Emily Aborn Content Copywriting and Consulting Services

How to Stop People-Pleasing in Your Marketing

Today’s episode starts with a short story about a pair of (expensive) pants I didn’t even really want in the first place… 

People-pleasing has no place in our lives and it can get in the way of sharing authentically and honestly in our businesses too! 

Like ice cream, people-pleasing comes in different flavors and varieties. 

The various types of people-pleasing may manifest similarly but with different reasons and motivations behind why you’re doing it in the first place.  

In this episode, we get into five types of people-pleasing and how to stop bringing it into your marketing, content, and business messaging. 

  • 5 Common types of people pleasing 
  • How people-pleasing shows up in our content and marketing 
  • Tangible ways to share about your business, without the people-pleasing! 
  • 5 Tips to help you focus on being YOU, no matter what
  • And more! 

5 Common Types of People Pleasing in Content and Marketing: 

#1) Approval Seekers 

Characteristics: Desire for external validation and acceptance. Lean heavy into compliments, positive feedback, and are often worried about disapproval. Opinions may change to match or agree with others. 

In content and marketing/business, approval seeking shows up as: 

  1. Tailoring content to what (they think) others want to rather than sharing authentically
  2. Frequent changes in branding or messaging to align with trends or feedback
  3. Overemphasis on positive reviews and testimonials
  4. Letting collaborators and connections in that aren’t giving support back 

Overcoming People Pleasing for Approval Seekers:

Develop a strong brand identity and core message that reflects true values and beliefs. Focus on creating content that adds genuine value, rather than seeking praise. Limit the frequency of major changes to branding; make data-driven decisions instead.

#2) Conflict Avoiders 

Characteristics: Have a fear or dislike for confrontation and a desire to maintain harmony. They go along with others to avoid arguments, may suppress their personal opinions, and needs, and often feel resentment or frustration. 

In content and marketing/business, conflict avoidance shows up as: 

  1. Avoiding controversial topics or strong opinions in content
  2. Overly diplomatic language that may come across as non-committal or entirely factual
  3. Reluctance to address negative feedback or criticism directly
  4. Letting people sabotage your platforms, without defending yourself

Overcoming People Pleasing for Conflict Avoiders:

 Identify core principles and stand by them in your content and marketing efforts. Learn to address criticism constructively and openly. Practice setting boundaries and being assertive in communication.

#3) Caretakers (Helpers) 

Characteristics: Need to feel useful and be needed. May be heavily involved in other’s problems, offer unsolicited help or advice, while neglecting personal needs and business objectives. 

In content and marketing/business, caretaking shows up as: 

  1. Overcommitting to customers/clients
  2. Offering extensive free resources or overly generous discounts, potentially at a loss
  3. Content that focuses heavily on solving customer problems, sometimes neglecting the business’s needs to sell/promote
  4. Always giving, rarely/never asking

Overcoming People Pleasing for Caretakers: 

Establish clear policies and boundaries regarding what can be offered for free and what is a paid service. Ensure pricing reflects both value and sustainability. Balance helpful content with topics that promote business growth and sustainability. 

#4) Perfectionists

Characteristics: Fear of criticism. High self-imposed standards. Always want to be seen as perfect in the eyes of others.

In content and marketing/business, perfectionism people-pleasing shows up as: 

  1. Overly critical of self, sometimes. Can’t even hit send or post because it’s not “perfect”
  2. Trying to take on too much to overachieve and prove worth and ability 
  3. Low tolerance for negative feedback because already judge themselves so much
  4. Time wasted due to things not published, done, or completed
  5. Overly-polished content that may come off as inauthentic or overly corporate

Overcoming People Pleasing for Perfectionists: 

Try to set realistic deadlines for content creation and adhere to them. Embrace the idea of “good enough” and focus on progress over perfection. Allow for authentic, relatable content that shows the human side of the business.

#5) Empaths 

Characteristics: In tune and attentive to what others need and feel. Want to alleviate other’s discomfort and absorb their stress or negative emotion whenever possible. 

  1. Highly emotionally driven content that aims to resonate deeply with audiences (and sometimes misses the mark as a result!) 
  2. Marketing strategies that may prioritize emotional connection at the expense of growing business and profitability
  3. Difficulty in making objective decisions that might upset customers

Overcoming People Pleasing for Empaths: 

Balance emotional content with clear, strategic calls to action. Use data and analytics to guide marketing decisions, ensuring they align with business objectives. Develop a content strategy that considers both emotional engagement and practical outcomes.

5 General Tips for Avoiding People Pleasing: 
  • Increase Self-Awareness: Recognize and acknowledge when you’re people-pleasing in your content and marketing. Reflect on how these behaviors impact your business decisions.
  • Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for interactions with clients and customers. Communicate these boundaries openly and stick to them.
  • Determine Your Values: Reconnect with the core values and mission of the business. Ensure that content and marketing efforts consistently reflect these values.
  • Seek Feedback: Regularly seek feedback from trusted mentors, peers, or business coaches who can provide objective perspectives.
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Balance the needs of the business with personal well-being. Avoid burnout by delegating tasks and taking time for self-care.
  • Create a Plan/Strategy: Map out a plan and strategy that works for your business and stick to it! 
Resources and About Me:

Lisa Zawrotny’s Positively Living Podcast (my go-to for all things self-care)

About Me:

I’m Emily Aborn, Content Copywriter, Speaker, and Podcast Host of Content with Character and She Built This. I’ve worked with 100+ industries as a copywriter, writing original copy that increases your confidence. Fan of: being a nerd, reading, podcasts, and hiking with my husband and dog.

Email: emily@emilyaborn.com
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