Organic food is better for your health and the well-being of the environment, but usually costs more money.
Similarly, organic marketing is better for your brand and the well-being of your audience, but usually costs more time and effort in the beginning.
This distinction was triggered by a message I received:
I attended a local marketing meeting. The topic of "funnels" came up. The leader shared all the manipulative, FOMO, fear-based tactics out there. When I shared that I thought many were just that, the conversation turned into me having "limited beliefs" about what people want, and when they want it, because all the information is being offered as a "service." I have a few examples but it's too much to share. It wasn't the leader who was saying this - he was very chill about it all - it was a couple of the other participants who have "heart-centered" businesses.
Yes, even values-driven entrepreneurs are being indoctrinated into the idea of using manipulative marketing funnels.
If you’ve ever joined anyone’s email list, you probably have experienced some of this. You expected free and helpful content, and maybe you got some of it, but then they started to sell products and services in a way that feels “off”... too much pressure, hype, or manipulation.
It’s not how you would treat someone you care about.
Organic marketing is essentially about caring for your audience more than most businesses are willing to care.
Much of what I write on my blog is about organic marketing, which I've been calling authentic marketing.
I also should clarify that by “organic” I don’t mean organic vs. paid content. I often use paid ads to amplify my content and offerings. By using the term “organic” I am contrasting it to “conventional” as in the analogy of farming:
Conventional farming "works" in the short term to produce a lot of food, more cheaply, with less effort, but the pesticides cause long-term damage to consumer health and the environment.
Similarly, conventional marketing uses hype and fear-based tactics, and pressure persuasion to get sales quickly, but that baser set of values damages consumer trust and decreases the reputation of one’s industry. A popular example is manipulative marketing funnels.
The early pioneers of organic farming were probably laughed at by their conventional peers who told them: "Why are you being foolish and leaving so much money on the table by not using pesticides? You're too idealistic / your beliefs are limiting your success..."
Similarly, I’ve been mocked by peers who think I’m being naive in “caring” so much for my audience with all this free content, when I should be moving them (you!) through a planned sales funnel so I can extract the maximum value from my relationship with you.
Or they'll say that my courses, group program, 1-1 coaching are priced much too low. 10 years ago I would've agreed. Thankfully I’ve changed, and now believe in setting fees based on compassion and enoughness.
In recent years, as consumers wise up to the benefits of eating healthier and care more for the environment, organic farming is becoming more profitable.
Similarly, online consumers are wisening up to the conventional marketing tactics and now choosing businesses that are more heart-based.
I have seen my audience and business experience more sustainable growth as I’ve shifter to bringing more genuine care into my marketing, and speaking up about the harmfulness of conventional marketing.
As business owners who care about the well-being of our audience and our conscience, we are the organic farmers of the entrepreneurial world. We seek to do what is healthy for mind & soul.
At first, it will seem to take more effort than conventional ways (the illusion of quick results and easy money.)
The effort, however, can be an experience of joy and fulfillment, as we reconnect daily to our heart and spirit, and see our marketing itself as a ministry, rather than merely a means to an end.
Let go of the constant grasping for short-term results.
Ultimately, it is about dedicating ourselves to the path of mastery.
As we master the process and joy of creating authentic content that truly blesses our audience… and as we master the knowledge of our audience that allows us to create products/services that are truly resonant... then our organic marketing efforts will be even more profitable than conventional means.
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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