to BENEFIT, not just BUY
I KNOW my courses and classes work. I obsessively keep adding to, tweaking and adjusting them as I go along, so they are ever more effective, easy to follow and can help ever more people access and USE them.
That’s the point though. I want people to BENEFIT and that drives me far harder than the buzz when they BUY.* They BUY buzz comes because I know the BENEFIT they can get- THAT excites me.
Reason 2: I don’t want to inflict FOMO on others
I do offers, of course I do. And they have clearly defined time limits, as they should. Because, I don’t know about you, but even when I KNOW something is going to help me and I want it and am ready for it, I still need a few reminders and a deadline to actually get on with it!
That’s one thing, but there’s something about the heightened spending frenzy encouraged around Black Friday that I am reticent to add to.
I know that FOMO is a torture to me around this time of year, because I do love a bargain!
But is it such a bargain if I didn’t even know it existed until this ‘amazing’ offer hit my inbox or Facebook feed?
Do I really need it? Or am I trying to make some part of me feel better with a little retail therapy and the associated endorphins it releases?
So this year… here’s what I want to offer:
I’m not adding to the scrum. OF COURSE this means I’m missing out on sales. And perhaps I’m missing out on sales to people who’re ready and want to take one of my courses.
If that’s you and you had been wanting to take a class and hoping for a special offer- message me and I’ll create a discount coupon for you, with pleasure. Just email me by 10pm Sunday 26th Nov 2017 (GMT) and I’ll sort that out for you.
But if you didn’t already hope to take one of my classes, then I hope you’ll read this as a place to catch your breath and not be sold anything today, other than that it’s ok NOT to buy anything today.
Perhaps you’re resisting the lure of shopping or are in all-out rejection of it. No worries.
Or perhaps you’re reading this and the endorphins are already fading, and that ‘must-have’ purchase doesn’t seem so essential already.
If that’s you, please please don’t shame yourself. We all do the best we can and there’s a reason why there are so many marketing professionals out there getting great money for what they do- it works! I’m far from immune and can point to times when FOMO has certainly overtaken me.
You may want to return what you bought, or perhaps it’s a lesson? That’s for you to define, but if you know that these offers get the best of you, then you are empowered to do something about it- to limit their influence or to give them boundaries.
- Unsubscribe from marketing emails- it won’t kill you, you can still look on the websites when there’s something you need
- Turn off social media
- Delete cookies from your computer… you know how you look at a pair of boots, for example, and then for days after you see ads for those boots when you’re on Facebook etc.? That’s called ‘retargeting’ and so as I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong marketers!), when you delete the cookies, you should be quietening at least some of that temptation down.
- Write a list of what you actually need / have budget for. If it’s not on the list, it’s not a bargain. It’s only a bargain if it’s something you actually need!
Wrestling with ambivalence
I will keep wrestling with this one, because I want to help you guys in the best ways I know how… and I realise that to do that, sometimes it may be that what might be most helpful for you might NOT be what is best / most helpful for me! That’s when I have to make a choice about who I want to be.
I’m not saying I’ll not offer Back Friday deals in future as my wrestling and reasoning continues and develops, but for TODAY, for where my understanding is at RIGHT NOW, if I were to do anything different than what I am, I would be going against what I stand for. That doesn’t mean that I won’t engage differently with Black Friday even next year- I’m always going to keep learning and growing and finding ways to serve so of course that will change, but today I am sitting in my ambivalence and I’m ok with that.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this- do you like all the offers? Do you save specifically for Black Friday shopping? Am I mad to miss out on sales? Or do you avoid commercialism where you can? Have you changed your attitude to Black Friday over the years?
I would love to hear your perspectives! Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
* Money is a tool and I’m never going to deny that I want more of it so I can use more of it to help more people, but that’s NOTHING to watching people get free of mental shackles that have been holding them back, watching them grow in happiness and confidence… all while knowing I am doing what God put me on this earth to do. THAT is a buzz.