Heart riff for the first of May – Reality bytes and marketing blues…….

I’m taking a leaf from my gorgeous pal Lisa Lister this morning and doing some heart-riffing on my blog.

She said in her blog post last month.

Show up, open up, let your heart do the talking.

So I shall.

Spring is here and I’m admiring the sky from my bed (best view in the house!) and blogging in bed, which of course isn’t on my list of ‘healthy things to do’.

This morning, I am thinking about ‘things I should be doing’ and ‘doing things the right way’.

Like, blogging regularly.  Having a marketing schedule and a special calendar to map out all my online activity – you know, instead of just randomly typing in bed at 7am on a sunny Spring morning not really knowing what this post is about but just wanting to connect with you, my tribe.

The internet is really, really full of people telling you exactly how you should be doing things ‘right’.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my online Gurus big time, and choose them very carefully.  I will list a few of them at the bottom of this post so you can find them.

I’ve already blogged about celebrating my perfect imperfections and this morning I am celebrating finding my own way to do this online thing.

A lot of gurus will sell the idea of making eCourses as a fab way to make a tonne of cash doing hardly any work whilst you sit on a tropical beach eating coconuts, typing into your shiny new iPad.

The reality, for me at least, is not quite like that.  I work two to three hours each morning on my eCourse stuffs before heading out to The Art House to work a full day there.  In between, I cram in the two to three hours interaction Missy the parrot needs to thrive, cage cleaning, meal making and far too little house cleaning and hanging out with friends.  I don’t call my family often enough and I eat at stupid times.

Oh, yeah, and I make art too!

All of this brings in an ever-increasing but still fairly modest income, for which I am hugely grateful as I spent 10 years earning money doing stuff I really didn’t believe in at all.

So, my head is full of ideas for courses, marketing ideas, guest blogs, published articles and all the things that will make my business thrive and grow and (most of all) reach more people.

But, I have a real life, not a dream tropical island life.

Which means stuff just has to happen in it’s own good time.  There are no regular blog entries exactly on schedule.  When I try to force myself to write, it just comes out dry and a but preach-y, you know?

It also means I have to find a way of marketing that feels good to me.

We creative types are wary as skittish kittens around the word ‘marketing’.

I love Bill Hicks’ views on advertisers, if you’ve never seen this, watch it, it’s hilarious and I just love this chap….(bad language and stuff, m’kay?)

So, like most artists, I’ve avoided ‘selling’ like crazy for most of my career because I’ve thought it’s just evil and would turn me into a little evil thing.

It wasn’t till I heard the lovely Leonie Dawson talking about the idea of ‘sacred selling’ that I started to shift on this.

Now, I’m finding a way to communicate my stuff that doesn’t feel icky or dirty or spammy, without getting too caught up in the worry about that.  It’s very much a work in progress.

When you are a lone entrepreneur, and a creative entrepreneur, and an artist you pour your whole heart into your work, you really do.

So why is it so hard for us to communicate that?  

Well, in part because the world of marketing has made us aware that our honest communications about our work may come across as hype.

Like, when I say that my ‘Follow the Butterflies’ eCourse has quite literally changed people’s lives, it’s hard not to worry that it sounds like marketing speech to get you to part with your cash.

But, see, it isn’t.

The results I’ve seen from this course have been beyond my wildest imaginings for what it might do for people in just 8 weeks, with most of us never even meeting in person (though we’ve had some fun online tea parties!).

The reason I go on and on about it is that I know how powerful and necessary this course will be for so many people, and I really, really want them to do it.

I’ve priced it where it needs to be to support me in making more of the same and leave me not feeling yukky for undercharging, but it’s in everyone’s price range if they really want to do it.

I’ve checked and for the same money you can buy:-

Two new books
Six and a half bottles of cheap wine
Eleven and a half pints of lager
Thirteen slices of Art House cake (yum)
Thirteen day tripper bus tickets around Southampton
Two or three bags of groceries.

You get the idea.  Not much to invest in yourself, to make your time here on this planet more lovely, which it will be if you do the course.

So, I really want to say to people is:

This course is going to seriously upgrade your whole life – creatively, practically, personally – for a sum of money you won’t even miss this time next month.   

I *so* want you to join in, from the bottom of my heart, because it’s the only way I can share with you how wonderful a creative life can be, from all the deep learning, research and trial and error I have gone through.  

It’s the course I would have given myself twenty years ago to make the path to my dream life quicker and smoother.

It’s my heart’s work, my gift I’m sharing, my passion and the reason I’m here on earth.

I can’t market it in a slick way, I may have given it a slightly silly name which doesn’t fully describe it and I can’t advertise it on National TV to reach a massive audience.

But people, it’s a thing of gorgeousness and that’s the honest truth of it.  An imperfect, fun, slightly scruffy, blooper-reely thing of utter splendour.

So just reach out and take it, m’kay?

Actually, that didn’t feel yukky at all.

So, I continue on this steep learning curve, knowing that I am growing more into my best self every day.  Most of all, that I am carving a path others can tread, too, if it’s right for them – even for a little while.

I’m one of many, many online teachers and it’s scary and overwhelming at times to see how good other people are.

Sometimes, I just think ‘ah, there’s no need for my stuff AS WELL’.

But there’s a strong little voice inside me that tells me there IS.  That out there are people who will grow, change and blossom under my guidance, imperfect as I am.

So I’ll keep going – but first, some breakfast!

How is marketing for you?  How do you struggle and triumph with it?  Tell me in the comments section!

My favourite Gurus

Leonie Dawson – for business and just yummy living
SARK – for creativity and inner wisdom
Ioana at Shining Mama – for gorgeous self care and green smoothie recipes
Simon Brushfield – for intelligent, practical creative advice from an artist
Lisa Lister – for writing, blogging and living Guruage
Heather Bestel at the Happiness Garden – for self care yumminess
Clare Campbell – for juicy living goodness & art
Jen Saunders at Wild Sister Magazine – for sisterhood & positive living monthly gems

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    Heart riff for the first of May – Reality bytes and marketing blues……. — 3 Comments

    1. Thank you, Lovely Sister! I raise my green smoothie today to our healthy love for ourselves and for amazing glittery marketing! You know, I so loooove your blog posts and never ever related them to the “marketing” we all so not love. Yours is sparkly and natural and gorgeous, thank you for showing us how that should be done 🙂

    2. I absolutely hear you and I love this post and your voice and your selling style, and you because you’re awesome.

      I struggle with the marketing thang too but I’m finding that it gets easier with practice, or maybe with confidence, or maybe a little bit of both.

      Wishing you lots of luck and success!

    3. I share every one of your concerns and hopes and I will IMAGINE everyone who receives this HEARING your heart. 🙂 From one of the CHANGED ARTISTS Cheryl