I’ve got a couple of confessions to make. The first is, I’m very new at this marketing stuff. I’ve been a public speaking coach for 12 years, but until recently hadn’t really thought about marketing as something I wanted to do. It somehow seemed sleazy, or desperate.
But last year I had to face the facts. I wasn’t getting very many new clients, and so my business had become more of a hobby. I was sort-of looking for a “real” job, and my speaking business helped me look more attractive as a job candidate. But there really weren’t any jobs out there that appealed to me, so you can guess the number of interviews I went on. Yup – zero!
What I really wanted to do was to continue coaching people in their communications, especially with their speaking. But how to get them to find me?
Last fall, while my husband went on a two-week spiritual retreat, I decided to have my own spiritual retreat at home. I prayed, meditated, and read spiritual writings, including books by Mary Baker Eddy; all of which helped me get a better sense of my spiritual identity as an expression of Divine Love. I also started finding wonderful spiritual communities online.
But the funny thing was, these online communities were focused on spiritual entrepreneurship. Wow! That was a concept I hadn’t really thought about before. I was aware of social entrepreneurship, conscious money, and the move to bring spirituality into the workplace, but I hadn’t realized there were so many people, predominantly women, who were combining their spirituality with successful online marketing strategies – and apparently making a lot of money in the process.
I started following some of these spiritual marketers, and ended up enrolling in a 9-month business incubation program for women called The Hive. It’s run by Tracy Lee Jones, founder of the Feminine Business Model. Through The Hive, and by following others online, such as Fabienne Frederickson, Christine Kloser, Leonie Dawson, Marisa Murgatroyd and more, I’ve started seeing patterns in the marketing methods they use and teach.
The common thread is that it’s all based on love. Loving yourself and loving your clients, including the ones you haven’t met yet. It’s that love that will draw them to you, and keep them as part of your “tribe.” From that love also comes the ideas that will help you design the products and services they want and need.
Although I’m still in the beginning stages of actually implementing what I’m learning, many of my new clients who come to me for speech coaching end up asking for marketing advice as well. And I’m able to give it to them. (For me, that’s a huge leap!)
And the gray hair? Well, when I thought I was looking for a “real” job, I kept dyeing my hair brown to look younger and more employable. Now that I know this is what I’m meant to be doing – and part of my message to others is to be authentic – I’m no longer dyeing my hair. The gray has taken over. The photo you see of me on my website and newsletter will soon have to be changed!
What are your thoughts about the term “marketing”? I’d love to see your comments.