A few things you’ll find in this blog: How to make marketing a spiritual practice, the #1 document to start creating about your audience, why contact forms are so important, and how to journal your way to a peaceful mind and a clear brand message.
Yes, marketing can feel good. Like, we’re talking working-from-a-hammock-in-the-sunshine, while a live musician plays acoustic music on a guitar–kind of good. We’ve talked to so many people who dread marketing. It’s the thing on their list shrouded in guilt, shame or total avoidance because it can be so overwhelming. It can also feel really scary, because, for many of us (especially women), there is nothing more nerve-wracking than asking people for something (their time, attention, or money). At Crafted Communications, we are really passionate about changing this. Because we see marketing differently. It’s not about doing everything on your own and sacrificing sleep and social life in order to keep up with all of the marketing best practices.
We believe marketing can, and should feel good. Here’s how.
Just like meditation, yoga or art, the acts of marketing and communicating are muscles that you can strengthen with practice.
And just like meditation, yoga, or art, marketing shouldn’t feel like another chore on your never-ending to-do list – all of these practices can feel good – spiritual, fun, healthy and peaceful if you’re in the right mindset for them.
We would even go as far as to say that marketing can be a spiritual practice. Afterall, marketing requires:
So, just like any spiritual practice, the more you practice your marketing skills, the more effective you’ll become at making people want to engage with your brand. (And the better you’ll feel about it! Anyone else done with wondering if you’re being too “pushy” or having a panic attack every time you publish a post on Instagram? Yeah, we all deserve to feel better than that.)
Here’s why our marketing advice is different: we want to help you see the easy things you are already doing, so now you can just do them with the knowledge that you’re actually strengthening your marketing muscle! (Learn more about our Holistic Marketing methods here). Read on to see why marketing isn’t just about having the loudest voice with your SEO game, puffing up those vanity metrics, and having a colossal advertising budget. It’s just as much about the little daily actions, as it is about your high-level marketing strategy.
What if we started treating marketing less like an annual report, and more like an ongoing spiritual practice? What if you already had the skills to grow your business, and you could strengthen them by simply going about your day, only more intentionally?
Whether you’re a small business with a $100 marketing budget or a large company with all the dolla-dolla-bills in the world to spend on ads and expert strategy development, good, reliable marketing begins with developing the kind of skills that will also happen to make you…. well… a good, reliable human being.
We want to help you find healthy, sustainable ways to make your marketing practices feel good. Not only should they grow your business, but they should also nurture the talent and passion you already have inside of you.
Let’s lean into the small, but very, very powerful actions we can do on a regular basis to develop our marketing skills, nurture our communications skills and grow our businesses.
You know what you’re doing every time you read your Instagram comments? Scan your Google reviews? And pay attention to your emails? You’re listening to your customers. (Or at least, you can be if you’re not trying to do 25 things at the same time).
Listening to your customers and online audiences is one of the most important skills to have when it comes to marketing your business. To make listening a more intentional process we recommend starting the following things:
Overall, listening intently to your clients with the intention of gaining insight and empathy into their customer journey will help you create a brand that truly serves the people you care about. It will help you make some healthy distance between you and your brand, get out of your own head and use the words that will connect best with your audience (All the exclamation marks? Emojis? Or only ever periods at the end of the sentence?).
It’s as simple as this: Ask really helpful questions, and get really helpful answers!
The right questions will get your customers excited (because they’ve never thought about this question before) and will help you know exactly how you can help them.
At the start of the customer journey, we always recommend giving some love to your contact form. We see so many companies who think they’re helping their clients by only asking them for their name and address when making a contact form submission. While we appreciate that you’re trying to respect your customer’s time – it could actually be doing more harm than good. While we recommend keeping your contact forms to a max of five questions when possible, you can use your contact forms to help you figure out things like:
Imagine having a sense of all these things before you hopped on that first phone call with a client? You’d feel so much more confident knowing where they’re at and how you can help them.
Don’t waste the opportunity to ask the right questions, and also be able to use this for your own market research of what stage in their customer journey they are at when they finally reach out to you.
And don’t forget! Asking the right questions at the beginning is really important, but don’t miss the opportunity to follow up with your clients and see what you might be able to learn at the end as well. For example, how you have improved their life, or what they are able to do now that they couldn’t do before.
Being a good communicator with your customers, starts by being a good communicator with everyone you meet. Great marketing requires the kind of communication skills we use when interacting with the people we encounter anywhere, not just your customers, but friends, family, acquaintances … and of course, surrounding yourself with people living very different lives than you. When you intentionally engage in discussion with lots of different people, you can build the following skills that will lead to better communication, deeper relationships, and better knowledge of what your customers really need from you:
Every single one of these skills will help you be a more compassionate friend, spouse, sibling, parent – and business owner or communications expert. Knowing how people relate to their emotions, desires and problems, and how they feel loved and supported is a necessary step in making real connections.
Here’s our last recommendation for developing your communications skills as a business owner and/or communications expert.
Keep a journal and force yourself to write in it daily. It doesn’t have to be long. It can be 30 seconds of stream-of-consciousness writing in between two episodes of Schitt’s Creek. (Ideally, after the one with the “Simply the Best” cover because good gravy does that tear down the old emotional walls we built up this morning when you realized you didn’t buy more milk and you had to eat dry cereal for breakfast).
There are of course 723 reasons why journaling is an extremely healthy way to process your emotions. But it can also act as a really great filter of our words.
Have you heard of the concept of “the shitty first” draft before?
Sometimes, the only way to find the best words are to get the bad ones out of the pile first.
Use your journal to write down all those distracting thoughts racing through your mind, all the things you want to scream at your neighbour, all the things that really ticked you off this week. Get it all out of your system because once we acknowledge and clear them out of the way, things will start flowing really well when it’s time to write something that other people are going to read.
Here’s something else to consider:
Keeping a journal will help you get comfortable with hearing your own voice. If writing hasn’t been a huge part of your life (maybe even a dreaded part of your life) you need to learn how to enjoy listening to yourself (no, this experience isn’t just reserved for narcissistic ego-maniacs). If you’re reading this and had the self-awareness to think, “Oh gosh, but I don’t want to be the guy who everyone thinks just “enjoys hearing himself talk” … then trust us, you’re not that guy and you’ll never be that guy).
We all get to appreciate and value our inner voice, our thoughts, the words we use to describe our life experiences and what we really want and care about in this life. It can feel awkward journaling down our thoughts, but if you don’t learn to enjoy listening to your own voice, no one will.
Marketing. She’s tricky at times. There are ever-increasing expectations on business owners to keep us with data collection, content trends and platform best practices. (We are always here if you need help deciding what aspects of these your business really needs to thrive). But what we want every business owner to care most about, is sending out content that not only makes their customers feel good, but also makes you feel good. More confident, more clear and more at peace with your marketing and communications – not more stressed about all the things you aren’t doing. Let’s start by simply bringing some strong, loving intention into these daily practices so you can see the way new ideas come to you, and your communication skills start getting affirmation from the people who listen to you.
Because trust us, when it comes to your marketing, it feels really good to feel good about it.