Rue Anne Hass, M.A.
People often ask me about how to “put themselves out there”: how do I build a mailing list? How do I sent a newsletter out? How do I write an ebook? How do I get people to buy it?
Not to mention: How can I be more visible? How can I deal with my fears about being visible? Do I have to network? And—what would spiritual marketing be?
So this is kind of an open letter to you, letting you in on my Rue-minations about marketing, and how to do it from a place of heart and integrity. I am interested in your responses.
I have learned a lot about marketing from watching how other people do it. Probably like you, I find very little internet marketing that doesn’t feel just downright icky. I am always sorting for the kinds of interactions and communications that feel right to me. Some of it feels OK, and I know the products may be good, but at the same time I feel somehow drawn in against my will.
Often the appeal is trying to hook into the ways we might be comparing ourselves to other people and coming up short: in money, “success,” popularity. The marketing makes us feel that we need this product to feel better about ourselves. I know that some of you, maybe lots of you, are feeling the same way.
I had an experience recently that brought up some questions for me about how to do marketing from the heart. I had sent out two emails, about a week apart, promoting a product package put together by a colleague. This is a person whom I admire, and from whom I have learned a lot, and I said that in the emails.
I said that I have been consistently impressed with her clarity and effectiveness and that I have learned a lot from watching how she develops her business. I noted that when she comes up with a new product I always know that it will be high quality. I said that I recommended her work, and gave the link to her web page that describes the package.
I got a wide variety of responses. Many of you wrote to thank me for letting you know about this, several of you bought the package. I got a couple of emails, however, that were critical (in a fairly kind way) of my participation in this program, because as an affiliate of my colleague I also earn money from each sale that comes through people who hear about it from me.
These people said things like:
“I’ve received this same email multiple times from at least six other EFT practitioners. The cynical part of me says you/others must be affiliates and the only reason you’re/they’re sending this out is to increase your income stream. I get it. AND emails like this have come to define the worst in heavy handed, scarcity thinking, pressure sales, marketing strategies that some EFT practitioners are relying on to sell their/affiliates’ products. … I’m tempted to get off your/their email lists because the messages these sales tactics send.”
From someone else:
“I must be honest: I don’t like being tapped by friends to buy stuff. Even by you, whom I love. I don’t doubt that her stuff is valuable. But I get your newsletter in order to keep in touch with you and your work, and to learn stuff about EFT. I can ignore a bit of sales pitching here and there as fair play. But lately it’s just too much … I delete all of it. I increasingly feel like my interest in it is placing me in an EFT target market, whether I want to be there or not.”
I understand these reactions. I often have them too! Personally, I delete a lot of offers, I turn down most of the requests for affiliate sales that I receive, and I really think about the ones I do choose to support. I only participate when I know the seller personally, and when I believe that they have something of real value to offer. That was true for this one.
A well-put-together affiliate program often prepares pre-written letters for its affiliates to send out serially, trying to make it easier for them. But I always try to put the offer in my own words, and say why I think it could be worth your consideration. Beyond that, I am trusting that you will wield your Delete button on your own behalf. But still, like you, I have hesitations and questions about this whole marketing approach. Being an affiliate can be very beneficial financially, and sometimes I wonder when I get these letters, what the motivation is. Even mine!
Buying and selling, like food and sex, are issues that bring up all of our beliefs and issues and contradictions. When money is the basis of an exchange, everything can go wonky.
Another reason I have been thinking about marketing is that I am about 3/4 through a year long class on marketing held by webinar, teleclass and personal telephone coaching. Especially because the whole concept of marketing is foreign to me (literally! It is like an alien culture!), I had three goals in taking this class:
- I wanted to find a good teacher, whom I could relate to and whose integrity I could trust, to see if I could integrate marketing concepts and procedures and translate them into my own work in a way that felt consistent with my heart and spirit.
- I was curious to see how I would fit in to a group of twenty or so business people who were going to be pretty unlike me, I assumed. Would anyone “get” me? Could I find a way to speak my language to these people? Would they think I was outrageously weird? Or—could I just be myself and have that be OK, and enough, and maybe even be demonstrably a good thing?
- The purpose of the class is to help people who have become proficient in their fields to develop and market a high end program in their work. I have been wanting to develop such a program.
My experience has been interesting! Briefly, the answers so far have been a pretty solid “yes.”
I decided to just put myself out there unapologetically, and see what happened.
I discovered that the teacher, for all his success in the marketing world, has a hidden spiritual background, and LOVES what I do and how I talk about it. I am sure some of the people in the class think I am a little strange, but I can tell that others have been opened a little bit by my questions and comments. I have learned that I know more than I think I do. I think that my work with EFT, my spiritual approach, and my understanding of the sensitive temperament could be useful to many of them. I have made some good contacts with people whose work is very different from mine, but with whom interesting partnerships may be possible because of the ways that they have developed to do business. It turns out (I am not really surprised, because they were drawn to this teacher’s integrity for the same reasons I was) that my classmates are all good people. I have learned how to use many techie-type resources, like how to do webinars.
The best benefit is that I am stumbling through this foreign land actually creating the major program, and learning how to put the word out about it. It has been hugely challenging, and in lots of ways, a very steep learning curve.
But, as you know, if you ever read what I write or take a class with me, my primary criterion for doing anything, ever, is: Does doing this bring me joy and creativity and fun? The answer in this case is absolutely yes! It is fun to pull all the elements together, and as the challenges resolve I get a better and better sense of how to offer what I have learned over time about life, love, heart and spirit. And of course I love the tapping work that I do, and I love creating opportunities to present it.
Starting in January you will get to watch this process unfold transparently, as I begin to talk publicly about (that is, market!) my new program. Registration opens February 1, and the program begins on March 15. In January I will hold two complimentary teleclasses to introduce the program, and after that I will be interviewing potential participants to see if this program is a good fit.
Coming up with a good title seems like a small thing, but it was a big step in itself!
I am calling this new program “Re-Imagine Your Life: Tapping Your Way to Inner Freedom.”
Here is the first paragraph of the description of it from my web page (which isn’t on my site yet):
Intuitive Mentoring for Spiritual Self Worth
Six months of heart-centered life-path coaching
for spiritually sensitive people
using EFT and other meridian tapping techniques,
* find your voice
* stand up for yourself
* feel safe and at home in your body
* discover and trust your own inner guidance
* “put yourself out there” with confidence and anticipation
“From taking this program my focus has started to change
from self-improvement to self-acceptance.”
Thinking about marketing from the heart and spirit, am remembering a passage in a book called Money, Heart and Mind: Financial Well-Being for People and Planet. This book was written about 15 years ago by an old friend, an economist and now well-known spiritual teacher in Britain, William Bloom. He wrote about a dream he had had about money. This wonderful image has stayed in my mind. It is long but worth reading:
I woke one morning with a lucid memory whose power and vividness were overwhelming. It was one of those dreams that was not only visually colourful and clear, but that also carried an atmosphere which, awake, I was still experiencing. The atmosphere was vibrant, felt good and life enhancing.
This dream delivered a vision of how money works, what money is and why money is.
The dream was both complex and simple. The main image was of a swirling golden vortex or tornado, narrow at its base, rising wider and wider. It was made up of particles of energy spinning upwards and outwards on many different paths at many different angles. It was warm and exhilarating. There were other colors mixed with the gold: bright white, other yellows, and rose. The whole vortex was radiant. It was also so large that I could hardly gauge its size. Perhaps it was several miles high; perhaps the size of a planet.
The golden particles of the vortex created many different paths, but had a general pattern which reminded me of the double helix of the DNA molecule.
If I looked closely, I could see that each particle was made up of two human beings involved in a money transaction. Every single one of the vortex’s particles was, without exception, two human beings in a financial transaction, with money passing between them. The whole vortex was human beings in financial relationship. Particle by particle through the entire vortex, money was the flowing glowing medium of the radiant system.
In the dream I could actually see some of the particular transactions, such as two Bedouin in the desert drinking tea, exchanging money for goods; or a parent giving pocket money to her son; or one woman’s donation to the musician playing in the street.
Many, perhaps all of these particles were connected to chains of other particles and money transactions. For example, one woman who was passing money in exchange for bread was also connected—through other particles—with the baker, the miller, the shipper, the farmer and so on. Someone buying a car, for instance, was connected through the financial transaction with every human being and element who was involved in the manufacture and distribution of the vehicle. The financial dealer in his electronic office, moving future commodities, was connected in the same way wit all the people and natural forces involved in the production, storage and distribution of the wheat or copper. Some of the transactions were so complex that they seemed to spread through the whole vortex.
As I contemplated these images, I wondered what element created the vibrant golden radiance, and I focused more carefully on a single transaction. In this particle the two people involved in the transaction were happy and pleased. The deal served them both. The glow came from their satisfaction and pleasure. I moved my focus to study another transaction and again the energetic radiance came fro the satisfaction of the two participants. No matter how many particles studies, they all possessed this same phenomenon. They glowed with healthy, satisfied and creative human energy.
At the base of the vortex, where it was most narrow, it anchored deep into the earth. At this earthy base most of the transactions involved only two people. Higher up the vortex the chains and networks of connection became more complex and involved. But no matter how complex, there was always creative human relationship. No matter how complex, there were always at the core two people, communicating sharing, exchanging.
As this was a dream, it had more than three dimensions and people were in many places at the same time. The folk in the highest spirals were also in the lowest. The currency broker, for example, was also buying bread, was also giving money to the street musician, was also on earth.
At one point the dream the vortex shrank and I could grasp the whole thing at once. At its base was a simple transaction between two people. Going up, more people were involved in chains of relationship. First there was the level of a small tribal or clan community. Another level up and there was a small village. Then a town. A city. A nation. Widening and going up and out into the global economic community.
And then I saw another perspective which, I suppose, can only be described as mystical —and which surprised me. Although I easily understood the dream’s message that money is a medium for pleasurable exchange, I was suspicious of the vortex’s size. The mystical perspective, however, made my suspicious melt. It also drew me into an altered state of consciousness. I could feel my awareness expanding and a sense of what I might call cosmic connection.
This new perspective showed that the new perspective of human beings, the planetary village, had been facilitated into existence by money. Money, far from being coincidental in the creative of a self-aware global community, has been creatively instrumental in building it. Money served one-to-one relationships. It served the creation of communities. Money enhanced and expanded the potential for people’s creativity, relationships and consciousness.
In this dream, money, in fact, had a creative consciousness which actively sought to build partnership and community. It would, in fact, be impossible to have a global community if it were not for money. Human beings are evolving from parochial isolation into a global awareness, and this awareness is physically made manifest through the medium of money.
Some great force is running through the evolution and progress of the earth and of humanity. Part of its purpose is to bring humanity into a state of coherent self-awareness as a planetary being, and money is an agent of this great force.
This startled me. Even in my own most romantic moods, I had not considered money to be an evolutionary agent of spiritual intelligence.
….The charge of this idea is very powerful when placed against the usual spiritual cynicism about money.
~ from Money, Heart and Mind: Financial Well-Being for People and Planet, by William Bloom
I believe that “marketing” is another word for community, sharing, relationship, creativity and love.
I leave you with this thought, and William’s wonderfully evocative image. Let me know YOUR thoughts!
With my love and blessings –