I am not a performer.
I don’t thrive off of one-way, bite-sized broadcasts asking everyone to pay attention to me.
In college I took an acting class to stretch myself. I barely got a C, and the whole time I wanted to run and hide.
There’s nothing wrong with being a performer, and I enjoy watching people share their gifts through the art of performance.
And while social media doesn’t require us to be performers, people with a natural talent for performing tend to do better on these platforms.
We shouldn’t have to all be performers in order to reach the people we’re meant to help.
This is why I struggle with Instagram, both as a marketer and as an artist, and why almost every single person I work with 1:1 has a complicated relationship with social media.
The people I serve enjoy real connection that involves authentic exchange in healthy relational dynamics, and many of their businesses aren’t thriving because they’re stuck under the spell that marketing requires acting skills, more energy than they have to give, or access to huge audiences.
It’s time to break the spell.
Marketing is about engaging in relationships with people you can help.
Healthy relationships aren’t one way streets, a hunt/chase, or a performance.
They’re reciprocal and consensual.
And marketing shouldn’t feel like you have to be something you’re not.
It should both be rewarding in itself AND help you make money.
Marketing relationships go through phases, and a sustainable marketing plan helps you reach and engage with people in ways that bring value to all involved.
Phase 1 is about reaching new people and growing your visibility.
In the dating world, this is like making a profile on a dating app and chatting with some folks in the DMs.
In marketing this almost always involves getting in front of other people’s audiences in a way that catches the attention of the people and begins new relationships.
Phase 2 is about deepening relationships with people who have entered into your world.
This is like going on a first date to tell if there’s enough of a spark to keep seeing each other, and if so, continuing to date.
In marketing this is where people get to know you and discern whether they trust you, feel safe working with you, and believe that you can help them.
It’s also where you get to learn more about the people you serve and what type of relationship dynamics and agreements you want to engage in.
So many people are trying to engage in phase 1 and 2 through Instagram alone, and it’s not working.
They’re giving their time, attention, and creative energy in exchange for a chance to get in front of Zuckerberg’s massive Meta audience via the platforms and algorithms he built and the subsequent smaller circles of audiences that influencers and micro influencers have built.
INSTAGRAM IS NOT THE ONLY PLACE TO GET IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S AUDIENCES!
And it’s not the only way to build a relationship with an audience.
It’s time to expand your idea about what an “audience” is and how you can engage with one.
An audience is a network, and even 1 person might be a big enough audience to make a difference in your business and someone’s life.
When people refer their friends to you, their friends are their “audience”, and the referrals are the channel of connection between you and their audience.
My personal favorite way of reaching new audiences is by being a guest teacher in other people’s paid programs. Their students are their audiences, and the guest teaching is the channel through which I reach their audience.
I get to directly connect with new people in an “audience” under the auspices of an endorsement from someone they already trust, and they get to directly experience a taste of what it’s like to work with me, which is so much more powerful than reading a post by a stranger on the Internet.
And I love running ads because instead of putting my time, energy, and creativity into hoping the algorithm will serve me some organic attention, I can tweak, test, and scale what works in a more hands-off way.
What works for me may not be the best fit for you, but my hope is that it will help you see how you could be looking at marketing differently beyond pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into Instagram.
Everyone has some sort of network to tap into, in ways they enjoy and that work.
That’s why I help people look at where their best clients and customers really come from.
All but 1 of the dozens of people I’ve talked to in my 1:1 client work and my market research calls have realized, when we looked at this, that Instagram is NOT the main driver of their sales or audience growth, and that they’re putting way too much energy into Instagram without enough reward.
I then ask them where their customers are actually coming from, and it’s usually things like in-person events (ie – farmer’s markets, festivals, workshops, talks, or intentional gatherings), other online platforms (ie – Pinterest or Google), or through their networks of peers that they’re collaborating with.
I then ask them how they could put some fuel on the fire of what already works, and their eyes light up with ideas about how they could collaborate with local community leaders or gathering hubs, how they could create their own podcast or pitch themselves as guests on others’ shows, or how they could create content for other platforms that they actually enjoy and that bring more longterm traffic.
This is when the spell begins to break, but breaking the spell doesn’t happen overnight.
Our bodies are carrying the belief that in order to survive, we have to put ourselves out there organically on social media.
Even if you mentally understand that success on social media isn’t necessary for your business, fear can pop up and make it seem like you’re doomed if you don’t grow on socials!
This is because the body is always trying to protect you, and it has inaccurately linked the idea that your survival depends on succeeding on social media.
If you decide to shift your attention and energy away from social media, your body may react as if your life is in danger!
The body needs support to process this fear and see that it’s safe, and this takes time because there are physiological changes happening in the body as it loosens its grasp on believing that you might die if you don’t succeed on social media.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be on Instagram at all.
I’m saying it’s time to evaluate what role it really plays in your business, marketing, networking, and creative expression, and to get clear on what type of expectations and exchanges are a healthy fit for you on social media vs what aren’t.
It’s time to understand the bigger picture of what marketing really is: relationships.
And to understand what is happening in your body when you engage in relationships that work vs don’t work for you and the people you serve, so you can break free from false beliefs about what you have to do to succeed.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have years of experience building an audience of my own from nothing (even with chronic illness and a limited physical capacity), years of helping others collectively earn hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Internet through effective marketing, years of healing my own trauma around relational dynamics, and now a year of direct training in the Somatic Experiencing modality that allows me to help others unwind the ways these false beliefs are stuck in their bodies.
Over the last month I’ve had so much to say, but haven’t had the capacity to share with you through the newsletter because I’ve been doing holiday stuff and also engaging with my audience in 1:1 market research calls to get to know them better and also understand what type of relationships I want to invite people into when they do business with me.
It’s been amazing, and if you’re interested in sharing some of what holds you back, not just with social media, but in marketing and messaging in general, you’re invited to take my survey.
I’m inviting some people who fill out the survey to have a 1:1 call with me where I’ll ask more questions and then provide free coaching about any topic they feel I could help them with.
This free coaching has involved everything from support unwinding a layer of fear that is holding someone back to getting into tactical details of their next steps on their marketing journey.
I’m in the process of refining my own offers and expect to put out a new group program in January, so this is your chance to let me know what I can help you with!
I appreciate you. I welcome you to hit reply and share your stories, feedback, pushback, questions, etc., as email is one way we can engage directly and go deeper.
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🎤 My amazing client Nadine Zumot has a new podcast, Beyond The Fear, about healing money trauma! She’s a genie for honing in on inner child wounds and how they show up in your adult life around money blocks. Plus she’s soft and welcoming while being so rock’n’roll, and that’s my VIBE! She broke free from an extremely oppressive upbringing in the Middle East and has an amazing story that will perhaps inspire you to heal deep money wounds, too.
🎤 Another amazing client of mine, Jasper Joy, is putting the T first in LGBTQ+ with his new podcast, Queer Conjure! He only has one episode out so far, but I imagine he’ll be talking about things like queering the court cards in Tarot, erotic relationships with water, fostering the unique connection with divinity that queer and trans people have, and sharing stories of trans folks who are living their whole selves. I love Jasper’s whole-hearted, compassionate, yet no BS approach.
🤠 Check them both out and send them some love in a 5-star review if you’re feeling it: Beyond The Fear and Queer Conjure
☕ I’m obsessed with this caffeine-free tea that tastes like coffee!
🧼 My ultimate goal is having enough $ to equitably pay someone to clean my house and do my laundry, so I can stop using my limited capacity for these activities! But in the meantime, these gadgets have made cleaning easier. This little spot cleaner is a game changer for carpets and rugs. It ERASES dog barf, pee, poo, and most spills. It’s almost meditative, except whatever I’m cleaning is usually too gross to get meditative. And this electric scrubber is a newer addition to my arsenal, but it helps me not have to waste so much damn energy scrubbing tiles, tubs, shower doors, and counter tops. It’s like an electric toothbrush for your bathroom.
Invitation to work with me:
I have one space in January for 1:1 messaging coaching where I’ll help you learn how to talk about what you do and convey the value of what you offer without having to be something you’re not. This is best for folks who already have a proven offer they’re ready to amplify. Apply on my website, and we’ll chat to see if this offer is a good fit for your needs!