At some stage, many of us experience discomfort around marketing ourselves and our businesses. Perhaps we feel that it’s mercenary; perhaps we feel it’s in conflict with our values and principles to help others; perhaps, we simply just don’t know how it can work for us or where to begin.
That last scenario is primarily what we’ve been addressing in our posts over the past few months. However, today, we’d like to tackle the first two.
Is marketing yourself and your business mercenary?
First, let’s look at what marketing is. One dictionary describes it as
“The action or business of promoting and selling products or services”.
This definition goes straight to the point but, it doesn’t capture a lot of the nuances that we know to be true today.
Marketing in the 21st century
In this day and age, the human element is so key.
“YOU are your business, more than ever before.”
– Alex Pirouz, Linkfluencer
For us, this means that authenticity becomes so much more important. It’s not just about promotion and selling anymore, it’s about sharing and storytelling. We believe that there is a way to embrace marketing, without compromising your conscience.
3 reasons why you have a duty* to market your business
[*”Duty” may seem like a bit of a strong word but ,you can interpret this how you wish. Whether it’s an obligation to the people you can help or, a responsibility to yourself. The latter could be in terms of honouring the knowledge, expertise and insight that you possess or, in terms of creating a sustainable income and life for yourself.]
1. To help people
We’re going to assume that this is the reason you got into your profession. You have the skills and desire to create a positive impact in the lives of others. That’s amazing. We are both driven by this intention too – even though our tools are very different.
However, we appreciate that human beings are not always very good at asking for or seeking out help. How will they know you have what they need? How will they find you? This is the first step. Putting yourself out there to facilitate these connections.
2. To help the right people
Perhaps you have a particular way of doing things, a very niche audience or, a unique specialism.
How will you reach the people who need your help most?
Your branding and online presence give you an opportunity to highlight what makes you special. There are various marketing ‘tools’ that can help you achieve this: good design, a distinctive tone of voice that reflects who you are and, really letting your personality shine through (because that in itself is unique).
Then it’s just a case of showing your work.
You might be asking – how, as a wellness practitioner, can I show my work? It happens in a very private space and it would be insensitive to make this public. Great question! That’s where a little bit of creativity comes in. Tracy achieves this through photographs of objects and spaces that are part of her practice and very short anecdotes from her every day. Effectively, showing her process and ‘behind-the-scenes’.
There are other ways you can ‘show your work’ – whether establishing your credibility through sharing testimonials and showcasing achievements and accolades or; sharing success stories (making sure to keep these as anonymous as necessary to protect your clients’ privacy).
Your ideal clients will resonate with what they see, read and hear.
3. To help yourself
By the time your prospective clients and customers know about you, they may also have come across others who offer a similar service. How do they make the decision to choose you over all the others?
We’re assuming here that you’re not doing your work out of charity. That at the end of the day, you also have financial obligations to yourself, and to your family if you have one. The simple fact of the matter is that, in order for you to help others, you also need to take care of yourself. In order to be healthy, productive and happy yourself, you need to make sure that you have a way to keep a roof over your head and food on your table. The beautiful thing is that you can cover these needs by doing work you love, that also helps others to be healthy, productive and happy. It’s a win-win situation!
But it requires reaching out to the people who need what you have to offer.
Showing your work, as discussed above, is a great way to do this. People want to work with people who they feel they know, like and trust and, showing your work will help them get a sense of this.
That’s why an online presence is so important – regular blogging, emails and social media activity gives people a chance to get to know you and even interact with you, before they make that commitment and investment to work with you.
We hope that this helps you to feel more comfortable and confident about marketing yourself. And we hope you’ll also find some enjoyment in the process!
We’ll leave you with a book recommendation: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
If you’d like to know more about how business mentoring can help you grow your online presence, contact Tracy for a free ‘discovery’ call. No obligation, no pitch, just a chat about where you’re at, where you’d like to be, and what we can do to help.
Tracy + Lulu
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