If You Hate Marketing, Try Connection.

Recently a colleague sent me a text message about a presentation she is offering later this month. She sent a screenshot picture of the event page followed by this text message, “I’m so sorry to bother you, but I suck at self promotion!!!” 

Yes, really, with the three exclamation marks. 

I cringe every time I hear a woman say “I hate marketing,” or “I suck at self promotion.” I cringe because of how historical systems of oppression have fostered a strategy of persuasion and manipulation. Convert or die. “You’re never too rich or too thin.” (Remember that one?) More recently, we understand how social media and digital marketing literally shape our brains. 

Marketing does not have to be synonymous with manipulation or domination. Marketing can be as simple as telling a story about what you love about what you do. Marketing is about relationship and connection. 

Think about the relationship some people have with the person at the corner store, or the barista who knows exactly how foamy you like your morning latte. Can you think of a few other examples?

I’ve been self-employed for almost 30 years. I have NEVER gotten a successful referral from advertising. Not one. I have built a successful private practice through relationships with other health care and healing practitioners over the years. I send handwritten thank you notes for EVERY SINGLE REFERRAL I send them not only because I was taught to do so. I send them because I want to genuinely express my appreciation as personally as possible. My referrals come from trusted colleagues whose patients trust them. 

Trust. Relationship. Connection.