Spirituality and Marketing–I Have Questions!

Om

Om

As I’ve been preparing to publish a series of small books for Kindle I’ve been doing research on marketing books, which these days leads to looking into social networking.  I’ve been doing my due diligence — I must admit not always enthusiastically.  And a lot of questions keep rolling around in my head that leave me longing for feedback from other spiritual blogging types.

One thing that keeps running through my head is that if I want to market my things through Twitter and blogging, etc. that I feel I should help other people along.  Not just follow, but share their posts about their products, buy products, etc.  I’ve been trying to do more and more to support others who are trying to

I notice that there are many ways people do this.  Some endlessly market themselves but don’t seem to ever do anything to support their followers or their products.  There are some who are very generous in spreading the word about their peers.  So one piece I’m interested in is what others think about the question of supporting others in the way “you” want to be supported and whether you think it matters business-wise.

The other is a feeling I keep having that marketing to the spiritual community is somehow different from marketing to the mainstream.  I’ve been hunting for evidence on this but so far everything I find that relates to marketing spiritual stuff is advice for reluctant healers, etc. on getting over aversion to marketing.  I know I don’t respond well to a lot of mainstream marketing tricks and most of my spiritual community feel the same way but I can’t find any advice on specifically marketing spiritual stuff.

Is your experience that there’s anything different about marketing to the spiritual community?  Do any of you know of a good source of info about how best to market spiritually-related products?  Anyone think there’s no difference?  I’m very interested to hear what you know and/or feel about this.

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23 thoughts on “Spirituality and Marketing–I Have Questions!

  1. I think no matter your product, there is always an audience, sweetheart. You just have to find the people that are interested in what you’re putting out there.

    Blogging by itself is an excellent platform for that. I don’t think there will be any difference just because your marketing to a spiritual community. You just have to find a way of reaching those people.
    Follow other blogs with spiritual interests, talk to them. & My favorite use “tags” on your blog posts frequently that will help drawn in that type of audience.

    You will do just fine, dear. You’re a pleasant & intelligent soul.

    P.S. When you publish your series, post the cover art in your sidebar with links to where to buy it. I’m sure you might know this already but, you’d be surprised how many writer’s miss this step.

    *hugs* & Happy marketing!

  2. It’s all about sharing content, to misquote Marshall McLuhan “‘ the ( spiritual medium) is the message'”

    Just finished a Medill MOOC (Coursera Northwestern University   Understanding Media by Understanding Google ) and the lesson newspaper business  did not learn (to their decline) was it was really  the story not the printing press, that  was their real business e.g. in your case the spirituality not the spirit. Just “google” it , that is give it away f or free but sell the accompanying ads (See Google AdWords  link:  http://www.google.com/adwords/?sourceid=awo&subid=ww-et-awhp_nelsontest3_nel_p&clickid )

    • That Medill class looks cool. That stuff is kind of a down the road plan. I can’t afford to pay for those Google ads and I don’t have enough followers yet for anyone to want to pay me for advertising space. But I intend to get to that place! Thanks for the input.

    • Well, that’s where I’m dancing around. I feel like the blogging is a gift in both directions. And I don’t mind people marketing — I’ve bought some fellow bloggers’ books to be supportive. But I don’t buy stuff from people who push too hard or seem to be here only to market…

  3. I hope you will share what you learn because I need to learn more too. What I do now is list blogs like yours that I like in the side bar under “Links I Like” and under each blog post I list 3-4 related blogs or articles under “Related Articles” so I hope people reading my blog will read these too. What I’ve been told is that I need to post daily on Facebook or interact there, not always trying to sell stuff. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my list. Good luck with your new books!

    • Oh, you just reminded me i started updating my side bar list a while back and forgot to ever go finish it. I’ve collected a few books on Kindle that talk about all this — and as seems to be the case in every field — they contradict one another. I do feel like the spiritual community by and large like a softer touch but I’m just feeling my way. Happy to share anything I learn.
      As far as FB it’s the one social media thing that I’ve held pretty close, only saying yes to people i actually know for the most part–and other than getting in touch with old friends I actually don’t enjoy it much.

  4. First, I’ve recently read a book on marketing one’s Kindle books, in which the author talks about how he built an “author’s platform” through Twitter, etc.,–and how that tactic DID NOT work for him, despite much effort. I’m not here to plug his book, but I will share the title if you wish. As for what tactic will work for ME, I haven’t found that yet. In any case, I don’t feel that you owe your followers anything. If they like your work and want to buy your work, that’s great, but why should you feel obligated? After all, they are getting something for their money. Finally, I think marketing is basically marketing. That said, I do not yet feel comfortable with marketing to spiritual community or any other community–for one thing, it just seems that everyone is marketing these days, and using much the same tactics, and it’s already starting to seem old to me. Anyway, I am glad you brought up this question, because it relates to my own dilemma. There’s so much material out there these days, and that makes marketing especially difficult. If you find a silver bullet, please let me know!

    • I’ve got a small collection of books on marketing books on line and there’s an incredible amount of contradictory advice and contradictory means of success. I’m feeling my way through based on a combination of what I’m willing to do and what I figure will work for the audience I’m seeking to reach.
      I don’t think of supporting fellow bloggers and tweeters as so much a quid pro quo as a spiritual exercise in which I feel that if I want people to support my work, I want to also be a person who supports others. I’ve bought some books as part of that with no expectation that those particular authors then must buy mine. It’s saying, “Hey, Universe, I’m willing to offer to others what I’m asking for.”
      I think marketing comes in a range of styles from a soft touch to bashing over the head and a range from massive commercial campaigns from those who have deep pockets to those of us who have to launch book one without a marketing budget.
      I’ll be sure to get in touch when I figure out the silver bullet :>) !!!

  5. I too am trying to market my books, and future ones. The blogging world and social networks help, and as said above, there is always an audience, especially with the rise in consciousness and increasing interest in spirituality in the general public. We could help each other out if you’re interested. Email me at juliannevictoria@live.com

    • Mutual helping sounds good. I’ll send an e-mail.
      And yes, I’m sure there’s a market — I just want to reach it and in a way that doesn’t leave other people feeling as put off as I do when I see someone, for instance, on Twitter, who tweets 50 times a day and it’s nothing but self-promotion. That’s the kind of thing where my spiritual community is a little different — we don’t like be bashed with promotion — a softer touch. I’m just wondering whether that preference is generally true for most spiritual seekers or is my group just weird?

  6. Marketing to the spiritual community should not be any different from the mainstream. You want to sell your works and some of those folks will want to buy what you’re selling. I like the idea of the book’s Amazon link being on the side of your blog page. That way you are marketing to everyone who comes this way. And if you do well with that it may encourage other spiritually minded folks to do the same. So in a round-about way you’ll have helped them market too. 🙂

    • I did the side bar thing for my first book and I don’t think it sold a single one, but I do plan to do it again with the next one as the genre is different. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment.

  7. I suppose my favourite thing is blog tours. It’s a nice way to be reciprocal and to get the word out. You can do a small interview and give away copies of your book to the blogger and one or two followers.

  8. First, let me say that there are many great ideas in the comments. I think so many of us are asking the same questions. One silent issue re: spiritual marketing is “integrity”. In other words, am I being authentic while I run this business I have? I think the spirituality market is quite saturated so it’s difficult to stand out and yet, there is an integral component here. We need to make a living and we are choosing to do so and connect to like minded people from this spiritual source. They are not mutually exclusive. Then there is SO much material out there on how to do this using technology and as you say, much of it contradicts itself. How to choose?
    I have run four businesses. I have come to believe that Generosity is the Killer App. (name of a presentation I do). I believe that generosity, helping one another succeed by collaboration and mutual support, comes from an attitude of abundance. And that is where I choose to be. There is enough for everyone. That said, choose wisely. If I support someone in their efforts it is because I believe in them and I believe that they have integrity, are authentic and genuinely care about being at service to others. I have formed “criteria” for that support. It has helped me decide who and how to support without much complication.
    The other thing which emuse refers to is the personal touch amid all this technology. My mother had a saying. “Ponga la cara” It’s Spanish for “Put your face in front of them”. What she meant is that people have to get to know you to be in relationship with you to trust you to then support or buy from you. So, how can we do that – poner la cara – while we navigate the internet – Facebook, Twitter, etc? Can we combine personal presentations and introductions in the real world not only on the internet, so our clients find us? What would it be like to work with people who actually value our services, books and products? How can I help them find me?
    For writers, and bloggers, I think we put our Self in front of people in service of something, and in this case, a spiritual component. In my case, helping people evolve their spirituality. I think a lot of us are committed to this kind of service. To market spirituality effectively I believe we have to stand in our authenticity, engage generosity and get over any assessments we have about the business of marketing. If we are authentic and generous, and we follow best marketing practices based on our individual criteria (how much time I have, what methodologies work for me and my product or service, what have I or others tried that works, what combination of in-person and in-ternet works, etc.) then persevere, then I have to believe that we will be successful in our endeavor.
    Thanks so much for opening this discussion.

    • Yes, integrity is so key. I also still feel like a softer sell works better with the audience for spiritual stuff though I don’t have any evidence for that except my gut. But I too am feeling my way through what I’m willing to do, etc. Personally I think we’re at the dawn of needing pr/marketing guides and people who specialize with this community.

      • If you find anyone who does this, please share. It is a specific market, a specific type of individual. It feels more like an Offer then a Sell for me so perhaps one key is in articulating the offer well and in service. Behind that is always the integrity issue. Good point about the specialization. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

Please add your thoughts; love a good discussion!

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