(Originally written Feb 2018, updated September 2019.)
The more attached we are to the results of our marketing, the more inauthentic it gets.
"Results-driven marketing" eventually leads to manipulation.
If we "must" get a particular result, we become manipulative of others.
Instead, when we focus our energy on inner-exploration and outer-service, then our marketing becomes authentic. No matter the result, we can enjoy the activity.
If we enjoy it, we become more consistent. Being more consistent, we’re likely to get better results.
You're in business primarily to express your soul and serve others' positive transformation. Yes, you want a sustainable income as well, to allow you to keep doing the work you love, but you’re in your business mainly because of a calling.
If you're faithful to your business calling -- serving people in ways they find valuable -- then healthy money is a natural result.
Yet, most business/marketing experts assume that we're doing this for the money. They try to get our attention this way --"Get more traffic and profits! Build a 6-figure income!"
They've made Money the god of their business.
They're doing marketing for the sales, not for the joy. Therefore, the mode of operation is manipulation. They get cycles of short-term highs (when campaigns are profitable) and negativity (when campaigns don't meet planned results.)
If we learn marketing in that way, we become attached to results. We start to see marketing as a means to an end. Marketing becomes a necessary evil, to build a business that we eventually want.
Compromising your values isn't going to build a business that fulfills you.
I’ll always be here to remind you of a different path, one that might feel deeply true to your heart.
Just like business can be a calling, so marketing can be a soulful expression.
Instead of "do X so that you can get Y" (a means to an end), what if X itself was worth doing, regardless of whether you get Y?
That's how I see "marketing" -- when done authentically, marketing is an activity that is joyful in and of itself.
Authentic marketing is the intersection of the exploration of one's soul and one's genuine service to the world.
It is not "so that I can get more traffic and make more sales"… although that is sometimes the result.
When you share your soul's expression in service to the world, others sense your authenticity. That is where real trust begins to build. And trust is where sustainable sales are made.
Yet if you focus on the sale, you'll eventually lose their trust.
So it's really about where you focus your attention as you do your marketing and outreach: On the soulful expression, or on the results?
During the marketing activity: Be in the authenticity of inner exploration and outer service.
After the marketing is done -- with some distance of time -- you can then look at the outer results (how the audience responded ) in order to tune your marketing intuition for more connected service next time.
When you are doing any of your marketing -- whether it's your article writing, your video creation, your webpage design, your email sending, your advertising campaigns, your webinars, your conversations with prospective clients -- let something like this be your inner mantra:
Bless and Let Go.
Be in service to your ideal audience, knowing that even your marketing itself is an offering.
Not that I’m perfect in following this principle. I write this as a reminder to myself, too. Neither are my clients perfect, but we are always aiming for joy.
I also wish for you the mindset/heartset to do marketing from a deep place of trust, doing it from an inner spark of joy, so that you can be joyfully consistent in your marketing.
And if you are consistent in authentic marketing, it is inevitable that you will get positive business results. Persistence truly pays off.
Yet rather than persisting from a place of "hustle" (hardship), and "I'm only doing this as a means to an end" (necessary evil), keep uplifting your relationship to the activity of marketing: make it worthwhile in itself.
Let marketing be an exploration of your authenticity, and a genuine offering of service to your audience.
Then, no matter what, you find joy in your 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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