“Marketing makes me feel sleazy… like a used car salesman.”
There was my beautiful, brilliant, client sitting across from me with a disgusted look on her face while talking about marketing her business…
completely checked out about marketing her amazing dental practice.
All because I asked her why she didn’t market more often.
Immediately I pictured a pushy salesperson who would tell you anything you wanted to hear to close the deal.
This image did NOT line up with the person sitting in front of me who loved her patients and truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people in her community.
What got her to the point of equating her marketing efforts to being a sleazy used car salesman?
To put it simply: Using marketing techniques and language that didn’t line up with her core values and business vision.
Self-promotion is hard enough for heart/service centered business owners and when you combine that with some common misconceptions like:
- You have “sell” or “close the deal”
- You have to offer deep discounts or give your products or services away
- You have to do what your competition is doing…
… it can leave you feeling a little “sleazy”
But it doesn’t have to
What works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you or feel good to you. Don’t let your ideal clients/customers/patients miss out on knowing how fabulous you, your team, and your business are just because your mindset around marketing isn’t where it could be.
What I asked my client to do next changed the game
I asked her which causes or organizations had heart and meaning for her personally and/or as a business. She listed off things like the humane society the local food pantry. Perfect!
I asked how she would feel if she sponsored an event as her business at another local business with the proceeds going to one of the organizations she mentioned.
I could see her posture and attitude change as she asked me to give her an example.
I suggested she sponsor a “free coffee” event at a local coffee shop that looked something like this:
- Between 8-9 am on *insert day* her practice would pay for everyone’s coffee order
- She would provide branded coffee sleeves with her business’ website and contact info for the coffee shop to use during that time
- She would ask everyone to post a photo on Instagram/Facebook tagging her business of course, with their coffee (with a branded sleeve of course) and this sentence completed: “Coffee makes me _________” using a personalized hashtag for the event. (bonus points if they tag the coffee shop and the food pantry!)
- Every time some someone posted to Instagram as instructed her dental practice would donate $X to the local food pantry
Shut the front door!
That feels a little different now, doesn’t it? She sure thought so. That’s why she scheduled it right away 🙂
What did this event REALLY accomplish for her and her business?
- She met new people in her community and spread her business/brand awareness by hosting the event at a busy local coffee shop where her ideal new patients hang out anyway
- She exponentially increased her exposure by asking people to post to Instagram/Facebook, not to mention increasing engagement with the fill in the blank sentence and special hashtag
- She also supported an organization she cares about at the same time, which helped to build a sense of community and trust
- Three businesses were promoted with one event: hers, the coffee shop, and the food pantry
- She felt really good about THIS type of marketing (there’s that authenticity component)
This is Creative Strategy at it’s best! That, combined with the power of social media, an event like this is not only great marketing, but you harness the power and reach of other networks and followers while gaining exposure for your business.
“Authentic marketing feels easy, not sleazy!” – Mindy Altermatt
What is your mindset around marketing your business?
Could you see yourself implementing this strategy? Or have you done something similar? If so, please share your experience in the comments. Not only will it help others not feel so alone, but we’ll generate lot’s of great ideas too!
Need more ideas? Download my free e-book, “5 THINGS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS CAN DO NOW TO BE BETTER MARKETERS…” to learn more strategies that will make an immediate impact. As a bonus, you’ll receive tips, encouragement, and clarity straight to your inbox!
Happy authentic marketing, Beautiful!
July 23, 2018