fbpx
10 Things I Want You To Know About Email Marketing

10 Things I Want You To Know About Email Marketing

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.”
~ Katharine Hepburn

In this blog I share 10 ideas about email marketing that will hopefully dispel some common myths about this business practice, as well as give you some ideas to inspire your own email marketing efforts.

I’ve alluded to these ideas in various ways throughout my teaching and 1:1 work but this is the first time I’ve pulled together, in one place, all of my thoughts on email marketing and how to make the most of it for your business. Whilst I am using the catch-all term “email marketing”, what I am mainly referring to here is the practice of sending newsletters to your subscribers.

Let’s take a look at those ideas.

1. Your email list is not your business.

Most mainstream marketing advice will have you believe that your email list is everything. That without a solid list of newsletter subscribers, it’s impossible for your business to succeed. Now whilst I’m a huge fan of writing and sending newsletters to my people and highly recommend it for your business (if you so feel inclined), I don’t believe that any one business strategy or tool is the be all and end all for your business.

For sure there are successful businesses out there who don’t have an email list, as well as many unsuccessful businesses that do!

2. You don’t have to have a big list to make money.

Since I’ve been working online (circa 10 years) the idea that the size of your list determines the level of income you are able to generate has been doing the rounds. I remember years ago working hard to achieve the goal of 1000 subscribers because it was (and still is) said that 1000 subscribers is the magic number needed to start being truly profitable in your business.

This is simply not true.

I’m actually making a lot more money now with a list of less than 1000 than I was in my old life coaching business with a list greater than 1000.

And it’s not just me, I remember collaborating with two colleagues of mine to sell one of my group programs. They agreed to share details of it with their list in exchange for an affiliate payment for any purchases made from their subscribers. The colleague whose list exceeded 1000 and was far bigger than my own at the time, made zero affiliate sales. The second colleague whose list was tiny and far smaller than my own, did.

The moral of this story? When it comes to your email list, quality over quantity is key.

3. You don’t have to focus on list-building.

Say what?! Honestly it’s true. I do not and have not focused on building my list for years now and yet I have a steady rate of growth, which on average looks like a new subscriber every couple of days. Now if you’re looking to get tens of thousands on your list in a fairly short period of time then a new subscriber every other day isn’t going to cut it, but given that I don’t believe that huge numbers are even necessary then this level of growth works well for me.

Even with a smallish list and an average growth of 15 new subscribers a month, my coaching practice is booked up with a waitlist and I often have several applications in for my mastermind, before I’ve even launched it.

So you might be wondering where these new subscribers are coming from if I’m not really doing any list-building activities. Well instead of list-building, my focus is, and has been for many years, on creating valuable content for my audience. Because of this content, people find my articles from searching on Google and on platforms like this and then come to my site to find out more. Once there, because the content they read is helpful to them, they sign-up to my newsletter to get more of the same.

In terms of promoting my newsletter I do just 1 or 2 things. Most of my blog posts have an opt-in box for my newsletter at the bottom (I don’t use pop-ups because we all hate them don’t we?!) which means when people find my content, which I do make an effort to promote, they also get to hear about my newsletter. Very occasionally, I’ll also put out a post letting my audience know the subject of my next email and inviting them to join my list to receive it (just like this one).

4. You do have to focus on engagement.

Whilst I don’t focus on growing my list or selling to my list, one thing I do focus on is engaging with my list. For me, I want to look past the numbers and focus on the very real people who are actually taking the time each week to read what I have to say. I do this in a number of ways.

  • As mentioned above, I make the intention of my newsletters to be practical and useful to the reader.
  • I make invitations to engage directly with me into every single email.
  • In my welcome email, I invite people to complete a short survey so that I can find out more about their particular needs.
  • Now and again, I’ll incorporate surveys into my emails to find out more about what my subscribers want from me.
  • Less so these days because of time constraints, but many times over the years, I’ve looked at who is reading my emails most regularly and will send them a direct and personal email to say hello and ask how I can help.

Engaging with my “list” serves to remind me that real people are on the other side of the metrics (number of subscribers, open rate etc), which is a far more important focus than the stats.

5. You don’t have to sell in every email.

In my research for this piece, I came across this definition from Neil Patel:

“Email marketing is the act of sending promotional messages to people in mass quantities. It typically is to generate sales or leads and it may contain advertising.”

If this is the accepted definition of email marketing then what I’m talking about in this piece is not email marketing.

Do I sell in my emails? Yes (well “sell” might be an overstatement, I prefer to think of it as letting my readers know what’s on offer. Is the primary purpose of my emails to generate sales or leads? No. If it were, I think I’d be dealing with a far higher numbers of unsubscribes. We’ve all been on the receiving end of emails designed to make a sale and we’ve also likely been on the receiving end of emails designed to serve.

I show up to write my newsletter as close to weekly as possible, as a means to serve my audience and deepen relationships with my subscribers. Do I hope to make sales as a result? Of course, I’d be lying if I said otherwise, but I never hold that as the intention behind my words. In fact the opposite, my intention as I write my letters is to help my readers to grow their business whether they decide to buy from me or not.

I believe that having this as the purpose of my emails makes me enjoy writing them so much more and my hope is that it helps my subscribers enjoy reading them so much more.

I do feel I have to add here that this isn’t your permission slip to never talk about your products and services because if you don’t, then you’re doing yourself and your would-be clients a disservice. You absolutely must find a regular rhythm of sharing about your products and services but it does not have to be the focus of your emails. Read this amazing article for another perspective on this.

6. You don’t need a freebie opt-in to grow your list.

I can still remember when I believed that having a freebie opt-in and using content upgrades was the only way to grow my list. Hours were spent trying to figure out what I could possibly create to entice people onto my list. More time spent messing around in Canva to create beautiful PDFs and even more time spent (aka wasted!) trying to figure out how to work the backend so that I could offer different opt-ins and only have one list.

And then about 3 years ago I read an article from the brilliant George Kao titled No More Lead Magnets. In it he argues that making someone pay for something “free” with their email address (i.e. their time and attention), is neither truly authentic nor effective. When people join your list because they want your freebie, you’ll find that they’ll either unsubscribe shortly after downloading said freebie (we’ve all done it!) or they’ll stay on your list but rarely (or never) open your subsequent emails. Which makes sense because they weren’t signing up to receive your newsletters, they were signing up to get the freebie you promoted to them.

Since reading George’s post all those years ago, I got rid of the freebie opt-in on my site and instead focused on promoting and creating a newsletter that people would want to receive. I have a whole page (which you can read here) dedicated to explaining why you might want to join my list

7. You don’t need to pack your emails with lots of content.

Generally, when I start working with clients on their newsletter strategy, they often think that they need to have a ton of content in each email, with links to their own content as well as featuring other people’s content as well as useful resources, what I’m reading etc, etc! Personally I think this is what keeps most people from getting an email out on a regular basis — when we make the task of creating and pulling together our newsletter so big, it can be easy to use the time it takes as an excuse.

I like to keep it super simple by choosing a topic that I know is relevant to my audience (generally it’s something that keeps coming up in my client calls) and I share my best strategies and advice on that one topic. It typically looks like a long-form piece of writing which could also be an article or blog post. Sometimes at the end of the email I’ll share details of one of my products and services and oftentimes I don’t.

When it comes to writing for your business, I have a simple rule — if it feels burdensome and like hard work to create, it will feel burdensome and like hard work to read. Keep it simple for your sake and your readers.

8. You’re not bothering your audience.

More often than not, when we inevitably begin to discuss the idea of sending regular emails to subscribers, clients of mine tend to fear that they’ll be “bothering” their audience by sending out regular emails. This makes sense because for sure, we’ve all at some point or another felt irritated by a barrage of salesy emails from a business owner, we now regret handing our email over to.

The thing is, the people I work with — the likes of you and I — don’t do salesy and barrage, we endeavour to serve and support. Who wouldn’t want to receive a weekly email that contains relevant information for the very thing you are struggling with/working on? Think about the newsletters you love — do you feel bothered by them? No of course not — are they fairly regular and consistent? My best guess, if they are an established business, that they are.

Please drop this idea that you are bothering people when you email them. If you have your newsletter sign up setup ethically, then they have given you their email address with the express wish that you send them useful information.

9. You can repurpose your newsletters.

Rather than see my newsletter as just one more marketing task I have to take on, I use these letters as the place where my newest, most up to date content is created. I then over the course of several months repurpose that content into articles for Medium, LinkedIn and my blog as well as create various posts and stories for social media. This very piece started out as a newsletter!

Rather than these emails be something that I put a lot of effort into creating, to then send to a list of which only half of my subscribers will read, I repurpose the hell out of each and every one and you can do the same. If you want the full low-down on my approach to content marketing head here.

10. You can break the rules (including your own).

My hope is that much of what I’ve shared here goes some way to showing you that many of the email marketing rules out there in the mainstream, can in fact be broken. There absolutely is no one way to do email marketing, there are many and what works for one business owner may fall flat for someone else.

The key is to do what feels aligned. To create what feels exciting for you to create and once you’ve found what works best for you and your readers don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can never change things up. Yes, you can even break your own rules.

So there you have it, 10 things I wanted you to know about email marketing. Was this list helpful? If so, leave a comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

How To Start Enjoying The Sales Process

How To Start Enjoying The Sales Process

“Sales is not about selling anymore, but about building trust and educating.”

~ Siva Devaki

I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by authentic business coach, George Kao. Now if you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of George’s work and his approach to business.

George initially invited me to share about my most interesting insights and learnings when it comes to business growth and after spending not too long thinking about it, I decided that what I most wanted to talk about was how we sell. After making just a few notes on the topic, 4 distinctions emerged that I felt called to share. Distinctions that I think can help to reframe the sales process for you, the conscious business owner.

I share these 4 distinctions as an alternative to the mainstream marketing advice you might usually find online about how to sell.

Sales and marketing present the biggest struggle for the majority of people I work with. This is I believe, a result of what they think they need to do in order to get more sales. My hope is that the 4 alternatives I present below, help you to see that sales can, in fact, feel good for you, the business owner and for the people you are selling to.

1. Create Vs Attract

I talked about this distinction in some detail in another article. If you didn’t see it then, head here now to get the full low-down. Essentially, what I mean by creating clients versus attracting them is placing a focus on building meaningful relationships with people in your network and audience versus trying to present a polished image to the world so as to attract people to your business. Mainstream advice would have us focus on things like branding, web design, professional photos and persuasive copy as a means to sell but in this alternative approach, none of that is actually essential.

Instead of focusing on how your business “looks”, it’s possible to create clients by showing up for the people you already know and serving them deeply, whether that be through your content, complimentary sessions or any other way of being generous with your expertise. An analogy I share in the video is this:

Imagine you were looking for the love of your life and rather than spend your time going out and having fun meeting people and making meaningful connections, you spent all of your time focused on your appearance, working out in the gym to have the perfect body, spending all your money on the perfect clothes and spending hours each day trying to make your hair and makeup look perfect.

How do you think that would go? Sure you might attract some people but would they be there for the right reasons? Would the connections you make be rooted in what’s important? Most of us know this when it comes to finding a partner but when it comes to our business we fall into the trap of trying to present the perfect image. Today, I’m giving you full permission to let go of that.

2. Demonstrating expertise vs describing it

As part of the mainstream attraction model, we’re often taught that in order to sell our products and services, we must become masters of persuasion. In order to “convert” our audience into buyers, we must becomes experts at describing our services in such a way that the potential client can’t wait to buy. There are many strategies touted online designed to manipulate people into buying from us. Check out the ethical move for a set of tactics we advise you avoid in favour of more ethical alternatives.

In place of trying to convince people to buy your products and services with words, I encourage you to demonstrate your expertise instead. You can do this in a number of ways including, but not limited to, offering complimentary sessions, hosting free workshops, publishing free training videos so people can see your work in action and last but not least, sharing your knowledge in your content. And with this last point, I advise that you don’t hint at what you know to get the sale, instead share generously and in doing so cultivate deeper trust with your audience.

3. Serving vs Selling

This is where our primary objective when connecting with people in our network is to serve rather than to sell. Be that to potential clients, your colleagues and peers as well as mentors and role models. Whenever you find yourself thinking about making an ask of someone, see if you can find a way to serve instead. Here are two examples of what this might look like:

Instead of writing to former clients to ask if they know anyone who might be interested in working with you, write to them to offer a pitch-free, complimentary session to gift to someone in their network. In doing so you give the gift of giving to one of your former clients, the gift of your service to someone new and at the same time, ask for nothing in return. No selling is involved, yet you get an opportunity to demonstrate your experience to someone who may benefit from working with you.

Another place this distinction shows up for me is in your content, how often do we read newsletters and social media posts that go deep into a problem we might have, only to lead us to a solution we then have to buy — which goes something like…do you have this problem? Is it causing you all of these sorts of suffering? Then don’t despair because everything you need is available in my course, e-book, program etc.

When you serve in your content rather than sell, you cultivate trust, demonstrate your expertise and allow people to get value from your work whether they buy or not. Now you might be sat there thinking but I need to sell or I can’t pay my bills. In my experience the less I focus on selling and the more I focus on serving, the more my business grows.

4. Authentic pricing vs Premium pricing

Again this is one I cover in some detail in this article but for the purposes of this post, I’ll share the distinction in a nutshell. Whilst mainstream business advice will nearly always tell you to raise your prices, I’m here to tell you that you can build a profitable business without charging insane amounts of money for your services. In fact, often adopting the premium pricing model for your coaching, mentoring or healing services can have the adverse effect of making less than money than you otherwise might.

Big prices don’t necessarily equate to big income. In fact for many people the opposite happens. The bigger the price, the harder they have to work to get the sale and the less income is being generated overall. I invite you to tune out the noise online about pricing and to tune into what feels right to you as a business owner.

I hope you’ve found those distinctions useful and if you want to hear me and George chat about them, you can watch the video of our conversation here.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Are You Willing To Think About Marketing Differently

Are You Willing To Think About Marketing Differently

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.”
~ Brené Brown

Lately I’ve had a phrase that keeps playing in my head and I’m feeling called to share it:

You don’t get paid to do your marketing, you do your marketing to get paid.

I can’t tell you how often I hear from business owners that they don’t have the time, inclination, inspiration or discipline to be consistent in their marketing efforts and it pains me every time I do. I see good people doing important work in the world, not making enough money to be sustainable, because they have a really terrible relationship with marketing. Just the word makes some people retreat.

Is that you? Do you feel like your business life would be all sunshine and rainbows if you could just be successful already without having to do any marketing? If so, then I’m hoping that what you read here today changes how you feel about the M word.

Before we dive in though. Take a moment now to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself what marketing means to you? If you have pen and paper, jot down your thoughts before reading on.

I want to share with you some common problems I see when it comes to how conscious business owners feel about marketing, along with my suggested reframes. See if you can relate.

You see marketing as inherently bad and to market your work is to be pushy, icky and salesy. It means shouting about yourself, being an attention-seeker, annoying or bothering people — being salesy.

Of course I get this, it makes perfect sense — a lot of marketing online is manipulative and unethical and nearly always focused on getting the sale. It, therefore, makes perfect sense that you would want to avoid it as much as possible, but and it’s a big but — there is another way! You absolutely can do marketing without being these things.

One of my favourite reframes is to think about connecting with people rather than marketing to them.

If you think about connecting or having a conversation with another human beings on the subject of your area of expertise, does it bring up the same feelings? If you think about that connection in the context of the Brené Brown quote at the top of this article, can you image a way to connect with people in your network that has them feel seen, heard and valued? Isn’t that preferable?

Of course traditional marketing is pretty gross and self-serving but it doesn’t have to be.

If how you connect with your people is valuable to them and helps them to overcome difficulties or struggles in their life, why wouldn’t you want to do more of it?

Think about the people you admire in your industry, the newsletters you look forward to reading. For sure they will be few and far between but my guess is that there are some blog posts, newsletters, Instagram feeds that add to your day and how would you feel if the people behind those pieces of content suddenly decided to stop sharing their wisdom on the regular because they don’t want to “bother” you.

Marketing is only a nuisance if it’s spammy, manipulative, fluff. Don’t put out spammy and manipulative fluff and you’re good to go.

You don’t always enjoy marketing and and only feel able to show up when you feel inspired to do so.

I was talking to a client about recommitting to her content schedule and her plan to do weekly FB lives. The problem, she complained, was that she didn’t always feel like going live and so often that meant she didn’t. To her it seemed logical that if she didn’t feel like showing up, she shouldn’t push herself to do so.

So I asked this question: What do you do when you have a client session booked in that you don’t feel like doing? She didn’t miss a beat in telling me that she would of course show up anyway.

Can you relate to that? Does showing up for your clients feel different to showing up for your audience? I get it AND, I think that this is something it would serve you well to shift. This is where the idea that “we don’t get paid to do our marketing but instead do our marketing to get paid” comes from.

In my mind it’s a mistake to separate out the marketing of your business and the delivery of your services. It seems short-sighted to say I will give my all to my clients and show up powerfully for them and then be flakey and unreliable in your marketing. Why? Because if you show up inconsistently to the very people who might be considering investing in your services, then why would they think things would be different once they’ve paid you? How are your prospective clients going to trust you enough to hire you if they see you only showing up when you feel like it?

It’s clear to me that these two are related. If we see marketing as the devil’s work then of course we’re not going to feel like doing it or imposing it on to our people.

So it follows that we have to redefine what marketing means for us.

Allow me to share a little of my behind the scenes to show you what conscious marketing can look and feel like.

Writing my weekly newsletter is my most important marketing activity of the week. Its contents now becoming this blog post. I’ll also repurpose it for my Medium profile, LinkedIn profile as well as Facebook and Instagram. In short, if I didn’t write the newsletter, I wouldn’t have any of my other marketing materials.

Here’s how I created the newsletter behind this very piece. One morning after my husband and little ones left for work, school and nursery, I had breakfast and a shower. I then made a tall cup of hot chai with oat milk (my new favourite beverage with which I’m obsessed!) and headed to my office.

The first thing I do these days is burn my favourite incense (it reminds me of my days of living in Thailand) and play a track of windchime and birdsong sounds on repeat. (One of my lovely clients has actual windchimes in her home and when we have sessions the sound of them feels so calming that I decided to recreate it).

Then I opened up my Mailchimp and started the email. I should mention that I block off the whole of Monday mornings from 9am — 12.30pm to write my newsletter. It takes time to create valuable content and I want to honour that.

Usually I’ve thought about the topic ahead of time. I like to mull it over when I’m in the shower and at other points in my day — I also believe that when I come up with the topic ahead of time, my subconscious mind works on it when I’m not even thinking about it.

Before and as I write, I hold the intention to serve. I truly want my weekly letters to help the reader (you!) so I’m mindful to give as much as I can in support of your business growth.

There is nothing about this marketing activity that feels icky to me. I love writing, so for me the task itself is enjoyable and I love the topic of “conscious business” so I’m super inspired to share about it and my setup feels calming and nourishing, like I’m sitting down to my craft. To make art even.

Sometimes I also share something about what I have on offer and other times I don’t. I always separate out the content of the email from the selling of my services so as not to muddy the water. I want what I share in my content to be of value to you even if you don’t buy what I’m selling.

Can you feel the difference between this and how you might have approached marketing in the past? 

The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s possible to do marketing in a conscious and compassionate way and for it to feel good. I truly believe it’s possible to fall in love with marketing if you’re willing to see it in a whole new light.

So now over to you, what could you change about your relationship to marketing that would have it feel good to you and to your people? What could you change in how you approach your marketing activities to make it feel more soulful? If you feel called to share with me, feel free to leave a comment below.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Five Ways To Demonstrate Your Expertise

Five Ways To Demonstrate Your Expertise

“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them.”

~ Werner Heisenberg

Imagine this.

You’re a talented, but relatively unheard of artist who has created a stunning painting. You now have to sell it without anyone ever seeing it. All you can do is describe how beautiful it is to potential buyers.

How would you do it? Pretty tricky huh.

Yet this is what so many business owners attempt to do with their marketing.

They have a skill or service that they offer, they get great feedback from the people who have experienced it, but then they feel like they have to “sell” it and themselves to their audience, using persuasive copy and/or gimmicky sales tricks.

No wonder most people struggle with marketing. Both those doing the marketing and those being marketed to!

What I teach my 1:1 Clients and Mastermind participants is how to demonstrate their expertise without feeling like they have to sell themselves.

What an almighty relief that would be, right!?

If you know that you’ve got a great service to sell, but the idea of trying to describe why it’s worth buying makes you want to stick pins in your eye, then this blog post is for you.

Below you’ll find 5 simple and authentic ways to demonstrate your expertise without ever having to feel like you are being a sleazy salesperson.

I know you’ve heard this one before, but it does bear repeating because not all content created is equal.

What I’m suggesting here is that you be intentional about creating content that demonstrates your expertise. How? Consider the nuggets of wisdom, practical strategies, top tips and ideas you share with your paying clients and then package those in the form of content for your audience (and would-be clients). The way I do this is to make notes on my content schedule after virtually every coaching session I have.

Without exception, there will be a concept, strategy or several that come to light within each and every one of my coaching sessions. An idea that I’ll walk my client through that can be put into practice in his/her business to ensure further business growth.

In one such recent session, the subject of doing Facebook Live Q+As (more on that below) came up as a way to demonstrate expertise which gave me the idea for this whole article.

So next time you’re short on ideas for content, consider your last client session or call. What advice did you give that could be packaged as a blog post or article and go write that.

Allowing someone to directly experience your skill or service is the best way I know to sell it. There is no need to describe the benefits of working with you if you can give someone a direct experience of working with you. I do this by offering complimentary coaching sessions — and if you are a coach too, you can read more about the benefits of doing the same in your business here.

If you’re a teacher you might offer a free class, or if you’re a website designer, a free website review. Think of your local yoga studio who lets you drop in to your first class for free so that you can assess whether or not the style of teaching is for you.

The key to making this work for you in terms of demonstrating expertise is to deliver whatever you give for free with the same level of professionalism and care as you would for a paying client.

So many business owners save the best of themselves for the paying client, when in fact, if you are generous with your gifts and they truly help your audience, it will naturally leave them wanting more.

This works under the same premise as a free session but allows you to reach more people in one hit. Instead of 10 x 1 hour complimentary coaching sessions, you can host an informative and valuable 1 hour group call that could reach 100 people or more!

Of course the impact of attending a one hour group call maybe lower than the impact of an hour of dedicated 1:1 attention but you can still use free workshops to demonstrate your expertise by teaching your knowledge to the very people who need it the most.

One piece of advice I would give is to avoid the word “webinar” as it has become synonymous with being sold to. I would also avoid any hard selling on a call of this nature as the purpose is not to sell something but to demonstrate your expertise and be of value to your community. If the call is powerful enough, you can bet they will head to your website straight after to see how they can get more from you.

Don’t underestimate the trust that can be cultivated when you don’t sell on on a call like this. People are so used to the sales pitch that it’s both disarming and delightful when there isn’t one.

This was the idea that sparked this whole piece. A former client of mine, who has a great deal of expertise in healing PCOS was looking to create more interaction with her growing audience and I suggested that she hold live Q+A sessions on her Facebook page. She already had a raft of questions that she’d been asked in the past so I suggested that while her audience warms up and starts showing up to ask questions in real time, she could just do Facebook Lives where she answers the questions she’s already been asked.

The trick is to set a time to show up live and then publicise that time with your audience so that they know to show up and watch along in real time. If you are earlier on in your business and haven’t yet had any questions from your audience or former clients, consider what questions you might get or even those questions you yourself have had, before you gained the expertise you now have. Then take the time on a Facebook live to answer those.

The key here is to position yourself as an authority in your field, without trying to sell yourself and at the same time being generous and providing genuine value to your people.

No one can speak to your expertise better than other people. Having strong testimonials and reviews is essential when it comes to verifying your expertise to potential clients. You can rave about your qualifications and skills all you want on your website, but if you don’t have other people sharing about the impact of their work with you, then you’re missing a trick.

Something I like to do on a fairly regular basis is to ask people who have worked with me, either as a paying client or on a gift basis, to leave a review on my Facebook page. I make sure to only ask those people who have told me directly that our work together made a positive difference to them. The reason I ask people to leave it on my Facebook page is because once there I can share it in different places on social media and also repurpose it for other places like my website.

So there you have it 5 non-icky ways to demonstrate your expertise to your audience.

It’s important to speak to a fear that sometimes comes up in people when I talk about giving away our expertise for free. Someone recently shared with me that she was thrown when a potential client asked her why he should pay for her 1:1 services when she gives so much of her process away on her blog. And she’s not alone, many business owners worry that people will take their free content and never buy.

But here’s the thing. A significant proportion of your audience will never buy. In fact the vast majority won’t. That’s just numbers. But those who want 1:1 support (your ideal clients — because the people who think they can do it without you aren’t) will pay you for it, if they truly believe you can help them.

I never hold back in my free content out of fear that you wouldn’t hire me as your coach because when you hire a coach, you’re not just paying for information, your paying for customised feedback, advice and support for your specific situation, accountability to implement, guidance, troubleshooting, hand holding and dedicated 1:1 attention.

No blog post or free session could ever replace a long-term 1:1 coaching relationship and the people who don’t get that, aren’t my ideal clients.

I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve shared here, if it resonates please let me know in the comments below.

Would you love work with me on your business foundations? 

My 1:1 Coaching Program supports coaches, healers, teachers and other service-based practitioners to get the business foundations in place so that the growth strategies they implement actually lead to sustainable growth. 

The first step is a complimentary coaching session with me. If at the end of the session, you’re interested in applying for a spot, I’ll share with you next steps. There is no obligation to proceed with an application just because you’ve booked a session. It is not a sales call – it’s a gift from me to you so that you can experience the impact of my work. To book, simply hit the button below.

How To Market Your Business Even if You Don’t Like Writing

How To Market Your Business Even if You Don’t Like Writing

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.” 

~ Brené Brown

We are told all the time that content is king and creating content is the best way to grow your business, so for those business owners who struggle with writing, it can be hard to know how to market your business. But before I get into a list of alternative ways to market your business first I want to help you reframe what marketing is.

Most people have a resistance to marketing because they feel like it’s all about selling themselves and their products and services and this feels icky. Now of course generating income is absolutely want we want to achieve as a result of our marketing efforts but when we think of marketing as selling to our audience, it inevitably triggers resistance.

Why? Because as conscious business owners, we want to do good with our work and the examples of “successful” marketing we most often see online actually leave us feeling cold. We’re most often exposed to tactics and writing that seek to persuade, pressure and manipulate people to buy. Tactics we would never feel comfortable employing and so we turn our back on marketing altogether, our income suffers as a result and we struggle to have the positive impact on the world we so deeply desire.

If we let go of the idea of marketing as selling to our people and think of it as connecting with our people, the idea of marketing suddenly loses its negative charge. And it’s not just about changing the way we think about marketing, it’s about changing the way we do it.

As you’ll have likely heard me say before, people buy from people and businesses they know, like and trust. Therefore it follows that any marketing you do should endeavour to help people get to know you better, like you more and to trust you. Now I don’t know about you but I love those people and businesses who respect me as a customer and don’t use any old trick they can to persuade me to buy.

It follows then, that in place of selling, we can allow our marketing (or our content) to simply become the best ways in which we do the following:

  • Connect with our audience.
  • Inspire trust.
  • Demonstrate expertise.
  • Be of service.
  • Deepen the relationship.
  • Share/document our journey.
  • Reveal our point of view
  • Outline our methodology.

Of course this can be done through writing (my preferred choice) but it can also be done in a plethora of other ways. Some of which I share below.

Videos. Not a natural writer? How about talking to camera instead, plenty of successful 6-figure business owners have leveraged the power of video to deepen their connection to their audience.

Interviews. Find the idea of talking to camera terrifying, why not interview experts in your field on live or pre-recorded interviews instead? Being a thought-leader in your industry doesn’t necessarily mean having all the answers, sometimes being the person who asks the right questions and brings together the right people to explore the topic your audience is interested in is enough to for people to put their trust in you and what you offer.

Podcasts. Another great way to facilitate the know, like and trust factor is to do podcasts, ideal for people who have a point of view they want to share but would rather not do it in front of the camera. Podcasts can be solo endeavours where you consistently show up and share content that speaks to your dream client or it can be interview-based where you bring guests on the show. Both work.

Complimentary offerings. If you struggle to describe what it is you do in ways that have people wanting to buy, why not offer them a free sample? If you are a web designer that might be a free website review. If you’re a coach or healer, a free session. If you teach, perhaps a free class, tutorial or workshop? Nothing demonstrates your service or product better than a direct experience of it.

Calls. One of the fastest and easiest ways to cultivate a deeper connection with your audience is to simply hop on a 1:1 call with actual people. Nothing creates relationship quicker than a real conversation. One way I do this is to schedule virtual coffee dates (video calls on Zoom) with people I feel inspired to connect with. You’d be amazed what can come out of a good old fashioned chat.

The key to all of these is that you shift your goal from selling to serving. When you shift the goal of your content or marketing to simply connecting, educating, inspiring and supporting your people rather than hoodwinking them into buying, then trust is a given and sales become a natural by-product.

You don’t need to be a great writer to market your business but you do need to find ways in which to cultivate a deeper connection with your market. If you’re struggling to identify what way might work best for your particular business or how to make your marketing educational and inspiring rather than salesy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, I’d happily share my thoughts with you.

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Four Marketing ‘Tactics’ That Erode Trust

Four Marketing ‘Tactics’ That Erode Trust

Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.

~ Bob Vanourek

As conscious business owners it goes without saying that we want to cultivate trust with our audience. We want to be of service and have our clients’ and customers’ best interests in mind. We’re all about having a positive impact on the world so the idea of doing something that would erode trust between us and our audience is abhorrent to us.

But here’s the thing, as conscious business owners, we are bombarded with messages from online business experts and marketers that in order to succeed we must use strategies that do just that. Erode trust. We know that these tactics don’t feel good, in some instances they feel downright icky but when we so desperately want to get our message heard and share our positive gifts with the world, in the absence of a more conscious alternative, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of thinking they are a necessary evil.

In this post, I’m going to share with you 4 such strategies so that you can avoid falling for them as you navigate the online marketplace and be more mindful of using them with your clients.

 

1. Using false scarcity to pressure buyers 

We see this all the time in online marketing. It’s not uncommon to be told we have 24 hours to buy or the offer goes away forever, only to head back to the same page a few days later to see that the countdown time has reset.

Sometimes it’s the early bird or registration deadline and a big deal is made of this looming deadline, which, we learn shortly afterwards, has actually been extended.

Sometimes it’s claims about limited spaces left. I’ve even talked to people who have actually been told by a business coach to make claims like this, even when they have no sign-ups at all, purely to encourage people to buy.

People use these strategies because often in the short-term, they work but once we catch-on to the lie, the damage to the relationship between business owner and client can be irreparable. As the saying goes:

Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.

There are of course times when scarcity is legitimate. There is a deadline because your program or course starts on a specific date or there is a limited number of spaces because there are only so many people you can accommodate at the venue you’re hosting your talk. Sometimes we choose to limit numbers because we want to make sure we can give each person adequate personal attention. All of these reasons are valid. What is not valid, is using false scarcity as a “tactic” to pressure people in to making a quick decision to buy.

 

2. Playing on people’s Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) 

“Last Chance” “Don’t Miss Out” “There’s No Time to Lose!” “ONLY 1 DAY LEFT!” I got all of these statements from emails in my junk folder today. Playing on our fear of missing out is so prevalent these days and when it’s used for something you’re genuinely in two minds about buying, this tactic can be anxiety inducing to say the least. Just as with scarcity, there are of course legitimate points at which the potential buyer may miss out on making the purchase if they don’t buy. But there are also times when FOMO is played on when it’s not legitimate just to force the sale.

What’s definitely not okay is when business owners play on your fear of missing out by insinuating that by not enrolling in their program or signing up for their service, you will be missing out on that which you are trying to create or realise. Mark Silver of Heart of Business says this:

“When a marketer is pushing you around not losing out on realizing your hopes and dreams, that should be a caution flag. There is a way to mention this as a point for folks to consider: Is there a dream they’ve been putting off? This is a problem endemic in a broken culture – deferred dreams, and is a legitimate consideration for someone…If, however, the marketer is implying or saying that the only way to stop deferring your dream is to enrol in their program, that is wrong.”

If you are considering a purchase and find yourself feeling anxious because of the marketing messages coming from the business owner, consider this a sign that FOMO is being activated. Consider whether or not you want to invest in a business that uses this to pressure you into buying.

 

3. Making unrealistic promises or guarantees

Working within the business coaching industry, I’m only too aware and often aghast by all of the “Six weeks to 6-figure” messages we see these days online. “Work with me and I’ll show you how I went from broke to making six figures in six months” often accompanied by filtered images of said business owner living the good life, working on the beach for only 2 hours a day.

For business owners struggling to break even, working every hour god sends and battling self-doubt and fear, promises like these can be seducing. Who wouldn’t want to make money fast and live a life of freedom and reward? But so much of this is, at best seriously exaggerated and, at worst completely fake. If it were that simple to get rich so quickly and so easily, everyone would do it. Seriously. What’s happening more often than not is a pyramid scheme of people making good money from selling people the dream of making good money and how to sell that dream to others.

Whenever you hear a promise that feels too good to be true, the chances are that it is. Don’t get me wrong, there are people whose businesses grow fast, but even that is not necessarily something worth chasing. Slow and organic growth, rooted in integrity and service, rather than tactics and manipulation is a far safer bet in the long term for you and your audience.

 

4. Dressing up your sales pitch as “free” content or training 

This is a strategy that really erodes trust. We’re offered something free, a webinar, a training series, an article or e-book, only to discover that what we are receiving is in fact a thinly-veiled sales pitch.

How many webinars or free trainings have you watched or listened to which dedicate the first 20% of the call with the host bragging about their credentials and success, 20% of the time at the end pitching a new program or product and the rest of the time full of taster content that’s not substantial in itself but gives you just enough to whet your appetite for more. This is a tried and tested model and for many it works because when combined with time-sensitive offers using false scarcity and playing on FOMO, as buyers we’re really getting clobbered on the manipulation front.

How about offering good quality, meaningful, (truly) free or truly affordable content instead. Wouldn’t that make you want to invest in someone’s services, more than the former approach?

 

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

~ Stephen R. Covey

 

Have you used one or more of these tactics? How did you feel about doing so? This post isn’t meant to judge but rather inform, I myself have used some of the above, before I got wise to the fact that a) they don’t benefit my audience or my business and that b) there is another way. It’s the mission of my business these days to empower and educate other business owners how to do business differently.

I’m curious, what unethical marketing and business strategies have you come across? I’d love to know, so please take a moment now to add to my list by commenting below.  

SIGN UP FOR MY SOULFUL STRATEGIES WEEKLY

 

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.