Before we jump in: This article was originally shared with my email community in October 2018. I'm sharing it with you on the blog today in the hope that it may be of some encouragement and insight to you in your creative journey right now, and also give you a little sneak peak of what you can expect from Weekly Letters too. If you'd like to receive letters like this one straight to your inbox every Sunday, you can sign up below. You'll also have access to all of my Mini Books too!
After four years now of running my own business, I’ve had to slowly find a home within the job role of marketer.
It’s the role that I know so many of us can struggle with - we dream of doing the work we want to do in the world, but rarely do we dream of having to stand on our soapbox and sell it.
But I’ve found that marketing can actually be a very intentional, simple, and purposeful part of your business, and sometimes it can even be a little fun too.
Because at the heart of marketing, for me, is just human connection.
It’s bridging the gap between your business, your services and your products, and the clients and customers whose lives your work will have a positive impact in.
Where I see a lot of my clients get stuck is when they over-complicate their marketing strategy. When they focus on all of the bells and whistles - the sales funnels, the opt-ins, the social media campaigns - and forget to focus on connection and communication first.
Because if you build a business that resonates and connects with the people you’re here to serve, and nurture those relationships every step of the way, that connection ends up doing almost all of the selling for you.
You don’t have to stand on your soapbox and scream at uninterested passers-by, because your dream clients and customers are already right there paying attention to your work.
So today I want to share with you my own marketing philosophy, in the hopes that it can hold space for you to explore how you can approach your marketing with more intention, simplicity, and purpose moving forward too.
Your values are the foundation
Your marketing efforts don't have to feel sleazy and icky if you do them from a place of integrity, and that integrity is rooted in the values that shape and define our business. So maybe you value connection, authenticity, vulnerability, and crazy-awesome customer service. Maybe a big value of yours is never using pushy sales tactics, or never taping into your customers insecurities to try and sell something to them. Your values are what make your marketing feeling human, so getting to the heart of what your values are is usually the very best place to start when it comes to developing a marketing approach that feels good for you and your customers and clients too.
Attract and repel
We're not here to serve everyone, our work is actually here for a very specific type of client and customer who will really connect with our work, our approach, and the energy and vibe of our business too. Sometime's we're so afraid to rock the boat that we end up attracting no one at all, but once we're brave enough to really plant our flag in the sand and let our business really carve out its own space, that's when we're able to attract crazy-awesome clients who are excited to work with us, and repel the ones who we're not here to serve along the way too.
Make your business an experience
How our business makes people feel plays a huge part in our marketing. I'm not going to buy from someone if they work makes me feel crappy, or stressed out, or confused. How someone feels when they navigate our content, our website, and our social media is going to really define their perception of our work and whether or not we feel like a good fit for them, so being intentional with the experience we facilitate and create through our business is key. The best place to start? Just get super clear on how you want people to feel when they're engaging with your brand and your work.
Your stories, message, and ideas are where your magic happens
I believe this more than anything - it's why my entire marketing strategy is rooted in my content, it's why I've created a whole class on this subject, and it's why I support so many of my clients to share their message, stories, and ideas in their business too. When you take up space with your stories, message, and ideas, you are creating a way for people to connect with you, to understand your point of view, to trust your expertise and perspective, and to feel excited and comfortable about investing in your services and/or products too. Our content can be our secret weapon, but we have to take the time to uncover what it is we actually want to say and share, and how it is we want to say and share it too. And more than anything, it's a muscle - the more we use it, the stronger it gets, and the more clarity we find in our own process too.
Connection over conversion
I have absolutely no interest in my business's conversion rates. What I do care about is whether or not I'm connecting with the people who I can be of service to and who understand and connect with my work too. I don't care if the majority of the people in my community never buy from me - that's not the main reason why I'm connecting with them. I want to show up and encourage and support them in their journey, and I only need a relatively small amount of clients and customers a year for my business to be sustainable and what I'm really obsessed with is doing crazy-awesome work with those clients and customers and playing a positive and encouraging part in their journey along the way. When we focus on conversion alone we can lose sight of the human connection, and if we're brave enough to focus on connection over conversion I truly believe that the results can be even better than we ever thought possible. And why do I believe that? Because I've seen it to be true in my own business, in my friends businesses, and in so many of my clients businesses too.
Slow and steady wins the race
We can’t expect our marketing to move mountains for us overnight. We’re farmers, not hunters, sowing seeds that may not be reaped for weeks, months, maybe even years ahead to come. As an example, earlier this week I sold out my first workshop within 3 hours, something that I did not expect to happen so fast, (a quick sidenote: entering all launches in my business with no expectations has saved me a whole lot of energy over the years) and on reflection I truly believe that it’s because I’ve spent months, years in some cases, nurturing a relationship through my content with the wonderful humans who decided to book a spot. So although those sales came from just one email, the truth is that a whole lot of work happened beforehand so that the relationship with potential clients was already there. If you're trying to measure daily results from your marketing efforts, you're probably setting yourself up to feel disappointed and frustrated. But over a month, or a quarter, or even a year? That's when you can really start to see results.
Your work does a whole lot of the talking for you
All of the marketing strategies in the world can't give you the same magic that awesome word of mouth and testimonials can. Because you saying how awesome your work is doesn't have the same impact as your clients and customers saying that it is, and although both are necessary for a business to thrive, your marketing will have a stronger impact when there is awesome work behind it to back it up. We can sometimes waste a whole lot of energy trying to find the next marketing hack or strategy that will change our business, when in reality the real magic will happen when you hunker down and just do the work you're here to do in the world. And once you've done that awesome work? Don't be afraid to let potential clients and customers know about it - highlight awesome testimonials from past clients and customers, share work that you're proud of, and really own your expertise and experience.
Put your lights on
Everything I've shared so far means nothing if we don't actually put our business lights on. If we don't have ways for people to buy from us and if we don't regularly remind them that they can buy from us too. We're so afraid to be salesy that we forget that selling is still a big part of our job, and that we can do it in a way that feels human and full of integrity if we want to. It might feel scary and out of your comfort zone to share on your social media channels that you're currently booking new clients, or to send an email to your community about that awesome new product you've launched, but if you don't tell them how will they know? If you ever find yourself wondering why your marketing isn't working for you, the first thing to ask yourself is: have I actually put my lights on?
And if I can leave you with anything today, it's this: if you're struggling to find a home as the marketer of your business, trust that you're allowed to redefine for yourself what that job role looks like, and that it's okay if it takes time for you to really find your feet in that role. Trust that you are oh so capable of marketing your business in a way that feels good and that is effective too, and that you can do those scary things that you know your business needs but that you've been afraid to do. Trust that your business doesn't need any sleazy bells and whistles - it just needs you to show up, take up that space, and connect with the awesome humans that you're here to serve.
As always, I'm rooting for you!
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