S came out of his coaching session palpably relieved.
“This guy has such great advice,” he reported.
“He told me to forget marketing.
Just focus on building relationships and being of service.
I feel like some big weight has lifted off me; it makes so much sense.”
About 8 months ago, S left a very profitable IT career to begin building his healing business.
The timing wasn’t quite as he’d pictured it — circumstances conspired to push him out of his cozy, outdated nest before he felt totally ready.
But so life works, and now he’s in the midst of turning a soulful passion into a profitable career.
Like so many new builders of soulful businesses, S is facing all kinds of challenges and obstacles trying to marry a set of special skills that feel organically and uniquely his with the demands of a marketplace, selling, and capitalism.
He’s faced the disappointment of realizing that demand doesn’t automatically follow just because the supply of his availability to work has increased.
He’s wrestling with his resistance to showing up online and “selling himself.”
He’s on the mat with questions of “value” and pricing and what happens now that his income is tied to something that actually matters to him in a big way.
I care about S, so I was delighted to hear that this coaching session unlocked something for him.
But I also felt my jaw clench and a heat spread through my belly when I heard the words, “forget marketing.”
“What does this guy think marketing is?!” I said, trying to seem calmer than I felt.
“And more importantly, what do YOU think I do all day, if the advice to ‘forget it’ feels amazing to you!?”
Because here’s the thing: The way I see it, being of service and building relationships is EXACTLY what marketing is about.
It’s not about flashy tactics, deception, or coercion.
It’s not about tricking or pressuring someone into paying for something they don’t need.
I don’t believe in “manufacturing demand” — that’s a dead-end and a waste of time and ethically dubious anyway.
The marketing I do — which mostly involves writing — is a way of being of service and building relationships with people we aren’t talking to one-on-one or face-to-face.
We invite people into a story, where they can understand how their lives might transform given what we offer.
We get really clear on our side so they can feel calm, confident, and clear over there.
We offer advice, education, and valuable insights for free, so we can help people even if they never buy from us.
We build trust by being generous and authentic.
I guess that’s not how a lot of people think of or understand marketing.
So for S, if it takes someone telling him to “forget marketing” for him to land in that attitude of relational service, then great.
And if the words “forget marketing” are helpful to you, too, I’m happy for it.
Forget marketing — if you think it’s anything other than building relationships and being of service.
And then remember it again, refreshed.
PS – I have room for a couple more website or email writing projects this quarter. If you’d like help “forgetting marketing” and being in service to your audience via crisp, clear words you can be proud of, let’s talk.
PPS – That StoryBrand Livestream event is still coming up on May 9-10, 2023. If you’re struggling to talk or write about your business in a way that gets results, this two-day online workshop could be just the ticket to more clarity, sales, and impact. I’m considering hosting a coaching room… That means in addition to stellar teaching from the StoryBrand team, you’d get live guidance from me for 2 days as you refine your messaging.
The standard event costs $995, which is a killer deal for that much of my time and attention. (I may offer a VIP upgrade package, too.)
If you’re even the slightest bit interested or wondering if this might be for you, would you be so kind as to hit reply and tell me?
This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.