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Sales and marketing are dirty words for many changemakers and social entrepreneurs.

We’ve all experienced a great deal of unethical, manipulative, and downright disgusting marketing.  I know we’ve all experienced it because it’s everywhere and you can’t avoid it no matter what you do.

It’s no wonder that sales and marketing can sometimes be a huge challenge for those of us who care deeply about authenticity, integrity, making a positive difference, and cultivating only win-win relationships.

There may be a part of you that simply wishes you didn’t have to do any sales or marketing.  After all, wouldn’t it be nice if the quality of your work, and the quality of your credentials, were enough to attract all the clients you could possibly want?

Marketing used to be like pulling teeth for me. I knew I had to do it, but I would procrastinate and put it off as much as possible.  It required incredible discipline to do it at all.  I had to schedule it in my calendar, and ask my coach to hold me accountable to following through.  I did the bare minimum necessary to survive.

However, I eventually accepted the truth that my career success hinged upon my willingness to embrace sales and marketing.

This is true for you as well.

This is true even if you’re an employee, because to manifest your full potential as an employee, you’ll need to effectively market yourself to potential employers, and enroll those employers in each step of your career advancement.

If you’re in business, you won’t attract enough clients or customers if they don’t know about you due to a lack of marketing, or they don’t know why they should buy from you.

Marketing may be a fundamental key to the success of your business or career.  But it’s also a key to the success of your entire mission.  And marketing isn’t just about attracting clients.  Marketing is the key to reaching larger numbers of people and making a bigger positive impact.

Even nonprofit organizations need to embrace marketing.  In some cases, marketing may be necessary to attract the recipients of the nonprofit’s services.  In almost all cases, fundraising will be a key to success, and fundraising is the equivalent of sales and marketing in the nonprofit world.  Plus, the smart nonprofits develop “earned income” streams so they are not completely dependent on charitable donations.

These earned income streams make nonprofits both more scalable and sustainable.  The same is true if you are structured as a for-profit.

If you’re passionate about changing the world, then persuading people to buy things is probably not one of your favorite things to do, and I don’t fault you for that.

However, inspiring people to join your movement, and enrolling people to be a part of your important work for change, needs to be something you embrace wholeheartedly.

iStock_000014997780_ExtraSmallOf course it’s important for you to be good at what you do, and for you to have something genuinely valuable to offer.  However, the truth is that it doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, or how valuable your products and services are, if you don’t know how to attract and enroll clients and customers.

I see this everyday…  amazing, talented, loving people who are struggling financially and confused about why they can’t get enough clients.

Does this describe you at all?

If so, you might find things to blame your situation on… such as the economy, or some other excuse.  You might even be starting to doubt your abilities, or the value you have to offer people.  Your self-esteem might have even been impacted.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

If you dedicate yourself to mastering the art and science of attraction and enrollment, you can radically transform your reality.  You can do this even if you think you’re bad at marketing and you’re not a natural at sales.  You can do this even if you’re an introvert!

I promise you that mastering this essential skill set will actually be far easier, and a lot less expensive, than what you’ve already invested to develop the expertise that you have in whatever field you’re in.  But you’ll need to dedicate yourself and get the right support, otherwise it could be a very long and arduous journey.

There is no shortage of people offering to coach and mentor you on the topic of marketing and sales, but most of these “experts” will primarily show you how to maximize your “profits.”

There’s nothing wrong with profit, but when it’s your sole focus, or even your primary focus, it’s too easy to allow yourself to slip into marketing that doesn’t reflect your deepest values.

I’ve been self-employed for over 25 years, so I’ve struggled with this myself for most of my life.  Over the years I gradually learned how to implement effective marketing and sales that produced great results while leaving me feeling 100% clean and happy about the process.

What do you think about ethical marketing?  Can it really be done with integrity and heart?

Please join the conversation and leave a comment below.

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