If you resist marketing, then you can be great

“I’ve tried to market myself for years. I’ve worked with coaches, counselors and healers of all stripes. They all tell me I need to work through my resistance to marketing, and yet I still hate it.”

My heart was breaking. I was speaking with someone who had the seeds of an amazing business, one that had been limping along for years, never expanding beyond a small handful of dedicated and raving fan clients.

Is this you? Do you offer something miraculous, sacred, or holy, or something that’s really darn good, and yet you resist marketing it?

Your resistance to marketing is healthy.

You aren’t broken. You don’t have deep wounds to fix or heal around promoting yourself. You don’t need to work on valuing yourself.

Then why do you hate marketing yourself? The problem isn’t with you, it’s a misunderstanding about marketing, and attraction.

The spiritual truth behind attraction.

What is attraction? The mysterious pull between two hearts, or two heavenly bodies. We’re talking about Gravity, about Love. Attraction is a mystery. Thousands of years of science have not been able to explain or reproduce gravity, and thousands of years of mysticism and poetry have only been able to talk about Love.

You can’t manufacture Love. You can’t manufacture attraction.

You have a natural resistance to marketing, because you know in your heart that trying to ‘be attractive’ is a losing battle. And, when you go to market yourself by trying to be attractive to people, it feels intimidating, even slimy.

Any attempt to use your will power to manufacture attraction comes out feeling artificial, manipulative, or just empty.

I bet you’ve had clients who have shown up saying, “I don’t know why, but as soon as I saw your flyer/heard about you, I knew I had to come.”

That’s the mysterious Divine nature of Love at work. The trouble is that it happens just often enough for you to think that’s how it should always be- just the right person feeling the impulse, and showing up on your door.

If that’s how it works, how come your business isn’t consistently thriving?

Marketing is about safety, not attraction.

Marketing is needed because Love is so scary and intimidating. The last time you felt the impulse in your heart to do something out of the ordinary, what did you do? Did you immediately say “Yes!” and jump with both feet?

Not me. I tend to worry about and question those impulses. So do your customers.

That’s where marketing comes in. It’s not about attraction, it’s about helping the people who are attracted to feel safe enough to trust that call in their heart.

If you see someone hurt in front of you, what do you do?

If your natural inclination is to help someone who is hurt, then I have good news: you have the natural impulse needed to be a very effective, heart-centered marketer.

The impulse to help is where it starts, but how does marketing really help?

Read on: Keys to Love in Marketing

• Remember: Empathy before strategy.

When I was a paramedic, I saw firsthand that when people are hurt or sick, they feel scared and vulnerable, and can be mistrusting or cautious. Empathy for their situation goes a long way to creating trust.

Once empathy is present, the people you are talking to will be much more open to receiving even just a small bite of your help.

• Doing what you love, and marketing it, are the same thing.

Okay, they aren’t exactly the same thing, there is one difference: the level of commitment on the other side. In marketing, it’s a one-way relationship where you are giving help from a place of generosity and effectiveness.

When someone becomes a customer or client, then it becomes a two-way relationship, and their commitment means that you receive from them, and it also means that they are willing to receive more from you.

Start to brainstorm and heart-storm: what are ways that your marketing could actually help the people you want to serve (hint: this article you’re reading is an example.)

• Give at an appropriate and sustainable level.

Before someone becomes a customer, they aren’t really wanting a lot… yet. Remember that when you meet a new friend, you aren’t necessarily going to spend hours recounting details from your childhood in an effort to create intimacy. More likely, you are going to talk about smaller subjects, until the relationship warms up.

The same with your marketing. Don’t throw a kitchen at them: just give little bits of help, plus an opportunity for them to ask for more.

And, pay attention not only to what is appropriate for them, but to how it can be sustainable for you. An individual one-hour conversation with every person who shows the slightest interest is way too much for them, and for you. But, a short article on a common issue you help people with can be given out easily and sustainably.

Feel better now that you know you don’t have to try to be attractive? Start with empathy, giving help, and being appropriate and sustainable, and you are on your way to powerful, heart-centered marketing in 2007.

Here’s to a coming year that is full of love, caring, peace and connection for each of us.