When you think of a “holistic” marketing strategy, what do you think of? I know what ideas were in my mind but I was curious how the concept is actually explained. So of course, I leaned on my favorite research tool “Google” and stumbled upon this article that breaks down “holistic marketing” into four main areas:
- Relationship Marketing
- Integrated Marketing
- Internal Marketing
- Societal Marketing
These concepts make sense, especially as it relates to larger organizations. But how can we apply the concept of holistic marketing to small businesses – sole proprietors, entrepreneurs with a small team, or organizations under $1M in sales? These are the individuals and companies that need to set themselves apart from the larger organizations.
Take for instance my own business. Why would you hire a small boutique marketing agency like myself when there are hundreds of multi-million dollar marketing agencies that are ready to take you on as their next client? My answer is heart and soul.
There are lots of clients out there that want to work with individuals who have their entire mind, body, and spirit invested in them. It’s not enough anymore to rely on expertise alone. We have to show our prospects, clients, team and the world at large that we are human with heart, soul, and brains.
The “brains” piece is easy to showcase. You are full of expertise you can share with your tribe. What I want to talk about is how you demonstrate your heart and soul.
Here are seven ways to bring your “whole” self to your marketing.
Give People a Peek Behind the Scenes
What goes on in your business on a day-to-day business? What happens in your life? I’m not talking about all the great things that your business is proud of – the easy stuff to brag about. I am referring to the bloopers, the funny stuff, the challenging times, or anything else that gives your business personality. For instance, one way that Amy (my tech VA) and I get silly is to pretend her dog Toby and my dog Chica have a secret love affair. They are both tiny, sassy dogs that don’t even know each other. And if they did, there would probably be a full-on dog fight. Or did you know that Alyssa (my social media manager) just got married and spent a few days in Japan for her honeymoon, only to get stuck in the Manilla airport because of the pandemic lockdown? People are curious. They want to know you are human so “BTS” is a great way to connect them to your humanity.
Be Vulnerable in Your Marketing
Did I just say the word “vulnerable?” To some, there is no place for vulnerability in business, and especially if you are trying to attract clients. Not too long ago, I recorded this video about using vulnerability in marketing, and then expounded on my thoughts in a recent blog post. There is nothing that will connect people to your heart and soul faster than being vulnerable. Talk about how you really feel – the fear, insecurities, mistakes, etc. all connect people to you and make you relatable. Hannah Brooks Olsen wrote a beautiful piece titled “Perfect is Boring: Why Vulnerability is the Best Marketing Strategy.” Don’t be afraid to let your guard down and meet people with your heart.
Take a Stand on Something that is Important to You
It is true that whatever you take a stand on has the potential to alienate people. But it can also create raving fans. And let’s be honest. Do you want to work with people that are adamantly against something that is super important to you? I know I don’t. You are who you are. You have values and beliefs that you stand strong on. What are they? Let your marketing reflect those things that are important to you. On my website, it is not a secret that I celebrate a diverse community. I am an LGBTQ+ woman who is in a happy interracial marriage. And I have a gorgeous bi-racial son. I get passionate about inequality in the minority communities. I fight for the underdog all the time and I don’t hide it. What do you take a strong stand on?
Inspire Your Audience
People always want to hear an awesome feel-good story. And guess what? You don’t inspire with your head. You inspire with your heart. Inspiration comes from your creative spirit. If you yourself don’t feel you have anything inspirational to share, there are millions of videos and stories available to you from around the world. Just search for something that catches your heart. I am constantly in awe with all the inspirational content on LinkedIn and Facebook. Heck! Ellen DeGeneres makes a point of catching all the inspirational videos that go viral. If you personally have an inspiring story, by all means, share it. Here is an inspirational poem written by Laura Kelly Fanucci that is going viral in response to the coronavirus crisis:
“When this is over, may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
When this ends
May we find
That we have become
More like the people
We wanted to be
We were called to be
We hoped to be
And may we stay
That way – better
For each other
Because of the worst.”
Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!
We always need positivity! Especially during challenging times. So find ways to celebrate everything. Celebrate your client’s achievements. Celebrate your team. Celebrate reaching your company and personal goals. Even if it feels like bragging, there is a way to highlight celebration-worthy stories without going over the top. The world craves good news. In my downtime and when business is slow, I am always working on gaining more knowledge. Just this week I celebrated earning yet another badge with DigitalMarketer – the Certified Content Marketing Specialist. It feels good to celebrate wins!
Use Humor to Poke Fun at Yourself
One of the most positive things that is coming out of this whole Coronavirus crisis is the hilarious memes. My spouse and I have been laughing hysterically. Comic relief relieves stress. As part of your marketing strategy, don’t forget to share the funny things you do and laugh at your mistakes. Yesterday I had an airhead moment. I received an email reminding me that I had an appointment with someone in two hours. I checked my calendar and there was nothing. In a state of panic, I was asking myself, “Who the heck is this?” With all the crap going on right now, it was no surprise that I finally found the meeting in my calendar, scheduled for 10:30 PM, not AM! I had two choices at that moment. Beat myself up for making a mistake or laugh it off and move on. I chose the latter.
Apply Servant Leadership to Your Marketing Strategy
Last week, in a Zoom call with 17 other small business leaders, we brainstormed ways we could help our clients and prospects during this challenging crisis. The overarching theme we discussed was giving with no strings attached. If you can offer something of value for free to your tribe, do it with a servant heart. Giving back to the community and the world at large is also a great way to just focus on serving. There is a time and place for business and selling, but it should always be balanced with giving back. When I received an email from Intuit (makers of Quickbooks software) yesterday, it warmed my heart to hear they were paying all their hourly service workers during the shutdown. That is a perfect example of marketing with heart.
The world always needs more love, heart, and soul. Marketing with heart connects you to your most treasured tribe. If you can connect to someone with your “whole” self, you show people your humanity. This results in fans that love you for YOU!
How to Bring Your “Whole” Self to Your Marketing
March 24, 2020