Friday, 10 October 2014

Majestic Marketing Makes Your Soul Sing

'Marketing' is such a cold dead word for so many in spiritually-centred entrepreneurship. It's filled with connotations of slimy sales techniques and attempts to convince someone to part with their intuition and purchase something they don't really need. Even if you've managed to get past that perception, you come up against a wall of worry about putting your products or services out there, loathed to come across as money-minded or greedy. You know what? I've never understood the backlash against people being paid for spiritual services and I never will. Leonie Dawson says that we can be good custodians of money - 'we can be rich hippies'. I'm on her gravy train and it's got biscuit wheels! Above and beyond my own personal notion of what it means to be 'rich' in the monetary sense, I'm mostly concerned with being nice'n'comfortable. I just want enough in the bank to be able to consistently connect with my clients and help them to get clear, launch, heal, release, receive and whatever else is necessary.

I know what it's like to be absolutely flat broke. There's a lot of things in this world that I've never been unlucky enough to experience, but scrambling around under my bed looking for loose change is not one of them. I've been there. It was scary. I thought I was going to lose my home because I couldn't make rent. I have also worked at jobs which left me feeling sad, disempowered and desperately bored. You know those jobs where you need to spend an hour setting your vibrational frequency and playing with Rose Quartz palm stones before you walk in? These experiences taught me a lot. They also left me with an overriding sense of injustice at the thought of people feeling like they're not allowed to develop a business and enjoy the warm, squishy feeling of getting sales. If we are bound into this ugly and uninspiring value system called 'cash', let's at least help each other to go after it in ways which nurture us, inspire us and elevate us. It's ok to want to have enough. It's ok to acknowledge that you can't pump your natural gifts out day after day for countless people without putting your own survival into the equation. You are not bad for needing to consider those things. You are not tainted just because you find yourself having to connect those particular dots.

In this blog post about how to make money as a Tarot reader, I explored the connection between money and time. Money facilitated time for me - that was the big honest realisation. If I could make money from using my gifts and abilities, I could spend more time offering those gifts and abilities because I didn't have to spend as much time working in an office. Simple, luminous and obvious. I am not focused on parting people from their cash. I am focused on creating an energy exchange which allows me to offer the service in the first place and allows someone who could sincerely benefit from it to receive it. Marketing is an unavoidable cog in that machine and, as with all things, I need to be permitted to approach it authentically or not at all.

If you are nurturing a spiritually-centred business, here's some love and encouragement for you on your journey of majestic marketing - marketing which feels good, resonates with you and helps you to own your message. Marketing is anything which serves to promote or sell your product/service. With that in mind, let's press on.

Don't be shy 
I have an amazing friend who worked in advertising for years. She told me that they have a mantra in the industry which is designed to get you over the creative hump and help you leap into the oceanic depths of your imagination. The mantra is succinct, blunt and crude but it works: Just Fucking Do It. When it comes to marketing, this advice has been helpful for me. Those first few times that you rave about your services or plug your products are scary. There's no doubt about that. Marketing involves vulnerability, but it gets easier with time and practice.

If you've been writing that all-important 'check out my online store' status on your Facebook page and then hovering over the publish button before backing out nervously, it's time to Just Fucking Do It. If you feel guilty about posting a link to your store on your Youtube page or mentioning your products in videos, it's time to Just Fucking Do It. There's a reason why you keep getting the urge to talk excitedly about what you do - it's because you are passionate about it, you believe in it and you want to share it with the world. Does the whole world want to listen? No. But your marketing is not designed for the whole world, so don't worry about that. You are speaking to the people who will benefit and the beauty of the whole thing is that they will decide whether or not they could benefit. The power is in their hands. You're just sharing the information. No coercion, no pushiness, no weird tactical stuff. (Once you've managed to Just Fucking Do It, make sure you congratulate yourself. Good job!)

Check your 'features-benefits' ratio
The 'features' are the technical things. My features include the time frame for delivery, the word count for the reading and whatnot. That stuff is important and it should all be included in your full product/service description, for sure. But let's face it, features aren't exactly poetic. Think of the features as the nuts and bolts inside one of those elaborate Japanese robots - super important, working away beneath the surface, but you wouldn't hand a potential buyer a bag of metal thingamajigs to inspire them to buy. Instead, you'd let them check out the robot, see the way it moves, play with the controls and taste the excitement of owning it for real. Marketing for your spiritual business is the same. Make the features visible on the clickable link, but don't use them as the focal point. Instead, focus on the themes and energies of the product or service, the positive changes it is designed to inspire and the way you want to client to feel as a result of purchasing it - the benefits.

Believe what you're saying
If you feel decidedly edgy about promoting your offerings and you keep coming up against blocks, you may need to consider the possibility that the problem runs deeper. Do you really believe that your products/services are worth paying for? Go to the core of your being and ask yourself if insecurity and self-doubt are burning holes in the process for you. If you find that they are, that's where you need to start. No good can come of trying to be a marketing superhero if you're not all that convinced that your offerings are worthy. And nine times out of ten, the problem lies with you, not with your offerings. The problem can be solved. You may need to start by working out where the bad feeling is coming from, what the triggers are and where the root causes lie. Some people suffer with toxic comparison, torturing themselves endlessly because they can't magically turn into their personal business hero. Some people feel that they are trying to stay afloat in a saturated market, struggling to get their voice heard as more and more people start businesses all around them. Some people were just straight up told that they were useless by their own parents ever day for at least a decade. Whatever your personal demons are, conscious change can only come from a conscious place. Identifying the problems is crucial to the business of solving them.

Communicate the value
Marketing does not exist in isolation. There is nothing duller than a social media page with nothing but advertisements on it! Buzz Killington comes to mind here! Relentless marketing will not communicate the value of your offerings because the offerings themselves are not the centre of your business - you are. Your knowledge, your wisdom, your intentions and your capabilities are important to potential clients, especially in the spiritual realm. I play with Tarot cards for a living. I do some other things too, but Tarot is the bread and butter. Anyone can pick up a Tarot deck and claim to be a reader, but people don't want a reading from anyone - they want a reading from someone. They want to know who that someone is, what their perspectives and ethics are, what they're bringing to the table and how they use the tool. They want to feel at least a sense of confidence in the reader's abilities and at best a sense of connection and trust. How are you communicating your wisdom and skill? Are you blogging about your ideas and inspirations? Are you offering helpful information which serves your community? Are you giving potential clients evidence of your prowess and enthusiasm? When you do these things, marketing becomes easier and more organic. It slots neatly into the overarching plan. It becomes relevant, it makes sense, it's part of what you do rather than being everything you do.

Use your true voice
Think about a time when you spoke enthusiastically and authentically with someone about your business. I'm talking about a time when you totally filled up with a shimmering golden glow and you felt elevated. Capture that enthusiasm, openness and pure, unhindered celebration. Now, ask yourself if you tend to occupy that same space when you write your marketing copy. Because you totally should. Your purest intentions, deepest passions and most inspiring visions for you and your clients should be at the forefront of your mind and the centre of your heart when you're in marketing mode. Let the inner child come out, and the inner artist and the inner goddess and the inner queen - just have a big ol' archetype party, damn it! Forget what you've read about marketing lexicon, buzz words and clever ways of tying sentences together to make an impression. Think about the way you speak when you're totally pumped, deeply inspired, transpersonally transported..

Are you having fun yet?
I've come to see marketing as a chance to talk about something I really love. I really love The Four Queens. I really love being a spiritual counsellor, I really love being a business mentor, I really love helping people to own their power, make breakthroughs and step onto the joy path. I really really really love Tarot. I love connecting with people. There's a whole lotta love there. I see marketing as one way of getting to share what I'm creating and say, 'Hey, look at this! Arghgh, I'm so frickin' excited, this is just too cool!' I totally permit my inner child to take over. I feel like I'm jumping around in that white sequined ballet dress I had as a kid, brandishing my flashing fairy wand and basically feeling on top of the world! Marketing doesn't have to be what someone else tells you it is. You get to make up the rules. My number one marketing rule is, 'If you're not having fun, you've taken a wrong turn somewhere - stop and check the map.'

Occupy the spiritual space
The thing that really interests me about marketing is that the spiritual business community have put their own spin on it. Our job is not to create a need for our offerings but to match up with the people who need them. We're not out to convince anyone else. Instead, we are convinced that our offerings are useful and beneficial to certain people and we're trying to align ourselves with those people in particular. This is why we talk about 'finding our tribe' and 'owning our message'. It's heart-centred, therefore it must come from the heart at all times - no exceptions, no bullshit. I only want to work with people who feel called to work with me and I dread the idea of trying to cleverly convince people who don't feel called to work with me. I'm looking for soul-centred connections in which both parties are elevated and inspired. That's what you're looking for too, no doubt. Approach your marketing with that in mind and you will never feel yucky about it.

Your content is your permission slip
The truth is that you should never feel that you need permission to market your offerings and share information about them with the world. But the other truth is that many people do feel a need for external permission, and there's a distinct lack of it on the spiritual side of the street. Debates continue to rage about the validity of getting paid for anything even remotely spiritual. You may have already felt the wrath of Judgy McJudgerson and maybe you crept back into your shell and felt bad about yourself as a result. If this sounds familiar to you, let me propose that you see your marketing as a fair exchange for whatever free content and wisdom you share. At this point on my journey I have written hundreds of informative blog posts, uploaded loads of free Tarot lessons and spiritual counselling guidance on Youtube, posted daily inspirational thoughts and pictures on Facebook and offered a free e-guide to anyone who'd care to download it. No strings attached. No catch. Just good clean fun. I plan to continue giving of myself and I am totally unfazed by any naysayers who might turn their noses up at my occasional business advertisements. I give and I receive. Both things are totally ok. I do not owe the naysayers an explanation. They are not being forced at gunpoint to watch my videos, read my blog or follow me on social media. (At least I hope they're not, because that would be really bloody weird.) Those who choose to judge you for marketing your business offerings may need to look within themselves for the underlying reasons which only they can know. But if you still feel like you need a bit of bolstering, consider your content to be your permission slip. If you are giving of yourself freely and generously, you are entitled to rave about the things that make your soul sing - your business included.

I hope this has been helpful, dollfaces.

And in the spirit of majestic marketing, I am always available for a one-on-one chat about your business goals, dreams, hang-ups, branding headaches or marketing monsters.