Marketing the Gentle Way

Season 3,
Episode 30
(54 mins)
Marketing the Gentle Way
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Marketing the Gentle Way

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Transcript

Marketing the Gentle Way 

Rob Brodnick: 

Welcome to the positive turbulence podcast stories from the periphery here, we journey to the edge to talk to turbulators about their experiences creating positive change. Hi, I’m Rob Brodnick.

Karyn Zuidinga: 

And I’m Karyn Zuidinga and sharing these stories, these perspectives on innovation, creativity, change, and leadership. We hope to generate some positive turbulence for you.

Rob Brodnick: 

Whether you are an entrepreneur or professional looking to get ahead, you need to figure out how you’re going to approach your marketing. If you’re like me, authenticity, integrity are not just important, they are essential . But in a world where we seem to value, influence over thought leadership, it can be hard to find a way to market what you do without sliding into the hype.

Karyn Zuidinga:

You see the hype-marketing emails landing in your inbox every day. They say something about earning six figures or making money while you sleep. Words like act now, time limited offer and exclusive are used like so much salt and pepper in a fast food dinner.

Rob Brodnick: 

Sarah Santacroce, a Swiss marketing and PR expert is here to tell us that there is a more connected, holistic and wholesome way to connect with customers and grow your business or career. She calls it Gentle Marketing. And her book The Gentle Marketing Revolution is a guide to getting new clients with integrity and kindness.

Karyn Zuidinga:

Sarah tells us that there were two big problems with using a hype-marketing approach to growing your business or career. One, there is no true connection between you and your intended contact. And two, you’re putting yourself on a connect and pitch hamster-wheel. For those of you raising a “yeah, but time” argument, she asks, are you really happy and finding joy in hype-marketing. Sarah reminds us that in the end, it’s all about connection. And not the LinkedIn connection where you don’t actually know someone, but real connection. Connection to ourselves, to our customers, to our communities and to the planet.

But before we begin, let’s take a moment to acknowledge our supporting organizations. 

Sponsor Message:

The Positive Turbulence Podcast is brought to you by AMI and innovation learning community that is celebrating 40 years of supporting innovation and creativity for organizations and individuals learn more aminnovation.org.

Also, we’d like to thank Mack Avenue music group as a contributing sponsor to hear our theme song late night, sunrise and other great music. Visit MackAvenue.com.

Karyn Zuidinga:

Hello? Hello. Hello. How are you? 

Sarah Santacroce:

I’m great. I’m so glad to be here.

Karyn Zuidinga:

So glad to have you here. 

Rob Brodnick:

And you’re joining Us from Switzerland, right? Is that where you’re based? And at?

Sarah Santacroce: 

Right. 

Rob Brodnick:

Let me ask you a question. How did you get attracted to marketing and, because your latest book, Gentle Marketing, but how did you come in to be a marketer or even want to call yourself marketer?

Sarah Santacroce: 

You see already. You’ve got me like, oh, nobody ever asked me that. How did I get into marketing? Altogether? I guess I slid into it. Born and raised in Switzerland, Canadian husband and so when rainy summer day, he’s like, I can’t take it anymore over here in Switzerland. Let’s move. Let’s go. I have a job offer for California or another one for Minneapolis. I’m like take a wild guess. And so we moved to California for four years and I had to leave my day job. We just had our second child, but I was planning to go back to work and I had to leave my day job.

And I was already, I wouldn’t say in marketing, I was in a international business school over here. That’s quite known in Luasanne. What I loved about that work was the global context of things. I was in admissions for the MBA program. And so that  meant a lot of organizing and PR and doing interviews.

When we moved over to California, I was like what am I going to do? I was able to apply for a work permit through his company, but that would have taken a year, at least. And so I was bored, even though I  had two small kids, but once they’re settled in preschool and school, I was like, okay, I think this is my chance to start my own thing.

And it was in the middle of that social media, boom, we’re talking 2006. And I felt like living right there in the heart of things where all these platforms were born. I was like if I can create buzz around my own little one woman company, I can probably do that for other companies.

So I guess that’s how I then got into marketing in general, because really I came more from the PR background. And so the kind of, public relations and the old school marketing, but then the social media started while we were in California and using it for my own business. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

It’s funny. When I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs these days when they talk about marketing, they’re really only talking about social media marketing. They’re not really talking about old school marketing. Obviously there is still a place for the more traditional advertising based marketing, but can you just delve into that for a little bit for me?

Sarah Santacroce:

I would definitely say there’s still a place for old-school marketing. Just depends what kind of business you have. So as an entrepreneur who has an online business, I think that’s just the first kind of reflex. Okay. We go to, these online platforms and it’s social media.

If you have a brick and mortar business, yeah. That’s one way to do it, but then there’s all these other ways that you can still do the old school marketing things like, networking and like before COVID local gatherings and in partnerships and things like that. 

It’s cheaper to be on social media , or at least that’s what we’re told that it’s super easy and cheap to create this social media following. And so that’s why a lot of people, go towards that. And then there’s in my mind, there’s also a difference between marketing and the old school publicity.

So like ad and, paid ads. That’s a complete different world, I think. You pay for ads or you pay for listings. Like they still had this thing where you buy lists of contacts from your local chamber of commerce. And then you just spam them with your mailings. Real snail mail, or you send them an email that, we haven’t actually asked for permission. So I think for entrepreneurs it’s definitely the thing that everybody tends to go toward because that’s what we talk about.

But maybe there’s also a way back to more of the traditional things, because it’s it’s almost like unique if you’re doing it, not just with social media.

Rob Brodnick:

Have a thousand questions about Gentle Marketing, but something popped into my head. Conflict marketing.  I don’t know if that’s what it’s called or not, but over the last 5 to 10 years, I’ve seen individuals and companies, doing bad things and getting press for it.

And their marketing numbers go through the roof. And, luckily the US is out of our dark four years, but, even in government, I think that was a method to get attention, any kind of attention, even if it’s negative publicity turns into good marketing numbers. And it’s weird to me. 

It’s something that since the age of social media, I think it’s really amped up. 

Sarah Santacroce:

You’re right. It’s just today much easier with social media to spread that kind of information. What also comes to mind is, the abuse  of things like authenticity or vulnerability. Since we now know that’s what people want is like people start to abuse this idea of vulnerability because they’re using it almost to get more sales. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

Well, and it’s not really vulnerability if you’re doing it that way, is it? It’s manufactured vulnerability, if you will.

Sarah Santacroce:

it is.

Karyn Zuidinga: 

And can you talk for a second about the, like the other thought that as Rob was talking about conflict marketing, the other thought that I thought about was the rise of the influencer, right?

As a force on the net and how that we’ve gone from a shift from the thought leader, somebody with knowledge about something to somebody with influence. Marketing seems to be a lot now, particularly social media marketing, seems to be a lot about influence rather than I don’t know, substance. 

Sarah Santacroce:

Yeah. I really hope we’re getting out of this influencer game . I think we’re starting to see signs that people are getting tired of that kind of behavior. But yeah, right now you can get a lot of results. I guess that’s what people want. They want quick results. And so that’s why I, it sells to become an influencer and grow these giant tribes because then you can use that influence to, influence people, but mainly it’s used for money.

It’s oh, I have this influence that I can now turn into money. And that’s why you see on Instagram andTik Tok and whatnot. People just selling or promoting things and getting paid just because they have influence. And to me, that is definitely not the definition of Gentle Marketing.

Because first of all, I don’t see the integrity behind it to, just use your influence to sell something that you maybe stand for. But maybe not like we don’t know because you’re getting paid for it. So how can I build that trust with you as an influencer? If you’re selling me all this crap that I now should be buying as well.

And the second thing to me it creates this  huge idea of exclusion. So meaning it’s the guru type marketer who has the influence and says, I, figured it all out. I have this huge tribe. Look at me, I’m the guru. I’m going to use my influence and sell you a bunch of stuff. And that means that all my followers, they don’t belong where I am because I made it.

And, yes, I’m serving my tribe. They sell it to you as if they were serving their tribe. But if they’re serving it and yet getting paid, there’s something just not completely right about it. And so I think the conscious client, and that’s why I’m saying, I’m hoping we’re soon going to be done with this influencer  stuff.

The conscious client wants to be included, not excluded. They don’t want to be on a lower level. They want to be on the same level. And so there will always be, yes, of course, this these hierarchies and maybe, some small influencers will still persist, but I think in general, since the consciousness is rising, more and more people will not want the guru type or the influencer type marketer and yet and instead have a marketer that, talks to them and not at them. 

Karyn Zuidinga: 

Or talks with creates, creates dialogue and conversation. So with that, we dipped a little bit into Gentle Marketing and your book, the Gentle Marketing Revolution. Can you give us a definition? What is gentle marketing? How does that contrast to the things we’ve been talking about?

Conflict and influence. There’s a bunch of other things you bring up in your book. So can you give it, give us a compare and contrast what is Gentle Marketing and how does that apply in a world of influence and conflict and scarcity? 

Sarah Santacroce:

It’s a mindset. It Doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not using certain techniques. A lot of these techniques are based on human psychology and that’s why people say they work, this is based on human psychology. So scarcity or using urgency works. And that’s true to a certain extent. 

Gentle Marketing says we’re not going to throw everything out the window.  What we are doing though, is using things in a gentle way. And they more empathic way in a positive way. And it’s almost like we want to change the role of the marketer from someone who just wants to sell a bunch of stuff into someone who wants to heal. Because if you look at marketing as something that can heal, that can be positive rather than, shaming and manipulating  people, into buying something, then marketing per se is not a bad thing.

I’m not saying that we’re all, it’s like this conversation about capitalism. W we actually want business still to do well. We want to, do business that also does good, and therefore we need to still market our businesses. So it’s just a different approach to marketing and not using these techniques to just shame people into buying, just so we get a quick buck, but really also to create sustainable businesses for the long term. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

Can you give me a for instance, and does this apply to every kind of marketing and every kind of business?  

Sarah Santacroce:

Let me start  with an example. You launch a program and then you get these emails about cart opening, and this is coming and then you get six emails that basically tell you why you absolutely need this program and that you should buy now. It’s all about how you invite people into this program, whether you use scarcity and basically making people feel less than if they don’t join the program, or if you just really invite them and say, look I would really love to have you. And if you feel like this is the right time to do this with you and to work on this, then let’s talk and I’d love to have you. It’s really a different approach to using the same techniques. Yes, the program is closing and you need to make decision now. I’m just here to help you make that decision. But I’m not saying if you’re not joining, you’re never gonna be a six figure business owner. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

I got one of those emails today! Like this morning! I was looking at it going, oh my God, no, I don’t want to be, I don’t… go away!. But that was just because of the. approach, right? Like the whole do you want to, are you earning six figures? What? No, 

Sarah Santacroce:

The six figures. Yeah. That’s like such a, that’s such a headline that people keep using. And it’s basically assuming that we all need to be making that six or seven or eight figure in order to be successful. And so they’re using that to shame us if we’re not at that level. So that’s an example.

So it’s all about how you express those emotions and it’s really about the holistic approach. When I first started to think about this idea of Gentle Marketing, I called it anxiety free marketing. Becasue, what I noticed is that marketing, not just for, only for my clients, but just in general, I noticed that marketing contributes to this ever rising level of anxiety.

So from the marketer perspective, because it’s, creates anxiety to market your business, but also from the consumer perspective, like you just said no, I don’t want it or no, I feel like I’m not there yet. Or it’s just continues to bring up these emotions that are making us not feel good because we feel like we’re constantly struggling to get to  whatever this product or service is selling us.

To you answer your second question about, does this apply to every kind of service or product? I think it eventually will. I wrote the book mainly for entrepreneurs. And I also address what I call the marketing impact pioneer. I see these as pioneers.  They are people maybe in marketing departments, in organizations who already question the way their company markets to their customers and consumers.

But I see it as a thing that starts from the people. So it’s not the big corporations like Nestle in Switzerland. And those big multinationals who are going to maybe think about these things first, it needs to come from the people. We see that with the B Corp as an example they already pay attention to the way they market and it always comes back to purpose. It comes back to their story. It comes back to bringing more of their values and worldview into their marketing. And that can be done. In the book I use the example of shoes, right?

You would think a shoes, you just want to sell more shoes.  If you really tie in the why and the purpose into the product, then you’re not just selling a product anymore, but you’re really selling this world view.  

Rob Brodnick:

 [00:17:04] It makes me think a little bit about some of the lifestyle companies that are out there right now. And, they develop a mindset, a lifestyle. Th they don’t even start with their products. They try to identify people, like-minded people and here’s how we do it. Here’s our way. Here’s how we think. And by the way, here’s these 20 products that help you be more like that. It’s really interesting to me. I’ve seen that recently and it’s not been around for a long time, but any thoughts about that. Is that similar or different or is it’s just a different thing altogether?

Sarah Santacroce:

I see that as a gray zone.  YouTubers is for example, there’s lots of ads on YouTube where they show you, their are great office with the view of whatnot and then all their cars and then they sell, you the idea of how they got to where they’re at.

And so again, it’s using this idea of how I became a multi-billionaire and here’s how you do it. And here’s how you can get there too. So that’s clearly not what we’re wanting to do. Tell me a bit more about what you were referring to Rob.

Rob Brodnick:

I’ll give you an example and I don’t know if it’s going to work or not, but I like to drink tea I’ve traveled to China and had great, wonderful tea experiences, and you can buy good tea here in California. It’s not in the grocery store, right? You’ve got to look a little beyond the groundup powder in the teabag stuff.

And so recently I went to search for some new tea companies, because tea, for me was more of a personal interactive experience where you would go and interact and learn taste, and then make a purchase. And so now shopping for tea on the internet, I was barraged by their marketing approaches. And this stood out to me 

Sarah Santacroce:

Yeah. 

Rob Brodnick:

One company. It was just all about how you feel like cool images and colors. They said absolutely nothing about the tea. Their whole approach to having you understand who they are as a company is like this cool, neat stuff and the feelings around it. But there was really no data about ti and I felt great.

I loved it. I wanted to buy their product, but I didn’t have any idea what was coming. Another company I was looking at, it was like super technical about tea. They had, component chemical analysis of all this stuff and how shady it was at what elevation on the mountain side, where this tea came from and the date that the tea was picked and like all this about tea and their imagery and all the other stuff it was just bland. It was almost, I don’t know, It was not very good. And so really compare andcontrast, I still have one of the teas to arrive. So now I want to taste these three teas and figure out like who’s real and who’s authentic and who’s not. So really different experiences for me

Sarah Santacroce: 

Yeah, that makes me think of is really also what you just really demonstrated is that we are now clearly not only thinking with our left brain and not only making decisions with our left brain, which is what that company that gave you all the stats and the, how the tea grew and all of that.

That’s all the left brain where the other one was focusing on how it makes you feel and that’s our right brain. And so I really think going forward the conscious client will be making these buying decisions much more with our right brains. And that’s where the mismatch is right now is like a lot of the marketing stuff that we see out there is only addressing the left brain.

Where the conscious client, that consciousness is just increasing at a much faster speed than marketing is. So that’s why, we  need to address more of the right brain as well. So I loved your example because that’s exactly what’s happening.

Rob Brodnick:

So now let’s say you were going to approach these two extreme tea companies and help them understand the Gentle Marketing approach and say, you were going to help them improve their experience and their sales. What would you do for either one? be the same or different, or just curious?

Sarah Santacroce:

I would definitely say the one who’s talking more about the feelings. I think they’re probably already on the right path towards Gentle Marketing, because they’re really trying to create a community with people who are aligned with their worldview, who are aligned with their values.

And so that, I think they’re really on the right path because in the end, you’ll taste those teas. And yes, obviously if that company’s tea is completely disgusting, you’ll probably never buy from them again, even though they made you feel great. But if the difference between the teas is tiny then you’ll probably stick with the company that makes you feel good.

And so that’s, I think what we’re under estimating is that how we feel as customers  is hugely important now. So it’s not about just, the price or the skills we talk about services. It’s not just about that anymore. It’s this holistic approach that we, as customers, as consumers want to, really be considered.

We want it to be heard and seen, and we want to feel like, oh, they’re understanding us right there. There my kind of people. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

Talk to me about how you get there though. I know a local tea company, steamtea.ca in case anyone’s looking, lovely little company, their whole mission is to connect people through tea . Their website though, doesn’t do any of that for me. I happen to know them because they’re in my neighborhood and the woman who runs the business is this terrific woman. And when you talk to her and you say, listen, I really like this kind of tea experience. She recommends the perfect tea every time out the gate.

But if you just go on the website and you just look at the sort of bunch of teas. From a marketing perspective, I’d say the website is really not doing the work it needs to do to help me make that connection to her and to the tea she’s selling. So can you help me understand how, a listener might be saying, oh how do I get to this connected place with my people? 

Sarah Santacroce:

In the leadership space we talk very often and more and more about first healing yourself as the leader. If you want to be a good leader. It’s the same thing with the marketer. You need to actually start with yourself and really going deep into figuring out who you are and your values, your world view, your story.

Why did she start that tea company? What’s the backstory? She travel. And that’s how she discovered her love for tea like Rob said, this other company didn’t barely talk about tea because it’s not really about the tea. The tea is just means to an end. And so I would go deep into this person’s story, figure out, where is the passion for this tea and start with that.

And then from there going yeah. Into her ideal client. So does matchmaking about figuring out well, who is the ideal customer for this specific tea company? There’s all kinds of tea drinkers. I think there’s a bit of a common ground, but there’s all kinds of tea drinks. Who is it for her?

And then start really with this empathic map where you go into and get into this person’s head. And when you come to the website, Yeah, it’s not about the tea, but it’s about how I feel as a consumer coming to that website and all the branding and everything. And so it won’t talk so much about the tea, but it will talk more about the values and the world views. So bringing more of her into her marketing, and I think that will make the change.

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Rob Brodnick: 

On my screen I have an image of something from your website, Sarah, and it’s a Mandalah. It’s got these really cool colors with a deep purple and a brighter. And there’s seven P’s around this circle. I’m looking at passion, personal power people, product pricing, promotion, and partnership. I for sure want to share a copy of this on our website where the podcast is going to be. There’s a whole world of conversation just in this image. What is the image mean to you? Where did it come from? And any of the P’s that you want to talk about would be wonderful.

Sarah Santacroce:

Thanks for bringing this up. When I first started to think about this idea of marketing and again, that came from building a LinkedIn consulting business for over 12 years in this online marketing space. And then around the time that I turned 40, I had this breakdown that led to a breakthrough. I’m like I gotta do something about this marketing space and, bring something different. And when I thought about marketing, one of the concepts that every marketer knows is the seven P’s of marketing. So that’s what this model is based on, except that when I looked at the existing seven P’s of marketing, I thought this is outdated. For example, there was like physical signage and processes. And so it was like very left-brain kind of model .And it was different circles. So these were separate circles.

So picture seven P’s in separate circles. When I thought about marketing I thought about this idea of the holistic plan of marketing. And then I remembered my mom who was when I was small, always coloring mandalas and a, mandala is really a creative process. So it’s this way of, finding your center of finding your  within. I thought what if I present that the seven P’s in the form of a mandala, kicked out some of the old P’s and brought in some new ones. And then if we apply these seven P’s, we really find our center and then we market from within, from the heart and that will bring forth Gentle Marketing.

That’s why I reshaped the seven P’s into the current mandala form. I started with more of the being and less of the doing. Usually when you think about marketing, it’s all the things that you do. However, when I looked at the, successful companies or entrepreneurs, I noticed that they paid just as much attention to the being.

Meaning they knew who they were, they knew their values, they knew their worldview. They knew their story and they brought more of them into the marketing. And so I thought that’s where you need to start because we keep talking about consumer- customer-centric marketing. And I have applied that for 12 years. And yet I found myself being completely frustrated because I kept attracting the wrong customers. Because I never started with myself. I had to start with myself and figure out first who I was and what my world view was and values and all of that, and bring more of that into my marketing. So that then I, there would be, an ideal match.

That’s what the recipe is. And again, this applies to entrepreneurs, but it also applies to products because it goes again together with the worldview and the values. And so that’s why it starts with passion personal power. Really owning who you are and your story, and then goes into more of the doing things.

Rob Brodnick: 

That’s one that’s particularly new to me in marketing speak is personal power. And that jumped out to me. As soon as I looked at this image, I’m like, wow that makes it noticeably different for me. Talk a little bit about personal power. I think I get it, but I’d love to hear more.

Sarah Santacroce: 

Personal power it is really about owning who you are. And I think it’s partly my own personal story that led me to say this needs to be in there. But then I also noticed it’s true for all my clients who are entrepreneurs and often sell their soul. And especially when it comes to marketing, it’s oh, I just have to, sell and market so that I get a business running.

But then they end up with not as much joy as they had hoped for. But I also now think it really applies to, the B Corp’s in the business who to do business for. Good. Because once you stand for something. We need more companies that stand for something. And that’s where the personal power is.

So really owning that and looking at yourself first. And then once you have that, then you’re ready to look at your ideal client. And in every marketing program I ever took, you started with your avatar on with your target audience and did all that research on that, but never actually paid attention to yourself and what you wanted.

Rob Brodnick:

I want to completely rebuild my website now, but that’s a later conversation.

Karyn Zuidinga:

No kidding. I think that there’s a lot in there. Just to unpack that a little bit I can imagine a lot of entrepreneurs listening to this going. Yeah. Like Rob gee, I got to redo my website. What do I need to do? And the there’s a gap. I feel like maybe You can help close for them in the, okay.

I get that. I need to start with myself. I get that. I need to be authentic and true to who I am. But how do I get to something that you would describe as Gentle Marketing? There’s a gap between, okay, I’m going to be who I am and actually building a business out of being who I am and finding clients and getting work that’s meaningful to you. Can you talk about closing that gap a little?

Sarah Santacroce:

The website is just one thing because that’s usually the first contact where people see you. And I do feel a lot of people’s About page, for example, could be way more personal because that’s really the most visited page on everybody’s website. And that’s where our right brain makes the decision. I like this person, or I don’t like this person. And so it’s not so much about the skills or whatever this person offers. We have already checked that. Otherwise we wouldn’t necessarily check out their website. So it’s more about does this person think alike. And so that I would say that’s the first step.

It starts there and giving yourself permission. And often that’s a big deal. When I work with clients, they’re like, really, I’m going to put this out there, my whole story. You only share what you’re comfortable sharing. Of course. But I think it starts there giving yourself permission to really share that and then bring more of that into your emails and into your, posts on social media 

Karyn Zuidinga:

That’s such a nugget, right? Get more personal on your, about page folks, because that’s what people are reading. And you’re looking at your Google analytics and you’re blowing it off month after month, going nah the about page it’s nothing. No, it’s something 

Sarah Santacroce:

It’s something.  And people always, they’re worried about oversharing and I get that. I don’t know for me, it’s just some kind of common sense. If you are a life coach you’re going to share a bit more because people are going to be very intimate with you. If you’re some kind of executive performance coach maybe, there’s a different level of vulnerability.

In the book, I explain this with the pool. This idea of having different levels of vulnerability and I have a drawing of a pool and there’s a deep end and there’s a shallow end. And you don’t go in to the deep end on your about page with  complete strangers. You apply these different levels to the relationship. Once you have these people in your email list and you warm them up, then you can go deeper and deeper, but you’re not going to put it all out there. And I think there’s vulnerability. And then there’s this cringe-worthy stuff where you’re like, what does that got to do with the business? What is like, where does this come from? And I think that’s where it doesn’t make sense anymore.

Then you can, teal can tell, oh, this person was just trying to be vulnerable. For example, for me, it was important that I was sharing that I grew up in a hippie commune where for me, that was like, Oh, my God. I could have never thought that I was going to share that with anybody. That was a secret for 15 years during my LinkedIn years.

And now it feels good to have it on the about page, because that is part of my values. It’s part of who I am. It’s you know, if people are not into, this hippie lifestyle thing then, or it’s not like they have to be, I’m not a hippie anymore either, but it’s the worldview. And so it makes sense.

Karyn Zuidinga:

I love by the way that you grew up on a hippie commune, I have never thought about hippies. I, and this is my own bias and it’s showing Right. now, I’ve never thought of hippies beyond north America. Of course there were hippies beyond north America, but it never occurred to me until I was reading that.

And I’m like, oh, of course there were, 

Sarah Santacroce:

Yeah. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

So I, and I left, just stereotypes being what they are. I love the idea of a Swiss hippie. That just, 

Sarah Santacroce: 

And you asked, you’ll ask my dad, he would be like, what you call me what? Nope. Like they didn’t consider themselves hippies. They were just like, we’re going to live however we want. And yeah. Be different. I think that’s really the idea of the book is give yourself permission to be different .

Rob Brodnick: 

That to me is the heart and connection to Positive Turbulence. Positive Turbulence is about, creating some kind of disruption that has great outcomes and choosing to be yourself to be different, to not fit into the expected norms and standards that all the market research says, this is what everyone wants in the end.

It’s a happier way to be. You get better outcomes, you get more satisfied experiences along the way. And so I love it. It’s like the Positive Turbulence of marketing right there. It’s just fantastic for me.

Sarah Santacroce:

Yeah. Yeah. And I read that chapter that you sent me. I’m like, yeah, there you go. That’s what this is. It’s like really encouraging people to say, I don’t want to follow the norm just because everybody tells me that’s the only way to grow a business. It is not, it really is not.

Karyn Zuidinga:

Can you give me some, I love that by the way, let’s take a moment and yes. That, that permission, that courage to be who you are that stepping out of the norm is okay. Yeah. But every day for those of us that have stepped outside of the norm every day, there’s somebody saying you’re outside of the norm. You best get back in. This that’s a lot of that in the world and it takes dammit, there are days when I’m just like, oh, I’ll yeah. Okay. Conform. 

Rob Brodnick:

To be easier to be normal today because it’s so hard being who I am. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

It’s hard to decide to live fully outside of the norm and just to follow your own path because there’s, especially, I don’t know if you notice this as an entrepreneur, Rob and Sarah, but it’s like having a baby, the moment you step out and say, you’re an entrepreneur, there are a thousand people there waiting with advice for you about what you should do.

And everybody from your neighbor down the street has never been an entrepreneur at all, ever themselves. They’ve got ideas about how you should do your thing to other business owners who don’t have a business at all, like yours, but they’re going to tell you what you ought to do and how you ought to live to, my tea lady, right. Like I want to tell her how to it’s not like I’m outside of that. So how do you chart that course and stay in it without and manage all that, that external. 

Rob Brodnick:

into the pressure to conform, 

Karyn Zuidinga:

Yeah. Yeah. Without that giving it, I, I think it applies across a lot of places, in this place, how do you do that? 

Sarah Santacroce:

I think for me it really, this idea it’s so hard. I had that too, but it’s almost like it was harder to conform. I got to this point, where I was like the pain to stay in it. Was harder than to give myself permission to do it differently. And so when people ask me, yeah, but does Gentle Marketing work, the counter question is, does hype-marketing still work for you?

Because if it does, you’re getting results in your feeling great joyful, then why change? We don’t change as humans unless things don’t work for us anymore. And so I think it’s really ask yourself that question. Does playing this game in the norm, work for me and isn’t that almost harder for me?  I can tell you right now I feel better than I ever have. I don’t feel like it’s hard anymore.  Certainly it’s. It’s never easy to be like among the first saying let’s do things differently, but deep down, I feel liberated. I feel like, okay, we can figure this out. And I think it’s the “we” also. Surrounding yourself with other people who think like, you.  You feel less alone and you’re like, it’s not just me. I feel like, okay, I’m supported in this journey and we’ll figure it out together.

Rob Brodnick:

There’s something about courage in there. And I think courage is one of those forces that keeps us pushing against the norms. And, yeah, it’s not a, it’s not a P word, but I see it in passion and personal power perhaps. And it’s that, keep at it, be resilient. With who you are, even though the world’s telling you not to be that person or to market that way.

So I don’t know if that’s partially how I see it, but it’s maybe that passion personal power is where the courage comes forward.

Sarah Santacroce:

It’s definitely there. Yeah. It’s confidence is also in there. It’s another C word. So having that confidence in saying I’m going to keep going, even though yeah. I feels like the whole world is telling me you should still be running Facebook ads and should still be sending out six figure headline emails.

Karyn Zuidinga:

I think that there’s a there’s a powerful message in here about, being yourself, finding your purpose and working from that place and confidently marketing from that place. Where I’m heading with this is  the tools are the same. You’re using Facebook. Maybe you’re using LinkedIn, but the methods are different. Could you just give us a little bit of compare and contrast that way, the Gentle Marketing way versus the hype- marketing way?

Sarah Santacroce:

If you spend some time on LinkedIn you have probably been bombarded by a connect and pitch. Meaning you connect with some one and then immediately after they send you some kind of pitch where they want to sell you something.

Sometimes they have looked at your LinkedIn profile, but very often they haven’t because they’re actually using a third-party tool where they can send out these invitations and pitches with this tool that’s automated and they can send out a thousand pitches per day. And really what that means is that they’re not looking at you as a human being anymore.

They just looking at you as a dollar sign and there’s no relationship building in that approach at all. It’s just I have something that I want to sell you. Let me, send this out to a thousand people and hopefully two or three buy.  That’s the hype-marketing approach, because in this case, we’re using automation and technology and that’s not all bad, but if it’s used in a way that there’s no more human interaction at all then I think that’s not very Gentle.

The Gentle way would be to, really take interest in this person and actually send them Customized message. Really take the time to get to know no people.

The reason people don’t want to do that is it’s a slower approach. And sometimes I refer to gentle marketing as slow marketing because it is slower . But the thing is if we want to create a sustainable business, a long-term business, then that is the only way. If we want to just have a quick-buck business where we will have to continue to hustle. Well Then yes the pitches work. But again, it’s this question. Do they still work for you? 

Yeah, it’s really this idea to come to marketing from an abundance mindset, not a scarcity mindset. Unfortunately, the times we’re living in, let’s also be honest. It’s not easy, right? It’s not easy to come to business with an abundance mindset right now and think there’s going to be enough clients for me. And the right ones will resonate with me and will want to work with me. However, I always say that if you show up with this scarcity energy, people also notice that. 

That will be seen also in the way you show up. And so it just creates this vicious circle of bad energy, and you’re not really experiencing joy in your business.

Rob Brodnick:

Yeah, but Sarah, if you don’t act now, you’re not going to get the free juicer. Right. And all of a sudden, like I’m tense because all my God I’m missing out on this juicer. What’s wrong. I’ve got to act now.

Sarah Santacroce:

Yeah. And then you come back, you come back the next day and you’re like, oh, the juicer is still here.

Rob Brodnick:

 still there. And

Sarah Santacroce:

in the next 20 minutes.

Rob Brodnick:

in fact now I can get two 

Karyn Zuidinga:

We all have our weak moments. We all have our time when we don’t feel strong, where we don’t feel confident where we slide into that. And when when the work feels scarce, when you’re worried about paying the rent, paying the mortgage it can be pretty tempting to slip into other forms of behavior. 

Sarah Santacroce:

What I really recommend there is that you also give yourself permission to a slow transition. It would not be Gentle to say, you just got to stop all this BS and you have to now go to Gentle and it will tell you take time to go to a different approach because you have created, and I noticed it for myself, you have trained your customers or your potential clients to a certain standard. And so for example, they only buy when you have a sale on or, they, they expect those kind of quick results kind of things. And so you really need to give yourself permission to say, okay, I still need to pay my bills.

What am I going to keep that keeps that income coming in and where do I want to make the transition? What do I no longer tolerate? For me, for example, it was the six-figure headlines. I’m like, I’m allergic to them whenever I see those, I’m like, okay, I’m gone. And I’m not using them myself, obviously.

So that was like, find one or two things that you either cancel or that you will change and kind of change in your marketing approach. Not saying to go cold turkey because yeah. That’s just not feasible. 

Karyn Zuidinga: 

I love That’s not gentle. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

And it’s just, sorry, can you give me a sense of, from the entrepreneur’s point of view or the things the kind of clients maybe that you would turn away now and the kind of clients that you would say yes to now? Like how do, how does the flip side of the Gentle Marketing when you’re starting to attract people when you’re, and it’s working. but you’re still getting, I’m sure that it does it too probably happens gradually.

And so you’re still, getting contacted by people. Maybe you don’t want to work with anymore. Talk to me about that transition and talk to me about the signals you’re looking for that says, ah, here’s a fit. 

Sarah Santacroce:

If you really apply Gentle Marketing and you have people aligned with your worldview and your values, they just have already made the decision to want to work with you because they align on a very different level. They’re not there to analyze, does she have the skills and all of that.  Conscious clients they’re smart, they’re going to do their research. They have listened to me, probably all my. Podcast episodes. They know my LinkedIn profile, so they just show up and they say, how can we work together? Because they’re aligned on that different level. But to give you an example of how it was before, like before I kept spending my time on these calls where people wanted the LinkedIn spamming.

And I would be like spending 40 minutes explaining to them that actually that’s not my modus operandi. That’s not how I work. I don’t feel that this is a good approach and they would keep pushing me. Yeah. But can you help me? I’m like, sorry. I can’t. And so not only are you feeling frustrated because you just wasted 45 minutes. Also, of course your bank account is still empty because you’re like I could have made money. He really wanted to work with me, but it just didn’t feel good. So it’s really does. Yeah, this different feeling when you get on a call and you’re just like let’s talk. So I think that’s the difference there doesn’t, there’s no more that feeling of, I gotta sell this client and I, got to clear objections and I have this whole sales script in my head because they really know that they align on a different level.

That’s the only way I can explain it.

Karyn Zuidinga:

I love that though. 

Rob Brodnick:

I had an experience maybe seven or eight years ago that a couple of years after I left my career path inside an organization and moved out to be a consultant, started my own company. And someone asked me about my marketing plan.  I responded in a way that, I didn’t know I was going to even say at the moment, I said my approach is what I call Ambient Marketing. And I started to talk about Brian Eno, ambient music, and things that were happening, music for airports at sounds that affect you, but you don’t know they’re there. And some of the music’s really good. Some of it is not very listable. If you try to listen to it, you can’t, but it’s there. And it changes you in some kind of way. So I said, I, I work in professional circles, academic circles, and I would write papers and gave talks and do things and like nothing, there was zero marketing in it whatsoever, but hopefully something I said caught someone.

And at one point they want to then seek me out and find me and work with me, hire me, whatever it was. And so I called it, in honor, the Brian Eno, Ambient Marketing. It’s not a thing. I haven’t even looked it up, but somehow, I had a naive question. What was a good question at the time. Now it seems a little naive after talking to you about Gentle Marketing, but was I on the right path or was I just making it up? Was I blowing smoke?

Sarah Santacroce: 

No, I think you were onto something you should have trademarked it.

Rob Brodnick:

I had darn it. I missed it now. I told everybody.

Karyn Zuidinga:

I, think it’s very aligned to Gentle Marketing, that sense 

Rob Brodnick: 

I feel that way. I do. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

You’re going to work from your purpose from who you are from where you’re passionate. And that wi ll connect to people 

who resonate on that same message. Yeah, 

Sarah Santacroce:

Exactly. Yeah. I like the, way you used the music, because that’s using the frequencies as well in the book, I talk about the resonance and those are really two frequencies who meet. And so it’s almost like that. That’s what ambient marketing two frequencies meeting and starting to resonate.

It’s

Rob Brodnick:

Yeah. I love that thank you for validating me. I now feel like it was a thing.

Karyn Zuidinga:

It was a thing It really was. 

Hey, sarah. I, yeah. I want to make sure that I take a pause here for a moment and ask if there’s anything that we haven’t talked about today that you want to cover. 

Sarah Santacroce:

For me it’s my favorite chapter of the book is the Triple Wins. When I talk about this idea of the Triple Wins and. Clearly, yes, we’re talking about business. So there’s the traditional wins, which is the client and  us, business owner. But I really think, going forward, if we apply Gentle Marketing, then we also want to include the planet.

We want to include society and kind of the world at a larger space. I really believe that Gentle Marketing plays a role there as well. And I I had you Karyn, on, on my podcast to talk about kindness. And I think really my mission is to bring more empathy and kindness to the business world and business now really that has a huge role to play in changing.

The way we interact as humans in changing the world, really. Yes. As at an entrepreneur level, maybe we think, how am I going to make a difference? How am I going to change the climate crisis? I think it all contributes. And as businesses or as business owners, if we are bringing more of this empathy and kindness to business, then we really can make a difference also for the world, not just for ourselves.

So I think also in, in marketing, what I notice is a lot about this me, we talked about influencers before Let’s use our businesses, not just to create millionaires and billionaires what are we going to do with all this money ? Let’s use businesses to really contribute, to make this world a better place. And not just again, say it. Yeah. Let’s make a difference, but actually, do

Rob Brodnick:

make a difference. Yeah. 

Sarah Santacroce:

Yeah. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time with us today and talking about Gentle Marketing. 

Rob Brodnick: We have to stop. Come on. Let’s do another, let’s hour, hour and a half. This is fun.

Karyn Zuidinga: Is it’s fun. 

Rob Brodnick:

I love it. We’ve been talking for an hour and 20 minutes and I feel transformed really. I’ve got some motivations now to go do things differently and that’s a tremendous value for me. Thank you so much for 

Sarah Santacroce:

That’s cool. Thanks so much. 

Karyn Zuidinga:

That’s wonderful. Thank you so much, Sarah. 

Hey, lovely listeners stay tuned for this episode. It’s positive turbulence moment coming right up, but first a huge thank you to AMI have nurtured us in developing this podcast is the source of so many of our guests. And of course the founder, Stan Gryskiewicz is also the author of the original book and dare I say… the Seth Godin of positive turbulence.

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And here’s our positive turbulence moment.

Karyn Zuidinga: I love that idea of Gentleness. There’s a lot of people out there talking about, starting with why and doing this and that there’s a lot of people onto a similar idea, but it’s all coming at me, us all in a very intense way. I it’s do this now. And I really liked the contrast that you provide in starting with gentle, be gentle with yourself, as you decide to change how you do things be gentle with your customers and your clients.

Rob Brodnick: 

The paradox is that gentle is strong though.  You got personal power right here. It’s kind, it’s loving, but it’s not weak.

Sarah Santacroce:

Thanks so much for bringing that up. Yeah, I think that is really a good place to come full circle because it’s definitely not, gentle does not mean pushover. It does not mean weak. In the book, I referred to a bear, a mama bear, if she’s gentle with her cubs, but she’s very fierce too.

So that’s where the confidence and the courage comes in. Like you have to be courageous and confident and in, in that belongs also to gentleness. So it’s yeah, it’s definitely grounded. I think that’s the best word that I think of. And then another thing I want to bring up is that sometimes people ask me all this, is this just a female movement, is this like just for women and no, absolutely not.

so glad you’re here. It’s definitely not just a female movement that, if you just think about the word gentlemen, there’s a gentle in gentlemen. And I think overall, I think we all want a bit more of the feminine energy. So it’s about energies, but it’s not about the war of sexes.

And if you yeah, let’s think about the hustle that is just all very male energy. And so you bring more gentleness and then it’s more female and they’re cheap, but it’s not about the sexes.

Karyn Zuidinga:

If you want to share a positive turbulence moment or otherwise comment on what you’re hearing, please drop us a line at podcast@positiveturbulence.com. We welcome your thoughts.

Rob Brodnick:

Be sure to tune in next episode for a perspective shifting conversation about trust. Our guest is Daryl Stickle trust, expert, and founder of Trust Unlimited.  He’s literally written the book on how to build trust and he successfully used his method in war zones, in corporate board rooms, and with families. His work is groundbreaking. Trust me… you’ll love it.

Karyn Zuidinga: You can also head over to positiveturbulence.com to find out more about us, get a transcript of this episode, get links to find out more about our guests or positive turbulence. Until next time, keep the turbulence positive.

 

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