Online Marketing is not exactly a level playing field. It’s skewed in favour of companies with deep pockets and who can afford to pay for copywriters, search engine optimisation, advertising…and the list goes on.
And online marketing can be pushy and rambunctious. Content Marketing (also known as ‘Educational Marketing’, ‘Inbound Marketing’ and ‘Pull Marketing’ – and my favourite: good old fashioned ‘Marketing’) is more subtle in terms of informing customers and delivering value. But there’s always a ceiling to the free information. We all know that.
What’s more, regardless of how much there is a general consensus on how turnkey solutions (now called ‘cookie-cutter solutions’) and fear-based marketing were the ‘old way’ of doing things, they’re still around, just getting subtler. In fact, for the baby boomer generation, I don’t think this will ever fade out. This was the first generation to go online and see entrepreneurs become millionaires through launches. That memory is deeply ingrained. The millennials, however, are a different kettle of fish. They are tough, budget-conscious consumers and they’ve grown up in an era of infinite choice. And they do their research. Personally, I can’t wait for them to become the main consumers in the self-help market.
So, back to my alternative way to market your spiritual or holistic business. The crux of my alternative model is that just because you provide services online —via a website or Skype, for example— this does NOT mean that your main lead-generation strategy also has to be online. When you’re first starting, you can have a hybrid online-offline business model using techniques such as Public Speaking Marketing, Flyer Marketing (particularly good in waiting rooms) and Networking at Events. Those are three strategies that stand out to me to be particularly common sense techniques. I firmly believe in the good old way of building a business one person at a time, by reaching out to people.That will never go out of fashion or be replaced by new technology.
If you are a Sole Proprietor Entrepreneur (frequently called a ‘solopreneur’), then these techniques are worth considering. You have a flexibility that larger companies wish they had. Larger companies are encumbered by fixed budgets and marketing plans, not to mention sign-off procedures. You can fly by the seat of your pants.
Yes. venturing into uncharted territory can be scary. It can be comfortable to follow a technique largely tested and mapped out by someone else. But, by taking your lead generation offline, you’re operating on a more level playing field and probably not a late arrival. Perhaps you will have the first-mover advantage if no-one else is offering what you do.
Will these techniques turn into a finely-tuned lead-generating machine? No. That doesn’t exist. Technology is constantly changing, so what works today will NOT work tomorrow. Full stop. Markets and technology shift constantly. Is this unsettling? Well yes, at times it is. But that’s where your entrepreneurial spirit serves you.
I’ve heard many people say, “I don’t believe in competition.” Well, I do. I understand the philosophy behind this that once you’re in your sweet spot magical things start to happen, but I think it’s often a ruse to sell infoproducts or whatever. And let’s face it: it’s appealing. The idea that once you find your secret formula, the alchemy just does the work for you is just what we all want. However, for me, it’s poppycock. And just because I have spirituality as part of my business brand and techniques, this doesn’t mean that I ascribe to LOA Marketing as a standalone catch-all.
Personally, I love marketing. It’s fascinating. It’s a science and an art. And it doesn’t have to be out of alignment with your principles, whatever they are. I hear many people talk about how people just ‘find’ them, and when I dig a little deeper, those seemingly magical connections are often a result of Referral Marketing, also known as Word Of Mouth Marketing. That’s also magical, but it’s not Law Of Attraction Marketing.
I personally don’t ever tell myself that I don’t believe in the competition, even though I believe my skill set and branding is quite differentiated. Why? Because I don’t want to be running conscious and subconscious gauntlets. If I truly believed that being unique was enough to reach people, then I wouldn’t be writing this blog because I wouldn’t be using Website Marketing. I wouldn’t share it over social media because I wouldn’t be using Social Media Marketing. What’s more, after writing this post, I wouldn’t optimise it for keywords because I wouldn’t believe in the need for Search Engine Optimization Marketing.
The cost of not doing marketing is called the Opportunity Cost. For me, that cost is high, because, if you don’t do it, you’ll never know how it might have worked for you.