Spiritual entrepreneurship – any kind of entrepreneurship, really – is a long game.
I often say to my coaching clients, “business is a marathon, not a sprint.”
There’s no magic bullet, get-rich-quick scheme, shortcut, or secret that can make your business successful overnight.
It’s important to get used to this idea and to figure out your long-game strategy if you want to sustain and grow your spiritual business over time.
One of the best, most foolproof, most critical strategies in this long game is earning trust.
Trust matters more than attention
Getting someone’s attention is no longer enough. We’re bombarded with messaging, information, ads, and offers all day every day. On TV (if you still happen to watch cable TV!), on Hulu ads, on podcasts, through email newsletters, on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Your ideal clients are not immune to this bombardment of stimuli and information, so how will you manage to stand out?
Since just getting someone’s attention is no longer a viable strategy, you must ask questions like:
- Once I get someone’s attention, what’s the next step?
- How do I keep them engaged?
- How do I demonstrate that I actually care about them?
- How can I make them feel something through my messaging?
- What’s the end goal of getting their attention? Is my aim to connect with them, to offer a service, to invite them to book a discovery call, to lead them to take some other action?
Without trust, none of these steps can take place. And you have to think about the chain of events (or feelings) that you hope to evoke through your messaging, instead of just leaving it up to fate.
Do you want your potential clients to feel eager, hopeful, excited, challenged, understood, comforted, nurtured, or some other emotion when they interact with your content? Or maybe a combination of these emotions? Great! But first, you must earn their attention and their trust, so that they can connect with you in a meaningful and authentic way. In a way that they will remember and tell someone else about. Or in a way that will lead them to make the choice of working with you.
Being more intentional about how you build trust through your content and messaging is a great place to start. I outline some of the important ways in which I do this in my own business on a daily basis. These strategies have helped me build an authentically engaged community on Instagram, a mailing list with high open and click rates, and a solid client base of ideal clients that keeps expanding over time.
1 Show that you care (sincerely)
Do you sometimes scroll through your Instagram and find accounts with tons of followers, likes, and comments… but the person doesn’t seem to respond to comments or personally engage in any way?
I’ve never turned over my social media accounts to a social media manager because I have a pet peeve about being impersonal, phony-sounding, or inauthentic on any of these platforms. I want to engage with my community as much as possible through my own voice. I also want to hear about the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of real people in that community. This helps me to not only understand more of what my ideal clients need but also helps me grow as a human being and build real connections.
So, show that you honestly and sincerely care about others. Respond to their comments and emails directly. Let them know that they taught you something. Ask them with curiosity and respect about their own experiences and feelings.
Above all, be human – don’t be a robot and don’t engage only with the ulterior motive of selling something. People can smell this (more than) a mile away, and it can be extremely off-putting.
2 Be vulnerable
This will help you with #1, since being vulnerable is a great way to show your humanity and connect with others in real ways.
Of course, there’s a fine line even in spiritual business between being vulnerable and over-sharing. Don’t make everything about you or what you have experienced. When you share a story about your past or a challenge you’ve overcome, make sure that it’s still helpful and that others can get something from it. Try to tell stories about yourself in a way that allows others to see themselves, to find themselves in your storytelling.
Also, be open about your current challenges and struggles. I often share on Instagram when I’m having a hard time with something in my own spiritual business. Recently, I talked about getting triggered when a website visitor pointed out something they didn’t like about my website. Silly, I know, but that story is so relatable to other spiritual entrepreneurs who have websites and whose egos sometimes get triggered!
Showing some of your humanity, your mistakes, your messiness, your hang-ups can make you more approachable and welcoming. It helps to lower other people’s defenses, and it encourages them to be vulnerable with you in return.
3 Be consistent and be on time
Being consistent is a key part of growing a successful and profitable spiritual business. Since this is a long game, it’s difficult to get anywhere if you take a couple of actions here and there but then you stop tending your business for weeks at a time.
It’s also difficult for your audience to trust you if you have a very irregular schedule of posting content – whether on social media, via your newsletter or podcast, or any other way you communicate with them.
Once someone joins your social media community or signs up for your mailing list, make sure you have a consistent and helpful stream of content to offer them. This is a powerful way for you to stay connected, to show them what you’re all about, and to (hopefully) encourage them to work with you some day.
For sessions and discovery calls, always make sure to be on time and to deliver on what has been promised.
4 High ethical standards and integrity
One of the most important things for me is to always have high ethical and professional standards.
This means having the highest professional integrity – for example, not advertising yourself as “certified” or “licensed” if you’re not and getting the required certifications to do certain work or to use specific modalities (such as the Akashic Records).
Having high ethical standards also means implementing contracts, disclaimer forms, and clear policies for how you run your business and what clients can expect from working with you.
Another important part of business ethics is being able to say NO to non-ideal clients. When a non-ideal client asks to work with you, it would do them a disservice to take them on if you know your approach isn’t right for them or they would be better served by working with someone else. In these cases, be honest and respectful and refer them to someone else.
5 Be helpful and offer value – don’t treat people like commodities
Remember that every person in your audience or community, every person on your mailing list, every potential client you’ve ever spoken to is precisely that – a person.
No one wants to be treated like a commodity or just another name on a mailing list. Be very clear about avoiding this in your marketing, messaging, and interactions with your audience and community.
Let people know that you care about them, you appreciate their presence, and that you want to be as helpful as possible. Ask them what they need. Treat them with the utmost care and love. Send your clients a note of gratitude for choosing to work with you.
The most important thing here is not to take anyone for granted and to be appreciative for each and every person that comes into contact with you through your business.
6 Heal yourself to be more clear and present
Finally, as a healer or spiritual entrepreneur, you must continue working on healing yourself. ALL. THE. TIME.
This healing process, as you know, is a lifelong journey. And it’s no different for those of us in the healing professions. The more you can clear yourself of baggage, dysfunctional patterns, karma, and ego hang-ups, the more present and loving and helpful you will be with your clients.
So, in a way, doing the healing work on yourself is another way of having high ethical standards. It allows you to be a better, more effective, more powerful healer. It allows you to not get caught up in your own stuff when you’re working with a client. Both you and your clients will benefit greatly from this.
I hope these suggestions are useful as you build your spiritual business and grow your client base. I appreciate you stopping by the blog and reading this! If you’d like to explore the idea of working together, you can schedule a discovery call here.
With love + to your abundant success,