Feel Good Marketing with Tad Hargrave
Seth Godin – arguably today’s Godfather of Good Marketing – describes attracting the right kind of person in a brilliant way:
People like us do things like this.
…Because, in the company of people whose values you share, magic can happen and truths can be aired… and this feels good. Because you can be yourself.
When we came across Tad Hargrave, we realised that he was a kindred spirit. He describes himself as “a hippy who developed a knack for marketing (and then learned to be a hippy again).” We very much share Tad’s view that marketing can make you feel good, can be ethical and “conscious”. And If you think “Hippy” here means doing fluffy and unchallenging marketing, think again…
Tad’s perception of “feel-good” goes deep. He says that you don’t “have to choose between marketing that works but feels awful – of “stealth and ninja tactics, secrets, hacking your customer’s minds and hypnotic techniques” or marketing that feels good (but gets you no clients).
Collapsing and Posturing
Tad offered to our listeners a very helpful concept of the two poles that it is possible to vacillate between as marketers: “collapsing” – when we make ourselves very small, not taking up a lot of space, being apologetic for everything and overgiving and “posturing” – puffing oneself up, presenting as (for example) a “shiny Instagram coach” who has everything sorted. The collapsing ends up with resentment. And if you posture, Tad says, “what you end up feeling is terrified”… terrified that you will end up being discovered as a fraud. Because you are being a fraud. The terror is a legitimate fear. At some point the facade will break.
Simon and I talk often about working out loud. And Tad describes, “implicating yourself” in what others do and what others are going through… “to give evidence that you are the same… because that is where the safety is. The safety is not in you being perfect”.
In this video, you will see us talking openly with one Better Bolder Braver community member about how we are far from perfect and needed to pivot quickly on an idea we had that we realised wasn’t necessarily the right idea to implement in that particular moment.
As coaches, you too can show your potential clients that you are working through something yourself. By relating to them through your marketing, you are helping them to understand that you are not too far away from them on a journey of self-discovery, or so unaware of yourself that you can never be fully present to their own suffering/enlightenment.
As Tad says, “no-one is above it all… no-one doesn’t have any vices”.
THERE IS A “THIRD DOMAIN” – AND HERE IS WHERE THE MAGIC LIES…
This is not a compromise. It’s where you are “just comfortable in your own skin”. And…
“When we are around people who are comfortable in their own skin, we relax.”
Tad talks about word of mouth as having the power to help tell the story of how you might have messed up and then fixed it.
I relate this to giving people the chance to be compassionate. Which is a gift.
We are not ashamed of marketing.
We have nothing to hide.
Rather than being motivated by the Sale, we are motivated by the Truth. We ask the question, “is this a fit or not?”, as Tad puts it, and he describes how this major shift in our thinking as marketers is like “the shadow of your life being illumined by the sun”.
What is Marketing?
Simon, Tad and I are marketing people whose common goal is to disrupt the perception of what marketing is, how it can make us feel and the good that it can do.
Marketing can be “a sacred act of helping people find solutions to real problems that they actually have” as Tad says. When done well, marketing can be a “sign of deep respect for people”… and about the beauty of people coming together in a marketplace to connect and share their wares and crafts.
Simon and I also sit passionately behind The Ethical Move – which takes “responsibility for the part we [as marketing people] play in the cycle of consumerism”. We have built the Better Bolder Braver community to help coaches grow their businesses by marketing them in what feels true to their values, ethical, intentional and comfortable… safe in the knowledge that they can proudly sell their product to people who need it, meet people where they are and be nourished in return by the people with whom they surround themselves..
As a coach you need not pretend to be perfect. And in fact “trying to position yourself as the protohuman doesn’t do you any favours”. You can feel good about being imperfect. We care about this deeply. We also talked about this recently also with Vix Anderson, who coaches “recovering perfectionists” and will continue to talk about it long into the future. You can still have a robust plan (in fact we recommend this and you can download our free Coach’s Marketing Plan template here). It’s about making the plan work for you, feel good and do justice to your lived experience, skills and mission to have good conversations as opposed to chasing conversions.
As a coach, you have the game-changing skills to dig out the truth for – and with – your potential clients. To help them work out if you are for them. And to work out if they are for you.
Our invitation to you is to let go of a sense that you need to show up as shiny, whether on social media, to friends and family who ask you how it’s going, or to yourselves. To try to see how your challenges prior to becoming a coach, and now – as you develop your marketing skills and practice – might be just the story that you need to tell to people in relation to the gift that you are giving them.
This might feel strange to begin with. And this is where being part of a community of like-minded individuals all doing similar self-work as coaches trying to put themselves out there makes sense.
Tad Hargrave has been touring his marketing workshops around Canada, the United States, Europe, and online, bringing refreshing and unorthodox ideas to conscious entrepreneurs and green businesses that help them grow (without selling their souls). To find out more about Tad, visit him at marketingforhippies.com.
To be amongst coaches who are showing up as themselves and finding work as a result, check out betterbolderbraver.com. We look forward to meeting you.