People the world over are bored and spammed to the brink of tears. But there is good news: There’s a better way to connect with precisely those you wish to reach … and it works far better than traditional, expensive, gimmick-driven marketing.
We call this method “Marketing as a Spiritual Practice.” Why? Because marketing is actually a process, just like any real spiritual quest. It takes time. There are countless “monsters” (or at the very least, struggles) at every juncture. We learn our lessons through trying and failing. And despair, it seems, is always just around the corner. But this process teaches us invaluable lessons:
Experiencing success and failure shows that you are really trying. True, you’ll have periods of denial, followed by frustration, and anger. But these will eventually be followed by enlightenment and elation.
Marketing really is much more than a task to achieve financial success. It’s about unearthing potential—in your business, in the leaders of your company, and in the kinds of clients you attract. And when you learn to market as a spiritual practice, the sense that marketing is a “chore” will vanish. Instead, the process becomes meaningful, so you’ll value and enjoy it.
Once you break from ho-hum marketing and learn to put your deeper beliefs “out to the universe” (think: “a broader level of promotion”), a remarkable thing will happen: You will attract those who really need and appreciate the products or services your company provides. It’s an incredibly simple concept. [Then again, Buddhists say their methods are simple, yet it takes decades for their monks to master them.]
Rules for Marketing as a Spiritual Practice
If the following rules for this new marketing paradigm sound “New Age,” read between the lines of any enormous business success story (even Donald Trump) and you’ll find similar guidelines (OK, so maybe #4 would be a major stretch for The Donald!).
Whatever you put out to the universe, you will get back.
Use intuition, willingness, clarity, and truth in your messages.
Let your vision, beliefs, and values guide all decisions for the greater purpose of your work.
Address problems with a willingness to learn, open-mindedness, and most important – with compassion.
Continue to grow, take calculated risks, believe your clients, have faith in yourself and your business … and take action to gain success!
Listen to Your Intuition
When you are ready to refocus your marketing, there are practices you can begin right away. First, consider that when you do not listen to your intuition, things often go very, very wrong. Consider these examples:
Case Studies: FedEx and Starbucks
Let’s start with understanding the value of intuition. Like these successful business founders, you must continually practice “trusting your gut” to make appropriate marketing decisions.
Based on his intuition of the market demand and potential for a guaranteed overnight delivery service, Fred Smith wrote a paper for his college professor. Said professor was not encouraging in the slightest. But Smith still followed his gut instinct, did his research and preparation, and developed solid marketing. As a result, his company, FedEx, is one of the world’s biggest success stories.
A similar intuition struck Howard Schultz. While in a café in Milan, Schultz realized that Americans would pay over $3 for a cup of coffee. Thus did the creator of Starbucks give birth to his company, which has enjoyed phenomenal international growth in the past few years. Obviously, Schultz was correct in following his instinct!
Willingness & Risk-Taking
Willingness is the state of mind that takes an idea from intuition to creation. But too often, this willingness is defeated by a belief (especially inherent in business owners or entrepreneurs) that “we can do it all ourselves.” If you are open to assistance and you have good direction, you will usually reach your goals.
Case in point: We worked with a writing firm owner who wanted to return to her roots, doing more journalistic projects. After years of writing marketing materials and web content for technology-based firms, this owner lacked the confidence to approach editors of consumer-focused publications and pitch her story ideas.
After a Speed Consulting session (just $180), our team helped her map out a strategy for breaking through her pain-points, and created several simple-to-execute tactics:
development of a story outline
creation of an attention-grabbing & strategic editorial pitch
identification of a targeted media list to contact
In just a week, we convinced two publications to pick up one of her articles. True, few stories are sold this quickly. But we believe that it was the writer’s willingness to adapt to the editors’ exact needs that allowed her business goals to be realized. In fact, one of the publications has since advised her that they would like her to write a series of articles...so this could be the beginning of an exciting, ongoing relationship for this very talented writer.
What is the Value of This “Spiritual” Approach? In Her Own Words …
”After 20 years as a writer, and writing about everyone else’s products and services, I found it hard to pitch my own. But Allison helped me to remember that editors are simply another target market seeking a product (my writing) that will meet their editorial requirements, and will be of interest to their readers.
What was really wonderful about my consultation with Allison was that she made the process so simple. I had only to accomplish a few tasks, play to my own strengths, and the rest took care of itself. I could never have done this without Allison’s immediate grasp of my needs, her very wise counsel, and her help with the pitches.
I tell my friends: If you’re paralyzed by a bad case of the “buts” (I’m really good at this, but...), and you truly have a willingness to succeed, do yourself a HUGE favor and call Allison! She can get you “unstuck” and back on track in no time, with her intelligent, caring, cost-effective, no-BS brand of marketing” — Owner, Lucchesi Communications
More Tips for Implementing Marketing as a Spiritual Practice
If you really care about your clients, you owe it to yourself and to them to stay in touch. Think they’ll automatically remember you? Realistically, when they have a zillion other pressing concerns, and you haven’t been in touch for a while, it’s not likely. It’s absolutely imperative to stay in touch with those you have put so much energy into helping. So keep helping them! Establish a communications program to let these potential clients know you’re still around, and that you’re still available to help them.
Use your network! Trust those who have benefited from your products or services in the past to value you, to want to help you, and to want to help their friends or colleagues by referring you. Ask them to refer you to their associates! Better yet, give them an incentive for referring closed business, such as a coupon for a free massage, dinner for two, tickets to a game, or perhaps an industry-appropriate gift.
Take your referrals and leads seriously. If you’re trying to develop your business, you should talk to every potential customer or client, at least, to determine if they need your product or service now or later. If they’re in the “later” category, add them to your database and be sure to stay in touch regularly. Make a concerted effort to do this in the next four months, and you can expect to see some real rewards.
Get help when you need it. When you find yourself working on the tenth revision of a postcard, flier, website, brochure, letter to clients, or similar tool, it’s time to get professional help … no, not a psychotherapist, a marketing pro!