“I’d really rather just be doing the work that is mine to do, practicing my art or craft or therapy or career or profession. What is all this about marketing?!”
I’ve heard variations on this phrase for years — starting with the authors I worked with at the publishing company that employed me. They saw marketing, at best, as a necessary evil.
Now that I’m a free agent, hiring out to write and market and coach and strategize with and for my clients, I regularly come across writers, artists, healers, coaches, therapists, designers, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and even bankers who deeply dislike (hate?!) marketing. They see it, at best, as a necessary evil.
These are perfectly capable people who seem baffled when it comes to marketing. They tap fearfully into the seemingly endless supply of variations on “marketing.” There’s corporate marketing, database marketing, SEO marketing, LOA marketing, internet marketing, social media marketing, MBA marketing, marketing trends, marketing research, marketing segmentation, branding, Superbowl marketing, direct response marketing, B-to-B marketing, B-to-C marketing, and we haven’t even touched advertising or PR, which might be included if you talk about integrated marketing or its longer-winded cousin, integrated marketing communications.
Are you intimidated yet? Are your palms sweating? Is fight or flight kicking in? Maybe this is why you hate marketing. Where are you in all this foreign-sounding gibberish? Where is your heart? Where is your gift? Where, even, are your people?
At the most fundamental level, for Conscious Creators, soul-preneurs, world-changers, visionaries, healers, and others in the soft sell marketing community, it really is all about your people. It’s about you and your community and connecting the two. We can talk about marketing without even going past the letter “C.”
Marketing is all about your Community. You can call it your circle, your clients, your customers, or even your audience. You can even go past “C” and call it your tribe. It’s all about your people. Well, what about them?
Marketing is all about Connecting. Connecting is a two-way process. You connect with them, and they connect with you. How do you connect? From my perspective as The Write Synergies Guru, I’m partial to making the connections via words.
But connections come in every sensory variety. Music connects. Visuals connect. Paintings. Sculpture. Movies. Architecture. Movement connects. The healing touch of massage therapy connects. Even the tantalizing smells from your local cafe-bakery make a connection.
Marketing = Connecting + Communicating. So you make this connection, and from this connection you communicate. As with connecting, above, all your senses have their ways of communicating. But unless you’re right in front of the bakery or the painting or on the massage chair, the actual connection is tough to maintain. Distance isn’t a friend for these ways of communicating.
That’s why words as a medium (though imperfect) can paint the sensory details in a way that makes the communications possible over long distances and across time and space. Words can connect. Words can bring alive the connections across the world.
Words may be stories (Jeanne Kolenda is a master at stories with a purpose.) or metaphors. Words may be how-to or checklists. Words make up the books, the info products, the blog posts, web sites, brochures, business cards, press releases and even the 140 character tweets that are the currency of our communications.
Words weave the background texts of our lives. Words, both spoken and written, are how we communicate!
You mean marketing is just about talking to people? In the broadest sense, yes. That’s exactly what marketing is.
Connect with your Community by Communicating your Content. We prefer, all things being equal, to do business with people we know, like, and trust. How, in this digital marketplace, do we learn to know, like, and trust strangers?
The bakery cannot communicate its smell across the city to connect with bread-lovers in another neighborhood. But our words, imbued with meaning, with the content of our expertise, shared appropriately and clearly, focused on helping our people address whatever issue they face, packaged in a way to be useful, our words can communicate valuable content.
Marketing is that remarkable bridge, weaving together you, your heart, your creation. It weaves these “Cs” of Community, Connection, Communication, and Content into your message and beams it to your people in a way that they can hear it, can take it in, can process it. Suddenly the two-way span back and forth across your bridge is open.
They walk across the bridge to you. You meet them on this bridge constructed out of words that communicate your content and connect with your community.