When I started working as a mentor and coach it was about wanting to work with people. I wanted to support people, help people, and at the time with my business background, I realised I could combine what I knew with my new skill set.
But then, I researched and tried to use my old business models and examples that were different, trying to apply these that were aligned to my spiritual interests, yet to find any that really worked for me.
One challenge for me was that marketing felt gross. A lot of the stuff I was reading felt very salesy and the systems and individuals that I was getting some of the material from just didn’t feel authentic to me. That became a challenge. I knew it had to feel authentic and heart-centered and client-based, so I set out to do it differently.
I have to admit, there were moments when I was panicked and worried. I thought, “What have I gotten myself into? How will I ever get clients? I know nothing about building a business.”
Step One – Identify an authentic approach:
I understand the panic and frustration that can come with starting a new business. When I set my sites on starting a new business, I centered myself and said, “I need a clear plan. It’s got to be authentic for me and not salesy. It’s got to be easy and understandable. It’s got to be client and heart-centered.”
When I began to put that authentic piece together, within 9 months I had 20 clients. I began to see that the more authentic I was, the more I attracted ideal clients and opportunities.
Step Two – Develop a clear plan of implementation:
As much as we hate this, you need a systematic approach with no assumptions that your clients know how to apply some of these methods. I don’t assume that the clients I work with know how to implement. That’s why I take things step-by-step and point to each path and point to every important spot along the journey.
Step Three – Marketing for the transformational service professionals:
When talking to helping professionals about marketing, some of the most common responses are “sales”, “yuck”, “discounts”, “recruiting”, “cold calling”, “closing deals”, and “hard work”. I recognize that a lot of helping professionals struggle with building their business because that’s their understanding of marketing. That’s their experience of marketing.
My definition of marketing is – “A way to authentically share my experience and gift with those who can use it to shape their lives, empower their work, and shorten their path to success”. It’s never about selling for me. It’s always about sharing.
In fact, marketing is really a moral obligation. There’s a Chinese proverb that I love that says, “When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.”
The way you share and the way you do that is through authentic marketing.
Take the time to develop a business plan that feels authentic, and then develop a clear plan of implementation. When you understand that the foundation of marketing is to share value with someone else, you come full circle with a heart-centered spiritual practice.