I have a confession to make.

Despite working in marketing pretty much all of my adult life, I can’t define it. 

Sure, I could look it up in the dictionary, but chances are it wouldn’t make much sense to me. Because the conventional view of marketing, the principles I learned, and the ways it’s taught by some online marketers today don’t feel right to me.

So, I have my own definition of marketing and it’s one that small business owners who shy away from promoting their businesses because marketing feels crappy and shouty and in-your-face, might like.

For me, marketing is about starting conversations and building relationships. 

It’s about having the courage to shine a light out and say this is what I create, this is why I create it and this is who I create for. And when the right people see your light, they’ll be drawn to it; like we congregate around a fire for warmth and comfort or feel reassured when we see a streetlamp in the distance.

Your people are drawn to your light because they want to learn more, to understand what you do and how you can help them; they’ll read your blogs, social posts, take a look at your website and join your mailing list. And, when they do this you can start to learn more about them, you can find out why they came, what they were looking for and how you help.  You can start to have conversations and build relationships. 

And that relationship may lead to a sale straight away, it may lead to sale 18 months down the line or it may lead to someone who values your perspective, who’s interested in you, and who shares your work with others.

Each of these interactions is equally valid and important when the goal of marketing is to build relationships. 

Because every time you interact with someone, you’ll become better at your craft, you’ll build your confidence and courage, it will enable you to shine your light brighter,  make better things for your people, give them a wonderful experience so they’ll shout from the rooftops about your amazing-ness!

For me, good marketing and good businesses are built on trust and connection.

It is about communicating with empathy, helping others see what’s possible, and sharing opportunities. It’s about treating your audience like you give a sh*t about them. 

Give a sh*t marketing. Now, doesn’t that sound like a better way to build your business?

(I’m not alone in thinking there is a better way to market and grow your business. Check out The Ethical Move and my comrades-in-ethics, Caroline Leon & George Kao)

I offer love, support, and spot-on marketing advice for soulful business owners. Click here for a free no-strings, no-sell session with me.