There’s a way capitalism has taught us to do marketing, and then there’s relational marketing.

Many of the entrepreneurs we work with are resistant to doing sales and marketing tasks because they don’t feel good. It feels like lying. There’s a good reason for this: the models we’ve seen for sales and marketing have been based on lying to customers in order to get them to buy things.

As impact-driven entrepreneurs, this is out of alignment with our values. It’s what we call transactional: the ultimate goal is to make a sale, no matter what you have to do or say to get there.

We don’t support that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t market. It simply means we have to find a different way to market that feels good and aligns with our values.

The solution is shifting from transactional thinking to relational thinking.

When we come from a relational context, we’re focused on building relationships and understanding people first and foremost. When we understand people, we can identify if their values align with ours, and if they have a need our products and services can fill. That way we know each sale we make translates into contribution.

Authentic Marketing

Marketing is the first interaction clients and customers have with your business. It sets the stage for how the rest of your relationship will go. That means it’s essential that you show your audience who you authentically are in order to create a powerful connection with them. People are able to suss out inauthenticity and are naturally turned off by it, even if they can’t articulate exactly what they don’t like.

In order to present authentic marketing you can feel good about, it’s essential to align your marketing with your values.

When people see that you’re being genuine, they can start to trust you. Your clients are empowered because they have all the information they need to make an informed choice. It leads to better relationships and better results for everyone. Your business grows in a way that you feel good about and the results are incredibly motivating.

The first step is to get crystal clear on what values you’re committed to for your business. Or, put another way, answer this question: what change are you committed to creating with your business? Once you clearly identify the values you’ll lead with, and what you’re committed to, it becomes far easier to create a marketing plan that maintains those.

The second step is identifying the how. This is a bit more complicated because it shifts as your business grows, but it’s a crucial piece of the puzzle. Ask yourself, what will I actually do in this plan? What do I already feel resistant to doing?

If you strongly dislike social media, it’s probably not a good idea to make this the crux of your marketing plan. If you can’t sit still long enough to write a blog, this is not an ideal way for you to get your ideas into the world. Find the tasks that allow you to communicate clearly and that you enjoy doing. That way you’ll create a marketing plan you’ll actually stick to.

Then, as your business grows, you can start to outsource tasks that are necessary but that you personally don’t like or aren’t good at doing.

At Kite + Dart, we use primarily event-based marketing. We host several free events each month and invite people to come learn a little about what we do. Our marketing for our events is rooted in authenticity: we give people a clear idea of what they can expect if they attend.

Looking at your business, what values are you committed to? What do you enjoy doing and what will you actually do on a regular basis? What strategy allows you to stay in your “genius zone” while connecting with your audience?

In our marketing course, Get Heard, we dig into all of these concepts to help you create an authentic marketing strategy that works for you and your business. It’s different for each one of us, because our businesses—and ourselves—are distinct from one another.

Get Heard is one of the three courses in our brand new Entrepreneurial Activism Certification program. We created this curriculum to meet entrepreneurs where they’re at in the COVID economy. We realized that one-on-one coaching was no longer an option for many folx, but we wanted to continue helping entrepreneurs run a business from their values. This program is the result.

Going through the Entrepreneurial Activism Certification, you’ll get clear on your values, learn how to identify what you’re great at, and figure out how the intersection of those two things leads to you having the greatest possible impact with your business. You’ll learn how to create products and services that align with your values, you’ll create a new context for sales, and you’ll get a comprehensive understanding of relational marketing. All combined, it’s a complete transformation for your business (and typically for you as a person, too).

If you’re interested to learn more about this program or any of the courses involved, we’d love to talk with you. Contact us here.


Written in partnership with Ali Weeks of Moxie Writing Co.