What makes someone want to become your client?
A person looking for guidance can find intuitives and psychics and gifted spiritual healers all over the place -- especially on the Internet.
What makes her want to get a reading from you instead of one of the other personal development bloggers she follows?
You can't control this nearly as much as you may think you can.
Within this industry of personal development / spiritual teaching / energetic healing -- the intangible magic factors of marketing are significantly magnified:
- Divine Timing
There are invisible forces at work bringing us together that we may never even be conscious of -- we put ourselves out there and let the Universal machinery take over.
Your marketing does matter -- do not misunderstand me -- you absolutely must put yourself out there and gather a tribe of like-minded souls.
It's just that what you think you're supposed to be doing is probably way more complicated than it needs to be.
The good news is that authenticity in your marketing is both powerful and simple. A lot simpler than trying to Be Something and Sound Like Somebody your best girlfriend would not recognize.
It's You, at Soul-level, that your potential client recognizes. So the one aspect of your marketing you can ensure is that you are recognizable -- you are simply yourself and not trying to be anyone else.
"Who am I to think I'm such an expert?"
Hey, listen -- if you're the person in the room who has one more crumb of wisdom than everybody else, you are, by default, an expert.
There is great power in presenting yourself as someone who is in the process of learning -- and sharing that process with others on a similar path.
Think of yourself less as The Expert and more along the lines of a Camp Counselor. The cool camp counselor is the one you want to be like when you grow up.
"I still have a lot of flaws."
Excellent! Then you're relatable as a human being.
When someone thinks you're perfect, they feel disconnected from you and are much less likely to approach you for help. When you show your flaws -- your vulnerability -- your potential clients see themselves in your experiences, identify with you, and feel they can trust you.
It's called "Mirroring"-- it's one of those magical aspects of being a spiritual teacher. You don't control it. You just present yourself and the people who can see themselves in you will see themselves.
And nobody looks in mirror and sees "perfect."
If you wait until you have it All Figured Out to do this work and express your creative sense of purpose, you won't be serving anyone -- you'll be dead before you get around to it.
Were you around for that recent article about Bobby?
That post -- that experience, in and of itself -- was not what I would have remotely considered potentially "effective" marketing.
- Too Soon -- I don't typically like to publish about life lessons I am still processing or still actively going through. I don't know what the final outcome may be yet, the true lesson may only just have begun to emerge. And it may change on me. My opinions may change too.
- Too Personal -- While it was happening, it felt less like a professional learning experience and more like a personal lesson. It was hardly a feather in my cap, a jewel in my crown, or a big "success" story for me to share as someone promoting his teaching abilities. Some of it was honestly scary and humiliating -- I felt ill-equipped to handle what had been thrown my way. Why would I want to show potential clients and students what I look like fumbling and stumbling?
- Too Painful -- This was pretty much the opposite of a feel-good testimonial. We want to have our students and clients to rave about the positive results of working with us, not that we uncovered something really undesirable about them and have yet to "fix" it.
Bobby was the one it was too painful for -- but he flipped the experience back on me and insisted that my guides and his guides wanted me to use this, to talk about it. He gave me permission and we agreed to change his name to protect his identity.
Just for the record, I never turn my clients' lives into material without their permission. Actually, when you see me do this, they have literally asked me to or suggested it. I often receive replies to my emails "This is great advice! You should turn this into a post."
It comes from the same motivation talk show guests usually claim -- so that their stories might help someone else in similar circumstances.
I really just wanted to vent, to get it off my chest. Between me and you, when I wrote it, I still had no plans to actually publish it. An important distinction -- writing versus posting...
I sat down with a Twitter-sized intention to share a quick comment about how racism and all forms of hate directly oppose spiritual development. It ended up being "too long."
(At this point, I'm beginning to think "too long" is pretty much just one of the identifying ingredients of what I personally get when I attempt to be truly authentic. So be it. I'm working on "succinct" -- it does not come naturally to me.)
On top of everything else that might have made that article "not ready for prime time," I punctuated the closing statement with a glaring "fuck."
I took it out. I put it back in.
Bottom-line: It's what I truly felt like saying in that moment.
I don't exactly cuss like a sailor, but sometimes my ramblings can blur into rumblings that require a metallic spike of profanity to make the other words rattle a little bit more distinctly.
So, anyway, guess what? That was hands-down THE most successful article on Automatic Intuition to date. The most-commented, most-tweeted, most-shared, most-replied-to post you'll find in this part of Sladespace (we're excepting Shift Your Spirits, of course).
I received one disgusted email from a (soon to be UN-) subscriber: "You have a curse word in your article!" (As if I didn't know...)
"It is un-Christian and un-professional!"
Gee, really? Because y'all know how hard I'm trying to represent myself as both Christian and Corporate. (read with sarcasm)
(She had clearly wandered into the wrong classroom -- bless her heart -- and she is not remotely a member of my tribe. Best for both of us to find this out now so that neither of us wastes any valuable time or energy.)
In a niche such as ours, the concept of Professional Brand can hinge entirely on Personal Identity.
Guess what else happened as a result of that F-bomb?
- A client hired me for a reading. She told me that when she read that "fuck" she instantly knew I was "for real" and would "tell it like it is" and that's what she needed to hear.
- An up-and-coming psychic medium applied for the Automatic Intuition Professional course. She identified herself as "edgy" and said she related to my irreverence, humor, and "ballsiness."
- Another male intuitive said he'd been looking for a teacher to help him develop his practice and that everyone else he'd considered seemed a bit too "goody goody" and also geared toward women. There was nothing wrong with those vibes, he said, but he felt "excluded." When he read my post about Bobby, and the fact that I was "not afraid to cuss in church" as he so eloquently put it, he felt an instant sense of connection. He hired me to create an Individual Development Plan for his intuitive business, a project with a five-figure fee that will keep me in business for the rest of the year.
I'm not telling you all this to blow my own horn. I didn't know for sure that publishing the Bobby article was a good idea. I even hesitated about using the word "fuck" to make my point.
Ultimately, when I waffle, when I wonder, when I'm not sure -- I ask myself:
- "Is this me?"
- "Is this how I really speak?"
- "Is this article like eavesdropping on me and one of my friends having coffee?"
If it's Me, Being Myself -- it usually works.
Be yourself. Everybody else is taken. I believe we have Ralph Waldo to thank for that T-shirt.