Spiritual teachers: your marketing makes a greater impact than your “real” work...
Many spiritual teachers fall prey to the idea of "means to an end"... let the marketers do whatever they do to get us an audience, so that we can do our "real" work with the clients...
Those teachers don’t understand that their marketing itself is impacting many more people, compared to the smaller numbers who sign up to work with them. Their public presence (messaging and branding) is influencing many more minds and hearts than they realize.
In other words, your marketing itself is a core part of your ministry/client work.
A friend of mine just unsubscribed from a well-known spiritual teacher's email list.
Even though my friend liked the teacher’s work, their marketing messaging had become too incongruent with their supposed values.
For example, the marketing was using subject lines that are clickbaity and pressure-based… one of the marketing tactics I recommend avoiding.
Your marketing will impact many souls
Think about this -- if your marketing is actually successful, your message, presence, and values will reach many more people than who eventually sign up to work with you.
For example, if one of your videos goes viral, it may reach and impact 10,000 people or more. Yet you don’t expect even half of them to sign up for your services or products… you don’t even have the capacity to serve so many people at once! A fraction of them will sign up, for sure, but statistically, the more successful a marketing campaign, the lower the rate of conversion. (This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t worry about conversion rates in your marketing.)
You are making an impact on many more souls with your "marketing" compared to your "real" work that you do with relatively fewer students.
“Have to” do marketing? Or “get to”?
If as a spiritual teacher you are dedicated to helping as many people as possible, then you’ll have to use "marketing" and "advertising". I just hope that you see those actions as essential parts of your practice of teaching… not just to entice or seduce people into buying so that you can then teach them. No, you’re already teaching them: with how you do your marketing.
This is why I’m so passionate about spreading the message of authentic marketing, especially to businesses that say they are dedicated to higher values: service providers like you.
When your marketing is successful, a movement/community forms around your content. This helps everyone: less loneliness, more support in applying the wisdom you’re spreading, and of course, new people discover you.
What values are transmitted through your marketing?
For every 1 paying student, you’ll impact many potential students through your marketing. Yet, what values are being conveyed through your marketing method and messaging?
This is why I recommend being very careful (and reluctant) to outsource your marketing.
You might have the dream that you could just let “someone else” take care of your marketing while you spend your precious energy doing “the real work” with your students and clients. Yet the sad thing is, the vast majority of marketers don’t understand how to implement your values in the marketing.
Learn the marketing before you outsource it
This is why I recommend that everyone learn to do their own marketing, to ensure that their values are deeply embedded in the impact they’re making on the world. It’s not that you have to personally do the marketing forever. As your business grows, you’ll have the funds to outsource your marketing.
However, because you’ve been personally doing it for a while, you understand the process well enough to outsource properly and to monitor your team to ensure that they are staying true to your values as they work to expand your message to more people, using authentic marketing methods.
The deeper purpose of marketing
I often say that marketing is the process of a business finding its Calling... because it's through the market testing of our messages (our content and offers) that we discover the blessed intersection between our interests and what the market wants from us.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.”
Let’s see our marketing and advertising not as a means to an end, not as a necessary evil to be able to do the “good” work with students/clients, but rather, let’s understand that marketing is a core part of our way of making an impact in the world.
Whether or not each person signs up to work with you, may everyone in your audience be blessed and served by your marketing. Whether or not you planned on it, you are actually teaching a lot through your marketing.