The Yin and Yang of Marketing

In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin and yang is used to describe natural opposites such as light and dark, male and female and cold and hot. Ying and yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole.

Everything has yin and yang aspects, though one may manifest itself more strongly at times. There’s a perception in the West especially that yin and yang correspond to good and evil. Taoist philosophy prefers to focus on yin and yang as representing balance.

I’ve been considering the yin and yang of marketing. If you think about it, both concepts can apply – good/evil and balance.

Is marketing your book or your business somehow evil in your mind?

It is evil if you still hear that little voice from your childhood saying not to put yourself forward. Banish that voice! If you’ve got skills and solutions that people need, you have an obligation to put them forward. There’s plenty of shameless promoters out there who really are selling snake oil. If you’ve got an honest product or service, you’re actually doing people a favor to let them know about it.

How do you strike the balance between nonstop promotion and hiding your head under the covers?

What we’re really trying to do is establish a presence so that people are happy to see us and read our ezines and blogs and not cross over into “Oh-God-there-she-is-again territory.” Establish a ratio of free to paid advice. If you’re giving free advice in the form of a blog or an ezine and people are taking advantage of that, asking them to pay for a class or an ebook is not a big stretch. Here’s a little secret: people want to buy your paid stuff. They want access to the secret stuff.

Does this mean everybody who gets your free stuff will be a convert to your paid services?

Heck no! Lots of people will take advantage of the free stuff and never spend a dime with you. But if they pass your free stuff around to their friends and the friends buy from you, isn’t that worth it for you?