In ramping up my marketing consulting work with women consultants, practitioners, and entrepreneurs these past months, I’ve heard these words over and over:
“I hate marketing.”
or, more specifically…
“I hate promoting myself.”
It’s an amazing thing to observe – that so many women today view marketing as sleazy, embarrassing, scary, or simply overwhelming.
Women tell me that marketing and networking are deeply challenging (and scare the pants off of them) for the following reasons (these are exact quotes):
“I just feel like that sleazy used car salesman I hate.”
“I don’t know how to go up to people and share what I do.”
“I feel so intrusive to just blurt out that I can help someone.”
“I’m too shy to do what’s necessary.”
“I don’t understand how to do this – it’s all so overwhelming.”
“I think I have to be like her (an aggressive, in-your-face networker) to be successful, and I just can’t.”
“I love the work I do – why do I have to do this other marketing stuff?”
If these statements resonate with you, help is out there for you!
I’m here to tell you – marketing is not what you think. And the sooner you can embrace your “inner marketer,” and learn to love her, the happier and more fulfilled you’ll be in your work.
What Is Marketing?
First, marketing is not the hairy monster you’ve imagined. It’s simply about letting people know you exist – via any and all of the many neat methods and forms available today – so that you can be of powerful and joyful service to the world.
It’s about sharing your unique messages in an authentic, compelling way so that the people you love to serve can find you, and identify that you’re the right one to help them.
Marketing is about bringing yourself to the market you want to help, and communicating, “I’m really awesome at what I do and offer, and I LOVE my work. May I be of service to you?”
How to Embrace Your “Inner Marketer”
Let’s break this down to look at what’s really beneath the challenges you face in marketing.
The key marketing obstacles for women fall into the same four categories that I uncovered in my national research with career women. (For more about the 12 “hidden” crises working women face today, and how to overcome them, see my book Breakdown, Breakthrough.)
These categories represent levels at which we interact with ourselves and our world, and can be characterized as either empowered or disempowered, based on each individual’s specific situation, in:
- Your Relationship with Yourself
- Your Relationship with the World
- Your Relationship with Others
- Your Relationship with Your Higher Self
These same relationship categories apply to your marketing endeavors and marketing persona.
Here’s what you need to understand to become a comfortable and easy marketer and networker who likes it:
Your Relationship with Yourself
Confidence and Worthiness:
The key marketing challenges for women are confidence and worthiness. Deep down, many are not quite sure they’re great at their work, and don’t have the self-confidence to come out say “I’m very talented at this work, and would love to be of service to you!”
Tip: You need to step up to embrace how great you are in your work. And if you don’t feel you offer high-quality products and services, then you need a shift. Identify the new skills, talents and experiences that will bring your work to the next level. Go out and get those skills and experiences. Don’t wait.
Your Relationship with Others
Two key marketing challenges come up here: speaking up with power and authority, and connecting deeply with others in your communications and your interactions.
Many women are challenged in speaking up about and for themselves with power, authority, and command.
Tip: If you believe that speaking out about your gifts and talents means you’re bragging, think again. How can people know about your work if you don’t tell them about it – in your speaking, writing, and interactions? Release this misguided belief that talking about your work is pushy or arrogant.
Getting out there in the world with your products and services means you have to connect to people from the heart, help them find their pain points and show how your work addresses want they want most. People do business with people they know, like and trust, so you’ve got to give them the opportunity to know you.
Tip: If you’re shy and uncomfortable about connecting and interacting with people, get out there and do more of it. If you’re too self-focused and self-limiting, you’ll find it hard to make the authentic connections you need to bring your work and business out there in a bigger way.
Relationship with the World:
The two core challenges here are: Money and Service
Many women are simply disempowered around their finances, and around earning, managing, and investing their money. Often, they can’t seem to establish great fees/prices for their work, and or command these fees on a consistent basis. Further, many women don’t have the financial planning experience to make their marketing efforts profitable.
Tip: Get financial help! First, you must have a very clear sense of what your products and services are worth in the marketplace – not what you think they SHOULD be worth, but the true and perceived value of the outcomes you give to others. Then you must acquire the confidence and strength to obtain these prices and fees, and negotiate powerfully for them when needed. Secondly, don’t overspend on your business (on marketing or other initiatives) before you’ve learned how to earn.
Being of Service:
You need to know how you want to serve the world, and how you do it best, above and beyond the competition. If you don’t know how you’re different from your competitors, the marketplace won’t know either, and you won’t get the business you want.
Tip: Name and claim the niche you serve best and are most joyful at working in. Find ways to become an expert and truly gifted in the areas that light you up the most, and communicate your stand-apart qualities.
Relationship with Your Higher Self
Finally, the two essential marketing blocks here in terms of accessing your most expansive, highest self in your work are: Finding Role Models and Being Open to Angels (the human kind – and others, if you wish!)
Finding Role Models:
If you think that the only way to do marketing is the sleazy, intrusive and shameless kind, you’re just stuck in a misguided story that’s holding you back. You need a new set of role models that you can see, hear, and follow, who are doing it the way you want to.
Tip: Find fabulous visual role models of marketers who are doing it the way you love. Follow my “marketingpeeps” list on twitter (@kathycaprino) for a start. These men and women are just a sampling of amazing communicators and marketers who do great work in the most authentic, heart-aligned and compelling way possible on the planet!
Opening to Angels:
If you hate marketing, you’re going to struggle in your business and creative ventures. It’s that simple. So get help to overcome your fears about it. Be open to the angels that come in your life who want to help you move forward. Find people you trust and respect, and ask them for their critique (yes, critique!), advice and support. You don’t have to do this alone. Angels are waiting in the wings to help you.
* * * *
Learning how to get yourself out there and share your authentic messages with the world – and powering up to deal with this success outcomes that will follow – is one of the most enlivening and exciting processes you can undertake.
Are you ready to embrace your Inner Marketer? I think Yes!