Making peace with marketing: A guide for creatives

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{ Book extract from Tonics For Your Creative Spirit

“Only connect.”

E M Forster

How do you feel about marketing?

Do you find that the commercial aspect enhances the creative process? 

Or do you long to create purely as inspired?

For many creative souls, the prospect of marketing induces a slew of uncomfortable feelings, ranging from lethargy, repulsion, fear and dread, to an overwhelming desire to hide under the duvet. 

Striking the right balance between commerce and art seems to be a quest that runs deep through many a creative heart.

Do we compromise our artistic integrity by pandering to market forces? 

Or commit to heart-and-soul-driven creativity, even if it means a life of poverty?

Like many writers and artists before me, I have also struggled with the dilemma of whether to create from my heart and soul or ‘do what sells’.

This issue of marketing, income and commercial pressure in creative work is an age-old dilemma.

And with the modern rise of Creative Entrepreneurs, the Marketplace vs Freedom debate is as alive and relevant as ever.

But what if….? 

What if there’s a third alternative, a happy middle ground?

What if there was even a way to approach marketing that was good for creativity?! 

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Marketing For Soulful Creatives

In my endeavours to make peace with my own marketing demons, I’ve found some inspiring approaches to the Art & Money puzzle that I hope will also bring more peace to your creative heart. 

These three perspectives, which arrived courtesy of three powerful books, combine to make a compelling argument for even the most soulful and purpose-driven creatives to embrace the commercial aspects of sharing our creative work. 

So if you’ve ever felt torn as to whether to create from the heart or compromise to meet market forces, allow me to share with you three reasons why creativity and commerce might actually be a fulfilling, productive and successful partnership. 


#1 The Creative Reason: To complete the cycle of our work 

This first insight arrived courtesy of a quote from fellow creativity coach, Marc Zegans. 

In his book, Intentional Practice & the Art of Finding Natural Audience, Marc presents the idea of our ‘natural audience’ and ways to: ‘communicate with it in perfect accord with your artistic vision and with your professional integrity’. 

(Imagine that: Marketing you can feel good about! Cue a collective sigh of relief from commercially-torn creatives the world over.) 

Marc also makes a explores the importance of reaching our right audience, irrespective of those pesky financial pressures.

He suggests that there’s an aspect of creativity that involves getting the work out there, to be seen and enjoyed by other people – and that this appreciation is?an essential ingredient?of the work’s place in the world. 

Whether people pay for it or enjoy it another way, the ‘being seen’ aspect plays a crucial role in the life of the work and the creator.

Or as Marc puts it:

“The cycle of creativity is only complete when your work goes out into the world.”

Marc ZEgans

If we can embrace this idea – that part of our creative brief is to find our audience – it can help to make marketing much more palatable. 

We no longer need to feel we’re selling our soul by bowing to commercial pressure, we’re simply completing the cycle of the work by helping it find its home in the world.


#2 The Spiritual Reason: We can only affect the lives we reach

In her powerful book, The Divine Laws of Compensation, Marianne Williamson discusses the idea of our work or livelihood as our ministry. 

This idea helped me realise that our creations can’t influence, help, or entertain anyone that doesn’t discover them. 

So, part of our role as purpose-driven creatives is to help the right people find us, to reach the ones who can enjoy and benefit from our work. 

And when we do this, we find that all-important meaning that makes creative living worthwhile. Successfully marketing our work helps us to live our unique purpose, to make the difference we’re here to make. 

Of course, it’s possible and enjoyable to create purely for the joy of self-expression, and I’m all for that. But in showing our work, in sharing it with the world, we elevate the whole experience, enriching it with aspects of meaning, purpose, and the unique impact that we can make with our talents and time on this planet. 

So, even if we choose to create from the heart, to enjoy the ultimate levels of fulfilment, we need to share our creations with the world, ideally with the ones who need it the most. 

This is the essence of soulful commerce, and embracing this idea allows marketing to be an enhancement of the creative process, rather than a compromise of our principles. 

In this light, marketing becomes less about ‘How can I sell more units?’, and more about ‘How can I touch more lives?’. This can help to shift any ‘ickiness’ and self-consciousness that makes us want to run screaming from self-promotion. 

Plus, when we become aligned with purpose and meaning, our creativity flows more easily, spontaneously and joyfully – it can be a virtuous cycle of inspiration, impact and meaningful work. 


#3 The Financial Reason: Let your creativity support you? 

One of the best ways to continue to do the creative work you love, is to find a way to get paid to do it. 

This is an idea that I’ve been exploring ever since I discovered The Law of Dharma in Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. (You can read the story of that happy find here.) 

According to the Law of Dharma, we each have much-needed gifts and talents, creative abilities that we can use to serve humanity, and if we can find the sweet spot where our unique expression meets our right audience, we can’t help but find success in the marketplace. 

Marketing, or Reach as I prefer to call it, is the key to this happy mix of expression, integrity and commerce. 

Or as Deepak puts it; 

“When unique needs are matched with the creative expression of your unique talent, that is the spark that creates affluence.”

Deepak Chopra

And even if money is not your driving force, earning a living from your creative work makes it possible or easier to spend more time doing it. 

• • •

These three approaches to reach, ministry and marketplace success have helped me make peace with the commercial aspects of creative living, and to actually become inspired and excited to find and connect with my audience.  

So, I am enormously grateful to these authors for highlighting the value of connection and service; for reasons of our own stability, satisfaction and fulfilment.  

I hope these perspectives will also help you enjoy a more positive, harmonious and inspiring approach to marketing, one that enriches both your work and your results, and strengthens your connection with your right audience – the people who are craving and seeking exactly what you love to create!  

If you’ve ever felt torn between your creative calling and your need to pay the bills, I highly recommend reviewing your approach to marketing and seeing how you can incorporate the three ideas above.  

Look for the ways that connecting with your right audience can be a vital part of creating impactful, meaningful work, rather than an act of selling out.  

Feel-good Marketing for Creatives (Summary) 

To summarise, here are the three powerful ideas that I hope will help reduce any resistance to marketing your work:  

1: To do justice to your work: get it out there.  

2: To live aligned with your purpose: find your right audience.  

3: To fund a life of joyful creative expression: master the skill of reaching the people who value your work. 

I hope these approaches will help you see how reaching those who love your creations can be an integral part of your creative calling – an aspect of the process that, when done well, can inspire future work and support a life of expression, meaning and success.  

What creative would say no to that?

danielle raine creativity coach

Dive deeper…

If you’d like to dive deeper into this important work of enriching your soul and the world with your unique creative work, I’ve created a beautiful online journey to help you: 


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