Marketing. It's a loaded word.
What does it conjure up for you?
If you avoid marketing because it feels like any or all of these things, you're not alone. Most women business owners I talk to are in the same boat.
I refer to it as marketing the masculine way - and it just doesn't work for soulful, creative women like us.
And no wonder we avoid it.
Let's unpack this a little. First, let's start with the avoidance itself. If you look closely, you'll see there's actually a positive motivation behind it.
Your soul is refusing to take actions that feel inauthentic.
HOORAY! You have integrity.
But here's the downside: the avoidance is keeping you stuck. And eventually it will kill your business.
What if it didn't have to be like this?
What if there was another way?
Here's the good news: There is!
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DID YOU HEAR?
I'm offering a workshop called "Marketing With Heart" in February. Scroll down for more details.
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Here's the antidote to marketing avoidance:
Don't write off marketing altogether. You don't have to buy into the myth that marketing is slimy. It's true - many people use slimy marketing tactics - but you don't have to.
Here are three ways to align your marketing with your integrity:
1. Stop looking outside yourself for a formula. Conjure your courage to resist the prevailing norms and dare do it YOUR WAY.
2. Root yourself in your WHY. What drives you? What life experience led you to start your business? When you connect to your story, it's magnetic! (Need help with this? Click here).
3. Know your audience. Who do you love to serve? What does s/he struggle with? What does she want? Get into her head and use the language she would use to describe these things.
And a fourth bonus way:
Build on what worked in the past AND feels good to you. If there's something you've done that brought you even one new client or customer, and it was something you enjoyed, repeat it!
Need a little structure to help you pull this all together?
Download my FREE Marketing Tree Worksheet, then send your a-has or questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARKETING WITH HEART WORKSHOP!
We hear it a lot. "Follow your heart."
But what does it mean to “market with heart?”
To me, marketing with heart, or truth-telling, is a way to BE REAL and WHO WE TRULY ARE when sharing our offerings. It's a new way to market, and it's VERY effective. Here's why:
Many marketing experts tell us to paint a façade, create an illusion, or a fantasy that grabs people’s attention, then push on their pain points in a way that manipulates their fears so they will buy your thing.
To my eyes and ears, this is unethical and needs to stop. It also feels icky.
Why not be who we are?
I believe that who we are is ENOUGH. Actually, more than enough. Each of us carries a collection of unique and compelling life experiences and beautiful story arcs that illustrate challenges overcome, lessons learned, and medicine to share. It's all inside us!
Yet so many of us wrestle with how to describe our work, how to convey the passion we feel for it, how to draw people in, and how to generate interest so we can keep building our vision so it not only supports the clients we serve, but also supports us creatively and financially.
We wrestle because we want to do it right, without resorting to unethical tactics that prey on people's fears. And we certainly don't want to exploit ourselves by sharing details from our lives that shock people into action.
What if, instead of preying on their fears, we inspire their hearts?
To market with heart asks us to drop the façade, align with our deeper purpose, then build our marketing platform from there.
GREAT NEWS! I'm leading a workshop on "Marketing With Heart"
in February. Scroll down for more details.
When we tap into our inner fire (note: all entrepreneurs have this, it’s what fuels us), we find words that tell the origin stories of our heart-work. And this is the stuff that resonates with people and draws them in. And far from icky, it feels solid, plugged in, passionate – and magnetic. These are the feelings we’re aiming for!
Uncovering our origin stories takes courage and tenderness. Sometimes it takes awhile for the seeds of our stories to sprout and grow. Is it worth the effort? I say YES.
I just heard from a client this week who worked with me on her brand story two years ago. She told me she is just now starting to feel a sense of change and expansion (in her life and business) as a result of that work. Things are clicking into place for her, and she's feeling more confident than ever.
Yes, it's worth the effort. This kind of change is deep and rooted.Our truth and our stories form the foundational soil from which our important, life-changing work in the world grows. We are the change-makers the world needs now. Let’s not shy away from our stories and truth.
NEW WORKSHOP: Marketing with Heart
Join me in Bloomington, IN for this special workshop for independent, entrepreneurial women! Together, we'll learn how to…
Last weekend I spent time with a group of women in the woods studying wholeheartedness and the healer archetype (from The Four-Fold Way, by Angeles Arrien).
We examined the following quote by poet David Whyte:
“You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest? The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”
Now that's a quote you can chew on, right?
It invites us to take a closer look when we're feeling exhausted and burnt out. It's an opportunity to ask ourselves, "am I really tired, or have I become disconnected from my creative passion?"
Of course, there are times when we're experiencing that bone-deep exhaustion so many women feel at the end of a long day – taking care of others, parenting our children, keeping our home, preparing meals, and maintaining a career – all in a culture where we’re paid less and expected to do more than our male counterparts.
Try telling a bone-deep exhausted woman she doesn’t need to rest; she just needs open her heart a little more. Um…no. Sometimes we just need to rest.
And then there are times when opening our hearts can tap us into a deeper wellspring of energy.
For entrepreneurs, here's a way to open your heart that's quite effective:
Remember your WHY.
Please join me in congratulating my client, Kathy Mickel, on her new website!
Kathy's WHY is to help others rediscover their direction and meaning in life. Her story describes how she found her own direction and the courage to leave the corporate bubble to start her own yoga coaching and retreat practice.
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.