If you're reading this, you probably just got trained, spent a lot of money, and now you're realizing that you need to do some marketing, and you really don't want to spend a lot of money at it. (this post is maybe best for those in a holistic service business).
So what is marketing anyway? Marketing is really just communication. It is the art and science of communicating your services in such a way that the right people take you up on your offer, and pay you.
So now let's look at marketing...enlightened marketing. Which starts with the will-to-serve.
The heart of business (enlightened business) is the will-to-serve. You just keep coming back to your desire to help, and taking that next step that's before you. It takes patience, dedication, and often a while before the money is really rolling in (like a year or even more), so it's a good thing to choose a path/form of service that you're really into and passionate about - because it's going to be work.
Usually. There are exceptions for sure: people who sold something on the i-net and bang, they got 3000 requests. Or they happened to luck upon a need that no one else was filling. It's probably always a good ideal to check out what your competition is doing (did I say competition? I meant your team-mates, because that's what they really are!) and yes you can steal their marketing ideas. You are aligned. You share a passion and a common work in the world. (You can also create 'joint ventures' with them, but that's beyond the scope of this article).
Personally, I really resist structure. I just want everything to happen, to flow, magically-like.
And, I think that can actually work too. It involves listening to your intuition, to Mind, which I believe is always leading us to the next step of what to do to - but usually doesn't show us the whole picture at once. So just keep taking a step each day, and enjoying the journey. It often doesn't come in the amount or the timing that we want, but we can still have a good time, do good, and take steps daily, and abundance will come.
So today I see three trends in marketing:
1. Education-based marketing. Often begins with some truth, right there on the flyer/poster.
2. Generosity-based marketing. Giving a free sample session, e-book, newsletter, or talk
3. Trust-based marketing. "board certified", "USDA Organic", video testimonials, etc
So you want to educate, give, and evoke trust. And all that starts with your will-to-serve, or question of, 'How can I help?'. People need to be shown the value of your services, led to trust you and become convinced that you can help them and that what they will get is worth what you're charging. You also must avoid triggering their fears along the way: their fear that you're a scammer, not capable of helping them, or anything else. And there is a lot of fear out there.
So enlightened marketing is really service-based marketing, which is a natural outgrowth of your desire to help. So - you might find yourself giving a talk, because a) you like to talk and b) you know your stuff, and c) holy s--t I just got some clients!
Now marketing can be overwhelming. There are sooo many marketing activities you can do. So which ones do you do? Teresia LaRoque, who runs 'Passion into Profit' at Erickson College, says, "You don't need to do them all. Just pick one to three ways of marketing that you enjoy, and do those." So if you like to write, write (a blog, newsletter or ebook), and if you like to talk, talk (rent a space, or give a tele-seminar or webinar).
Stages of Marketing and Business
1. Create basic communication media (cards, site, and maybe brochures)
2. Practice it for less (maybe by donation or sliding scale even)
3. Get fancier, give a free report, a blog, maybe a free newsletter, e-book or give talks
4. Keep doing it, clarify your offering and niche, who you work with
5. Increase your fees
6. Get a website, cards and logo professionally done
So at first you create simple marketing to just get the ball rolling. Later when you're real clear on your message and niche ("I work with professional women who have PCOS...") and who is mostly drawn to you, you can get your marketing materials professionally done, with confidence.
The most basic way to communicate your service, in my opinion, is just to tell people what you do (more on that in another blog post), and give them a card. Cards are about $25 for 100. You can even just buy blank cards for a few bucks at the stationary store and literally write on them your name, number, e-mail, and your website if you have one. A fancy logo is *not* required. That can come later. And then remember to give it to people and tell them what you do. You'll want to also prepare for how you will schedule them (software? day-timer?) and how you will charge. Having an 'elevator speech' prepared might also be wise. (Google that).
You will also want to feel good and look good. They say most sales happen because they liked the sales person. That has a lot to do with good vibes and values in common I think. You're always really selling yourself first, and your product or service second.
Have a Website
Second thing might be to have a website. Here's a few FREE services you can use to do that:
Weebly, Wix and Squarespace - are front end builders anyone can use to make a site. Weebly is especially easy, I made this one on Weebly.
Your Website needs, at minimum:
- A good pic of u. Not just an ok pic of you. You want good lighting.
- A bio. Include your warmth, your quirk and your training or experience.
- What you do, who you work with, and the results you get.
- A way to reach you.
- testimonials from happy clients (with a pic, video or audio even)
- Getting fancy: you can also build a mailing list, request their email and send them a freebie, a newsletter, report, e-book, etc or post videos on your site that you recorded on You Tube, and so on. I notice also that a website should feel and look good more than just have great info. It's more about the energy of the site than the words.
Marketing by Brochure, Ad or Poster
They say people need to see your face/card/brochure an average of 7 times before they buy from you. This is because familiarity breeds trust. So don't post flyers or an ad today and expect calls tomorrow. You'll want to keep posting and re posting for a while before you get calls. Include a good pic, and testimonials.
Have a Niche
I admit, I'm not really crazy about this idea, but it does make sense to me. It's really about knowing that not everyone is going to be drawn to you. It's about knowing who *will* be drawn to you, and who you *do* want to work with - who you are suited to. Your niche is who you will work with and what you will do, and it will become clearer as your put yourself out and get the ball rolling. A focused niche can be a big key to success because then you know exactly where to market and what to say.
There are a lot of books on marketing at the library. I hear Seth Godin is a genius. But you can learn a lot about marketing by noticing what makes *you* buy, what turns you on, convinces you, and what turns you off. Self-care is essential, and so keeping your day job at first might be wise so you don't go into survival-panic mode and put a lot of pressure on yourself to bring in the bucks right away...stress is not magnetic to opportunity or money. Come to think of it, you might want to meditate everyday :-).
And of course, trust and follow your intuition. It might even lead you to opportunities which you weren't even aware existed (this will improve with meditation). Business/service can be a wonderful spiritual journey, and it's probably best to see it that way.
I also recommend a focus on personal growth alongside your focus on service. Because growing is how we *really* get what we want. We want inner and outer abundance. Either one alone just won't do.
A last point: I recommend having multiple streams of income, for several important reasons, and you'll find more about that at my other blog posts below (to come). So if you're in the business of health, why not have a great product to share that you believe in, too? Or why not write a book as well? You might find you can serve more people that way. And with relationship marketing, you might soon find that you have residual, passive income coming in so much that you don't even have to work anymore.
You can also add to your abilities. For ex: if you're a doula, you might get training in massage for pregnancy, or nutrition. It's all about, 'How can I serve more? What would be fun?' Fun can be hard too, but it will be worth doing if your heart is into it.
Here's one simple way to add to your abilities: sign up for my newsletter and you'll be learning about nutrition, energy medicines, even brain-healing. And if you're a healer, you really do need to know about them, or you're missing key parts of the picture.
Lastly, consider hiring a coach or mentor. Preferably someone who's been successful in what you're aiming to do, and who has successfully helped many people to do what you want to do.
Click here for your Free Life Wellness Coaching Session!
Don't do Business, Do Service - important!
Why and How to Create Multiple Streams of Income
www.MarketingForHipppies.com - Tad Hardgraves