By Ange Hammond
Love and Marketing. These two words so very rarely go together, so much so that I bet you’re even cringing at the very thought of it. So often marketing is seen as a chore for us, like doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom. And yet, this activity is so vital for our business or our blog and believe it or not, we can love it, we can use it to connect with so many like-minded people and it can be enjoyable.
For me, I never used to like marketing; in fact I dreaded the thought of it. Back when I studied my Bachelor of International Business many, many moons ago, there were some interesting, really engaging subjects that I signed up for, such as Modern History of South East Asia. I loved learning about the world and how countries have evolved and how they now engage in business. My degree was fascinating for the most part. And then there were the subjects that I was less enthusiastic about, the ones that were compulsory in first and second year… yep, those subjects were all based around marketing.
I could say it was the lecturers; perhaps they could have made it more interesting for me, perhaps I didn’t give the subjects enough of a chance; whatever it was, I just wasn’t into it. All of those marketing theories and case studies about how big corporations took the world by storm with their well-placed and highly researched strategies… yep, still doesn’t do much for me.
So what was it about marketing that really didn’t interest me? I can now see that it stemmed from a belief that marketing equaled a desire to make lots of money and a manipulation of consumers to achieve this desire. That’s what came across during those tedious university lectures. It just felt wrong to me back then… that it wasn’t coming from a good, wholesome place and because of that, it wasn’t something that was worth investing time into.
Fast-forward seven years and in 2009 I took the trusting leap of faith and left behind the world of working for others and started up my own little business.
And wouldn’t you know it, marketing stepped back into my life in full swing. All of a sudden I was putting my business plan together, needing to dive into the 4 P’s of marketing and I was overcome with dread. Marketing and I didn’t get along in those first few months of business. We were like acquaintances who kind of liked each other but not enough to invite around for dinner, and by no means were we anywhere close to becoming besties.
That very same year I also trained to be a yoga teacher and it was during those days spent at the training that my teachers became my unknowing business mentors. A lot of the principles behind teaching yoga so easily translated into the world of marketing. We don’t teach yoga for the money; we teach it to assist our students to de-stress from their busy days, to calm their thoughts and help connect themselves with their body, breath and spirit. They’re the reasons why we teach yoga; they’re the ‘why’ behind doing what we do.
Be authentic, always have your students in mind when sequencing a class and always teach for the love of helping and supporting others. Money will come but it’s not the main focus. Yep, the same can be applied to marketing.
Our intentions behind doing what we do can make all the difference between loving an activity, or dreading it. With marketing, leave behind the intention of making money and focus on the ‘why’. Why do you offer the services that you do?
I bet it’s ultimately because you want to help people in some way, improve their lives, on some level, whether it is related to health, lifestyle or relationships. Whatever the ‘why’, tap into that wholesome intention and let it shine through your marketing.
Every time you post on Facebook, take a moment to check in with the intention behind it. Are you wanting to connect with your like-minded peers, clients and interested followers? Or are you hoping to sell more of your products or services? Ask yourself these same questions for all marketing activities you engage with: social media, your email newsletters, your website content, everything.
The more our intention shifts from money to connection, to helping our community, the more we can come to like and even LOVE marketing ourselves and our services. There’s no need to shy away from marketing; embrace it with confidence and do it with a genuine knowingness that it’s coming from a good place. Your community will see that too and before too long, you’ll notice that your followers will increase at a rate never seen before… but again, this isn’t the main intention, just the reward for being authentic.
These days I use my scheduled marketing time to contemplate, to think about what knowledge, insights and news would be of most benefit for my community.
I am generous with my advice, knowing that it will help at least one of my followers. And I actually enjoy this time. The little gems of ideas that come to me for my blog posts and Instagram images excite me and I know that it’s time well spent.
Yep, marketing and I now meet up on a regular basis, sometimes for a flat white, and other times we’ll sit on the couch and chat for hours. She’s pretty cool like that.
Ange Hammond is an inspired web designer at Resonant Imagery, creating beautifully vibrant and easy-to-navigate websites. She loves working with other conscious entrepreneurs who want to be positive influences in their community. She moonlights as a yoga teacher, specialising in gentle hatha flows. She is the author of Conscious Online Marketing, available on Amazon as an e-book and hard copy book. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
Photo Credits: Death To The Stock Photo