…This is Marketing*.
On Fridays in the Better Bolder Braver community — we take a moment to tip our hats to others — within and outside of the community — and to ourselves, noting achievements and progress around putting ourselves out there.
Karen co-leads The Ethical Move, a marketing movement that Simon Batchelar and I stand closely by and to which we encourage others’ to sign up. You can hear us talking more about what it means to us on our podcast with Rob Lawrence for the Association for Coaching here.
Our friend, Chris Kenworthy asked whether it is a good thing to think of ourselves as amongst many others like us when we are thinking about marketing ourselves. Karen says yes!
Further to this idea, Sandro Meyer’s The Growth Report landed in my inbox today (I think you like Sandro too, don’t you Chris?), which features some thoughts around what he calls ‘The Art of Imitation’. Sandro says,
“We all want to be original and unique. To develop our own style. We are told we need to come up with our own ideas. But how do we do that? Isn’t pattern recognition and imitation a fundamental part of the human condition and hence the creative process as well? We learn by watching, listening and experiencing the work of others.”He also talks about the “inner critic that does not agree with parts of the work you are copying.”
The most read post in our Better Bolder Braver community this week is an article I wrote a while ago about How to Re-Purpose your Content. Many of our community members seemed to find it helpful.
I mentioned in the conversation with Karen three content delivery archetypes, which my coach — Carlos Saba — recently brought to my attention, the third one being the Curator — check out the Ash Borland video that Carlos shared here. Whilst Carlos has kindly said that he thinks of Simon and me — along with Ben Johnson (with whom Carlos co-hosts the ‘Waking up to Money webinars and podcast) — as ‘Experts’, I actually like the idea of curating content (like Mark Steadman, who Carlos says, “does this amazingly with his podcasts and his new Podcode venture) — I would also put Karen Webber into this category for her incredible way of curating useful information for her weekly newsletter.
The generous nod to - and ability to curate - other people’s content as well as being able to recycle our own is, in my opinion, a key component to creative and impactful marketing.
I want to link here to something that Carlos and Ben recorded in their last Waking up to Money podcast this week before their summer break. It felt good to me to hear that Saskia de Feijter — with whom I enjoyed Ben and Carlos’ Happy Pricing course earlier this year — mentioned in the chat that she had signed up to The Ethical Move pledge thanks to my introducing it to her. Saskia is host to the Ja, Wol community — which is the epitome of how creative output can tackle all kinds of existential matters by “Guiding and connecting knitters to get more balance and focus in our craft, business and… life.”
Saskia asked Carlos and Ben to talk about ‘a Minimalist selling tool”. Carlos reflected on this by describing a need to find a “low-energy, low-exposure way of selling”…. The desire to have people feel the need to buy now without us needing to “bang on doors”. Carlos also talked about sustainable creativity as being part of the marketing process. He talked about the enthusiasm to do something that gives us energy and flow and mentioned Kendra Patterson’s outlook on content creation and not forcing it… about the sense of “dread” and of “unreasonable pressure” as Carlos calls it, of having to do marketing. Carlos, inspired by Kendra, invites us to stop and to free ourselves from the pressure, suggesting that we can incorporate a creative approach to our marketing as a way of overcoming that resistance, i.e. finding a fun way to sell… do something that generates energy for us. And Ben talked about making sure we use our resources and capabilities in our marketing and then mentioned specifically how someone (it was me!) on their pricing course described how coaches especially are equipped to use their questioning skills and to draw out insight with their potential clients. Ben talked about the thing I now talk often to coaches about — “dialling up what they are good at” (nicely put, Ben), rather than feeling that they need to “wear a completely different set of clothes, which are uncomfortable and don’t really fit” — those things that we think we need to do when marketing or selling. Ben says, “we are only going to really usefully enjoy doing the things that we enjoy doing” and Carlos talked about the “process of connection through our craft”.
We all seem to be talking about marketing as being a creative process and about it being ‘In Conversation’ — (listen to the second part of our Association for Coaching podcast). Ben and Carlos’s focus on good pricing is around good questions and Carlos talks about timing as being just the focus someone needs to buy. Ben describes selling as having had a bad press. Karen talks about the generosity that is doing good marketing. In Better Bolder Braver, we continuously look to help our coaches pivot their thinking around marketing to think more creatively about it and feel more comfortable doing it, about what pricing and selling tactics feel good and wholesome as well as self-serving, and about how being able to put ourselves out there means being able to help more people.
I had a wonderful chat with a new member of our Better Bolder Braver community today, who stands out not least thanks to his eloquence and artistry with words — the craft that I hope he will indulge in through his marketing. Andrew’s other expertise are in the education space and he has a fantastic appreciation of what good learning journeys look like but also the importance of teaching and demonstrating usability and context so that learning is not just academic. He and I talked about the generosity that is being able to offer — to put out there — what we have to teach the world.
Something about good curatorial content generation reminds me so much of being at school and about good essay writing. And something that my mother taught me about how to write a good essay went something like this:
“Say what you are going to say, say it, and then say what you’ve said”.
There’s a lot in this that I think could usefully be considered when we are thinking through our marketing — something about being able to frame where we might go, albeit in an emergent fashion, then being clear about who and what we are - and how we do things - and then summarising, not least by attaching a price to the offer, what it is that has been imparted and with that comes the outcome that may result.
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