Icky marketing

Why being connected to your why stops your marketing from being icky

How being connected to your why stops your marketing from being icky.jpg

Because it's real, it's you, it's authentic.


Because it's not a performance. It's not some show you put on in exchange for money, clients, likes, customers, shares, metrics and ego strokes.


Because it's not some dancing monkey wearing an uncomfortable little tuxedo, jumping through hoops while playing a miniature tambourine. Well, you get my drift.


Because if you actually care about what you're doing, what you're creating, what you're pouring yourself into and how you're directing your life, then there's no need to perform, no need to do tricks. You just do you. Really, really well.


It’s because when you care about what you’re doing and you know why you’re doing it, then it doesn’t feel sleazy or stagey to tell people about it - you WANT to tell people about it and you’re proud to be sharing your thing.


Your “marketing” turns into sharing what you know, what you do, what you create, what you believe in. And if that thing can help people, help them to solve a problem, help them to be healthier, happier, find more hours in the day, make more money, look after their bodies better, think clearer, dream bigger, be a better parent, fix their car, paint their roof, express themselves, find the best deals, write better, create their art better, feel like they belong, know they’re not alone … then don’t you kind of have some kind of social obligation TO share what you know? Isn’t it right that you should find those people you can help and go do that?


Because when you’re connected to the reasons that you do the thing you do, you’re more likely to say, “Hey, I’m not an expert, but I really, really believe in this this stuff and this is what I’ve made - I think you’ll really like it and I’d love you to try it out”. Ok, that might sound a bit vulnerable and not like much of a sales pitch, but if it’s your truth, then it’s your truth. Truth can’t be wrong. And just because we’ve all become so conditioned to expect hyped-up sales and marketing, doesn’t mean it’s right … for YOU.


Because when you start with that inner why, that inner belief, maybe even that inner vulnerability, you’re creating a foundation of authenticity that’s rock-solid and ready to grow and expand. If you choose to start with a dancing monkey act, what can you do? Learn more tricks.


Because when you really understand, care about and value what you do, what you make, what you say and how you show up in life, then you stop trying to please everyone. Pleasing everyone isn’t the point, you know it and you become really ok with that when your why is crystal clear. You no longer need permission, ego strokes, likes, shares, ranks and metrics to tell you it’s worth something - you already know. You already believe. And man, belief is fascinating and contagious - think about that for a sec.


And guess what? All that love, all that permission, all that liking and supporting and sharing and ranking and selling comes back to you when you give it out first. That’s because when you put your values and yourself front and centre of your business and inject you and those values into every aspect of that business and in every way you show up, you’re giving people something to connect with and that’s what we all want. People can’t connect with ‘things’, they connect with people. They don’t connect with tricks and slogans and performances - they connect emotionally with other humans and that’s because we all want to belong and matter.


… Because we all want to belong and matter. 

Related posts: If this resonates, you might also like my post on Icky marketing.

Image credit: Courtesy of 'Lost on Planet China' at https://lostonplanetchina.wordpress.com/tag/dancing-monkey/

Icky marketing

My friend is petrified of marketing. Petrified. The word itself makes her feel icky, to put it nicely. The jargon makes her sick, marketing ‘experts’ give her the creeps and she’s downright overwhelmed by the noisy swathe of marketing approaches for her business. Frankly she’d just rather get on with running her business, doing what she loves and ignore the whole marketing fanfare … except she knows she has to market her business to continue to grow her success. So she’s stressed and she feels kind of crippled by what she perceives as a gaping hole in her otherwise very pleasing venture.


Her story or situation, her perception, stress and problem is not uncommon. Social media platform and engagement is a check box on her to-do list. Branding means logo. Networking means obligations. Marketing means sleazy, technical and expensive voodoo, and self promotion, apart from business cards, is arrogant. Basically, she doesn’t want a bar of it, and yet, her heart is heavy because somehow she thinks she must.


I sit across from her, look her in the eye and tell her this;


Everything you need to know about marketing is already right there inside you. It’s in your heart. It’s how you live your life, what you value, what you love, why you do the things you do, what you dream of, what you desire, how you want to make the world a better place. It’s in your art, the way you treat people, the way you love people, the way you write, cook, craft, nail killer deals, pull off the impossible. It’s in the things people thank you for doing, in the way you make them feel, it’s in your essence - it’s YOU.


There is no expert, competitor, peer, wizened sage, academic, world leader, best-selling author, Forbes business woman of the year 7-times running, no mentor, no coach, no NO ONE who can be who you are nor who can replicate what makes you you.


This is your life and your business and your legacy, and what makes it special and unique is the fact that it’s yours and it comes from you, because no one else can do that, ever.


You already possess all you need to know and already hold all the answers. It’s like taking your baby to see the 100-year-old community nurse with over 10,000 years cumulative experience - she is an awesome resource, no doubt about it, she’s an expert, but for all that experience and all that knowledge, you’re still the superior expert on YOUR baby. And really, her job is to draw on all her masses of experience and expertise to extract from you the courage and confidence to accept and step into ownership of your own expertise for your own baby.


Your business is like that baby. Even with all the experience of the world at your fingertips, the only way that any of that can make sense and lead to something positive and meaningful is if you draw on and incorporate what you already know. Your values, your desires, your why. Without this, any marketing tactics you apply are just that, tactics. You don’t need tactics, you need real connection with real people between what you do and why you do it. Those are the things that people care about and those are the things that set you apart, give you wings and let you soar.


Business without the connection to your why coming through in everything do, everything you say, everywhere you show up, is dry, dead and boring. And yep, very often it's kind of sleazy. It’s the same as everyone else using tactics to blab out their need for attention. Forget attention right now, forget metrics to start with, just focus on connecting with your inner drivers and the people who already care about what you’re doing. Start there and everything else will follow, I promise.


Yes, it can seem like a scary, kind of fantastical, idealistic woo-woo way of thinking, but actually it’s the only sustainable way of thinking about something you really care about. Start inside of you and start with your people first. Reconnect and define what matters to you and why you’re doing it. What your dreams are for those things that matter, and what you’d love your legacy to be. Write it, say it, feel it. And then tell your people, show your people, connect with the people you already have who care about what you’re doing. They might be your friends, or maybe just one friend. They might be a handful of loyal clients, or employees you know are special. Tell them. Tell them they’re special, tell them your vision for what you’re doing and tell them why it matters. Thank them for supporting you this far and ask them to help you go further, invite them to step onboard.


Amazing zing happens when we give ourselves permission to focus on what matters to us and when we have the courage to be real and honest in saying we really care about something. That kind of connection is innately human - we need it and we thrive on it and it creates magic.


Block out the noise and start here, start on the inside with what you already know for sure. I promise you you’ll feel lighter, more focused, more confident. And once you got that going on, then you can think of exciting and innovative ways to share your message that feel good and right and most of all, authentic. That’s when marketing becomes your work as opposed to something separate. When you’re connected to your why and your people, the marketing of your business IS your business, not something you do on the side. It’s in every single thing you do, for real, no icky about it. 

Photo credit: Peeling advertising wall, Marine Line Station, Mumbai, India by Cory Doctorow via Flickr.