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Marketing Monday: Conscious and Awake Marketing~the art of being real.


Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. -Lao Tzu


It goes without saying; we are herbalists because we love to support people from the ‘inside out’. But how does that same commitment and practice translate into marketing and promoting a business? Is it even possible to promote your own business from the ‘inside out’?


YES!


Today, let’s explore what marketing is for YOU, from the inside out. We are going to help you build a healthy “marketing mindset” by discussing common negative beliefs and how they affect your business and thus, your life. There are some common mental obstacles and negative beliefs that might be getting in your way. Here are the "mindset solutions" that will effect how you think about marketing your business:

1. Marketing is not bragging. The first time we do it, we all feel a little weird about designing a marketing campaign. We wonder what is the purpose of what we are doing and saying? Who is really listening anyway!? Are we being self-centered talking about ourselves and our products?  Listen, it doesn’t matter what the topic is, there is nothing more enjoyable or powerful than connecting with someone who is in their passion. And let’s face it, what you’re sharing as an herbalist with your community is empowering, life-changing and good for the planet. What got you started is a love and passion for the herbs and their medicine. What is there to feel weird about? You’re helping to shift the world! That is both powerful and positive!

2. Marketing is not about being fake. Conscious and awake marketing is simply sharing things that are genuinely good and being  sincere! What you are sharing is the best of what you have found for you in your own life and what you know about living with nature. You are also sharing the gift of your own creativity. Remember, there is no pressure to be fake because you think its what other people are expecting. You have to get comfortable as a creator and teacher and be ready to be at the center of the stage. Your message will reach out and contribute to the community. All you have to do is be YOU (only a little bit louder ;)!

BE and do what you Love. If you love to write newsletters about herbs, DO THAT! If it pains you to sit at the computer and you would rather harvest herbs, DO THAT! If you force yourself to do something that doesn’t feel good or in alignment, your work will feel like a chore and never bring the quality of life to you that you dream of.

3. Marketing is not manipulative. Its true that a lot of traditional marketing is based on generating an emotional response in consumers that makes them spend. Messages are pumped into consumers to make them feel that they are some how “out of the loop” or lacking. Marketing plans that are born from that intention create panic responses that are designed to get people to shop. And unfortunately, more and more unnecessary products continue to be produced to keep feeding those imaginary needs. There is something unethical about that kind of behavior and few herbalists are interested in producing something or misrepresenting their products just to make a sale. Conscious and awake marketing knows that there is no room for separation or gaps between our belief systems and our business practices. There’s no room for dishonesty in life! But really, any dishonesty is just a symptom of the true disease: FEAR. And fear can happen in your business when you believe you are always behind and missing opportunities. So, in your ideal life, what would be your response to fear? Developing confidence, having a positive attitude and working within a community of support are all part the solution, right? Those virtues develop as the result of the choices we make a long the way and the habits we focus on. Examine what you truly want to see as your results. How can you introduce some good mental habits into your life that will achieve those goals? How do those habits look in your herbal business? Releasing fear requires having some faith in the Universe and in yourself! I’ve found that its a day-to-day practice of removing doubt, healing old fear based habits and staying focused on who I truly am. And I’m happy to report that it works! The more fear I clear, the more room I make within for Joy and Abundance. Take yourself and your business seriously. You will radiate from the effect it has on your life. What better marketing message is there to put out to your customers?

4. Marketing does not promote competition:  Destructive competitiveness is one of those mental habits that we were talking about when we were discussing fear. Competition is just another painful symptom that arises when we are focused on scarcity. Complementarity on the other hand is something we can create as our habit just as easily! What we are proving with Poppy Swap is that herbalists can walk hand-in-hand. We each offer something beautiful and unique and we have all seen the results that it has provided. The more we work within community, the more joy and opportunity opens to us. Remember, when you are making your creativity and heart-work your business, it needs to be satisfying your true heart. Working together with other creative people will take the work out of your work! Having fun and helping others will be just the nourishment your heart will need to stay on the path. If you operate from a place where there is plenty of room for everyone, guess what....there will be room for you too!

Here are some critical tips to bring more awareness and empowerment to your marketing and business endeavors~

-Ask for help: remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. “Raise your hand!” In the Poppy Swap forum, reach out to your local business and herbal community. People LOVE to help. We aren’t meant to do this alone and no one expects you to know it all already.

-Be GOOD to yourself: Many have been taught that they must stay ‘on’ 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to be ‘successful’. We say: FALSE! Following your own innate flow, practicing radical self-care and self-kindness is the most IMPORTANT gift you can give yourself and thus this earth. Take time away. Be good to yourself. Be sure to offer yourself breaks to reboot, balance and stay connected to the flow of Creativity that burst through this business.

-Do it right the first time! Pay attention to details. Or, as they say, ‘patience pays’. Give yourself all the ‘time’ and ‘space’ you need to birth your dreams. Don’t rush your work or skip important steps expecting to go back and do it later. There is no better time later.....and you’ll be busy later too!! It pays to lay a strong foundation for your success. Be mindful of the investment in your equipment and materials as well as your location and space. Whatever you buy now you want to be using for a long time. Quality counts. And the plants (and your customers!) will appreciate that!

- Share. Here is where we as herbalists can excel! Because remember, everything you are doing came from the Earth first and was GIVEN to you! Be generous in your business offerings. Continue to be service oriented. It’s a natural and forthcoming motion that is inherent within each of us. Being generous and kind is easy. And it always comes full circle.

 

And Remember!

Listen to your heart. What you hear is YOUR marketing message~ There is no mystery to crafting your unique and powerful message. Simply listen to the truth of your heart, remember your original inspiration for what got you started to begin with and share from this beautiful place. It is unique. It is Divine. It is YOU.

 

Affirmations that will support the healthy Marketing Spirit in you!

-I am sharing my passion with the world because it is important and it feels good. The more people who know about my project, the more people I can assist!

-Being myself and being real will make my business a success.

-I am confident. I am working hard and do good work, there is no reason to be worried.

-I am generous first. I never worry about “what’s in it for me.” The success of my fellow herbalists and the success of the environmental movement is as important to me as my own success!

I encourage you to give yourself as much time as you need to realize and become your dreams. It’s all about the journey, not the destination, remember?!

 

This fun post was co-written by Kiki and Kristie. We hope you enjoy!

Kristie Nackord
Marketing Consultant~
http://www.KristieNackord.com

Replies to this topic

Very well written, ladies! So many good points. A couple have resonated with me - 3. Marketing is not manipulative and 4. Marketing does not promote competition.

In regards to marketing not promoting competition - marketing can promote competition, but it's how we react to that competition that is key. I have taught over 2000 people how to make soap in my 20 years of teaching. How many of those started their own businesses? I'll never know for sure. I do know that one gal I taught how to make soap a few years ago showed up at the same farmers market where I have sold my wares for 15 years. I admit, at first I was miffed that she would step on my toes that way. Her soap looks just like mine. She used to stop by my booth and check out my products and a week or so later, her version (looking just like mine) would show up on her tables. What could I do? After throwing a fit (after all I AM an aries!), I settled down and came to realize what I must do. I must continue to keep focussed on my products. Keep honing my formulas. For many years, I would bemoan that what was inside the jars was such good medicine, but the labels did not reflect that quality. Let's face it, we can't be everything in our businesses. I can take apprentices out in the field and teach them about herbs. My formulas work so well to help heal and comfort people. BUT! I'm not a graphic artist. I don't have an eye for making a good label. This gal just a few booths down from me gave me the impetus to finally hire a graphic artist to make a logo for my business and labels that reflected the quality inside the bottles and jars. Now, that's taking the ire and awkwardness of "competition" and using it for good. In the end, I have something to thank this gal for and I have.

In regards to marketing is not manipulative - being truthful in what we say about our products is so important. We can't say that our comfrey calendula salve will definitely heal everything from excema to overdrawn bank accounts, but we can use the testimonies from ourselves, from our customers, pets, friends and family to say how it worked for them. In my experience, telling potential customers how it worked for others has sold many many many jars of comfrey calendula salve and my other products. And I have had people really look in my eyes while I was talking to them about the herbs in the formulas looking for signs of possible lying or stretching the truth. I am happy to be able to say that I have the integrity to look them right back in the eye and tell the absolute truth. Also, I am the first person to let them know that a certain product may work, I can't guarentee it will for their affliction or need and that it is worth the try. I always ask that they email, text, come back to the market, call me and report their results. I gain knowledge - sometimes I hadn't thought a certain product would work for something and it does. Or not...and I can pass those findings along to my customers.

Thank you, Kiki an Kristie, for your valuable information every week. May it serve to bring herbs to people!

"Step over to the Wild Side, where the plants have always been 'Green.'" S. Jordan
http://www.cedarmountainherbs.com
  • greenjourney
  • greenjourney

I have a question?

While I was cleaning up some messy looking links on my About the Store page this morning, I had in mind Suzanne's point about being truthful and not making false claims for our products. I examined my words once again for any errors or ommissions, and I realized that I needed to add a return or warranty policy for Green Journey Seeds. This is what I came up with and I'd like to ask what you think?

Terms of Business

All of our seeds are sold for planting purposes only. We make no claims as to suitability of the medicinal or edible properties of the plants for you. If you are dissatisfied with our products for any reason, please let us know by clicking on the ask the herbalist link in the seed listing. We will work out a solution with the understanding that our liability be limited to the purchase price of the product in question. Our good reputation shall be your best warranty, your satisfaction is important to us.

I completely agree with all of you that honesty is the best policy, and I will take all of your suggestions to heart. 

Thank you kindly...our hearts and minds are one.

Aline

Aline Crehore, Green Journey Seeds
In Plants We Trust
http://www.poppyswap.com/shop/greenjourneyseeds

 Kristie, I think this is an excellent article. One of the hardest things for me (that I still struggle with) is this idea of marketing being about ego. I live in Los Angeles where it seems like everyone is talking about how great they are, and have found it so distasteful (I mean, I'm originally from the UK- we as a culture are not big on talking ourselves up) that I just don't do it. Except I'm realising that there's a fine line between being honest and outgoing and pretending you're something you're not (as everyone here seems to be a writer or producer or director even if they've never actually made anything). *shrug* It's a fine line to navigate- between being brave enough to put yourself out there and risk rejection and pretending to be something you're not. But I think it IS navigable :). 

 

With regards to competition. I happen to like a healthy dose of it. As long as we're not actually at each others' throats. I feel like it encourages us to grow and do and be better. Because, let's face it, we ARE in competition- I mean, someone's going to buy my salve or your salve... but I think that we all have our own unique approach and image- we're not like two Starbucks on opposite corners- and that works to our advantage because one person is going to prefer yours and another will prefer mine, etc. And in that vein I think that promoting each other works to our advantage because if someone doesn't like something of mine maybe they WILL like yours, and it kinda, er, keeps it in the family. So to speak. 

Anyway, thanks for this article. Cleverness abounds. 

Rebecca

Aline,

Your return policy, etc, reads very nicely! I'm sharing mine with you...just because!

If any Spirit Horse Herbal product arrives damaged or unusable due to shipping, I will issue a refund or replacement as per the customer's request. I really hope that doesn't happen though, but if it does, all returns must be accompanied by a Return Merchandise Authorization number issued by me. It sounds really official, but it’s not, it's just a policy to help keep me organized and you well taken care of! Please contact me via email for further instructions.

 

Rebecca~

I'm so glad you are contemplating the difference between marketing and ego and that we are having this discussion. Powerful stuff!

 I can only imagine what your experiences must be living in the L.A. area. WOWZA! Talk about ready to navigate those waters! You landed yourself right into the heart of the ego of the world. You MUST be ready to find your truth and it certainly sounds like you are. You go girl!

As for competition~ I agree, it does exist in a particular reality and we can literally choose it, or not! It is up to us. I like what Cedar Mountain School said up above, “In regards to marketing not promoting competition - marketing can promote competition, but it's how we react to that competition that is key”. Agreed. Competition mind-set is exclusive and it believes there isn’t enough to go around. That there has to be a ‘winner’ and a ‘loser’. You won if you got the sale, you lost if you didn’t. So funny! On the other hand, I’m experiencing an expanded reality that is about complementarity—it is inclusive and the mind-set is about Knowing there is plenty to go around and that we as producers/herbalists call-in precisely what we need, when we need it. Not a moment to soon. Also, as a producer, complementarity doesn’t require us to actively differentiate ourselves from each other to foster competition, as traditional marketing does. Think Coke vs. Pepsi. Ha! It means me and you get to be ME and YOU, not in reference to one another.  It invites us as herbalists to keep our gaze focused inward on ourselves and not outward on one another wondering what the other person is doing and then creating our products from that place. (It’s what Cedar Mountain experienced with one of her students.) That mind-set comes from a place of fear and not trusting in ourselves.

I think we're sayin’ the same thing, just slightly different! So glad you each are Swappin’ with us! Let’s keep lifting each other up with support and guidance. It ROCKS!

xo

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