A reader wishes she had found me sooner, but had been searching for terms like “conscious marketing” or “heart-centered marketing” rather than “authentic marketing”.
What about you? What term(s) would you have expected to use to find my work? I’d love to know. Add a comment below this video.
Perhaps others are looking for: spiritual marketing or selling with integrity or even organic marketing.
Whatever the terms are, here are some of the key principles…
Approach marketing in a friendly way
Many people see marketing as being similar to war (it’s a battle for attention, crush the competition), or hunting (bait the audience into opting in, then go for the kill), or religion (indoctrinate the audience and then convert them into buyers).
Instead, I see marketing as building a friendship. To treat my audience like I would want to be treated: as a friend who understands and cares about you.
If someone helps me in a friendly and genuine way, I naturally want to return that kindness and care. Read more: marketing metaphors.
Alignment instead of Persuasion
Persuasion is assumed to be an important part of marketing and selling. I respectfully disagree.
Instead of persuasion, I think in terms of alignment. If people who are aligned with me in heart (and mind) discover me, there is no persuasion needed. There’s only education, service, and friendship.
Even when I am selling my products and services, I don’t try to persuade. I aim to find people who already feel aligned with me, and then I align with their wants and needs in how I talk about my offerings.
If the offering is truly aligned with the potential clients’ wants and needs, then the decision to buy is obvious, and the transaction is of true mutual benefit.
Read more: Alignment rather than Persuasion
To hold loosely to agenda
As business owners we want people to buy our stuff, of course.
But if we come to marketing with a mindset of friendliness and alignment, we prioritize the relationship, instead of forcing people to buy within a specific time frame.
Hold loosely to our agenda of wanting our audience to engage with our content, or to subscribe, or to click, or to buy. Instead, hold fast to our deeper values, showing up consistently and authentically to serve our audience.
By prioritizing the relationship, we focus on caring and nurturing, instead of converting. Of course, we also occasionally announce and invite them to our products/services, but we know that every person has their own timing.
Read more: Hold loosely to agenda in our marketing.
Be transparent with our intentions
Any piece of content we create can have one of two primary intentions: To nurture, or to sell. Be upfront about it.
For example, this blog post you’re reading is meant to educate you, to inspire you, and naturally, to have you get more acquainted with my thinking. It’s not meant to sell you on anything I offer.
I am very transparent when I want to sell. A few examples:
Facebook post that sells my joyful productivity course.
Facebook event that asks fans to support book launch.
This is the opposite of conventional modern marketing which often espouses sales funnel philosophy.
The Golden Rule
Ultimately, the Golden Rule is what we're talking about, and too rarely done in my industry of digital marketing.
As a consumer, what kind of marketing feels good to you? Study it and do it to your audience, because you can do that kind of marketing from an authentic place of wanting to give others an enjoyable experience.
The Golden Rule is also stated as Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you. Similarly, notice the kind of marketing that feels “off” to you, that makes you feel pressured, or FOMO, or enhances any other negative emotion.
Here’s the hard part: even if some manipulative marketing gets you to finally buy, doesn’t mean that it’s worth doing unto others.
Marketing can be authentic, and it can be financially successful, but the best is when it is both.
I hope to always be a model for both.
You don’t have to model the marketing that feels bad to you even if it works for them financially. Model the marketing that feels great to you, no matter what. If you make your audience feel great with your authentic generosity, and you are offering something that is aligned with their wants, your marketing will also be financially successful.
I'd love to know: how would you describe this kind of marketing?
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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