If you’re a business owner who wants to build your brand on your terms, and you’ve had enough of hustle culture and sleazy marketing (and since you’re listening to this podcast I have a hunch that’s the case) I think you’re really going to like the conversation you’re about to hear.
Today’s guest is Sarah Santacroce, who describes herself as a “Hippie turned Business Coach”. Not only is Sarah the author of two books and the host of the Humane Marketing podcast – she also works with heart-centered entrepreneurs to question their assumptions when it comes to marketing & give them permission to market their business their way, the gentle way! Over a decade of running a successful LinkedIn Consulting business inspired a yearning in Sarah to create a global movement that encourages people to bring more empathy and kindness to business & marketing. Sarah shares a fresh perspective and doesn’t shy away from calling things out that no longer work for many of us when it comes to the current marketing model. Her clients sometimes refer to her as “the female Seth Godin”.
The story of how Sarah ended up a guest on this podcast is funny and it certainly put a smile on my face when it happened – so let’s dive in and hear all about that, and also about Sarah’s recent rebranding journey and how it ties in with her Humane Marketing approach.
TL;DR – Here’s how to connect with Sarah:
The one-page marketing plan
Book: Marketing like we’re human
Book: Selling like we’re human (New!)
Disclaimer: The following transcript has been auto-generated and then cleaned up by my wonderful VA – and while the general flow of the conversation is there, it’s probably not 100% accurate.
P: Welcome, Sarah, I’m so glad to have you here for this conversation today.
S: The pleasure is all mine. Petchey. Thank you for having me.
P: You are so welcome. Before we start there, I really think we should share the story of how this guest appearance came about. Because I just love how all of that spun out. So I’ll start us off. I’d already been listening to your podcast for a while after I found it via a mutual friend who was a guest on your show. And actually, it was Heather Thorkelson again.
And she has this wonderful ability to bring like minded people together. So it’s not the first time she’s led to someone being a guest of mine. But anyways, I really enjoyed your podcast, and I felt like your approach resonated with me. I’d actually had you on my list of people I’d love to invite to my podcast for a long while. And then one day I sent you an email via your website contact form, I think it was, to ask if you would consider being a guest.
I’ll let you tell everyone what happened next, and this is funny.
S: Yeah, And it actually also has to do with Heather because I think the day before, it was a weekend, I saw a post where she or she commented or posted on one of your episodes and then I made myself a mental note. ‘Oh, yeah, that’s a great podcast. I’d love to be a guest on one of Petchy’s episodes’ and I sent myself an email because that’s what I usually do, like reminder.
And then your email came the next day. So it’s just love these serendipity moments where it’s like, ‘Wow, how did this all come together?’
P: I know I just love a good coincidence. So when you sent me that email and you’d screen shotted the email that you sent yourself, I was like, ‘What?’ You just can’t make these things up.
S: No, exactly.
P: I think it’s just such a good story about connections and the importance of connections as well- connections are what built my brand so here we are.
S: Yeah, it’s really true that once you really also put more of yourself out there, you’re really showing up as who you truly are. Then all of these people who are just like you or very similar start to show up, and you’re like, ‘Where have you been all my life?’
P: I know!
S: It really is, because maybe you’ve been hiding from yourself a big part of your business journey.
P: So that’s a funny story for people to take with them as we start the episode. But I just wanted to set the stage and tell our listeners what they can expect from the episode today because we’re not just diving straight into your humane marketing approach, we’re also going to be talking about your recent rebrand. You just went through a major rebrand, and I I would like to invite you to tell us about the process and why you decided to embark on that journey.
S: Yeah, it’s funny when when companies or entrepreneurs rebrand it always felt to me like kind of this ‘ta-da!’ moment, where one day, you know, I was used to one brand, and then all of a sudden it was this completely new brand. And then there was the story. This is what this new brand is about, and it felt scary to me to do it this way.
Maybe also because the story behind the rebrand was that it wasn’t a volunteered, rebrand. It was kind of pushed upon me, and so I felt like in this position where I didn’t want to just come up with a new brand and say, ‘Here’s the new thing.’ I wanted to share the story why I rebranded and share the story along the journey of what was going on in my head-like make it a human rebrand because there’s a lot of things behind the scenes that go on during a rebrand.
All the things you have to change, all the things you have to think about. I always felt like it’s almost like superhuman to do a rebrand and just show up ‘here is my completely new brand.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, if I’m showing this kind of superhuman side of me, that’s not the real story because what was going on was a complete meltdown, really on my side first’ and just very quickly, I came across a trademark issue. So I had the brand before that was called “Gentle Marketing.”
And then I came across a trademark issue where I got a letter from a lawyer saying I can no longer use this brand, please stop using it immediately. And so that was first of all, yes, it was a big shock to me. I never, ever expected that to happen. I could have fought it, but I decided that is not very gentle. It’s not what I stand for. So let me come up with something else. Let her have it because legally up to this day, we’re still bound to legal systems, even though they often feel very outdated.
But it was legally hers. And so I was like, ‘Okay, um, yes.’ Tears were shed and, you know, like self pity and all of that, But I’m like, ‘OK, let me rebrand. Let me find a different term. Instead of gentle marketing, let me find something else.’ But again, I wanted to share the story. I wanted to share the full story and that meant being very brave about showing up and saying, ‘Here’s what happened.’ Yeah, I didn’t cover my ass basically because I didn’t register for the trademark.
It was also related to forgiveness. In a way, I’m not talking about forgiveness for the other entrepreneur or the lawyer, mainly about forgiveness to myself, because I had to forgive myself in a way for having the same idea as someone else. And how often does that happen? It happens all the time, but it was like, it felt kind of like I was being shamed to have the same idea as someone else. So I had to go through this journey of saying ‘It’s not your fault.’
It wasn’t my fault that I had the same idea. So all of this, I felt like it needed to be shared because it was part of the rebrand. I didn’t just one day wake up and say, ‘Let me come up with a new brand!’ So that’s really the story behind the rebranding journey.
P: Thank you for your openness, and for sharing and being so transparent, because we need a lot more of that in the online business world, and in business in general, I think not just online.
I think there is this tendency of just covering things up and making things out as you know, ‘we did this by choice.’ So for someone like you to come out and say, ‘Do you know what, I didn’t really want to re-brand, but I had to’ is brave and I applaud you for that. And I thank you for that because I think a lot of people who are listening to this at some point in the future find themselves in a similar situation and to know that someone else has actually been there, and it’s not just them. That’s got to be a good thing.
S: Yeah, and I think you’re right, it’s not just about rebranding, It’s about everything, you know. It’s about the sharing of the struggle, not when you have already overcome the struggle, but when you’re actually in it. I think there’s not enough of that. What we’ve become used to is stories of struggles in the past, and now, like these big hero stories ‘Oh, you know, I used to be down in the trenches and look at me now- I’m this great, you know, multimillionaire online business marketing guru!’
And so, yeah, sharing the stories while you’re in it or shortly after you’ve lived them. I couldn’t have shared it while I was. You know, I did spend two months completely destroyed, not knowing what to do- two years of business building with this first brand, so I couldn’t have shared it immediately after. But it still felt real enough to share it in the same year. So that’s what I mean by it doesn’t just include rebranding, it includes all kinds of storytelling really, I think
P: Yeah, I’ve spoken to other people, other guests as well about this.
And there’s this- well, we’ve all agreed that sharing the shit storm while you’re in the middle of it is not a good idea because it’s too raw and it’s too close to you at that point. But then to go on and be transparent about it, that’s when it becomes helpful. It’s quite powerful, I think. You also touched on the fact that rebranding can be a daunting task and especially if you’re just thrown into it and you have to just completely turn your mindset around and start fresh. For you to do that and take what was really kind of a shitty situation and turn it round, and come out of it the other end stronger. I mean, that’s inspiring.
So it’s nice to touch on the fact that the rebranding journey can look different for everyone; it depends on their current situation, and it depends on their desired outcome and everything in between. And that’s why there isn’t a cookie cutter approach to the whole rebranding structure. So what would you say has been the most important part and the most important aspect of the rebranding journey for you and for your brand?
S: I really think it was the aspect of sharing because I felt like the whole time I was less alone and I was feeling less pressure because I shared the imperfection of the rebrand.
I said, ‘You know, things right now are messy. You know, there’s gonna be tonnes of things that still have the old term, and I have to change everything.’ By sharing that I really took a lot of pressure off of my shoulders and said, ‘ step by step,’ I used a term “slow rebrand” because that’s really what it felt like to me, even though some people are like ‘You did this within six months, that was not slow.’ But to me, it felt like a good pace where I felt that it wasn’t this extra pressure I put on myself.
So I think really showing up and sharing the whole journey made me feel like I’m part of something bigger. And my community will understand if there’s things like email signatures that are wrong and all these little things that we worry about as online marketers. And I know, I just know five years ago or more, I would have completely stressed myself out. I would have been, overwhelmed, probably not slept, and just worrying about all these little details.This way I was like, ‘It’s all good. It’s all out there and if you want to send me a nasty email,I don’t care. I said what I was going to do, and so you’re either with me or you’re not. So it’s really like this freedom, I think, that came with the openness as well.
P: It’s really interesting. I love that you put it out on your podcast- because you have a podcast as well-and you had a series of episodes where you were taking a step-by-step through the rebranding process.
For anyone who’s listening today, I think definitely once this episode is finished, hop on over and find Sarah’s podcast and listen to that because I think that will give you valuable context as to what we’re going to be talking about in this episode as well. I know I enjoyed listening to them.
S: Yeah, there’s a small example in there with what I meant about the pressure like I recorded this series and some of the episodes were 10 minutes, some of them were only five minutes.I didn’t even bother adding an intro and an outro, and the typical music. and all of that.
I’m like, ‘This is just me, raw, like put it out there!’ I didn’t bother about the production. Now I’ve done this in the past and in prior years, about different things, but I always still kind of worried ‘What will people think? It’s just not high production.’ But I’ve gotten so much good feedback about this rebranding series that I think people really don’t care whether there is an official introduction and all of these bells and whistles that often we worry about these things as entrepreneurs. Right?
But, it doesn’t even matter anymore. I mean, the sound has to be good, we agree, but other than that, you just show up.
P: Yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about because it took me two years from first thinking about starting a podcast to actually launching it. And it was all to do with those insecurities. Like, ‘How am I going to come across? Are people gonna like what I do? Is my audio quality going to be good enough? Do I know enough about what I’m going to be talking about? Or am I going to make a fool of myself? All of these things. And then I decided at one point, and this was after, working on my own brand a lot as well and deciding that I do want to be a lot more transparent about the way I run my business and about not just the ups, but also the downs. It was after that kind of internal process that I just like ‘I’m just going to have to do it’ and, since obviously, I can’t let go of that inner voice completely, let me just roll with it and use this as an excuse, you know, to be a part of the non-perfectionist crew. So, helping other people see that ‘You know you can do- it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just do it because your voice matters and people need to hear it. People need to hear what you have to say. So this it’s kind of a new way of being transparent about the whole process of running a business and building a brand is refreshing to me.
And I think it sounds like it fits in very nicely with your humane marketing approach. So tell us a bit about that. How has that influenced the rebrand?
S: Yeah, So humane marketing, as I mentioned before, started out being called gentle marketing. Before that, it even had another term, which was anxiety- free marketing. So about five years ago or so I was at a point in my online business- I had spent 10 years building a LinkedIn consulting business- very successful online LinkedIn consulting business grew up basically in this online marketing space.
I started it in 2008. I was then in California, so in the middle of all the social media and all of that, and I came to this point 5 years ago where I was like, at this fork and realising I can’t go forward doing what I’ve been doing this past 10 years. So either I give up on the whole online marketing stuff or I find a better way. Since I’m a Capricorn, meaning like I always find a better way, I’m you know, I’m this mountain goat who just is not afraid of steep hills and all of that.
So that’s what I did. I was like, ‘Well, I need to find a better way.’ So gentle marketing in the gentle business revolution was born, meaning that there is a way to market your business or to do business in a gentle way with more empathy and kindness. That’s still to this day my mission, to bring more empathy and kindness to the business world. I had to start with marketing because that’s where I spent the last 10 years and and it basically came from this realisation how bad this online marketing space has become, how pushy hypey, shaming, focused on hype strategies that use manipulation and scarcity and all of these yucky techniques.
And yet so many business owners, including my clients, were kind of like, ‘Well, I think that’s what marketing is. I think that’s how it works. So I guess I have to do that if I want to run the business.’ So that’s where I was like ‘Well, no, there has to be another way. Let me try to find it.’ And that’s how gentle marketing and then humane marketing was born. It’s interesting because gentle marketing felt right at the time, and I was really strongly convinced that that is a great term and I still like it.
But given what happened after, it’s almost like I took a distance from the term and I’m like, ‘Well, actually, I’m going to put my foot down and this is actually stronger than gentle marketing because I’m a strong human being.’ I always felt kind of like, well, people who are giving me a bit of pushback about the gentle part. It’s like for example, men asked me, ‘Well, is this not for the male species, you know, because maybe it’s only for females.’ I’m like, ‘No, it has nothing to do with gender. It’s about the way we market our businesses.’
So now with this term of humane marketing it obviously plays with the word human, but also includes the gentleness and kindness with the word humane. It feels so much more like me. I grew up in a hippie commune, in the eighties. My parents bought an apartment building together with other families. This idea of community collectiveness sharing, being open, all of that, that’s a huge part of me and this word humane I feel like, really brings that to the forefront. I really also feel like that’s where we’re heading with business,we’re going. It’s almost like we took a detour for 10 or 20 years and now we’re finally hopefully finding our way back to the human connection, this more humane approach to business and marketing. So, yeah, I’m giving you a long-winded answer. But that’s what humane marketing means to me. It’s like we’ll always do business, and obviously money is part of that but let’s find a way to do business in a humane way without the shaming, without the manipulation and all of these yucky strategies
P: To me The way you’re describing it now, it almost sounds as if this is the silver lining of that shitty, forced rebrand situation where it made you take a step back and actually find something that was better than what you had.
S: Yeah, exactly. It’s funny how I can see it now. While I was in the shit storm, a lot of people told me, ‘Oh, there’s going to be a silver lining.’ I’m like, ‘yeah, whatever, you don’t understand.’ But looking back to see it, looking back now, I’m totally I’m so grateful that this happened because it’s like I took another step towards more of me. This is Sarah:, Sarah is not just gentle. She’s gentle in her approach but that’s not what matters most. It’s the shared humanity that matters most to me.
P: And as humans, we are not just gentle
P: We have a whole range of emotions that we can play on. I think the way that you’ve coined the humane marketing, I think that’s just brilliant. It says exactly what it is, and it draws me to it, that’s for sure, because I’m also drawn to people who want to build their businesses and their brands around some real values and not trying to con people or turn, you know, what would otherwise be seen as, like positive attributes into something bad. I mean, people have even managed now the online marketing world has managed to turn vulnerability and authenticity into something bad because they are encouraging people to use it in a fake way, like as a pure means of making more money.
And that, to me- this is probably going out on a and a side note here- but that, to me, is not very humane. So you’re playing on all these very human feelings and the belonging and the need for that that we all have, and you’re turning it into a money making machine. So I think where you’re heading is the direction that we all need right now. And we need someone to start the path and then the rest can follow. The path will become wider, and more and more will follow. That’s where I’m hoping this is going,
S: Yeah, it really is this revolution, right? Of people like you and I who are saying enough, you know. Business is a good thing. Marketing is a good thing, but unfortunately, that’s not what we’ve seen the last 10, 20 years. So it’s time to turn this ship around and use business for good.
P: I went snooping around your website, and I was looking at your approach and the way that you work and everything and marketing has been around for decades. It’s not something new. I mean, many of our listeners are going to be familiar with the term “the seven P’s of marketing.” For anyone who isn’t, back in the day when I did my degree, we were actually only taught four P’s: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and these were often referred to as the marketing mix. And then there’s the extended 7P’s, where you also have People, and Process, and Physical evidence if I’m not wrong. But that’s the textbook version, so I would love it if you could tell us a little bit about your version of the seven P’s of marketing.
What’s different about your approach?
S: Yeah, I’m really good at taking existing concepts and putting a new spin on them. So that’s exactly what I did with the 7P’s of marketing, and I was watching a video on them and you know how usually it’s presented with these separate seven circles? And so all of a sudden I saw them in front of my eyes, kind of like moving around and becoming one big circle and a circle in the centre. I remembered my mom was sometimes colouring mandalas and that’s how I saw this new version of the 7P’s. I didn’t know much about mandalas otherwise so I did some research and found out that Mandala is a Sanskrit word for creative process. And so I thought, ‘Wow, that’s interesting. That’s exactly what marketing is or should be. It’s a creative process,’ and so the ingredients for this creative process are those 7P’s. But then I looked at the P’s, I’m like, ‘Well, some of these are just completely outdated.’ Process and Physical evidence with our online businesses nowadays, who cares about physical evidence?
That’s not what we are interested in. I really thought ‘Okay, this thing needs an update. It really needs a new version.’ So I basically kicked out some of the P’s and brought in some new ones and by doing that by bringing in some new ones. For example, passion or purpose. Personal power in partnership. Those are the three new ones that I brought in, and then the existing ones were People, Product, Pricing, and Promotion. By bringing these new ones, I realised another thing.
And that is that in the past, marketing or still up till now for most people, marketing is all about doing things. It’s like, ‘Oh, you get into the doer mode, and that’s where my clients most of the time that’s where they felt anxiety because they felt like ‘I have to do more to get more clients. I have to, you know, do these emails..’ and lots of doing When I realised, Well, the the successful business owners, actually what they did well is they had previously worked on there being and so they just worked on there being, put more of them into their marketing, so that they would eventually resonate with their ideal clients.
And so the new P’s: passion, personal, power, partnership, has a lot more to do with first focusing on who you are, what your values are, what your worldview is, your definition of success, how you’re uniquely wired before you even go out there and thinking about your avatar. You know, your ideal client. Every marketing course I’ve ever taken, it was all about find your avatar and then basically go chase after them.
Well, that’s what I did for 10 years and my LinkedIn consulting business. And, you know, look where that brought me. I wasn’t happy in that business anymore. So I really flipped the thing around and said, ‘Let’s start with ourselves first. That’s what’s important.’ That’s also how we are going to be good leaders and empathic leaders in this marketing world. And by doing that, by looking at our story, we then also bring more of us to our marketing so that people resonate with who we are.
P: I love that, and I think the original 4P’s I think go all the way back to the 1960s if my memory is serving me correctly here. And, you know, the world has changed. So I think this iteration of the marketing mix is definitely long overdue and much needed right now. So I love that you put your own spin on things and I’m much the same when I worked with my branding clients. It’s like, brand from your heart and out, you know? Think about your purpose. What do you want to achieve in this world? What’s the greater good that you want your brand to..I don’t know… you can’t do it all on your own, but what do you want your brand to help contribute to?
S: Right, exactly.
P: So I especially love that purpose one because that’s a big key word for me, too.
S: It is. That’s where it all starts, right? I just want to comment also on this on the fact that it feels outdated. It really feels like right now there’s a gap between how our clients think and who they are. You know, there’s been a huge rise in consciousness. The fact that you know, you and I, and all these other people talk even about purpose in business. Ten years ago
nobody talked about that. So the consciousness of entrepreneurs and customers in general has risen. And yet the way we market hasn’t adapted. And so there’s this huge gap between who we are as a society, not everybody, but a big majority of the society has an elevated consciousness and we’re smarter than we ever were 10 years ago. And yet we’re being marketed to in the old way. And we feel like, you know, I feel like, it makes a lot of the marketing, frankly, makes me feel like they think I’m stupid.
They treat me like if I was stupid, I’m like ‘I can see all through your bullshit.’ At the same time, here’s the gentle Sarah. I’m like, ‘I’m not blaming you if you know some of these things you have taken from a guru marketer because that’s just how he told you. That’s how it works.’ Unfortunately, there’s a lot of that out there as well, and I’ve done it myself. But that’s how people feel when you know we are being on the receiving end on these shaming kind of old style marketing techniques, and we feel like, yeah, they think we’re stupid.
And so that’s where this huge gap is in, how the society has changed and how we’re still marketing to them in a way that makes them feel stupid,or less than, or yeah, just not on the same level.
P: When you come to think of it, branding is all about those emotions. If the emotion that you bring out in the people you want to reach and the people you want to impact is that they feel stupid, just definitely not a good thing.
P: But I think you’re right. I think the world has evolved, and I think now the marketing world and the branding world is evolving too but maybe slightly slower. Maybe it’s like It’s a big ship, and it takes a while to turn it around. It’s not something that you can do overnight. I think especially for people who are new in the business world, especially the online business world, It’s so easy to fall into the trap of looking to the people with the biggest voices. The people who shout the loudest. Of course, because they are the ones who will get the attention.
When you see that these people are making a shitload of money by implementing all of these slightly shady practises, of course you’re going to want to do the same thing.
P: I think a lot of people out there are also sitting there thinking, feeling deep inside their hearts, that I’m doing this because people are telling me I need to do it this way,but it doesn’t feel right for me. So they’re at odds with their own inner compass. And I would love to be a part of that bigger movement of helping people to return to their inner compass and trusting their own truths, their own values, their own vision for the world more than they trust these self-proclaimed Internet celebrities.
S: Yeah, so good. I just actually, this morning watched a video from a business ethics specialist. She’s going to be on my podcast soon, and there’s apparently this link between power and loss of empathy. So the more power you have, the faster the centre in your brain for empathy kind of gets sidetracked, and you lose empathy because you have more power. So the more you lose empathy, well, the more you’re going to do unethical things in marketing. That just blew my mind.
I’m like, ‘Wow, there’s actually scientific proof in the human brain that this is what’s happening.’ It also reminded me, or us, we now do have a platform. We have a podcast, we have our email list that is so important that with power comes great responsibility. And we are now many influencers, even though I really don’t like that term, but that we have influence.
P: Well, that’s what we are. I mean, even if you have three followers, you’re an influencer to those three people.
And so it’s so important that we watch ourselves, and really make sure that we’re using this influence in a positive way and not in a self-serving negative way.
P: Absolutely. I mean, that’s been one of my biggest fears, actually, and I think it’s potentially something that’s holding a lot of other people back too, Is this fear that if I start making a lot of money I will automatically become a douchebag. Then to have it backed up by science makes me even more scared. But I also think it has to do with the values that you had when you started out.
And I think that when you get more power, and when you get more wealth, more money, I think that acts as almost an accelerator for what was already there. So if you are very empathic as a person, I don’t think money is going to make you a bad person. I don’t think power will get to your head. That’s what I hope anyway, because it’s what we do with our power, and it’s what we do with our wealth that ultimately matters. And if the right kind of people with the right kind of minds and loads of empathy get more money and more power, then we can really start to influence the world in a way that feels better to us.
So that’s my hope for the future that more of us are going to make more money and put it to good use.
S: Exactly. I think that’s also where community helps, I don’t think of community as you know, followership, like it was back in the days or still is for the big, big gurus, but really community who can also hold you accountable. You know, like, have these real talks and even be open to feedback and keep you real, and not, you know, all the reason if you’re becoming famous saying, ‘Hey, Sarah, uh, your remember humane and human and all of that.’ It’s good to have someone to keep you in check every now and then because it’s an ongoing thing.
I think it’s an ongoing conversation.
P: Does that link back into the partnership? Bit of your humane marketing, Mandela.
S: Now that we brought that up? Yeah, definitely. I’d never thought of it in that term, but yes. Partnership. The way I thought of it in marketing is more like doing things with other people and not, you know, killing the competition and instead collaborating, using collective intelligence. But yeah, the way you know, for example, my community runs, it’s all about doing things together. It’s not me showing up and doing the dog and pony show.
It’s like I’m one of the leaders in the chair, and there’s all of you who are leaders in one chair as well. So that’s how I understand partnership.
P: Yeah, it’s a collaborative effort. That’s how I view a lot of the work I do as well. It’s not just me. I’m not there to do it. I can implement once we’ve been working through all of the deeper work together. But there’s no way that someone can just say, ‘Hey, come on, you’re a brand strategist. You know, cough up a brand strategy for me,’ because that has to come from each individual person and each individual business owner what they want for their brand.
Then it’s my job to help them articulate it and then translate that so that their message comes across visually, and verbally, and in whatever way. I love that, you know, the collaborative part and the partnership part really resonates with me. So we’ve been talking now about your humane marketing Mandala and I happen to know that you have a freebie on your website.
S: I do, yeah. So if people are interested in really looking at their marketing from this perspective of the creative process and kind of going a bit deeper into who they are and what they stand for, their values and all of that. I have the one page marketing plan in the form of the mandala, and that’s a humane dot marketing forward slash one page- the number one and then page. And it comes with seven emails that kind of ask you these questions in order to reflect on all these things for yourself. A big part of the way I look at marketing and business going forward is also really including the responsibility of each person and not just giving the answers and saying, ‘Here’s the seven steps to humane marketing’ or worse.
‘Here’s the seven steps to doing marketing authentically.’ It really takes work. And people, I find, we have over the last decade almost kind of handed off our personal responsibility to who knows who, and people have become less willing to actually do the work and sit there and say, ‘But that’s what we need’ in terms of also buyers. We need people who are empowered to make smart buying decisions. So if I treat my clients as smart human beings, then that also means that if you do the 7P email marketing plan, well, I need you to sit down and actually do the work.
I can’t just hand you the answers anyway.
P: Yeah, that’s I think that’s a golden Nugget. You can’t just hand someone the answers, it’s not possible because the answers are within themselves.
S: Unfortunately, Petchy. the problem is what works best in the online marketing world is the marketers who sell you their, or give you their seven steps to blah, blah, blah because as humans, that’s kind of what we want. We want the easy way. but unfortunately, the easy way doesn’t work. So you have to somehow go through the easy way and then realise that didn’t work.
So that’s what the 7 Ps are for. It’s for people who may be done the easy way and it didn’t work. And now they’re like, let me do it not the hard way, but the more serious kind of deep way I would say
P: Okay, I have a feeling that the same is true for your Mandela as is true for my framework. I have a framework that I take my clients through and I call it a framework- It’s not a roadmap because it doesn’t tell you, like ‘do this, do this, do this.’
And it’s also something that I say to my clients that they should revisit. They shouldn’t just fill it in, work on it once and then put it in the cupboard and forget about it and there it is, collecting dust. With branding it’s all about adapting, constantly adapting and evolving. And it’s a living thing, a brand is. So I always encourage people to revisit the framework because things might have changed. Would you say that’s the same for people who now download this wonderful tool of yours? Is it? Is it something that they should maybe put on their marketing plan for, like every six months or so to revisit, to check that it still resonates with them? Or or is it more of a one and done kind of thing?
S: No. Yeah, I know you’re totally right, and I would say, probably even more than every six months, because I encourage my clients to use it every time they come up with a new offer because every offer you put out there is a meeting, a workshop, a programme, a course, you know. Anything you sell basically. well, it helps you to remind yourself about your values and all of that. But especially the people are going to be different for each offer. The product description is going to be different. The pricing, everything changes every time you put something new out there. So if you want to come up, then with the you know, the marketing plan, the actual content, the conversations, well, it helps you to have the 7Ps and the answers you put in there to remind yourself. ‘Okay, what kind of stories am I going to share? Who is this offer for?’ Because it’s always different.
So it’s just kind of a good creative way to start out every time you share a new offer.
P: This has been brilliant. Before we round off. If you could give our listeners just one piece of advice, something actionable, something they can go away and do almost immediately. What would that golden nugget be?
S: Mm, I would say it’s both. It’s actionable, but It’s also kind of big-picture, and I think it has to do with awareness. And the action behind the awareness is in your email inbox, because I want you to go to your email inbox and look at the emails that you are subscribed to.
And I want you to really feel into the emails that you’re getting a look at the headlines. Look at the way the copy is written and feel into it and think, ‘Does this make me feel good?’ Like I want to, you know, find out more about this offer, or person, or whatnot, or instead, does it give me that creepy feeling of ‘I guess I’m not good enough yet. I guess I’ll never succeed or I wish I had what she had,’ etcetera, etcetera, because that’s where it starts.
And the funny thing is, when I share that with people, they tell me, ‘Gosh, Sarah, now I can’t unsee it.’ You know, once you see it, you really cannot unsee it again. All the shaming, and all the making you feel bad. You can never unsee it again. It starts for me, It started with the six figure or seven figure business headlines. So yeah, I would love to know you’re listening to this episode with Petchy and tell us, how many 7,6 figure business headlines you had in your inbox or other things that you’re like, ‘You know what I’m done with that! I’m really just done with that!’
And again, it’s not about blaming those people who are using them, because quite often they’re just like us. They use them because that’s what we’re told. That works.
P: It is. And so it’s no wonder that people are using them. I mean, the amount of noise in and while everyone’s inboxes these days is it’s hard to filtre out the good stuff, and to keep those and to discard the rest. That’s really sound and valid advice. And like you said, Idefinitely come and join the conversation with us.
I know I’m very often over on Instagram, but I think you Sarah, you’re probably more Linked In.
S: I’m more, still hanging out on LinkedIn
P: So I would love to invite anyone who is listening to join that conversation. Tell us how many of those emails have you found lately? I’d love that to happen. So if anyone wants to connect with you now and possibly learn more from you or work with you other than LinkedIn, where can they find you?
S: Yes, I have two main websites: humane.marketing and sarahsantacroce.com.
I have the podcast, which is called “Humane Marketing,” and I have a book out called “Marketing Like We’re Human” and another one coming out in November called “Selling Like We’re Human.” So that’s a whole other conversation, but it’s very much linked to marketing anyway so I felt like that’s a book I needed to write, even though if people read it, they’ll see in the first few lines. I say, ‘I hate selling,’ So it’s an interesting task I took upon. But yeah, those are the places that people can find me.
P: Thank you so much. So much for coming on the show and sharing your wisdom and experience with us and your branding journey as well. It’s been a pleasure to have this conversation with you.
S: Likewise, really enjoyed it. Thanks so much for being real, Petchy.
P: And just a little note. If anyone wants to get their hands on a copy of “Selling like we’re Human.” Well, you can because it’s out now. I was lucky enough that I got to read it before it even came out. And let me tell you, it’s good, like, seriously good.
I have always said that I suck at selling, and yeah, it’s true. I do suck at selling in the traditional way. And over the past five years I’ve come to realise that selling doesn’t have to be sleazy, and Sarah’s book is just a wonderful confirmation of that and reminder that we can do this our way. We can sell in a way that feels aligned with our values. I’ve put the link in the show notes for you if this sounds like a book you need to read.
Until next time,
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