Who says there is only one way to do business or marketing? Sahara Leigh takes Marketing Your Way to a new level. For her business, the marketing strategy evolves around conversation.
Sahara Leigh is an Integrated Wellness Specialist.
When I ask her who she serves ( I’m thinking ‘Who is your target market?’), she has a very interesting reply:
‘I help the human species’
That doesn’t exactly narrow it down.
But Sahara goes on explaining: it doesn’t matter if the people knocking at her door are mums at home, burnt out business owners or disgruntled office workers. In Sahara’s book, we ALL need a bit of help at times.
She has a point.
To achieve that, she uses yoga, massage, bodywork, meditation, and Ayurveda.
I’ve never heard of Ayurveda, so I ask Sahara to explain.
She tells me it’s a healing science that has its roots in much of the Asian world. At its core are the 5 elements: air, ether, fire, earth, and water. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the physical world is not separate from the mind or emotions. It explains why Sahara likes to use the word ‘(w)holistic’.
I learn that symptoms are clues. Dis-ease is the result of failing to follow your intuition. Food is your medicine.
I’m sure there’s much more to it, and what I get from it feels fascinating. But I move on because we want to talk about her business.
Taking Business Online… or Not
When at the start of 2020 Covid sent everybody online, part of Sahara went…
For years she had been roaming the world, building up a string of followers, only to pack up and move on after a while. She tried to coax her clients into staying with her online, but until that day, the hesitation for online wellness support had proven too big.
Suddenly, however, the scramble to move business online became very real.
The result is … let’s say ‘varied’.
For her Ayurvedic consultations, it works a treat. Sahara explains how she pays attention to how long you take to respond to her questions, how animated you are. She listens to the tone of people’s voice, the pauses and the cadence as they speak. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the room with her on the other side of the camera. It works either way. As a matter of fact, it may actually be rather convenient because it saves you a trip across town.
Things are different with her Yoga classes. That’s because Sahara likes to move between her students, rather than setting the example in front of the classroom. It’s just the kind of teacher she is. So often, a student responds better to a slight touch of the hip, rather than instructions along the line of ‘Lift your hip and inch’. It makes sense.
A Million Ways of Doing Business
What’s amazing about a time like this is that we had to reconsider what we thought was a set in concrete. There are flowers that bloom in adversity and this pandemic is not different.
How we run a business has changed in a mere 18 months. The way we think about business has leap-frogged into a world that, at the start of 2020, was considered detrimental.
What I take from Sahara’s approach is that there is no longer one way to do business. We can have it in a variety of ways. Pick and choose what works, ignore what doesn’t. And that’s a win in my book.
Marketing YOUR Way
Talking about doing things your way, Sahara has a strong opinion on how marketing works for her too.
Think of it this way:
You can have a nice done-by-the-book marketing funnel with plenty of scheduled emails OR you could have a conversation with her and she’ll tell you all about what she does and how she can help you.
If it’s up to Sahara, it’s the second option.
That’s because that marketing funnel sounds desperately impersonal and non-caring. And that’s exactly what Sahara is not.
‘I’m not an entrepreneur. I am a person with a purpose in life. And because of that, I also happen to work for myself. There’s an ocean of difference between the two.’
She clearly has fought frustrating battles with marketing professionals in the past.
Interestingly, Sahara has an a-ha moment when I point out to her that, contrary to what she has been told, she HAS a marketing strategy, including a funnel. It’s just that her marketing strategy doesn’t play by the rules that are laid out by the marketeers-in-the-know.
Instead, her marketing strategy evolves around having conversations. Her website is littered with calls-to-action along the lines of ‘Call me’. I mean… isn’t it so that having a conversation IS marketing?
And could it be that there is a spectrum in marketing rather than one way of doing things that pretends to solve all your problems?
I’m asking for a friend.
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