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approaching marketing as a practice

2012 May 10


photo courtesy of courosa on Flickr

This is part 2 of my blog series about creative rhythm and how it can help you develop a marketing practice. You can read part 1 here.

One of the common themes that I hear from clients is that they don’t know where to start when developing their marketing strategy and plans. They’re overwhelmed.

Marketing as a creative entrepreneur is not about “the numbers” and blanketing as many people with your message, services and products. It’s about finding the right people and talking with them, finding out what they need and delivering something that you can give that meets a need or solves a problem.

That’s the left brain approach, which doesn’t help the entrepreneur who is stuck. Who wants to hear that?

To be honest, the stuck entrepreneur actually hears blah target market blah blah deliver blah blah blah get results. As you can tell, this is scientifically proven!

marketing as a gentle, playful practice

In my own development as an entrepreneur, it’s been a process stepping from behind the corporate marketing consulting role (and resulting anonymity) and bringing myself and my business visibility in a more public way. I’ve found it to be challenging and rewarding and frustrating and exciting.

As a self-described creativity retreat junkie, I’ve practiced and cultivated being in retreat, being silent and contemplative and being in many creative environments. I find myself integrating all these experiences as a business person.

I’ve started approaching marketing as a practice, taking small steps in the beginning and layering a little more, bit by bit, as I developed confidence and capacity. The word “practice”, for me, takes away the pressures of perfection and frees up the creative process. After all, marketing can be a creative way to express ourselves and our ideas. It can be fun, too!

(On that note, be sure to read my announcement at the end of this post.)

Maybe you already have a practice in your life where you experience flow. Piano practice. Yoga practice. Prayer or meditation practice. Running. Knitting. A writing or creative practice. You showing up to the piano, mat, church, meditation cushion, track, blank page or canvas.

You play your instrument and practice your particular art.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of not having to perform, be perfect, to play has changed the way I think about marketing efforts. Yes, there is still fear. Yes, there is still doubt. But I accept that as part of my particular creative process…and it has less power and influence over me. Imagine that!

Finding your own practice which resonates with you is one way to bridge the overwhelm. Clients relax into this and we get to a more creative state of mind.

creative rhythm + a healthy relationship with the soul of your business

Marketing is about showing up, consistency and delivering the goods. As an entrepreneur, it’s also about having healthy, clear relationship with the soul and spirit of your business and with the people you serve.

Part of this relationship is about your relationship with you and honoring your creative rhythm. Sometimes you’ll be in creation mode and sometimes you won’t be motivated at all. Noticing and accepting your rhythms, or patterns, and the rhythm, or cycle, of your market, helps you determine your planning for a day, week, month and even a whole year’s cycle. Pairing your creative rhythm with your marketing practice motivates you to take small, consistent action. I find I am not fighting or questioning myself at each step of the way as much as I used to.

These are some of the parameters that only you know about yourself. As an entrepreneur, you have the ability to apply these to decisions in a conscious way that is in alignment with your values, natural rhythm and tendencies and who you are, right now, not who you think you need to be or should be.

In the next playful marketing expedition, we’ll be focusing on building our relationship with our business via a special “playbooking” session. It will be a lot of fun! Registration is not open yet, but you can sign up for the expedition notification list here.

special giveaway!

I’m excited to be doing my first giveaway! If you signed up for my occasional newsletter, you already know this, but Lisa Sonora Beam, author of  The Creative Entrepreneur, has given me a free spot in her 8-week online Creative + Practice class to give away to one of my blog readers, Twitter followers or Facebook…likers!

Lisa has been an inspiration since I attended her Creative Entrepreneur Retreat in Mexico. I wrote a little bit about the experience here. Her work as a businesswoman and working artist has influenced my own development and connection to my marketing work. In this class, she shares her personal creative practice through weekly videos and emails with digestible homework.

All you have to do is leave a comment (even a “Hello”) below or on my creative rhythm blog post, on my Facebook Page or Tweet me by Friday, May 11, 2012 at 9 am Pacific to be eligible. (Registration is open to everyone for $147. The class starts Monday, May 14.)

I’ll choose a random winner, so no worries about leaving a “good enough” comment. If you are the lucky winner, I’ll contact you via email or Facebook message.

Good luck!

9 Responses Post a comment
  1. May 10, 2012

    Hooray! This is fabulous. I love thinking of marketing as a playful practice rather than an icky thing we have to do. 🙂

    • May 11, 2012

      I think many of us think of marketing as icky, Sarah! And marketers haven’t helped make things any easier. Let me know how playing with a new approach works for you. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  2. May 10, 2012

    I am loving this series, Joy. I’ve been thinking about how having my own business is a sort of spiritual practice. Experimenting with where work and spirit intersect.

    So it’s very fun to see you exploring where work and play intersect and how to add playful, creative elements to marketing.

    • May 11, 2012

      Aw, thanks, Lori! It’s definitely been a process to get here. You know…in my mind, work and spirit and play can definitely intersect. I’ve been playing with this too.

      You’re comment has kind of leapfrogged my thinking about suggesting it more explicitly…I think there is something big there, though it’s in a tender, nascent state for me right now.

      I’d love to hear more as you experiment and grow with this. I’m all for adding layers of meaningfulness to the work we do as marketers.

  3. June 2, 2012

    Joy, once again I feel so comforted by your gentle approach to marketing. I needed some reminders that I can be me, and market in a way that fills me up instead of making me feel so drained and depleted. I’m definitely still trying to figure that out, but reading these 2 posts has helped. I really like this:

    “I don’t know about you, but the idea of not having to perform, be perfect, to play has changed the way I think about marketing efforts. Yes, there is still fear. Yes, there is still doubt. But I accept that as part of my particular creative process…and it has less power and influence over me. Imagine that!”

    I’ve never been a good “practicer”, but I guess you could say I’m practicing at practicing. Trying to enjoy the process and take the focus off the product. And being me, doing things that make me happy.

  4. August 22, 2013

    Is it still ongoing? I’m interested. I want to be picked as the winner!

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