How to adopt a marketing mindset that protects your creative integrity while nurturing long-standing relationships with customers and fans.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a creative person speak negatively about business, especially sales and marketing, I would be a wealthy woman!
I get it… creative people generally don’t relate to the business world, finding it brash, ruthless, insensitive and significantly scary!
Business jargon and terms such as sales targets, networking, metrics, marketing plans, business goals, strategy and frameworks cause many creative people to break out in a rash, freak out or close down whenever they are confronted with the idea of needing to market themselves.
Some creatives are quite repulsed by what they perceive marketing to be about, and try to avoid it like the plague. They often associate the business world with coercion, sneaky sales tricks and dishonesty. And you know what? In some cases they are right.
But here lies the tension.
Many creatives hold the belief that if they participate in marketing they will be compromising their creative integrity.
Most creative people desperately want to share their creative gifts and talents with the world and make a decent living in the process. Unfortunately, there is no avoiding the fact that this requires them to engage in marketing and making sales. But how can they do that without establishing a business? Well… they can’t.
If you want to move from being an amateur to a professional (in other words, earning a living from your creative gifts and talents), then you will need to find a way to ‘do’ business without feeling that you are compromising your creative integrity, and without having to twist and turn yourself into a style of business that does not resonate with your creative spirit, your skill set, or your interests and energy.
I’ve got some good news.
There is a new wave emerging in the business community that delivers the necessary outcomes (such as branding, marketing and sales), while simultaneously being grounded in building relationships and providing value, rather than being strictly focused on cold, impersonal sales tactics.
This new way is known as ‘conscious business’. It is a non-traditional business framework that comes from an authentic place, a heart-centered place, a place of integrity and authenticity.
Conscious business is built upon establishing and maintaining genuine relationships with clients, customers and fans.
Conscious business, and associated terms such as ‘conscious marketing’ and ‘conscious capitalism’ offer creatives a refreshing basis for ‘being in business’ without the need to compromise by adopting those more traditional business practices that simply do not resonate with sensitive, purpose-driven creatives, nor the people creatives want to reach and serve.
5 Key Principles of Conscious Marketing
I think we all agree, in order to bring your talents to the world, you need to engage in marketing so potential customers can get to know you and trust you. Selling then becomes a natural progression.
I have listed 5 key principles of conscious marketing for your consideration. Hopefully, you can begin to incorporate some or all of these into your own conscious marketing process.
1. Build and Nurture Relationships
- Recognise that all marketing is about cultivating relationships.
- Understand your ‘ideal’ customer, client or fan by exploring their needs, struggles, characteristics, and hopes. (Knowing this also informs your creative endeavours.)
- Realise that conscious consumers are more likely to buy if they feel connected and they trust the provider.
2. Be Authentic
- People connect with people.
- Showing up authentically will mean the right people will be attracted to you and your product or service.
- Authenticity and transparency are key to transcending the sleazy, manipulative sales and marketing tactics we want to leave behind!
3. Emphasize the Transformation
- Highlight transformation to your client, customers or fans.
i.) The original pieces in my new art exhibition are all created from sustainable materials and I offer suggestions throughout the installation on how individuals can recycle everyday items.
ii.) If you love peace and quiet, I think you will love my latest recording, in which I have incorporated Indigenous instruments throughout to create a listening experience that is aimed at transporting the listener to a deep meditative state.
iii.) My drama class is like no other. Yes, you will leave with increased acting skills, but you will also grow in confidence exponentially!
- Speak to an experience they can resonate with on a feeling/personal level.
- Explain specifically what they are likely to experience when working with you or when they are accessing your creativity.
4. Be Generous, Surprise Your Clients, Customers or Fans
- Content and value are both crucial in online and offline marketing.
The more value and content you can offer, the better: you will encourage engagement and feedback. People usually love to experience your creative process and get an insight into your world. Be sure to let them in.
- Be an advocate for your work and the transformation you offer.
- Give your followers something they won’t expect – exceed their expectations.
- Continue to market (nurture relationships), even among your most dedicated supporters.
5. Continually Grow Your Business
- Enabling business growth is paramount for any business to be successful.
This requires planning, funding, the right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners. There is no need to feel overwhelmed or out of your depth. Be sure to reach out to coaches and mentors who can help, especially if you feel resistance to the idea of being in business, or you lack business skills.
A Healthy Business
A healthy business means that you can reach many more people, and be prosperous doing so.
If you feel nervous, frustrated, overwhelmed or just downright confused about how to adopt a conscious marketing framework in your business or career, please get in touch for a free discovery call with me so we can explore the exciting options together. I look forward to helping you bring your creative work to the world.
Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching www.creativeedgecoaching.com.au. She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs.
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