“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.
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