Fight the Fear-Mongering

Time to Shhh the Fear Mongering

Fear-mongering: the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue.

If you’ve ever taken any course on online marketing, you will inevitably be told that you have to discover your ideal customer’s fears and then strategically sprinkle these fears throughout your copy.  It is true that pulling on these psychological levers will get people to act – and to act quickly. The quickly part is by deliberately using scarcity which is also a fear of missing out. However, do you really want to frighten people into action? Do you really want to manipulate them by feeding on their deepest fears and insecurities and then pitching your services or product as the solution that will save them?

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. I’ve gone through numerous online marketing courses and have read thousands of sales copy to have gotten to the point where I’m sick of it. Look, I already have enough fear in my life that is promoted by my own cleaver and mischievous ego – I don’t need outside factors pumping more of this at me.

In order to preserve a sense of peace and calm in my life, I have deliberately cut out local news, limited my exposure to national and international news, and have turned off my cable. I’ve rid myself of toxic, negative friends and have worked exceedingly hard to manage my own internal fears.

However, every time I open up my inbox, I’m pummeled by people telling me that business will remain difficult unless I learn their method, that I’m doing everything wrong and it’s costing me tons of money, that I’m missing out on opportunities that will never be available again, and that without their help, I’m doomed to live a financially, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt life. What?

You probably have heard that people will act quicker when you’re solving an acute problem for them. This is true. Research has shown that people will pay to have a problem solved more so than prevention. However do you need to scare them into unearthing a problem they didn’t even know they had? Are you using fear tactics in your copy to attract customers and clients – the same tactics used to keep your toddler from running out into traffic or to keep your teenager from using heroine.

Perceived or real, fear is the most powerful form of manipulation. By promoting this, you have to ask yourself, what are you really selling?

In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek explores what makes the most innovative companies and inspirational people different from everyone else. One aspect that Sinek reveals is that innovative and inspirational companies create loyal, raving fans rather than just one-off transactional exchanges. He shares, “Manipulations are a perfectly valid strategy for driving a transaction, or for any behavior that is only required once or on rare occasions.” Manipulation, especially the most insidious which is fear, does not lead to loyal fans. Even if they buy from you it may be a purely transactional experience. Unless you chose to scare them again into buying your next product or service.

I don’t know about you but I rather have loyal fans – even if I only reach a select amount of people – rather than thousands or tens of thousands of manipulated transactions received through fear-mongering.

I am personally going to review all my sales copy and remove any fear-mongering that I may have inadvertently used due to my marketing training. In making a commitment to myself to manage fear in my own life, I’m also going to make a commitment to refrain from promoting it through my business and respect the intelligence and mental health of my audience.

So what do you think? Are you looking for a loyal tribe or looking to just make a buck? Will you join me in promoting your business without the use of fear and manipulation?  Of course it’s up to you but know what you’re doing before you reach out to the hearts and minds of people and yell “Boo!”

Jenn Aubert is a champion for women entrepreneurs and a writer located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She is currently writing her first book, Women Entrepreneur Revolution on the success traits of women entrepreneurs and redefining the concept of role models due out Spring 2014.

Find me: or

Follow me: @jennaubert

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve performed a formidable job and our entire group might be grateful to you.

  2. Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  3. There are some interesting deadlines on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There’s some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

  4. Hi there, I found your site via Google while looking for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  5. Throughout this awesome pattern of things you actually get a B- just for effort. Where you confused us ended up being on your specifics. As it is said, details make or break the argument.. And that could not be more true here. Having said that, let me reveal to you exactly what did give good results. The writing is definitely extremely powerful and this is possibly the reason why I am making an effort in order to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. 2nd, despite the fact that I can see the leaps in reason you make, I am not really confident of just how you appear to unite the points which in turn help to make your conclusion. For the moment I shall subscribe to your issue but hope in the foreseeable future you actually connect the facts much better.

  6. I am so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  7. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Superb work!

  8. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome weblog!

  9. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  10. I simply had to thank you so much again. I do not know what I could possibly have carried out without the concepts shared by you on that situation. It actually was a hard condition in my opinion, nevertheless looking at a expert form you solved the issue took me to weep with gladness. I am happy for the help and as well , hope that you are aware of a powerful job you were putting in training the mediocre ones all through your web site. I am sure you’ve never got to know all of us.

  11. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  12. Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  13. Hello, you used to write magnificent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  14. magnificent put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector don’t understand this. You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  15. I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours as of late, yet I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  16. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  17. Can I simply just say what a comfort to discover somebody who really understands what they’re talking about over the internet. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you are not more popular since you certainly possess the gift.

  18. Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and certainly not seem to get one thing done.

  19. What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also create comment due to this brilliant piece of writing.

  20. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some fascinating issues or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles relating to this article. I desire to learn more issues about it!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here