the ethical move

Ethical marketing conversations have a new home.

It’s 100% possible to achieve above-average conversion rates with ethical marketing. At least, that’s what I learned in the last 15 months, working on my first paid community launch with The Ethical Move. Within a week, we’ve had over 10% of our wait list subscribers sign up. And since it’s an evergreen launch, that percentage will probably continue to rise.

Good things come to those who work on them patiently, relentlessly, collaboratively

The idea for a space where marketing professionals and business owners can organise + mobilise around ethical marketing was born in April 2021. We immediately formed a project team to create a community canvas, develop hosting practices that support diversity + Liberation and build a transparent, non-manipulative marketing plan. Still, it took us over a year to launch this baby. That slowness wasn’t always easy to swallow for me. Even though I’m a fan of thoroughness, I’m not a patient person. (Which is why sewing is a character-building kind of hobby for me.) But it was so worth taking this time.

There’s so much I learned in the process, for instance…

  • Techie bits — as in, operating Mighty Networks, Eventbrite, Notion, ConvertKit and other software in ways I had never used them before
  • Team Ops bits — such as, how to run asynchronous team meetings and work with a diverse group of folks around the world to create consensus about every move
  • Business strategy bits — most importantly, how simple and easy an ethical marketing campaign can feel when it’s built on clear objectives and a solid strategy
  • Community hosting bits — for example…
    • Diving into the psychology, sociology and pedagogy of leading groups online in a way that honours individual expression but also helps people feel welcome + safe
    • How to run a launch party across different time zones (allowing people from Guatemala City to Dubai to join during working hours)
    • What kinds of questions create an engaging atmosphere in a brand new community space

This work has changed the way I view online communities

Never again will I recommend to a client that they ‘just build a community’ to promote their paid offer. I think the prevailing narrative about communities as part of a marketing funnel underestimates the effort and attention required in creating and holding a truly transformative space. Making sure that members feel safe to embrace their differences in terms of background, perspectives and needs takes time and emotional labour. And without that kind of exchange, the conversation will remain superficial instead of contributing to culture change. Fortunately, I enjoy this kind of work — and get to share it with my co-hosts Jeffrey Shiau and Alice Karolina. If you’re planning to launch a community or already host one, we’d love to catch up with you: what have you learned? What do you love about this work, and where do you struggle? And if you’re curious, get to know The Ethical Move Community here.

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the ethical move