Marketing with Integrity: Your Inner & Outer Practices
"Marketing feels... gross. Manipulative."
"Marketing doesn't take me into consideration. I feel like a fake when I'm marketing."
"Marketing just disempowers everyone involved."
"Marketing solely supports oppressive systems like capitalism and patriarchy."
I hear some variation of these sentences from so many people in our conscious, creative community.
And I take them in.
I feel them.
And I agree (to a degree).
You see, marketing is persuasion and persuasion has existed since we were able to tell stories.
It's a natural part of the brain development of a child as they assert themselves as sovereign individuals (have you ever noticed a 3-6 year old attempt to lie? It's hilarious... and totally normal).
Without learning these boundaries around where our own reality ends and another's begins, we are left floundering in the world we live in. Ill-equipped to survive, much less thrive.
For over 10 years, I worked in the advertising industry: an industry with so much capability to do innovative and ground breaking work, and generally only uses its powers to tear people down from the inside, out. An industry that focuses on scarcity, not abundance. On making people feel "not enough" instead of free to choose.
And that's my problem with marketing: it has no regard for the depth, beauty, capability and complexity that resides in us all.
Marketing as it's being done for the masses right now leaves us with little-to-no room for independence, community, sovereignty or love. But like most things, marketing can be a weapon or a tool. It all depends how you use it.
So how do we navigate our existence as conscious creative people with creative businesses?
To me, everything we do to move through our lives is made up of different practices we have.
We may have a practice of listening to uplifting audio clips every day to boost our confidence. Or to attend events that help foster community in our lives. Or head to the gym or yoga class to experience vitality in our bodies. You get the idea.
When it comes our creative businesses, I encourage you to notice what is part of your inner practice to connect with yourself, and if it aligns with your outer practices to present your creative brand to the world.
Our inner practice is any and all activities, ideas and truths we believe from within our own selves.
Some starting points to understand your own Inner Practices would include seeing what types of practices you have (or want to cultivate) in areas such as:
Emotional self: being in right communication with our emotions, learning to listen to our inner being, our gut instincts, etc.
Physical self: nurturing our bodies through movement, food, etc.
Mental self: meditation, mindset, suspending our judgements of ourselves, etc
Spiritual self: connecting with our guides, higher powers, astrology, human design, etc.
Community self: how we interact with those around us, social justice, inclusion, etc.
Our outer practice is any and all activities we conduct to put our creative work, ideas and businesses out into the world to interact with others.
Some starting points to understand your own Outer Practices would include:
Storytelling & Messaging: how you tell the story of your creative brand, what you choose to share (or not share), etc.
Look & Feel: how you present your conscious, creative business through the images, graphics and colors you use, etc.
The Experiences Within Your Business: how different people in your community interact with your creative business. This could include how you share content on social media, newsletters, events, speaking, etc. It can also include the experiences someone has when they work with you on a project, etc.
Revenue Streams & Pricing: how you make money, etc.
AWARENESS AS A FIRST STEP
Once you have taken stock of all the different Inner and Outer Practices for your business, you'll be able to see where things align... and where they don't. Then you can make adjustments, experiment, and see how things can evolve in order to create a more wholesome relationship between you and how you share your business with the world.
Cultivating our Inner & Outer Practices is at the core of the curriculum for my new offering: the Conscious Creative Circle: a 5 month mastermind.
From August thru December of this year, a small group of 8 conscious creatives will join me to move their ideas, branding and leadership in the direction they desire.
This is a virtual offering and we will meet live on video conference calls three times a month to connect, learn, hold one another accountable and share ideas and experiences. More in-depth details about the program to come in the next few days, but if you know you're interested, I invite you to apply for a spot.
If it looks like the Conscious Creative Circle is a right fit for you, then we can set up a time to chat, confirm and move forward with getting you on board. Even if it's not a right fit, you'll hear from me directly so you know why and what next steps I recommend instead. No matter what, the application questions are a great way to get a sense of where you are in your process of creating.