How to market yourself when you run a heart-centred business


At a networking event the other night I found myself chatting to a group of entrepreneurs who were quite different to the people I usually talk business with.

They were three men who ran technology innovation start-ups. Their ideas were interesting and disruptive, with complex finer points I could hardly comprehend.

When it was my turn to speak about my business, I gave my usual ‘elevator pitch’. They all looked curious and questioned me further, so I spoke more boldly about what I stand for...

“I believe marketing has to feel right.”

Their curious faces became intrigued, and I continued.

“The entrepreneurial journey is such a personal one. There are a lot of emotions invested in the process of believing in your dreams and turning them into a business. It’s not just about making it and selling no matter what. I believe that anything you do when you’re marketing such a personal endeavour has to come from the heart. Otherwise it won’t work.”

Three seconds later I lost one of them to the salmon sandwiches. The other looked like he thought my speech was cute.

But there was one out of the three tech guys who got me. We nodded like we were part of a heart-centred business club. We exchanged cards and have been emailing interesting articles and related links since then.

Own what you believe in

A few months ago I probably would have tweaked my speech to suit the audience. I would have said what I thought they wanted to hear. But then I would have broadened my network with people who are not necessarily my crowd. So what’s the point?

That’s exactly what marketing from the heart means. It’s not about getting too personal or emotional about your story. It’s about honouring what you believe in and making a stand about it, even in an environment where you’re not particularly comfortable, and salmon sandwiches are competing for your audience’s attention.

One thing I’ve learned in my 13 years in marketing is this – if you try to be something for everyone, you end up being nothing to nobody.

The more you own your thing (no matter how alien that thing may be to some people) the more passionate you become about it. And the more you communicate your passion, the more you’ll attract people who want that exact thing, from you.

Do you find it hard to clearly articulate your message to your audience? What industry are you in? Use the comment section below or drop me a note. I’d love to help!

Carolina x