Buyer journeys, client personas, marketing strategies, content plans. Courses, programs, training, webinars. Free events, paid events, irresistible offers. Buy-it-now. Email funnels. Reels, stories, groups, pages. Do you feel tired just reading these terms? You are not alone.
I don’t know if it was ‘the Great Pause’ which caused it (a great description that someone in my network used this week), but people are definitely more clued up now on smelling rats. Nobody has any time anymore for sales-y bull sh*t. So stop feeding your followers with typical marketing stuff. We are all tired. But what we do crave, is deep connection with like-minded souls who we can trust. How can you build more trust and create those real connections?
Selling is, of course, what you do when you run a business. That is how you create your income. Obviously. But was this your main driver when you started?
Probably not. You felt a passion, a creative fire burning in your belly, and a strong yearning to share your gifts with others. You wanted to make the world a better place, help people, and create wonderful items, events, or services.
Clients come to me because they feel lost in the marketing department. They feel they need more sales and marketing skills. A strategy. They watch peers and competitors offering freebie downloads, sharing sales pages, and pushing their products. They feel pressure to do the same, but don’t know how. I am going to say something very controversial right now: don’t. Traditional sales and marketing will do nothing for you or your audience. And what makes you think you need to use traditional marketing techniques for your quirky, non-traditional business anyway? Try something else.
In a world of too much information and marketing overwhelm…what would you enjoy seeing online? What would you still want to engage in as a buyer yourself?
People online are maxed out on information. There is so much out there, that we are all feeling fed up with hearing about yet another ‘amazing offer’, or receiving unsolicited DMs where we get persuaded to ‘hop on’ a strategy call, only to get pushed into buying some high ticket program by an overly keen coach.
Yes, we know that you are fabulous, and you think that our lives will be empty without your help or product. But we don’t want to book onto to another webinar or training. Download another free PDF that will sit in our Dropbox for months, unread. We are exhausted. Are you exhausted?
Detachment and being real in a shaky world
So, as a creative business coach, what do I think you should do, then? I believe in building trust. Showing up as your own unapologetic self. Talking about what matters to you. Being real. In a world where everything is on shaky ground, be a beacon of light, and shine. Be authentic, honest and transparent, and rather than focusing on selling your services, focus on inviting your audience into your world, and creating real connection. Be a friend, and be of service.
Invite your audience to be part of your tribe, no strings attached. Create content that simply informs and inspires, but not overwhelms. Show people who you are as a person, let them experience your wonderful creative energy. Find joy in real conversations with your audience. Listen. Detach yourself from the outcome. Take the pressure off.
As an example, I offer a free monthly group coaching call for my audience on Zoom. It is not giving me any income, and I don’t know if any participants will ever buy from me. But I enjoy the call. I have great conversations with my audience on these calls, and it is a lovely opportunity to connect deeply with them, and hear about their realities. I try and serve them the best I can, and I learn from them as they share their worries, issues and challenges with me. Most of all, we build relationships.
Whether this leads to paying clients, no idea. But I am showing up as me, and people are able to experience my energy in a live setting. If they like my personality, they are likely going to come again. Or tell others. I am building trust, not doing a hard sale.
Trust is everything right now, in a world where we distrust the media, distrust the government, and wonder when our current reality is finally going to change for the better. We maybe can’t stop the big powers at play, but we can start building tribes of like-minded people. Help each other, reach out. And in this digital age, tribe members can be anywhere in the world. So start building those relationships with your audience and followers, who are clearly drawn to you and your style. Start connecting to them at a deeper level, spark joy, motivate them, and above all: create a sense of belonging.
What does this looks like in terms of creating content and promoting yourself online? Exactly as I am doing right now: write stories, blog posts, record podcasts, make short videos. Share inspiring photos. Organise get togethers. Choose the tool that gives you joy, and your energy will naturally be in it. But please…stop the overwhelm, both for you and your audience. And try detaching yourself from the monetary aspect. When you have built that trust, and people feel ready, they will come. They will. But first build trust.
Have a coffee with me. Schedule your free 30 minutes with me here. No strings attached.
*Here is a short clip from my latest free coaching call, so you can see me in action. 🙂