Last November I did a Marketing as a Creative + Spiritual Practice call as an experiment, to share some ideas. It went so well we've been doing it as a monthly call ever since. (These calls are in the Dream Book membership)
What I wanted from marketing at that time was to FEEL a certain way about how I am putting myself out there.
But I could not articulate how, exactly, I wanted to feel - just that I wanted it all to feel different and this vague sense of how I wanted it to be. It's so awkward to know you want to feel different about a thing but not be able to put your finger on how you want to feel!
But, indoing the calls every month... Practicing in between calls. Experimenting. Processing. Exploring. Staying with it even when there are no answers in sight....
I feel like I have it now.
It feels sustainable and open and COHESIVE. Like I am offering work inside and outside of Dream Book and it's all a cohesive whole.
The thing that's changed this is, of course, the Monday Co-Dreaming calls. They feel like the right way for me to invite people into the world of the Creative Dream Incubator.
And I am SO grateful for the people who are showing up because it’s not the same without them! It feels MAGICAL and I do want to keep doing them.
It feels like such a beautiful way to open the door for anyone who is interested in my work. Or to include people who can’t afford the money or the time commitment for the full program, so they can still have some ongoing support for navigating the path.
The only part that feels annoying sometimes is promoting the calls.
So guess what - when it feels annoying I just don’t do it!!!!
I am releasing that idea that feels like it got hammered into my head from the online business classes I took that we need to “do all the things” to “make the most” of everything.
Sometimes it’s felt fun to create promotional content and put it out there, and in those times I did it.
Other times I just didn’t have the energy, so I didn’t do it.
No rules here!
I don’t want to do any UGH. This feels revolutionary.
And it’s not like I ever wrote my emails and marketing content FEELING UGH.
I would feel UGH and remind myself of the WHY and then work through my feelings to get to a place of feeling like - yeah that is worth doing - and then do it.
But now instead of all that I’m just - not.
THIS FEELS SO MUCH MORE SUSTAINABLE because I am doing it at my own human pace instead of doing everything at the pace of “how the online business people said it should be done”.
I do want to say though:
It DOES take a lot of promoting even to get people to participate in a free thing online.
There is so much out there now, it's hard to get people's attention, even if they're already following you. So - when I do feel inspired to create content around promoting these calls, I do it!
On Friday I was thinking about how much fun I am having with these calls, and ended up making a bunch of artwork for them, so now I have that all made and can post it whenever I want to share something, instead of having to figure out in the moment what to share.
The other thing I changed is I am now sharing my daily posts on my blog which felt ALL KINDS OF AWKWARD.
I mean each layer of "awkward feelings" that I worked through opened up a new layer of "awkward feelings" and it felt like it would go on like that forever but I think I found the bottom - now it all feels good.
I don’t really promote the blog posts either - I don’t send them to my email list or even post on Facebook most of the time. When there’s a really interesting post that I FEEL like I want to share, I share that.
Sometimes I read the post on video and post it on Instagram. I am enjoying that.
But most often - I just put it on my blog for the people who choose to go and read it. Not putting all that effort into putting it in front of people like I used to.
This feels like - if someone feels called to explore my work, it’s all there for them to see. Not locked away but also not shining every spotlight on it that I can.
IT FEELS SO GOOD.
I am consistent about putting things out there into my tiny ecosystem. I’m not consistent about how I put it put it into the larger social media/email/internet ecosystems and that’s ok!
WILL THIS MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS THE OLD WAYS?
I don’t know!
I do know the “old” internet marketing ways I learned in 2009 onward don’t really apply to the way the internet works now. I could keep doing them but they don’t make the money they used to, they don’t get attention like they used to.
And the “new ways” I see people doing - no fucking way am I going there. And also - it feels like these are starting to crumble too. Every week on Facebook a new "big name" is being talked about for unethical and illegal behaviour.
I don't want to be a part of any of that. I just want to do my work.
So I am trusting this because it feels right. This feels like ENOUGH so I am trusting that.
And I’d have to keep doing this until the end of the year at least to get a sense of how it “works” in terms of money.
All these months of Marketing as a Creative + Spiritual Practice have really shifted my perspective on how I define if a thing “works”.
DOES IT FEEL GOOD FOR ME
DOES IT RESONATE WITH THE PEOPLE THAT THE WORK IS FOR
These two things feel so much more important than:
HOW MUCH MONEY DOES IT MAKE
Because money is NOT the only factor.
I mean, money was NEVER the only factor for me with my work, but it did feel like the way to define if marketing activities, specifically, "worked".
Though I recognize that we need to make money too!
This business IS my only livelihood.
But/And I do have lots of long-term members of Dream Book and ongoing one-on-one clients and when I need more money - things tend to happen. I used to do more joint ventures to bring in more money, though that doesn’t feel right anymore. Mostly I trust myself to figure it out.
Underneath that is the thought that actually - I am taking the energy I would have used on marketing and using it to create hand-drawn guided journals and maybe that will make me more money in the end?
For marketing - I want to feel like I am shining the light of the Creative Dream Incubator, I am creating welcoming spaces for people to come and see what we’re doing and then leaving it to people to decide if they want to join.
I’m not doing any of the persuasive marketing + sales tactics that the internet is full of now so having income goals be attached to marketing feels off.
Also - I started this business as a single person with no plans to ever be married. I have since gotten married and my husband moved into my condo so we split the bills now. This does make all of this easier.
Also, I did own a home before I started this business and that helps too for financial stability! I sold it and bought the loft condo which is more expensive to maintain but still I’m leaning on all of the equity I already had in my home. And I sold my car and got a bike 9 years ago - I did this because having a car felt wrong, having a bike feels AMAZING (as does taking lots of long walks in winter when I don’t ride - though if my city ever starts clearing bike paths safely I will!) I didn’t do this for financial reasons but it IS a lot cheaper to maintain a bike than a car!
We do have to consider the facts of our financial situation, which is why I shared that here. I don’t think Marketing as a Creative + Spiritual practice is about bypassing reality. It’s about being where we are and working with what we have - which includes our tremendous gifts AND our actual life circumstances.
Our next Marketing as a Creative + Spiritual Practice call is happening August 9 - tomorrow.
But we do these calls every month, and there is a library of calls to work through when you join, if you'd like to explore with us in Dream Book.
Dream Book members:
Come to the forum to share your thoughts or start a conversation about whatever you're working with.
Get your next Dream Book lesson.
Check out the calendar of upcoming calls.
Note: This is a post about my daily practice with my Creative Dreams - in these posts I often link to the tools, courses and processes I use which are only available to Dream Book members. If you're not a member, find out more + join us here.