Written by: Christine Hansen, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
When I started my first business in 2016, the online business market was swamped with what is now called bro marketing.
Now, if you have never come across the term, then here are some definitions for you:
noun. bro·mar·ket·ing \ ˈbrō-mär-kə-tiŋ 📘 Definition: Ego-driven marketing—it's a philosophy that reveals itself in self-serving, short-sighted, toxic business tactics. To be very clear, this thing I call “Bro-Marketing” is not based on anyone's gender, use of slang, or luxury car ownership.
1. masculine approach to marketing that manipulates human psychological triggers to compel a desired action (usually a purchase)
2. uses false scarcity, short deadlines, overinflated promises, complicated funnels, blueprints, and a constant cycle of launches
3. created by men for men, but also used by women who disguise their Bro’ Marketing tactics with feminine touches such as pink “flat lay” images and glittery, metallic flourishes
4. so pervasive it’s widely thought of as “marketing.”
Bro-Marketing can be summed up simply as: Aspiration marketing using inflated imagery or statements to present a desirable future or unmissable value.
In a nutshell, sales were pushed through pressure, tactical funnels, FOMO, price stacking, quite aggressive and pushy arguments, and speed.
It was, and still is, impressive, don’t get me wrong, and as a newbie, it was so easy to get sucked into that vortex.
The testimonials, the promises, the “proof” was just too tempting to resist. It was all about making the most money in the shortest amount of time, and it was (and often still is) so convincing.
But here is the thing, most of it was just not true. You could do it all but here is the truth: it always takes time! So what often happened was people investing highly, sometimes recklessly, and expecting the promised results in time to restock their finances, and when that didn’t happen — heartache, panic, disillusionment.
I was talking about the subject with a friend recently. She told me how she was at a webinar of a “bro marketer” who took questions from his new clients. One candidate admitted how she had spent 5-figure on everything he had taught her BUT she didn’t have a single audience member yet. She had it all stacked on Facebook Ads, the magical tool he had promised would deliver instantly.
This person had literally spent all her savings because she believed the sales promise. And why wouldn’t she? Why would anyone lie? (Btw there were men in the same situation).
It happened to me too — multiple times. And it wasn’t just bros. Women marketed that way too. And the worst of it all made you want to market the same way even if it completely went against your gut feeling.
That is because it had such a male energy versus a feminine energy that is a lot calmer, often more slow and patient, graceful... completely different.
Neither one or the other is working on its own. You need to balance both. But here, the feminine was completely left out.
So how can you avoid bro marketing keeping you from selling in integrity?
1. The first step is to investigate whether you are actually suffering bro marketing trauma.
I see this happening with my clients all the time, and what I mean by that is that when we have become victims of this strategy. Afterward, we are often so disillusioned, ashamed, and hence traumatized that we keep ourselves from doing the same at all costs.
And that often means selling at all—no matter at what price points.
It keeps us from showing up online. It keeps us from talking and promoting our offers, and most often, it keeps us from charging decent price tags because if we do, aren’t we the same as “them” then? (Newsflash: no we are not)
If you recognize your own experience here, then you have some work to do to overcome this and move on gracefully. This can be done through coaching, journaling, and other personal development resources.
2. The second step is to slow down the pace.
Bro marketing often works well because it promises speed. It trains us to act quickly, and why there is absolutely something to be said to make decisions rapidly, there is a huge difference between quick and confident versus quick and in panic mode.
Too many business owners bend and twist to please their clients. No matter which clients. Desperation and neediness start to creep in, and suddenly you only attract nightmare clients, and you undercharge, and they demand overserving. It is not a good place to be in.
So slow down. Remember your value and trust that when you communicate honestly versus false promises, the right people will connect with you.
3. Remember how amazing you are.
We often forget our achievements. So keep them close by. Screenshot compliments about your work on social media, in private messages, in your inbox and whenever you feel panic coming or pull them out, have a look and remember.
Being gentle with yourself and selling out of service, with patience, clarity, and making sure that the client is right for YOU and not only you for them will help you make sales easy, fun, and beautiful.
It also helps to have someone to remind you of our successes and your awesomeness. A good coach will help you be in alignment, overcome past trauma and create a business you will love instead of a monster that isn’t even you.
If this resonates with you, feel absolutely welcome to reach out to me and let me know how I can help.
Christine Hansen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Christine Hansen is an award-winning business coach & consultant for online entrepreneurs who want to embrace their inner lazy, profit like a pro, and add philanthropist to their list of credentials—without ever undercharging or feeling like they have to be anyone but themselves again.
She combines hardcore strategy with lush personal development so that entrepreneurs can build and scale businesses that are still soul-aligned all the way.
With 10+ years as a sought-after TedX France and keynote speaker, Christine’s work is featured in Forbes, Business Insider, National Geographic, and more.
Having built two successful online businesses herself, Christine found out the hard way—like losing money on sketchy business investments and ruined “put your damn laptop away!” vacation moments—that most entrepreneurs are closer to burnout than they are to reaching 6-figures. (And they’re still worrying, “Am I overcharging?!”)
Christine is famous for sharing cautionary tales from the trenches, tell-it-like-it-is tips, her all-time go-to (no-brainer) tech tools she uses to get twice as much done in half the time, and gushing her best secrets to help you bust past your blind spots, be true to yourself, and breakthrough to 6-figures in under a year...all while donating to charity, taking vacations every 6 weeks, and spoiling yourself with something nice on a very regular basis.