What if marketing your business felt good?

When I was 17, I went into the fancy cosmetics store in my town. I’d never been much into make-up, but for some reason I was looking for lipstick that day. What I remember is leaving clutching a small bag of samples (anti-ageing skincare needed to start at my age, the sales woman had told me) and a 50 guilders Chanel-lipstick. It came in a gold case that made a satisfying click whenever I slid the top back on.

That was pretty much the only thing that was satisfying about the experience and the lipstick. I probably wore it once or twice, but I mainly remember feeling incredibly resentful towards it. It had cost way more than I’d planned to spend and I’d felt pressured to buy it. I hadn’t dared to say no to the saleswoman: I was worried that she’d think I didn’t belong in the store if I didn’t want to buy it. I felt intimidated.

The lipstick lingered in a drawer for years. Sometimes I caught a glimpse of its gold case. And I’d always feel resentment. I felt zero joy about this purchase. Similarly, I’ll always associate this fancy cosmetics store with that purchase.

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Changing how I feel about marketing my business

In the 20+ years since that purchase I’ve gotten a lot better at not giving in to pressure when someone is trying to sell me something, no matter how good their intentions. It took me years, and a lot of money spent on clothes that “look so cute!” but that I never wore, guided journals I never used, and several online courses I didn’t finish.

Yet the idea that marketing is something being forced on someone, like that lipstick felt forced on me, lingered. When I started my business I really didn’t want to market it—I just wanted clients to magically appear (spoiler: they didn’t).

That’s changed, however.

I still get moments of insecurity around marketing—I think we all do—but a few things have helped me.

There is no shame in trying lots of different ways of marketing, but in the end we need to settle on just a few channels that feel as good as possible for us. I’ve written before about my relationship with social media. The short version is that I experimented with Instagram for years, until I finally found the clarity and courage to quit. If you love Instagram I’m happy for you—but it made me feel overstimulated, disempowered and dissatisfied. I felt like I was constantly chasing something that never materialised.

If you need it, here’s a permission slip for you: you can market using the strategies and channels that feel good to you.

There is a slower, gentler and more profitable way of running your business.

Discover your way of doing your business with my 1:1 mentoring support.

No hacks, no hustle.

Instead: marketing and launching that is slow, gentle and gets results. Clear boundaries and priorities that encourage you to live a life next to your business. Accountability and support to help you create the live and business you crave.

Imagine how you could spend your time and energy if you didn’t spend it on that marketing channel that makes you feel bad? You could discover more of what you enjoy doing and build deeper relationships with your community that way.

Writing is something I immensely enjoy, as is creating resources (such as the quarterly guides). I’ve gotten so many positive responses to my writing and the resources since I’m leaning in to them more.

My mentoring business is created around the words slow, gentle and profitable. These words also guide me in my marketing—and unsurprisingly, social media is not part of it. By building my business around the phrases slow, gentle and profitable, I attract people who also want more of that in their lives.

A lot of the small business owners and freelancers that I talk to feel overwhelmed by social media, so not marketing my business there makes complete sense, and I felt no need to stay on social media for my “audience”

Of course, it’s impossible to find exactly what your potential clients and customers want in terms of marketing, and even if you could find out precisely, it’s still your business. I don’t know how the readers of my newsletter, for instance, feel about video, but regardless of how they feel, I have no desire to start a YouTube channel or do more video, because it just doesn’t feel good to me. But perhaps video does feel like a place where you could explore your creativity and it might become part of your marketing.

If my newsletters and free resources resonate with you, I might just be the right mentor for you. I don’t believe in 10-step-plans, or get rich quick schemes. I do believe that it is possible to create and run a business that fits you and your life: your values and rhythms, your strengths and passions. I strongly believe that you don’t need to do all the things, or be on all the channels to make your business work. 

I’m here to help you feel more supported in your business. I’m here to give you the confidence to run your business from that place of deep inner knowing inside of you, offering my signature blend of mindset shifts and practical steps.

an experiment

Take a moment to think about or journal on these questions.

  1. How do you feel about the way you’re approaching marketing in your business right now? What feels good, and what doesn’t?
  2. What do you want to experiment with? What do you want to do more of? Who inspires you in this respect?
  3. Give yourself a period to experiment with spending less time on the marketing you don’t enjoy, and filling up the remaining time and energy with new or existing things you do enjoy.

I hope that this post was useful to you. If you want more like this, sign up to my newsletter to never miss the strategies, tips, resources and inspiration I share on building a slow, gentle and profitable business.

I’d love to know which of these strategies to feel more supported in your business you’ve tried, and which you’re going to try out. I’d love to know!

Please feel free to share it with business friends, in your newsletter or on social media. 💛

I’d love to support you in all phases of your business. Providing clarity, focus and next steps is something that my clients tell me I’m really good at. If you’re curious about how we can work together through 1:1 mentoring, check out what I offer or send me an email–no strings attached. I have payment plans available, and flexible options for mentoring calls (30 or 60 minutes).

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