Most of my clients are in the natural health industry. As healers, many feel their life’s work is a calling – part of their spiritual service to the planet. I feel the same way about my own work, so I totally get where they’re coming from.
But I’m also very aware that it’s hard to earn a living following your calling if you can’t get the word out about what you do, so it breaks my heart when I hear people with so much to offer say things like, “I hate marketing – I don’t want people to think I’m up myself” or “I don’t do much marketing because I hate bugging people.”
So, do you hate marketing?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and in my observation, there are some commonalities amongst the soloists I meet whose aversion to marketing runs the deepest:
- They’re the folk whose feelings about what they do are most aligned with their spirituality, self-identity, sense of calling or desire to be of service to others.
- They’re the self-professed introverts who’d rather speak quietly with one person than join a networking group, develop a platform or build a mailing list.
- They’re the humble, quiet achievers who’d never dream of positioning themselves as experts because they believe authority is earned through experience, not exposure.
When I ask the question ‘Do you hate marketing?’, it seems to me that the people who are most averse to marketing are often highly committed to running their businesses with heart, soul and authenticity.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you can’t run a soul-centred or high-integrity business and be at ease with marketing and promotion. You absolutely can find success by putting yourself in the limelight, when doing that is in line with your highest integrity.
But I’ve noticed that many soloists who find the idea of marketing confronting either procrastinate over it or avoid it altogether, thus limiting their ability to grow their businesses. Others push through their discomfort to do it anyway – often by investing time and/or money in a ‘proven formula’ developed by someone else, only to discover that while it might work for others, it doesn’t work for them.
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The thing is, if the marketing you’re sending out into the world doesn’t sit right with you, it’s guaranteed not to resonate with your target market either – and it may even turn them off.
So how do you market your business with integrity if the idea of promoting yourself is abhorrent to you?
You’ll be relieved to know that I don’t believe the answer lies in forcing yourself to ramp up your participation in activities you’d rather not have anything to do with. So no, I’m not just another marketing consultant suggesting that you network more, tweet more or do your darnedest to grow your mailing list.
Instead, I think the secret lies in digging deeper and deeper until you arrive at marketing messages that are both meaningful to your audience and soothing to your soul.
When you find a way to explain what you offer in a way that makes your heart sing rather than sink, I suspect you’ll also find yourself more at ease about sharing your message with the people who can most benefit from your offerings. (And only then will I encourage you to tweet more!)
Am I onto something here? Do you hate marketing? If marketing has ever made you feel icky, please share your experiences in the comments, along with your tips for anyone who’s in the same boat.