What Every Coach/Practitioner Needs to Know About Marketing
Marketing is a word, a label for something, that’s all.
So why does it drum up so much anxiety or disdain in people?
Well, that’s an interesting question.
A friend shared this on Facebook a couple of days ago and I shared it because it really impacted me and illustrated my point so clearly.
“The same boiling water that softens potatoes also hardens eggs. Everything depends on what you are made of, not your circumstances”
To me, this means that what is happening around us, including the term “marketing”, has absolutely nothing to do with the way we feel. This thing we call “marketing” cannot illicit feelings from us any more than a table or a chair can. And yet it appears to evoke fear, angst, hate, frustration, irritation and lots more negative adjectives for so many.
If I had a penny for every person who has told me they don’t like marketing and/or sales, I’d be a very rich girl!
It’s not the marketing that causes us to feel uncomfortable, it’s the way we think about marketing. Most heart centred practitioners who struggle with marketing think it has to be done in a way that goes against the grain hence the uncomfortable feelings.
When I introduce the idea of service and bridge building, they start to soften a little, see things differently. Something begins to shift and they see how they can do this thing called “marketing” in a way that is authentic and in alignment with their core values.
I talk about it in terms of bridge building.
The way I see it is that it’s our responsibility as the service provider to let our ideal clients know we exist. We know something or have something that can really help them, but they don’t know about us yet. To use a metaphor ……….. Building a bridge from our side of the river to their side of the river means we can now connect. Whether that means they walk over to us, or us to them, or we meet halfway, doesn’t really matter. All that matters is we have given them the opportunity for us to connect and help them in whatever way works.
It’s the same with sales. The old adage of “sales is not something you do TO someone but FOR someone” really speaks to us being of service just as bridge building is of service. If we can see that we are being of service by sharing what is possible for our clients versus trying to convince them of something or hound them in some way, it creates a whole different feeling.
You see we are so driven by our feelings and that’s why it’s so important to understand where they are coming from. Once we wake up to the fact that it’s not the marketing or the sales that are evoking the uncomfortable feelings we are dealing with the door has opened for new possibilites.
Our feelings are beautiful gifts letting us know whether we are seeing life as it truly is – how it works from the inside-out. Any sign of discomfort reminds us that we are looking in the wrong direction and to look within.
Thought and feeling are two sides of the same coin
If we are looking to our circumstances to change our feelings we are looking in the wrong direction – the outside. So when it comes to marketing and we feel uncomfortable, don’t blame the marketing! Here comes another metaphor …………… It’s like saying it’s your neighbour’s fault that you burnt your dinner when he was sitting watching tv on his sofa! You smelt the burning and went round and knocked on his door to tell him your dinner is burning! That sounds like a crazy thing to be doing, but it’s no different from blaming the term “marketing” for your uncomfortable feelings. “Marketing” was just sitting there perfectly innocently, minding his own business, watching the tv!
You can see the absurdity of that I hope. And yet we don’t see the absurdity of blaming our feelings on the outside world so much of the time. I know there are times when we can clearly see we are causing our own discomfort, but most of the time we don’t and that’s what causes us to suffer so much and start trying to change the outside world.
And so, I am rooting for this thing we call “marketing” here in this article! Please give “marketing” a break. He didn’t do anything wrong! He’s just being “marketing” and you can think about him as you please, but please don’t blame him for your feelings of discomfort, that’s thought being thought!