In August 2012, a news report
inspired me to find out more about long-distance
swimming star Diana Nyad's attempt to swim 103
miles from Cuba to Key West without a shark
cage. At Nyad's site, I clicked on one update
after another about her effort in progress and
returned the next day to see how she was holding
The more I read her news
snippets and watched video taken by members of
her support crew, the more excited I became.
Just as important, her swim
would spread awareness of the efforts of her
sponsor organization to clean up the oceans and
make them healthier environments for all living
things. That the environmental message was
not just a PR spin became clear when a pod of
dolphins joined her, leaping in synchrony with
each other alongside her and lifting the spirits
of Diana and the whole crew.
Upon reading that, I
donated to her cause.
All this came back to me
the other day as I was pondering the dread
of marketing I encounter in so many of the
introverts I work with. It's "Who, me?" It's
a fear of being in the spotlight. It's
disgust at the showboating they watch some
extroverts indulge in.
Those are egoistical
concerns, however, and I've seen a complete
switch in attitude when marketing gets
reframed as something benefiting those being
marketed to, or indeed the world at large.
Taking a cue from Diana
Nyad's presentation of her expedition, is
there a way of thinking about what you do as
much larger than little ol' you? The old
story about dedicated workers in the Middle
Ages comes to mind. They were not piling
brick upon brick upon brick; they were
building a cathedral.
Does your work confirm
values you passionately care about? Can you
see your work as contributing to a cause?
Make a list of all the
ways in which clients are better off,
happier and more content because of the work
you do. In that light, marketing is not
about you. It's about bringing those
benefits to those who do business with you.
If you craft resumes, clients more easily
find jobs, easing the stress on their entire
family. If you teach yoga, you bring greater
physical vibrancy and spiritual peace to
those in your classes.
Marketing doesn't have to
be about shining the spotlight on yourself,
pumping up your importance in the eyes of
others. A powerful switch happens when it's
about offering something you deeply care
about to those who have richer lives as a
result. With that mindset, it becomes so
much easier and more comfortable to reach
out to your ideal clients.