As a spiritual, intuitive, or creative entrepreneur, it can be tough to market yourself.
(Gah, that dreaded word – marketing! Does it make you shudder? No worries – this post will show you how you can approach marketing from a far less scary, much more ethical and aligned way.)
You’ve got a unique kind of magic or medicine to offer the world, but it feels so skeezy, so uncomfortable, so yucky to have to promote yourself and market your business.
The bad news is that you won’t be able to gain visibility or actually reach the people you’re meant to help without a solid marketing strategy and gameplan. Competition in the online world, and in the healing and coaching world, is at an all-time high (just scroll through Instagram to see how many people are marketing themselves as coaches & healers).
The good news is that this competition doesn’t matter – it becomes irrelevant – if you know how to market yourself with integrity and by emphasizing your unique magic. The magic that NO ONE ELSE can do or offer.
My Story of Failure
I struggled with how to market myself when I first started out.
I created a website (on Wix back in those days), printed some business cards, set up a healing room, posted on Facebook and Instagram, and waited.
That old adage – if you build it, they will come – is false.
Feeling frustrated and disappointed with online marketing (because I didn’t know how to actually do it), I took out a very expensive (and pretty small!) ad in a local magazine.
The ad ran for 6 months and got me a few clients. It paid for itself, but it didn’t generate any real profits.
The thing is, back in those early days, I wasn’t telling a story.
I was just stating the facts: “Here I am. Here’s my business. Come work with me!”
This didn’t work.
In our modern age of text messaging, screens, rapidly advancing technology, and the rise of AI, what humans crave most is CONNECTION.
Humans want to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. They want to be understood. They want to feel that you actually care about them (which is awesome news because you actually do care!).
Marketing = Storytelling
How do you create authentic connections with other humans you hope to serve or draw into your community? By telling compelling stories.
In fact, blogger Bernadette Jiwa says that modern marketing should be a “love story” between you and another person – the person you hope to serve, offer value to, speak to, listen to, and turn into a loyal and happy customer.
Jiwa puts it this way: “In a world where everything is a tap or a click away, what matters is not what is taught or sold, but how it’s delivered, and how that made someone feel as she walked out the door.” (from Marketing: A Love Story.)
And this should start BEFORE you’re even selling anything.
Marketing is often about what happens BEFORE money changes hands. This is a crucial time where you can begin offering value and showing your ideal customer how your service or product is different from everyone else’s. And, more importantly, HOW YOU ARE DIFFERENT from everyone else.
Start seeing marketing as your vehicle for expressing your uniqueness and special magic to the world.
Important point here: I’m not saying you should use your marketing to give away your magic or services for free. That’s not what I mean by “start providing value BEFORE money changes hands” (which, by the way, is an idea from marketing genius Andre Chaperon).
But you CAN use your marketing to give people a taste of your approach, perspective, authenticity, and unique value.
For example, this means that your marketing plan can include managing a Facebook group where you establish a free community of people coming together to solve a specific issue. (Whatever issue or problem you’re focused on solving through your work.) You can offer huge value by answering community members’ questions and being fully present in the group, which might lead them to invest in your paid services to get more in-depth and individualized results.
Task #1: Figure out the story you want to tell.
So, to get down to the nitty-gritty, your first task is to figure out the story you want to tell.
This story will become the “love story” of your brand and business.
The story that connects authentically with people and makes them feel seen, heard, and understood.
IMPORTANT: very often, the story of your business will be closely related to the story of you (i.e., how you overcame a specific set of challenges or achieved a goal/healed yourself, and how you can now replicate that for others in a similar situation).
However, it’s crucially important that you tell a story from the perspective of the person you want to serve. This is why you can’t tell an effective and resonant story until you understand, with perfect clarity, the story of the person you want to serve. You must understand where they come from, their challenges, the main problem they need help with, what they’ve already tried to solve their problem, what keeps them up at night, and so on (all of the questions you’d ask during an Ideal Client or Client Avatar exercise).
To help you figure this out, you might ask yourself these questions (and journal about them):
- What problems or challenges have I overcome in my own life? How were they causing me suffering or keeping me stuck? How did I overcome them?
- What problems or issues do I want to help others solve through my work?
- What problems or issues am I NOT interested in helping others solve?
- What’s my skill set? What kind of work makes me feel most confident and aligned?
- How am I different from other professionals in my field? What makes my personality, perspective, expertise, or magic different? (i.e., coaching, spiritual healing, professional Tarot reading, aromatherapy, herbalism, etc)
- What kind of person am I most excited to work with?
Task #2: Get internally aligned with your goals.
(The fear of visibility is real.)
Before you work on any kind of marketing strategy, you need to become internally aligned with your goals.
Think of it this way: if your marketing strategy is successful, you will become more visible and (very likely) get more clients.
Are you ready for that?
The fear of visibility is no joke, and it will often sabotage your efforts unconsciously.
Any real, sound, and effective marketing gameplan must also tackle the internal stuff – the fear of visibility, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of your family/friends/colleagues finding out what you actually do, fear of making a mistake, fear of not having any clients, fear of not being worthy enough, etc, etc.
If you implement a marketing strategy only taking external actions (setting up your website, printing your biz cards, posting on Instagram, etc) WITHOUT addressing the inner stuff, your strategy will fail.
For me, working on the internal stuff has been a game-changer and something I go back to over and over again.
After all, my business is an expression of myself and my energy. So if my energy is off or contradictory (“I want to be successful but I’m scared of being seen”), then my business reflects that.
Working with a coach or healer or joining a mastermind that specifically addresses these internal issues are really smart ways to invest in yourself. In my own business, my biggest ROIs (returns on investment) have come from working with coaches one-on-one and joining mastermind groups.
Task #3: Follow your gut and inner compass (not anyone else’s).
While I said above that working with coaches and joining masterminds can be one of the best investments you can ever make, also make sure that you’re following your own gut and inner compass FIRST.
That is, don’t blindly follow someone else’s blueprint or try to copy what others are doing on social media, their websites, etc, etc.
Marketing yourself with integrity means doing it YOUR WAY – the way that feels most aligned, ethical, and truthful to you.
Author and expert marketer Seth Godin says it best: “It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map.” (from Linchpin.)
For example, I’ve often heard in online marketing circles that people “must see your messaging at least 10-20 times before they will buy something.”
It’s true that we all have shorter attention spans these days and we might need to see the same post, email, or message 10 times before we decide to buy or invest in a service.
But it has never felt aligned with me to bombard people with the same “salesy” message over and over again.
This is why it’s so important to tell an effective story right from the get-go, because then it becomes easier to connect with the right people at the right time without having to email them a million times.
One of my crucial mottos in business has always been: Above all, stay in integrity with your list.
(Meaning, your email list or list of contacts.)
For you, it might be that running a Facebook group doesn’t feel in alignment. Don’t do it.
Or maybe you only want to post on Instagram twice per week, instead of some other “recommended” number (like twice per day at specific times of each day, etc, etc).
Don’t overcomplicate things, follow your gut and intuition, and don’t get seduced by people promising you specific results if you follow their regimented plan or strategy.
In fact, avoid focusing on replicating anyone else’s results. Figure out your own unique strategies (or unique ways of implementing strategies) and make sure they’re in full integrity with who you are and the kind of work you’re trying to do.
Task #4: Focus on long-term goals versus short-term rewards.
There’s no way around this: creating and sustaining a business (and making it profitable) takes time.
This is just the truth. Especially if you want to create an authentic, aligned, and real business that stands the test of time and creates a loyal customer base.
Don’t buy into the idea that “if it takes too long, it’s not aligned with you.” Or the idea that manifestation should be instantaneous and without the need for any external action.
Some effort is involved in creating a profitable business.
You also have to start focusing on long-term goals versus short-term rewards.
In other words, don’t measure your progress on a daily or even weekly basis, or by how many people liked a specific post or signed up to your email list.
Measure your success by how authentically and deeply you’re connecting with people, and the kind of community you’re creating, and how your magic is affecting other people’s lives.
As a spiritual entrepreneur, you must also become comfortable with taking risks, trying things, and making mistakes. Not everything you do will work. Not every service or product you offer will sell. Not everyone will connect with you. And that’s ok.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Hang in there, reevaluate your strategies, and keep your eyes on your long-term mission rather than on vanity metrics (Instagram likes, retweets, etc, etc) or how someone else is doing.
Task #5: Become indispensable.
In his book Linchpin, Seth Godin talks about the critical value of becoming indispensable in today’s world.
He says: “The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people deeply care about.”
Notice again, the emphasis on interactions and caring deeply.
Someone who is “indispensable” – let’s say, an “indispensable healer” – is someone who can truly see, hear, understand, and hold others exactly where they are. Someone without judgment. Someone who feels, intuitively, what others are experiencing, the problems they’re facing, and the highest-level and most aligned solutions to those problems.
Becoming indispensable means offering your unique brand of magic unapologetically, which no one else can offer in your unique way.
It means creating EXPERIENCES – not just products or services – that help people become better versions of themselves. Experiences that make people feel better, more aligned, more relieved, more hopeful, more powerful, and more alive for having interacted with you (whether they paid you or not).
Of course, there’s work involved in becoming indispensable. It doesn’t happen overnight. It requires you to become an expert in your field, to clear out your own baggage, to heal your own issues, and to continually listen to your intuition about where your business needs to go next.
But if you stay on the path and work on aligning yourself both internally and externally, you WILL succeed. And you’ll learn so much along the way!
To work together, you can explore my services here.