I hate Marketing, and other big shiny things.

Katherine Ann Byam
5 min readApr 14, 2021

The journey to ethically marketing my services in a way that feels good to me.

Katherine Ann Byam — Business Resilience Strategist, Leadership and Career Transition Coach and Founder of Dieple Consulting & Training Limited.

I’m about to enter a period of marketing services and experiences that have incredible meaning to me.

I’ve realised though, that I need to get something off my chest, and I thank you for tuning in, to place your hands at my back during this little rant.

Every day I get a connection request from someone promising to generate inbound leads for my business. I get the emails too. They typically say dear 🎙️ — because I place that Icon in front of my name on LinkedIn, to see how genuine my callers are. All these requests amount to pure noise for me.

Across my Five email accounts, I currently have an aggregate of more than 30,000 unread emails. I’ve given up all hope on ever managing one of those accounts again: This account alone holds more than 27000 unread emails.

I know as well as you do, that this is completely unsustainable.

When you take the time to engage with a post or send me a message, I’m deeply honoured to receive it, because I know the relentless amount of noise you need to pick through, before you get to engage with something I’ve written, that speaks to you.

I believe that the vast majority of online sellers started their business because they had a genuine interest in helping you, and in being able to run a viable business model for themselves. But I’m buckling under the weight of all these relentless attempts to get me to purchase something and I’m sure you are too.

Marketing our Missions

Most of the entrepreneurs I do collaborations with have 3 primary missions in their businesses which are bigger than them.

1: They want to save the planet, and their business involves educating around sustainability, and supplying a product or service that is designed with more sustainability in mind. I have a community of nearly 2000 women in sustainable business who share this mission.

2: They want to make an impact. Many have been through something in their lives that was painful for them, and now they want to help you overcome similar challenges in your life. I find their stories empowering, and enjoy experiencing how they help others turn a bad story into lessons and momentum for change.

3: They want to operate in an environment that supports what they value, and not what a corporation values. They’ve decided to create a decent work environment for themselves and co-collaborators.

I’m in all 3 camps.

I spend all my free time learning about sustainability and crafting ways to make more impact, so that I can influence others to make small changes.

I use my experience as a minority senior manager at a global multinational to inspire others, and help them preserve their sanity in the workplace too.

I strive everyday to create a great place to work for the people I collaborate with, although I’m not always successful. So much of this journey is the strong desire to be better.

For all these good intentions, we have to get out of the engine room of our businesses, stand before the world and invite you in to see what we have to offer.

My social media feeds are fraught with content that often adds very little value to me, but when I see one that does, I happily engage with it.

Genuinely authentic and ethical marketing takes time and a lot of understanding of the people you most want to serve. That time has a cost with a long pay back period.

Yet isn’t this what we all want marketing to feel like? No one wants to be forced or pressured into purchasing something, but everyone wants to know there is an appropriate solution out there that absolutely fits what they need!

Photo by Hao Zhang on Unsplash

Case Study: Diamonds.

I’ve been into documentaries of late, and I watched one on Netflix about Diamonds. A British Imperialist by the name of Cecil Rhodes founded the diamond company DeBeers.

He worked to lock up the majority of the diamond supply under his company over many years, so he could control the price and sustain a sizeable return.

After the stock market crash of the 1900s, people started selling their diamonds in the second hand market, lowering the price for his vast hoards of supplies.

He wanted to find a way to convince people not to sell these precious gems. He went to a marketing company, who came up with the slogan “Diamonds are forever”. Now one of the most powerful marketing campaigns of all time.

This is an example of effective marketing, but is it authentic marketing?

I’d like to think that most people value that diamond ring because of the person that gave it to them, and not because of the object itself.

Case Study of Chris, Data Scientist, Former CIO, and My Partner in business and life.

Christophe Nicault — Christophe Nicault (@cnicault) / Twitter

On a weekly basis Chris enters challenges on Twitter, sharing his interpretation of great ways to represent the data he has, visually. It’s only one aspect of his many talents, but he does it to improve his skills in data analysis and manipulation which in turn helps other aspects of his work.

It has taken him just under one year, but in the last month he was included in the top 20 “Data artists to watch” in his Twitter community according to the best of that community.

He now has data journalist, freelancers and Data Science PHDs following his work, not because of his marketing ability, but because of his absolute quality.

An individual piece of work from him has attracted more than 30000 impressions, 3000 plus engagements, and a whole bunch of likes and retweets.

Chris has never done marketing in his life, and he never intends to. Instead he works extra hard and invests far more time on his quality, and shares that in a community that understands how good he truly is.

In the last month, people have been reaching out to him to invite him to contribute to articles, do gigs, or help them with challenges. He has perhaps missed out on some income while perfecting slowly his art, but how great is it to receive attention because you are incredibly great at what you do?

I hate marketing, but being visible about what I do, and my desire to support you is something I genuinely love. Support the brands that are meaningful to you, and in turn, we will also support you.



Katherine Ann Byam

Author, activist, coach and consultant for innovation and sustainable change. She’s the founder of Dieple Consulting & Where Ideas Launch.