When you hear the word “marketing” – do you cringe (and feel guilty)?
That’s how I used to feel!
That is, until one of my spiritual teachers shared an undeniable truth with me: marketing a business (even a small freelance business like mine) is simply about letting yourself be seen.
This was a powerful insight for me, an INFP introvert, with a natural aversion to attracting attention.
This idea helps me be more compassionate with myself, and understand why the idea of “marketing” seemed off-putting: I am being asked to leave my comfy zone and shine a spotlight on myself.
Yes – and no. Yes, I am being asked to leave my comfort zone and shine a spotlight on myself and be seen– and no – it’s not all about me.
Successful marketing can be guided by one – and only one – question: “how can I use my gifts and talents to help others with what they want and need?”
Helping generously and whole-heartedly – through web content / blogs / newsletters / videos / social media – is known as “inbound” marketing or content marketing: sharing what you know with people who need what you have to share. Brainstorming what your audience would like to know and learn – and then meeting them there!
“Wait a minute,” you might be thinking – “helping for free?” – yep. Helping people. As a form of marketing.
Nowadays everyone is glued to their digital device and – often – that’s how we seek out help for many of our problems.
Inbound marketing is simply: putting yourself in the shoes of the actual real people you want to help, or think you can help – and helping!
Generously helping people (through content) shows them who you are and what your values are, and attracts people to your website who value that.
It can also teach them information they may need to know in order to hire you to help them even more.
And it helps them to know they can trust you – which if you think about it – is quite important.
Grab yourself a cup of [insert hot beverage] and curl up with some old-fashioned paper & pen (or laptop :)
Here are 3 easy & enjoyable marketing questions to ask yourself – even if you dislike the word “marketing” – and practical ways you can turn the answers into inbound/content marketing materials.
The assumption here is that you can never know too much about your audience. It would literally be impossible.
1. Who do I help?
Spend some time describing and savouring the stories and memories of real life people you’ve helped with your gifts and talents!
Remember the details and feelings of how it felt to help them. Write it down.
Turn it into a meditation if you like.
Close your eyes, breathe, feel good – give yourself the gift of feeling good about using your gifts to make people feel good : )
You do good work, and you’ve had a hugely positive impact on so many people!
2. Who are these wonderful people that I help?
Lol, yes – not a typo.
Now that you’re warmed up and glowing with the memories of your beautiful soul doing its’ helping work, ask the question again – and answer it in more detail.
Who are these people I help? What do they care about most?
What books (if any) are on their night table?
If you get stuck, think about who they definitely are not.
That will give you plenty of clues about who they are.
3. What questions do they have that I can answer for them?
Make a list of frequently asked questions, and answer them.
The more, the better. Brainstorm as many as you can possibly think of. Consider a wide variety of questions, including inspirational and quirky. Have fun!
You have just done 2 things:
Written some incredibly useful copy for what could potentially be a heavily visited web page on your site. Online FAQ pages can be INCREDIBLY useful for your customers – and bring lots of great traffic to your website! And save you (and/or your staff) time from having to individually answer the same questions over and over!
You’re made a list of excellent topics for your blog!
Digital marketing guru Neil Patel points out: “…content marketing, done correctly, can produce dramatic results for your business.”
Stay tuned for more tips on how generosity and content can help you market your business better!
And of course, contact me today if you’d like to explore ways of working with me to grow your business and bring more love into the world : )