Recently I was listening to a podcast with Paul Gilbert OBE who is the founder of Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training. His talk started me thinking about our capacity as practitioners to market ourselves and shed some light on why often the better a practitioner the less effective the marketing!
One thing I have observed over my 22 years in practice any my 11 years helping practitioners create businesses they love is how hard it can be to create marketing that gives results and feels good to do. I know some of this is introvert vs extrovert, understanding the process, having the resources, etc, but it is also much more than this. Sometimes the better a practitioner the less effective their marketing! and by that I mean, the more generalised their content (to help more people) and the less compelling their call to action. Neither of which contribute to effective marketing.
Gilbert has developed a huge body of work around the human capacity for suffering and how wired we are for inner conflict and even cruelty. That sounds intense, but our ability to think is what separates us from our mammalian brothers and sisters.
An animal may do something that appears to be cruel, such as a cat playing with a mouse, however that is their nature. They are not thinking ‘how can I hurt this mouse’. It just what they do. Whereas human beings have the capacity to think about causing pain, make plans to do it and then carry it out. And sadly tend to use it far too often.
So how does this relate to marketing?
Gilbert was talking about three qualities that we each have and how we can cultivate them to live with more purpose and joy. As he dissected his model and shared how certain careers need a greater capacity for one or the other I could see how practitioners often have a particular combination.
I also could see that this combination can easily make effective marketing difficult. Once we understand them we can harness them and use them more effectively as we wear our marketing hat.
Empathy is the quality of being able to feel what others feel. We have transformed this quality into a virtue, however it is not. It is simply the ability to put ourselves in another shoes. Disturbingly Gilbert said that the best torturers are the most empathetic. Creepy but makes sense.
The quality that the torturer is missing is the quality of compassion. Compassion is concern for another, not wanting them to suffer. Gilbert points out that compassion is actually not love as we often perceive it to be. We do not have to love another to be compassionate, we don’t even have to know or like them. We just need to not want them to suffer.
The third quality to consider is courage. The courage to do what is needed when it is needed. I think about our Rural Fire Service who we are seeing a great deal at the moment. These people not only have the empathy and compassion to want to help but they also have the courage to take action
As a practitioner you will have all three of these qualities in abundance. It will be in part, why you feel called to do your work. You do not want people to suffer, you want them to enjoy their life.
How can we cultivate these to help our perfect potential clients to see how we can help?
You probably want your marketing to be uplifting so your potential clients will understand that the work you do will help them. You probably do not want them to feel worse about themselves or their life. However this is where your compassion is letting you down! As I say – the better the practitioner the less effective your marketing!
Like it or not we move away from pain much faster than we move towards pleasure. By trying to help them without reminding them of what the problems are they will have no impetus to change. Your message passes them by. Your compassion in your marketing is preventing them from experiencing your compassion in person!
So cultivate more of the quality of courage when you market. You will already be using that with your clients every day, to help them to see what has to change, to hold them accountable, to help them to live a better life.
Draw on that quality, together with your empathetic skills to write materials that your perfect clients can resonate with.
Always remember that your perfect client is looking for the solution you offer because of the pain that they are experiencing right now.
Make sure that is expressed clearly in all your marketing, what you do or how you do it matters less (for reasons that I will talk about next time). Make your marketing speak specifically to your perfect client, help them to see you understand both their pain and their dreams. Help them to see that your solution will get them there faster or easier than something else and those perfect potential clients will hear you.
And don’t forget your call to action! You would be surprised by how often that happens!
If you want help in writing marketing that works, developing strategies that get you more perfect clients and building a sustainable practice doing what you love fast have a look at my free live webinar.
Or just get in touch. 🙂
******** This was written with the intention of helping you to live your best life, if you want to know more about how I can help you Create The Life You Want To Live please get in touch! ********
Copyright 2019 Gay Landeta, Create The Life You Want To Live. All rights reserved.