Dear Entrepreneur, your genius is not suddenly worth less in a crisis.

Have you seen other business owners or consultants start slashing their prices or giving things away for free?

Have you thought to yourself: Do I have to do that too?

As a business coach and marketing strategist for entrepreneurs, here’s what I have to say on this topic…

Dear Entrepreneur, your genius is not suddenly worth less in a crisis.

When we are so surrounded by stories of people in great jeopardy, and of millions losing their jobs, it’s totally understandable to question whether we can expect to be compensated in the same ways we were before.

But a crisis doesn’t mean all the value we’ve built up by investing in ourselves and our businesses is suddenly wiped out.

I’m not saying don’t be generous if your cup is full enough to give. Giving things away for free or for cheap is beautiful when it comes from a place of abundance and the gift is done with full conscious awareness and joy. And free work is also best done at scale, for example teaching a free webinar or giving away copies of your book.

But what I’m hearing about is people and businesses alike exploiting “Yeah, but it’s a crisis…” as a way to coerce others into a lopsided value exchange where they’re expected to give far more than they can afford to.

If you or your business get less because you’re spending your valuable resources of time, attention and energy without being compensated properly, that doesn’t serve anyone, least of all you. Your sacrifice does not necessarily mean that someone in need gets more.

In fact, the opposite can happen.

Suddenly, if everyone is undercharging for their work, then no one is getting paid; No one has money to invest in anyone else and the scarcity just spreads and perpetuates.

So, what to do?

We need to remember that as entrepreneurial people, our true genius is this: we are alchemists — we can transform energy.

We can take something that no one else has noticed, appreciates, or is paying attention to, and transform it into a new source of value: something useful that has a generative power, that grows things. We can turn nothing into a something that grows our lives, grows the lives of our customers, the lives of our collaborators and ultimately, the economy as a whole.

So when the economy is in free fall as it is now, this isn’t the time to shrink ourselves and apologise for our prices. It’s the time to grow things. It’s our time to lead.

Right now, if you have a skill, a product or a resource that could be useful to others — perhaps something that you’ve not even exploited much before, but is suddenly incredibly relevant and timely — please, stand up, share it, and sell it.

Which leads me to the second question I’ve been getting a lot these past weeks…

How do I promote my offers without being seen to be taking advantage?

I believe there is an incredibly beautiful opportunity right here, under our noses: to redefine what marketing and selling is by bringing our personal values into it.

It’s our chance, as a collective, to finally do away with all the horrible, sleazy stuff that plagues our industries, steals our attention, and makes us feel icky and tricked. That’s the stuff that doesn’t feel right to do at this moment in time — not the act of promotion itself.

You know what I’m talking about: it’s things like fake scarcity (only 3 available!!!); fake urgency (Buy now or gone forever!); pushiness and pressure; using grandiose words to pretend to be a much bigger operation than we really are, sending a deluge of impersonal pitch emails…those shady tactics that none of us enjoys doing but we might have felt obliged to do because we’ve been told, “it’s what works”.

It’s what works…until it doesn’t. Until there’s an economic recession triggered by a global pandemic.

Then what works?

Here is our chance to find out, by first getting rid of the bro-marketing tactics once and for all, and then reclaiming the art of marketing as one that promotes radical candour, radical transparency, radical vulnerability.

Here’s our chance to strip it back to it’s most simple form by standing up to say:

“I heard there was a need, so I made something for that. This is what it is, and who it’s for. And I’m going to be right over here with it — if you’re interested, come and join me, come and join us. There’s no pressure. There’s no caveat. I’m making it anyway, because I believe in it. But just know that if you need it, or if you know somebody who does, here’s how it works and where to find me.”

Marketing can really be that simple. And selling? Selling is helping the people who said, “Yes I think I might need that” to make their decision. When you sell, you’re giving somebody the opportunity to be helped by you. That is all.

The beautiful opportunity in all this, then, is that we finally have a chance to return to the heart. To sell from the heart, to market from the heart, and to get rid of all the excess of stuff that we never really needed in the first place.

Caring is the best marketing strategy. And the world needs a whole lot of caring right now.

I know you’ve thought about this. I know you lead your business from the heart. Which is why I want to remind you that what you are offering is probably more valuable than ever now that the stakes are higher for your clients. And if they can’t see the value, it’s time to find new ones.

Dear Entrepreneur, please keep making and selling your things. We need you. The world needs you.

Remember, you’re an alchemist.

Strategy Coach helping entrepreneurial people be more purposeful, productive and present in life and business | | @imogenroy

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