Are you struggling to find your people – your target audience – in your business?
Despite all your research on your ideal client, do you feel like your marketing efforts could be better?
Let’s explore why it’s crucial to start ‘knowing yourself’ in order to find your people.
We’ll share tips on finding your authentic self and bringing more of YOU to your marketing efforts.
By telling your stories and showing vulnerability, you’ll be able to connect with your people on a deeper, human level and create a more sustainable and joyful business.
To Find Your People in Business: Find Yourself First
Every marketing course I ever took went on and on about how important it was to know your client’s avatar or customer personas.
I thought I knew my client well.
My client wanted more leads, more clients, and more money. He was a consultant or executive coach working with corporate and B2B decision-makers. Thus, his clients were on LinkedIn. He made about $150,000 to $250,000 per year, had a single detached house, and drove a Prius or Lexus. He was in his fifties, married or divorced, and he was a nice guy.
I did my homework on my avatar, right?
Why, then, did it always feel like a Tinder date gone wrong?
It turns out it was because I didn’t start with MYSELF.
I couldn’t find my PEOPLE because I didn’t even know myself!
Let’s reverse the model and start with ourselves.
To find your people, you need to start by knowing your definition of success, values, story, and worldview.
In the Marketing Like We’re Human book, I talk about three stages, the first one being RUMBLE.
That’s what the Ps ‘Passion’ and ‘Personal Power’ of the One Page Marketing Plan are all about: rumbling with your WHY and who you are.
How Do You Find Your Authentic Self?
Finding yourself is easier said than done, but we must do it before we can find our people. Often we don’t have or take the time to figure out who we are.
If you are in business today, it is crucial to spend time on this because today, people don’t buy from you for your skills or experience. People buy people.
Clients buy from you because you get them, and they get you.
A few tips to help you find your authentic self to help you find your people:
- Reflect on your values and beliefs. By understanding your beliefs, you can make decisions and take actions that align with your values and sense of self.
- Explore your genuine interests and passions. Find activities that bring you joy and fulfillment to help you discover more about who you are and what makes you happy.
- Think deeply about your definition of success. Imagine your last day of life. How do you know you have been successful?
- Find out how you’re wired. Take some personality assessments to understand how you see the world from your unique angle.
- Listen to your body. One of the best ways to find your authentic self is to be silent – and listen to your body.
Read this blog post about how to find your authentic self as an entrepreneur.
To Find Your People in Business: Bring More of You to Your Marketing
Entrepreneurs can only create joyful and sustainable businesses if we rumble with ourselves first.
Once we’ve gone deep and figured out who we are and who we want to be as entrepreneurs, we’re ready to go out there and share our stories, expertise, and values so we find our people.
You’ve already done the hard work and gone deep to discover who you are. Now you’re ready to share more of yourself in your marketing.
Tell Your Stories to Find Your People
In her bestseller ‘Find Your People’, Jennie Allen encourages readers to get a fire pit for their backyard or find a place to gather their people.
It’s a beautiful invitation because sitting around a fire is part of our ancestors’ story and our personal story.
Sitting in a circle around a warm fire and listening to stories is a tradition passed down from generation to generation – with each storyteller adding their unique style.
Even in our modern world, there is something magical about sitting around a fire and listening to a story, as it can transport us to another time and place through the power of words.
Humane Marketing recommends the book ‘Lingo’ by Jeffrey Shaw to learn more about your ideal client’s language.
If you’re running an online business like mine – Humane Marketing – you can still tell your community stories, even if you can’t always invite your people to a fire. Tell the stories on your website and within your social media posts.
Stories create meaning and connections between real people.
Three Ways Stories Help You Find Your People
Stories Address a Smarter Client
For decades, companies told us their facts and assumed we would just believe them and run to the store to buy their product. But the conscious client doesn’t like to be told.
He doesn’t want to be challenged by an ad or told what to think and what to buy. He likes to make his own decisions.
Stories don’t demand that you buy something. Instead, they invite you to accept a worldview or an attitude; your purchase is a commitment to that.
Stories Make You Inimitable
You are unique, and so are your stories. If you sell services, there’s a good chance thousands of others will sell the same services.
If you sell a product, most likely, this product already exists.
You make yourself inimitable by sharing your stories – or stories that show your unique worldview. No one else has the same story! You can’t fake your own story.
Stories Connect on a Human Level
Today’s client doesn’t want more stories of supermodels doing once-in-a-lifetime things.
He can’t relate and therefore feels excluded. What he wants are stories of people like him doing things like him. He looks for people and brands he can identify with and belong to.
Bring More of You to Your Stories
As Humane Marketers, we use vulnerability to show that we’re human and share our people’s struggles.
It’s never with the intention to sell more.
When we’re “being vulnerable” with the ulterior motive of selling more, it feels manipulative to the other person. That’s not the same as using vulnerability because we want to show up authentically.
Can you see the difference?
I highly recommend you read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly to dive deeper into vulnerability.
Example of sharing more vulnerability in your stories:
Share your struggles, challenges and failures with vulnerability and honesty. Sharing will build a deeper connection with your people, showing you’re human and relatable.
Were my vulnerable stories scary to share? You bet! 😉
Transparency to Find Your People
Transparency is crucial when you want to find your people in business.
Being transparent involves being clear and truthful in all communications, relationships and decision-making processes.
We have much catching up to do, as transparency was separate from the mainstream marketing rule book.
Check out the book Transparency: Seeing Through to Our Expanded Human Capacity (affiliate link) by my colleague, Penney Peirce.
You might also like this conversation with Penney; we discuss the 7Ps of Humane Marketing and a Change in Perception.
Example of being more transparent in your communication:
Give clients all the information they need to make informed decisions about products and services, including pricing and other business practices.
Blur the Lines
Since the industrial revolution, we have created a ‘work version’ and a ‘personal version’ of ourselves. But guess what? You won’t find your people if you run around wearing your work mask.
How do I know? I’ve done it myself! Read my personal story here.
The definition of work is changing at a rapid speed. Let me encourage you to blur the lines. Drop of the idea of running a business and instead think of it as ‘creating a life – and a living’.
By doing that, you won’t step into a stiff ‘business owner’ role but just show up as yourself.
You still own a business and make as much money as you want and need, but the energy is less stiff and more human.
Example of blurring the lines in business:
Give up perfectionism; instead, aim to create an emotional connection.
Your people are whole human beings as well. They feel better if they realize you have personal stuff going on, just like they do.
Don’t wash your dirty linen in public; open up and share from your heart in small group settings.
Embrace the Woo
Another way of blurring the lines is to bring spirituality to your business.
Spirituality was frowned upon in the traditional business environment, but times have changed.
If you are a person of faith or spirituality, there is nothing wrong with bringing more of that to the business world.
Example of embracing the woo in business:
I love discussing yoga, astrology and Human Design – they are part of my daily habits.
My other beliefs are in non-linear leaps and bounds, serendipity and guidance by the universe.
These beliefs keep me grounded and give me a ‘soft belly and a strong back’. My people have similar views.
Find Your People in Business: Make Your Worldview Your Niche
Your marketing should flow if you’re passionate about your business and bring all of yourself.
If it doesn’t, I suspect you’re still doing things unaligned with who you are – or your offering is no longer aligned with who you are.
That often happens when people are told they have to choose a niche, and they just go with the motions and pick one ‘au hasard’.
Let me tell you about my concept of ‘Making your worldview your niche’ – for example, my business Humane Marketing.
My niche is heart-centered entrepreneurs.
As good as this sounds, it’s not enough. Almost every entrepreneur refers to themselves as ‘heart-centered’ today.
That’s why I added ‘quietly rebellious’ to the heart-centered.
We’re already more specific!
But to truly work only with my ideal clients, I also want them to:
- Care about our planet and our future.
- Look after their clients but also practice self-care.
- Not be driven only by money and status.
- Be deep thinkers and solution creators, not just consumers.
The above characteristics are part of my worldview; I believe in humanity, and I think all humans are good by default.
Also, I realize humans need to step up and take better care of our planet; we owe it to future generations.
Money is energy; we need it to survive and live a good life, but in the end, it’s not what matters most.
If humans think more deeply, they care more and consider the consequences of their actions. They create solutions and don’t just live in trance and consumerism.
By sharing my worldview, I resonate with humans who also care about these things. Which in turn makes me enjoy our collaborations even more.
- What’s your worldview?
- What do you honestly care about?
- What would you like to change in the world if you had to focus only on one thing?
Find Your People in Business: Be Selective About Your Ecosystem
As a business owner or entrepreneur, you may have heard the standard advice to “grow your audience” to achieve success.
However, finding your people in business is not about creating massive audiences.
Growing your audience without being selective about who you’re letting into your ecosystem can hinder your progress in the long run.
You’ll end up with large email lists, but no engagement or a following, but no clients – simply because you’re talking to the wrong people.
Here are two examples of being selective about your ecosystem as a Humane Marketer:
Choose to speak only on podcasts that align with your values.
As a Humane Marketer, you may want to share your message and expertise on podcasts that prioritize ethical and empathetic business practices.
Choosing a platform that aligns with your worldview helps you reach the right audience and ensures your message is delivered in a supportive and aligned environment.
I’ve had to say ‘no thank you’ several times because the audience wasn’t right for me. They were not my people.
Collaborate with other entrepreneurs who share your vision.
Collaborating with other entrepreneurs who share your vision and values can be a powerful way to grow your business and create a more socially responsible community.
Help each other succeed by developing joint ventures, co-creating content, or sharing resources and knowledge.
Find Your People in Business: Join Communities Where Your Kind of People Hang Out
To find your people in business, join communities where your kind of people hang out.
As a Humane Marketer, seeking out communities that align with your values and mission is essential.
Examples could be online communities, such as Mighty Network groups, LinkedIn groups or even Facebook groups, or in-person communities, such as networking events or industry conferences.
These (free or paid) communities provide a platform to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for ethical and empathetic business practices.
Joining these communities provide opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and support.
By actively participating in these communities, you can build genuine relationships and expand your network of contacts, which can ultimately lead to business growth and success.
Our shared goal in our Humane Marketing Circle community is to bring more empathy and kindness to marketing: we are creating a Humane Marketing Revolution.
Check out if the Humane Marketing Circle is a good fit for you.
People – the 3rd P of the Humane Marketing Mandala
The traditional version of the 7Ps of Marketing discussed client avatars or target audiences.
In the 7Ps of Humane Marketing, we like to call them “our people” because we genuinely do our best work if we work only with our ideal clients.
If you’re curious about the other 6Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala, you can download your One-Page Marketing Plan, which comes with seven email prompts to help you reflect upon your 7Ps in your business.
Here are the questions for the P of People:
- Who would love this new offer?
- Whom are you best aligned with?
- Who shares the same values as you?
- Who gets you?
Get into your ideal client’s head and emotions, and use words that describe them and that would resonate with them.
Yes, it’s about empathy and understanding your client’s struggles and needs – often, we find out that we (ourselves) are our ideal client.
Conclusion to Finding Your People
In conclusion, finding your authentic self is crucial to finding your people in business.
By reflecting on your values and beliefs, exploring your passions, defining your version of success, and understanding how you are wired, you can discover who you truly are as an entrepreneur.
Once you have a clear understanding of your identity, you can bring more of yourself to your marketing and connect with your people on a deeper level through the power of storytelling.
By sharing your unique worldview and experiences, you can make yourself inimitable and create a meaningful connection with your audience.
Remember, people buy from people, so being yourself and sharing your story with the world is essential.
Other Resources You Might Enjoy
Podcast episode: Conversations about the 7Ps of Marketing with Penney Peirce, Clairvoyant (recorded in June 2020, when Humane Marketing was still called Gentle Marketing)
Podcast: The Humane Marketing Podcast, conversations with guests, organized around the 7Ps of Humane Marketing
- The Humane Marketing Glossary: Humane Marketing Words we love
- Manifesto: The Humane Business Manifesto (no opt-in)
- Creed: The Humane Marketing Creed (no opt-in)
- The One-Page Marketing Plan (email opt-in)
- Find Your People, Jennie Allen
- Lingo, Jeffrey Shaw
- Transparency, Penney Peirce
- Marketing Like We’re Human, Sarah Santacroce
- Selling Like We’re Human, Sarah Santacroce
The Humane Marketing Circle is our community of Humane Marketers.