Risk In Promoting A Business

Creating Awareness By Promoting A Business

Ok, lets #makeastart.

Gaining traction from any form of marketing done to promote a business comes with a little bit of risk, especially if the method used is different to what majority of people are doing.

Take for instance the way Richard Branson became the star of most if not all his marketing campaigns; or Anita Ruddock who used her passion for ending the use of animals when testing cosmetics. Were the methods they used conventional at the time? Were there those who thought their methods should not be used and would not result in long term success?

I’m sure they were.

Fast forward a few decades on and their methods are now accepted forms of marketing.

Today, there are marketing practises that raise questions about how ethical, effective and whether or not they are breaking any rules.

An example of this can be seen on social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram has follow loops, where you follow a post of an image with a specific hashtag, which indicates you are participating in a follow loop. Then those who search using that specific hashtag are able to follow you and then you follow them back.

The Pinterest equivalent of this is done via Facebook groups, where you can participate in pin-for-pin and follow-for-follow for Pinterest accounts. You can also promote your group boards in order to find people to join.

Here is the question.

Are these practises a good way to increase reach, engagement and followers? Or is it an acceptable way of gaming the system?

Trying to get your business noticed in a crowded market is difficult, which is why businesses leverage whatever advantage they can find. How far to leverage the advantage will depend on what your comfort levels are with taking risks.

Taking Risks

Finding lesser known methods to help you gain exposure to your business may seem like a risk. However, when you think about it, isn’t doing the same thing as everyone else more risky?

By following the majority, how are you supposed to stand out from the crowd?

The irony here is that if everyone is doing something different to make them stand out from the crowd, like using profanity or talking to an audience in a condescending way, would that be considered as something different?

I would say not, simply because lots of people are doing it. In this example, if you want to standout from the majority, use correct grammar in your copy and speaking to your audience with respect.

Exploring The Rules

Some say rules are meant to be broken.

Some are and some are most definitely not meant to be broken.

Following the rules is one thing, however, if there is nothing which says you can’t do something and if it proves to be an effective method of promoting and marketing your business, why wouldn’t you do it?

People may complain, but so long as it is not breaking any of the current rules, it may be worthwhile for you to, ‘make hay while the sun shines.’


Taking risks and fully exploring the rules can lead to you facing a few dilemmas around how comfortable you are with going against the norm. 

Your comfort level would be determined by what the risk vs. reward is as well as what the consequences of your actions would be.

If the risk leads to getting a slap on the wrist and you are okay with that, then you will be promoting your business in a way that gets it noticed. If the risk leads to a more serious consequence that you are not okay with, then you need to search for other less risky marketing and promotion methods.


Just because there is an accepted way of marketing a business, doesn’t mean new ways would not be discovered in the future. Afterall, sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter were not initially conceived with the idea of it being used as a way to promote a business.

I would even go as far as saying, the initial iterations of these platforms were for individual use until people started using it to informally promote their businesses to those they knew.

So, when you see a business promoting and marketing itself in a way that doesn’t fit into the current way things are done, before complaining and becoming a tattle tale, have a look at what is currently happening and ask yourself, ‘could this be a new way of doing things?’

Links on this post may be affiliate links, which will provide me with a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. Images were created using Visme.

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