Does marketing just feel gross and out of alignment to you sometimes? And yet you know, if you’ve been in business for any length of time, that marketing is key to your business success and your cash flow. At least you know that as an idea, even if you haven’t experienced it first hand. So then you feel stuck—you gotta, and you don’t wanna, so you don’t. Or you do, and you don’t like it, so your results are not what you would like them to be.
If you feel this way, it may be because the archetypes you feel most connected with, what I call the Expressions of Source Village Archetypes, do not seem to resonate with marketing. For example, healers, teachers, counselors, shamans, and priestesses historically did not market themselves in the way we think of marketing. In smaller communities people knew about them and went to them when drawn or needed. And they were more supported by their communities through traditional ways of exchange. So if you tend to identify with one or more of these archetypes (in your own special and particular way of course), then the prospect of promoting yourself might feel out of alignment.
Yet there have always been, even in smaller communities and village life, people involved in business. Traders, merchants, crafts people, bakers, weavers, farmers, and so on all engaged in “marketing” in the sense that they had to let people know what they were doing, develop relationships, and exchange goods, services and currency. So it’s not that marketing is a new phenomenon, although how we do it today is very different. And of course the scale and scope are entirely different.
Let me name some recognizable figures that I call Marketing Archetypes because they represent different aspects of successful marketing: promoting, networking, exchanging, and inspiring.
Trader/Merchant. This one is most obvious—the one who has goods offered for exchange and sale.
Connector/Networker. This is the person who knows everyone and who has her thumb on the pulse of the community. She knows who needs what, and where to find the person who can satisfy that need. She makes connections, hooks people up, and sometimes talks a little too much
Promoter. He gets excited about what he values and he wants to tell people about it. He likes to spread the good news. He enjoys providing information and connections that facilitate growth, healing, satisfaction, development in some way.
Preacher. This person inspires, promotes, and sells you on god. He is passionate, dedicated, unstoppable. She speaks powerfully and with purpose. He commands attention. She is fully connected inside with a sense of purpose.
Advocate/Activist. She speaks up for people, causes, or organizations. She invites people to support, to participate, to engage, to care.
In their empowered, highest state, all of these archetypes contribute to the community in myriad important ways. And you find here a quality of being that you recognize in yourself—particularly in situations different from your business? Because oftentimes people in the healing arts, education and coaching fields are more comfortable “marketing” other people, programs, and organizations than they do marketing themselves. Is that true for you?
Of course like any archetype, any of these marketing can go awry depending on how they are embodied. The trader can become a used-car salesman, the networker can become a gossip, a preacher can become an egotistical guru and so on. And that is one place where the discomfort comes from, too—fear of the dysfunctional side.
But if you can find a resonance with any of these Marketing Archetypes, and begin to play and dance with them in your business, you might find energy really opening up for you. Messaging in your business can be very difficult if you have trouble accessing your marketing archetype. When you can own, embody, dance with, and move between your marketing archetype(s) and your Village archetypes, then you are really in business (pun intended).