Pain versus Pleasure – A Reframe of Using Pain in Your Marketing

If you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, you’ve probably heard that you need to use pain in your marketing if you want to be successful (more specifically, you need to put your ideal client’s pain in your marketing materials).

And if you’re also like a good number of entrepreneurs (particularly conscious, heart-centered ones) you’re probably uncomfortable using pain in your marketing and would rather just focus on the pleasure or transformation.

Well, I’d like to give you a different way of looking at using pain in your marketing. I feel like it’s a disservice to your ideal clients to NOT use pain in your marketing.

Here’s why.

Pain adds urgency. If you only talk about the pleasure/transformation/the promised land, people won’t feel all that compelled to actually move forward NOW. Instead, they’ll think it’s a nice idea (or maybe even a GREAT idea), and once they have more time/more money/when the kids go back to school/when the kids are home from school/next month/etc. they’ll be all over getting your product or program or service. (Not.)

For better or worse, we’re wired to focus more attention on getting rid of our pain than moving from feeling good to feeling great. And one of the main reasons why that is, is our pain is there to protect us — back in our caveman days, pain meant there was a problem. And that problem could kill us (so we took it pretty seriously).

So if you don’t use pain in your marketing (and what I mean by using pain is you just touch on it since touching on it is really all you have to do — you just need to spend enough time on it to remind folks why they’re on your site to begin with) then you’re doing your ideal clients a disservice, because you’re letting them off the hook.

You’re giving them a reason not to move forward with you right this minute — which usually means they’re never moving forward with you. And you know (and I know) if they don’t end up working with you, they may never realize their full potential.

I feel like in some respects, the marketing/selling process needs to mirror the transformation process. When people are transforming, they sometimes need to come face-to-face with whatever blocks or issues are holding them back and either get through them or transform them. It’s messy, it’s unpleasant but it’s necessary. And the same thing needs to happen when they’re deciding to move forward with you. Their blocks WILL come up, because their blocks are there for a reason and they aren’t going to go away without some help. So if you don’t give them the space in your marketing materials to wrestle with their blocks (and hopefully come out on top) how on earth can you possibly expect them to be successful after they hired you?

The other mindset shift I’d like to offer you is rather than thinking in terms of pain (which is painful) why don’t you think about it as “what’s keeping them up at night?” Because something IS keeping them up at night, and if you can communicate with your ideal prospects that you totally “get” what’s keeping them up at night, AND you have the solution so they can get a good night’s sleep, it doesn’t feel like you’re necessarily bringing up pain. Instead, you’re just communicating to your ideal prospects you “get” why they can’t sleep at night.

And if you do that, you’ll be that much closer to helping your ideal prospects get the transformation they’re dreaming of.

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3 thoughts on “Pain versus Pleasure – A Reframe of Using Pain in Your Marketing

  1. Pamela Jacob

    Great article. We are honestly solving a problem that they may have. That is a service.

    If the person who is doing the marketing does not believe in the product they are selling it will never work. So find what you love – and make it happen by solving problems

    Thanks for the article

  2. Michele PW Post author

    That’s a lovely way of putting it — you’re honestly solving a problem and if you need to believe in the product or marketing it won’t work. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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