George Kao Authentic Marketing Monthly Newsletter
Here are my best recent pieces...
Better than "passive income" and "financial freedom"
Better than "Passive Income" and "Financial Freedom"

I used to dream about “financial freedom” and “passive income”... having so much money that I could just do whatever I wanted, travel the world, give money abundantly to causes and people in need.

Sounds great, right? I invested in lots of business programs that sold me on that dream.

Eventually I realized 2 things...

(1) Those selling the dreams were the ones getting rich, not those of us buying into those programs, unless we joined their ranks and sold the dreams of easy/big money to other people who are unaware of this dynamic.

(2) By getting caught up in that culture of hype, I was actually escaping, and delaying, the building of my right livelihood.

In the past few years, I’ve worked diligently to build what I feel today is the truest version of my livelihood yet.

When I am feeling rested, feeling loved, and connected to my higher self, I realize that what I really want isn’t passive income nor financial freedom. What I yearn for is feeling truly useful to others, seeing my strengths used to uplift the world and evolve humanity, and feeling that the money I earn is an honest, noble living.

It’s only when I feel tired, fearful, discouraged, that the hype of passive income can get through and start infecting me.

Perhaps the most important and urgent thing, then, is to get reconnected to our higher self. We first need to do the self-care and spiritual practices that bring us back to a truer perspective of What Life Is About.

Then, we might see that there is so much opportunity (and urgency) for us to earn a worthwhile living, to truly feel that we are being of service as we make money, and doing work that co-creates a world that our hearts are yearning for.

Mahatma Gandhi named the 7 destructive forces in society:
Wealth Without Work
Pleasure Without Conscience
Knowledge Without Character
Commerce Without Morality
Science Without Humanity
Religion Without Sacrifice
Politics Without Principle

There’s only 1 sector of society that Gandhi repeats in his list: How money is acquired.

Is the primary goal of our work to satisfy our own desires? Then it becomes easy to get obsessed about passive income and financial freedom.

Can we develop a deeper viewpoint?

Finish reading the article or Watch the video

Quality through Quantity
How publishing more content helps you create great content...

Applying the principle of “Quality through Quantity” has made a significant positive difference in my professional and personal growth.

How do I make great content? By making more content.

How do I improve my skills? By working with more clients.

How do I find ideal referral partners? By reaching out to more referral partners.


How to balance Quantity and Quality?

I think about content in stages.

Stage 1 is *any* content that is first posted online. Whether I spent 5 minutes or 5 months on something, it is still Stage 1 if it’s the first time I’m posting it. Therefore, I try to spend as little time on Stage 1 content as possible. In practice, with these posts it takes me about 1 hour to write and lightly edit.

Stage 2 is looking at my previous Stage 1 pieces, seeing what the audience likes, and then spending more time on those pieces, editing and re-publishing them.

In other words, I spend time improving the pieces that already have potential. I let the audience tell me what “Quality” means... not my own judgments.

I’ve learned over the past 10 years as a marketer to be “agnostic” about what’s going to work in the market.

Just put stuff out there, and let my audience tell me what works.

Stage 3 is to integrate and monetize several Stage 2 pieces, which further improves the quality of the original piece.


It’s like a Buffet...

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Is fear of online criticism holding you back from creating content?
Is fear of online criticism holding you back from creating content?

When it comes to creating and sharing content, I imagine that many of us can relate to this statement:

“I'm quite introverted, second guess myself and have sensitivity to criticism in the online world.”

After a few years of creating more than 350 online videos and blog posts, here is what I can say:

Tip 1. If you have a positive intention with your content, then you will get *overwhelmingly positive* feedback from your audience… if you get any feedback at all.

Keep your content in the mindset of being helpful, generous, and digestible (rather than sarcastic, critical, salesy, or other more negative intention), and you’ll do just fine.

No matter how imperfect your content is, your audience can sense your intention, and that’s what they will primarily react to, much more than the actual ideas. If they don’t like the idea, but can sense your helpful heart, they will give you criticism kindly (matching your intention) and that can be very useful to your own growth.

Tip 2. You can easily restrict whom you share your content with, e.g. you can keep it from specific family/friends/colleagues that might be critical.

Finish reading the article or Watch the video

Stop thinking "traffic" and get back to "people"
Stop thinking “traffic” and get back to “people”

A reader (thanks Jeanne Hartman) reminded me of a principle I haven’t mentioned in awhile:

“You don’t need more traffic to your website. You just need the *right* traffic.”

In fact… maybe we can stop thinking in terms of “traffic” and instead think in terms of PEOPLE. The right people who would love what you offer.

Some marketing experts are always trying to get you loads of “traffic”. By their language you can tell their values. Without consciously recognizing it, they are seeing people as a means to an end -- their own profit and prestige. And by learning from them, you unwittingly absorb their self-absorbed values.

You don’t need more traffic; none of us really do.

What do we need?

To connect genuinely with the few people that our business can best serve, the people who would most resonate and be grateful for our offerings. To have fulfilling relationships of reciprocity that allow everyone involved to thrive.

Read the rest of the article or Watch the video

Factors for business launch failures and successes
Factors for Business Launch Failures and Successes

Many businesses fail because they fall into one of these two traps:

1. They’re not selling what people want to buy. (I call this the Offer Optimization problem.)

2. Buyers don’t know the product exists. (The classic problem of getting enough market visibility.)

In this post, I’ll share with you a step by step framework for minimizing your risk of falling into these two traps.


As you build your business, do the work so that you can answer YES to these questions:

QUESTION 1. Are people asking me to sell this thing?

This may seem like a strange question, but if the answer is “no”, then we’ve got a lot of work to do, to ensure that your product/service will actually sell.

Remember that you are in business to help others, not to just “scratch your own itch”. Your income comes from other people, and business is a structured reciprocity.

The best situation is when there’s so much demand from others for a product or service, that you are simply filling a clear want in the market.

Without an obvious want or request from others, you might just be creating a hobby. A hobby’s great, but it’s not going to sustain you financially.

How do you know that enough people want your offering?

2 ways to find out:

(a) Conversations with other people who are selling this exact kind of thing. The more it’s a mirror to what you sell, the better. If those “mirror niche mates” (i.e. direct competitors) are friendly and willing to tell you how it’s really going in their marketing of that product/service, then you have the best indicator. They are giving you real, current market data.

If they are honestly finding it easy to sell the thing, then chances are that you won’t have much difficulty selling that thing as well.

Of course, the more similar that niche mate is to you, the better the data.

(b) Conversations with potential customers/clients. Whom do you already know, among friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, Facebook connections, etc., who are similar to your ideal client?

Have honest conversations with them about your product/service. Try to discover their answers to these questions:

* Do they really have the problem your product is meant to solve? If not, what related problem do they actually have? If you don’t want to “solve problems” then the question is: what goal or experience are they (not you) so passionate about that they would pay for it?

* Have they bought other solutions/products/services/courses/events to solve the problem or have that experience?

* What features do they most love or use about that current/past solution?

* What features are missing that they wish it would have? Or what isn’t working / didn’t work well, about those solutions?

* Why is it important for them to solve the problem or have that experience? In what ways would it benefit their life if they solved the problem or reached the goal?


QUESTION 2: Does your offering have the features they want?

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George Kao Blog
From the Blog...

Capture, Categorize, Calendar
Stop Procrastinating: Write Down the Simple Next Steps

Visualize the Process, Not Just the Outcome

Before you buy that expensive business training program, read this

Before You Check Social Media, Take a Breath
Workshop this Month:
How to Use To Reach Your Ideal Audience

Join this online workshop to learn the best strategies for how to use LinkedIn.

In this workshop series you'll accomplish the following:
  • Update your Linkedin profile so that it is much more findable by your ideal audience.
  • Learn and practice the 5 most effective actions to take on Linkedin to use it productively. For example, what type of content to post, and whom to connect with, and how.
  • Get your questions answered about using LinkedIn.
This event series uses a learn-and-do online workshop model, so that by participating in this series, you will actually update your LinkedIn profile and start taking regular action to use this tool effectively.

By the end of the series, you'll know how to use Linkedin effectively to grow your professional presence online.

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I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter!

I wish you authentic marketing, deeper impact, and true livelihood 💛

~ George Kao

Since 2009, George Kao has given workshops and coached people into growing their marketing authentically, and building their true livelihood. 

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