A Letter All Spiritual Entrepreneurs Need To Read

spiritual entrepreneurs

Dear Spiritual Entrepreneurs,

My name is Elizabeth Jackson and I’ve had the honour of working with dozens of spiritual and holistic entrepreneurs as a strategist and VA for the past few years. During this time, my own spirituality has grown and I’ve gained a deep knowledge on the sector.

I’m writing this open letter because it is something that I would have wanted to read a few years ago, and, as far as I can ascertain, it isn’t written anywhere else.

  1. Is it absolutely okay to have a day job and for your spiritual or holistic business to be your hobby. Most people in the sector are NOT, I repeat NOT making six figures. Please etch this into your memory with immediate effect. Hospitals, schools, shops, businesses are FILLED with lightworkers helping others. They are everywhere.
  2. There are no industry statistics on how much a Psychic Services Practitioner, for example, earns on average per year. However, the IBISWorld description of the Psychic Services in the US: Market Research Report says that the industry is worth $2 billion, divided among the reported 82,000 psychics, that comes to $24,400 per person per year. This is a rough average and doesn’t take into account that some people will be spending more than they are earning, whilst others will be making 6 figures.
  3. There IS a figure for personal coaches in the U.S. ($51,418 ), and this number comes from the ICF (Intl. Coach Federation’s latest survey).
  4. It is likely that you will be a Sole Proprietor Entrepreneur for your entire working life if you choose to do this full time. That is not an easy thing to do because it involves constantly adapting to new situations and trial and error. This means that you are most likely going to be in charge of finding your own clients/people.
  5. The spiritual entrepreneur market is largely a cottage industry. It is chaotic to study because of all the different branches that fall under this market and all the different marketing techniques used and services offered. There are no federations that globally study the market, therefore we have no good data to study it.
  6. You can price your services however you want to. There is no reason why you should price things at $97,  $497, $997 and $1997 just because these have historically been the prices used for infoproducts or because someone told you to.  I, personally think that my dentist is worth more than his weight in gold, but he does not charge me that. He is a healer and has amazing work ethics and more certificates than I’ve ever seen in one place.
  7. Hay House have a well-developed business model as a case study. They have cornered the self-help (now self-empowerment market) and have a brilliant marketing and publishing business model. Originally it was a publishing house. It has now been horizontally and vertically integrated to bring together a complete ‘one-stop-shop’.
  8. Spiritual practitioners do NOT need to be a walking talking affirmation card. We are human. We get depressed, angry, eat junk, smoke, swear….just like everyone else. Do not wait until you are ‘all healed’ to start being a helper.
  9. You do not need to follow the Product Launch Formula and package your services as infoproducts to be a practitioner online.
  10. A funnel can be as simple as a free gift upon signing up to your mailing list and then weekly or monthly newsletters.
  11. You can provide your services online 1:1 and have offline lead-generation systems (public speaking, posters, etc.)  This works brilliantly as a starter business model.
  12. Social media is difficult to get a grasp of. If you feel like you don’t ‘get’ it, it’s because it’s difficult to ‘get’. It’s not a panacea to getting clients.
  13. There are lots of different business models out there. I find that a lot of people are quite opaque when it comes to explaining the technicalities of what system they’re using. Please be aware that each system actually has a name, such as Webinar Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Website Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Article Marketing, Podcast Marketing. Once you get a grasp on that, it’s easier to understand the different systems.
  14. If you spend all day in Facebook Groups, you will get stressed out and likely get nowhere quickly. I suggest that you go with your gut feeling and try each idea out one by one and find what works for you. Play to your strengths, whether that means you are a good writer, speaker, networker etc.
  15. It is well worth learning how to use Google Analytics to see where your website visitors are coming from. You could be spending hours on Pinterest, for example, but only getting 5 hits to your site from that platform each month.
  16. The theory of “there is no competition” is interesting. The theory works along the lines of, when you are in your ‘sweet spot’ you are completely differentiated from the competition, therefore there is no competition. However, by acknowledging that there is competition (from which you can differentiate yourself), the statement is contradictory and a self-refuting argument. In my opinion, it is supercilious to blithely state that ‘I don’t believe in competition’ and to rely on some telepathic form of Law of Attraction marketing.
  17. Everyone I’ve spoken to who has told me that their clients “just find them”, has obtained clients through Search Engine Marketing, Website Marketing and Referrals Marketing. I’m not saying that Law of Attraction Marketing is fictitious, I’m simply saying that it is a gross oversimplification to state that holding an intention alone will bring you clients. My version of this is as follows: putting a good website up and getting it ranked, getting your brand on-point, working lead-generation strategies while holding the intention of bringing in clients is Law of Attraction Marketing.
  18. Referrals from existing clients are pure gold. I suggest you make this your number one lead-generation strategy.
  19. You do not need to start by offering group programs and webinars. IMHO that is better once you’re ready to upscale. Start small. It’s easier and you’ll learn more that way.
  20. Don’t stress about social media marketing. Find the social media platforms you like and post whatever feels right. Just try not to post anything that is overly crafted to make you ‘look good’. Truth sells.
  21. You do not need to have a perfect website to get clients. It is more important to learn how to work your Google Analytics than how to put a flashy banner up.
  22. Once you have grown a flourishing business, I suggest you look to find synergies and affinities in Horizontal and Vertical Marketing to expand your horizons further.

I hope you find this information useful. It is written with my very best intentions and I hope it reaches as many people as possible.

Yours Faithfully

Elizabeth Jackson

The “Other” Business Model for Spiritual Entrepreneurs That No-One Talks About

alternative business model

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.

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Storytelling Made Simple For Spiritual Entrepreneurs

storytelling

Storytelling has always been around in business. The early online entrepreneurs I’ve looked at all have a ‘rags to riches’ story.  It just wasn’t called something as yummy as ‘storytelling’ at the time, though.

So what’s changed? I think it’s that with Social Media Marketing,  Neuroscience Marketing and the fact that Sole Proprietor Entrepreneurs have now become a mass market for infoproducts, it’s exploded. Splat! I also think that it’s a paradigm in marketing, which will get replaced by something else in the future, or called something else.

Anyway, now I’ve got my opinion out of the way. Here’s my lowdown on storytelling:

Stories aren’t about ‘making stuff up’. They’re about telling your life story. Your business story. And anything else in-between that you think will appeal to make you stand out to potential new clients. When you’re marketing your life story or details, this kind of marketing falls under the category of Personal Brand Marketing. In recent years, it’s become quite commonplace to share (overshare?) intimate stories.

What stories can you tell?

  1. Origin stories (overcoming the monster, rags to riches, rebirth).
  2. Vision stories (explaining how you are inspired, your quest).
  3. Reason-why stories (explaining why you are inspired).
  4. Testimonial stories (social proof, which used to just be called straight up ‘proof’).
  5. Life stories.

Where can you tell them?

  1. Emails.
  2. Social media.
  3. Websites.
  4. Mailing list emails.
  5. Funnels.
  6. Guest blogs.
  7. Magazine articles.
  8. Books.
  9. Client calls.
  10. Prospective client communication.

I’m candid about my personal stories on client calls IF AND WHEN I think that using an example will be useful to explain something, or give another insight. But, I do try to be careful not to become the ‘protagonist’ of the call.

One thing I really don’t like are overly-crafted personal stories (think Instagram highlight reels). One thing I really do like are random little tit bits of people’s lives that show they are not afraid to poke a little fun at themselves. That’s probably because I’m a Brit and can relate to self-deprecating humour!

That’s just me though! I guess anything goes these days.

P.S. I don’t think it’s worth investing any money in learning about storytelling. It comes naturally!