If you’re anything like us you’ve probably had various different feelings come up about marketing during times of Corona. Maybe it feels kinda icky to be selling stuff or even just adding to the noise that’s out there in online spaces at the moment. We’re here to tell you that it is possible to market in a meaningful, ethical and authentic way during times of hardship.
Do you feel conflicted about making money from your business?
Heart-centered small businesses who are personally invested in ethical entrepreneurship and sustainability tend to feel pretty awkward about the “selling” part of their work!
Understandably, we often have connotations of money equalling corruption and injustice. But actually wouldn’t it be better if the people who knew how to spend fairly had money rather than those who use it to exploit people, animals and the environment?!
Making money from your small business means you can invest your time, energy and finances into the projects and movements that matter.
Adapting to the current context
We’re in a global crisis where many people are suffering loss of income, jobs and financial stability, as well as seeing how certain demographics are disproportionately affected.
Our first thoughts tend to be “How can I help?” This is great! But it’s also important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup and you need to be resourced in order to volunteer your efforts to support others.
That’s why now, more than ever, it is important that you think in a business-savvy way combined with a heart-centered approach. It’s okay to sell at the moment, there are still people who can pay for your services and who want to.
You deserve to be making a living so that you can give your best to your community. You need to be resourced to engage in the action required during these times of uncertainty, whether supporting a vulnerable neighbour, mobilising for activist movements or volunteering at a local food bank.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable about marketing at this time remember:
You’re not alone!
Freelancers and small business owners are facing big change, a lot of uncertainty and for sure that can be incredibly anxiety inducing! But we also understand the necessity of supporting each other to move out of old profit based systems that prop up big corporations based on oppression. We’re in this together. We are challenging existing power structures simply by existing as a small business owner / freelancer.
Someone out there needs and wants what you’re offering.
So why not do what you can to connect with them? For example, imagine someone is making handmade reusable cotton menstrual pads, we still need them, periods don’t stop because of lockdown! By making and selling this product, the maker is directly supporting sustainability and actively promoting greener consumer choices. We still want to hear about that kind of thing right now, don’t you?
You’re in charge, you get to choose how you adapt to this.
What we’ve seen are some really creative, impressive and inspiring ways to adapt. Whether it’s Yoga Teachers offering donations based online Zoom classes or therapists giving sliding scale pricing options for 1-1 Skype sessions, people are looking out for each other during times of financial instability. We’ve also seen others stick to clear boundaries about their pricing and find the clients who can afford this. You choose what works for you and your brand. There’s no right or wrong.
You can keep your marketing meaningful.
If you’re anything like us then the modern mass media world of advertising makes you squirm with its damaging stereotypes, promotion of unethical systems and manipulative strategies. We think meaningful marketing is a way to describe promoting something valuable in an ethical way to reach the people who would want to know about it. It’s about spreading an important message as well as a product/service e.g. sustainably sourced garments challenging oppressive structures in the fast fashion industry. So long as the way you market is respectful to the current context, aiming to connect with those who want what you’re selling and is staying true to your values then it’s meaningful!
We hope these reminders serve you and if you have anything to add or say about this then always feel free to reach out, we love hearing from our community! You can join our Facebook Group to connect to other creative entrepreneurs, activists and freelancers.
I’d like to be honest about how confusing it even was for me to write this. I want to continue with a sense of normality and personally invest in projects that matter to me. But I am painfully aware that none of what we are facing is “normal”. Already existing inequalities across the world are becoming even more glaringly obvious and there is quite frankly, a horror show happening out there affecting some people and some countries far worse than others.
This blog post is not meaning to gloss over any of that. It’s meant to help us work through our personal and professional journey as freelancers and small business owners in a difficult context. I, myself am writing this amidst complete chaos in my personal life from temporary accommodation as I figure out where to live and how. Here I still am, showing up where I can, not because of ‘the law of attraction’ but because I am from a privileged position of being safe, well and able to stay with family during these times of uncertainty.
If you want to go deeper into this then check out our 7 week online course “Meaningful Marketing for Freelancers & Changemakers.” It’s up and running from our very own course platform on our website and is designed to help you develop your ideas, streamline your marketing activities and keep your wellness a priority alongside all that hard work.