The Slow Marketing Manifesto

Most marketing is so fast. It’s ‘buy now’ and ‘closing people’ and ‘converting prospects’ and creating ‘irresistible offers’. It’s ‘double your income in 30 days’ and ‘lose 50 pounds overnight!’

It’s ’6-figure blueprints’ and ‘marketing cash machines’ and ’10,000 fans.’

It’s the ego-driven need to build your audience ever larger.

We’re constantly bombarded with messages that send us into various levels of panic if we don’t ‘act now!’ or haven’t succeeded in ‘crushing it.’

Panic is not a business strategy.

What would happen if we all. slowed. down. our marketing?

Do You Believe in an Abundant Universe?

At the heart of the world’s short-term focus is a fundamental belief that there’s Not Enough.

Not enough jobs. Not enough money. Not enough time.

Not enough connections to the right people.

Not enough knowledge or experience or options.

There’s a pervasive feeling that there’s an answer somewhere OUT THERE (instead of IN HERE), and that’s really why we keep downloading all those free PDFs.

When you feel like you’re missing The Secret to Success, you’ll keep searching and searching and searching (sometimes in a panic).

And since we’re not taught to listen to ourselves (whether you call it your intuition or your gut), we’ll continue to rely on experts and authorities to show us the “right” way.

(That’s also, coincidentally, what keeps us taking classes or searching for a blueprint or road map to 6-figure Business Nirvana.)

It’s what stops us from owning our power, slowing down and thinking about what we’d like to build long-term.

It’s what keeps us focused on getting new customers, rather than getting to know our existing ones on a deeper level.

And it keeps us from enjoying the journey.

The Slow Marketing Movement supports you in your authentic business path

It’s about being the tortoise, not the hare.

It’s about knowing when quick action is absolutely necessary, but not staying there permanently.

Slow Marketing Means…

Taking the time to figure out your core platform or branding message and understanding that finding your voice takes time. It’s like making soup — sometimes we just need to let things simmer for a while in order to figure out what we’re really all about.

It means knowing that blueprints, roadmaps and recipes can only get you so far. That to find true success, you’ll have to experiment and play with the ingredients in your business kitchen.

manifesto-graphicIt means accepting that it takes a while to build trust with people we’ve just met. And to find the joy in discovering who those people really are.

It means that instead of pressuring people to buy right now, we encourage them to sleep on it and sit with it to make sure it’s really a fit (so that any clients we get are solid and long term). And that we eschew false claims of scarcity at every turn.

It means that we really take time to figure out what kinds of clients are actually a perfect fit for us.

It means we remember that, in terms of relationships with clients, forever matters more than today.

It means that we’re okay being an apprentice for a time. We’re okay learning the ropes and not needing to be ‘discovered’ and famous tomorrow.

It means that we don’t rush to write our book or create our products. We slow down a bit so we can focus on crafting what we do to make it even better (so that it really helps people).

It means we build up our business systems so we can relax and know that we’ll be prepared for things as they come.

It means we don’t just accept that we sometimes need to slow down, but that we enjoy it. We relish the present moment.

It means it might be okay (even wonderful!) for us to have a day job while we build up our business.

It means that we acknowledge and honor each potential client’s unique right timing to work with us (or not).

It means we slow ourselves down, get still inside and let go of the panic that comes from wanting instant results. That we create space in our lives where we can and listen to our intuition.

It means we let our writing sit overnight instead of pushing send or publish immediately.

It means we slow down our conversations with potential clients and really listen. Instead of pushing, we lean back. Instead of starting to give advice, we get more curious about their situation. Instead of skipping over a challenge, we go deeply into exploring it.

Here’s to your authentic and prosperous business path!

Note: This Manifesto is a work-in-progress. We encourage you to add your voice to this document and help us build a strong and prosperous movement.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/panAngler Laurie Nylund

    Can I hear an Amen here people!

    Cultivating an attitude of abundance versus being mired in the depths of the scarcity mindset is goal worthy of us all.

    I look forward to actively engaging in the Slow Marketing Movement and fervently hope it attracts many followers. Expanding it beyond the borders of our businesses would be even better.

    • Karen Peck

      I’d bet that combative agressive marketing is done by “marketing professionals” and slow marketing by business owners who actualy want to sell something of value.
      By the way (this may be a red herring but) looks like there is all women doing the facebook likes.

      • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

        I noticed the gender thing, too. We’ll have to call the boys out and see what’s what. (Next week. LOL)

      • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

        It is. There’s nothing unique to either gender about a desire to move at a Right Pace with your Right People in your Right Biz. :>

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Yay, Laurie! So happy to see you here. And looking forward to hearing more from you very soon.

  • Doron

    Ahhhhh…what a relief. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and what I’ve been trying to put into words for so long! The minds that have been defining our world have for some time now been racing – to somewhere – and most of us are guilty of trying to keep up!
    We manufacture and wholesale beautiful jewellery made from inspirational quotes, as well as gemstones that took millions of patient years to form. My favorite piece in the collection at the moment is a leaf-shaped pendant inscribed with the words of Emerson, “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.” My challenge has been to live and work by this powerful principle, yet participate successfully in a market that is currently dominated by a slick and fast marketing machine.
    It’s been somewhat of a schism, trying to adapt to marketing principles that just don’t sit well with me and the things I believe in, and demoralizing to be told by some that it’s the intransigent nature of my personal beliefs that will limit my success!
    So, I really welcome the opportunity to participate in a forum, which recognizes that things are moving way too fast. May it help us cultivate a new perspective on marketing, which moves at the pace of nature, and focuses on the product and the relationships, rather than the all-too-pervasive fear.

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Welcome home, Doron! So happy to hear you’ve found your peeps. This movement is just getting started so be sure to stay in touch. We’d love to hear more from you.

  • kim

    Nice post Tea! Thoughtful and reassuring.

  • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

    Overall, yes. :>

    Yes, yes, yes. :>

    Allowing things to be as they are.
    Allowing things to take the time they take.
    Trusting in an Abundant Universe.

    And yet… it brings up the Qs I’ve been asking myself ever since I first heard that notion that we have all the knowledge we need :>

    So… many things to ponder.
    Many questions to ask.

    Nothing wrong with that. :>

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      What questions were those, Ms. Birdy? Do tell.

      • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

        The two biggest Qs are 1) Why are we needed if we are supposed to know everything ourselves?

        (That one, I was reminded I’ve been given an answer for: that sometimes, a fellow human is the most efficient way to receive the information, so that is why that happens.)

        The other Q is how to move fast enough to allow Mike to stay home, which needs to happen for so very many reasons, while still staying slow enough to allow for this lovely, Spacious, people-driven feeling you are speaking of so nicely here.

        We are getting support, including financial, for now, but we can’t depend on that forever.

        Your world sounds like such a lovely part of what I want.

        I need to figure out how to add it in as well.

        Supposedly the current marketing styles are all about the way human psychology works

        But does it HAVE to be all about scaring us badly enough to run towards Your Thing???

        Or can it, just maybe, be about a little bit more???

        Are we fighting basic human psychology here, a.k.a. a losing battle???

        Or are we encouraging people to stand up and refuse to be bounded by their current limitations???

        I’m hoping for the latter, but I fear the former.

        But then, that’s what all the ‘old-timey marketing’ peeps have been saying.

        So maybe that means there IS something more to be had???

        One can hope.

        It also occurs, that your Very Best Peeps WILL overcome inertia and pounce in their own time, if allowed the freedom to do so.

        Won’t they??? :>

        • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

          Fabulous questions, Birdy! Definitely things I’ve been noodling for years. I think a partial answer can be found in the vehicles we call our bodies. Our brains are wired a particular way. We have physical limitations that — if we don’t work to actively overcome them — will keep us on autopilot. I’m reading a book right now called “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.” I think in order for us to help ourselves and others, we need to better understand the tools we’re working with. If you get a chance to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

          • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

            Hmmm… sounds like it’s unlikely to change then, if we’re depending on the general public to do this kind of self-examination and self-learning.

            More than happy to be proven wrong, however, and I’m willing to allow for the Eeyore-attitude to be a function of the grey day. :>

            Will definitely have to see if I can lay hands to that book – looks very useful for both self & Kittens. :>

          • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

            Just requested it from the library. The conflicts are still reigning and growing. Will ponder more laters. :>

  • http://citizenzeus.com/ Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D.

    I like it. Of course, this presents somewhat of a “dynamic tension.” I formed my early business goals with a “fast and big” mindset, and I am learning the reality (and preferred route) is “slower and more authentic”. Do I revisit my goals and their timelines? Do I shoot for them still, fast on the things I can, slow on the things I must and see where it shakes out. How does urgency help and harm? It seems to help to overcome apathy and fear, to certain degree. But it seems to harm when it comes to really producing something of high quality commensurate with one’s authentic personality and mission. Maybe a blog post on this tension is needed to show how this dynamic can fruitfully play out?

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Yes! There IS a good balance that must be struck between fast and slow. Taking swift action (when done in the spirit of joy and enthusiasm and NOT panic) can be extremely helpful. This site is a great example. I’d love to see you write something for this site and/or the Word Chef site, Zeus. It’s a good time to think about this for you!

  • Susan McDiarmid, Life Coach

    I’m in. This is perfect. And has come at the most synchronistic time. I love the idea of adopting the pace of nature. I think we each have our own perfect pace for ourselves but have not been able to find it in our one crack-paced world. I’m thrilled to have found you. Thank you.

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Welcome, Susan! And we’re happy to have you. The pace of nature is definitely something we can learn a LOT from.

  • Linda

    “It means it might be okay (even wonderful!) for us to have a day job while we build up our business.” – yes! That’s a validating comment. Often us ‘hobby business’ people are looked down on as if an inferior class! Thanks for this blog. Will be definitely be spreading the word about it.

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Welcome, Linda! It’s important that we honor everyone’s right timing. So yes, a little validation can be a great thing. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.

  • LetSdeG

    This is totally counterintuitive to what we learn in business school and I love it!

  • http://twitter.com/rodneycdavis Rodney C. Davis

    Count me in! I, for one, believe there never was, still isn’t, and never will be any legitimate marketing that is fast. A good friend of mind from over at the Linked-in group called “Parenting 2.0″ has a concept she refers to as “twisted stamps. It refers tot he fact that in the midst of all the technology, an old-fashioned, hand-written letter in an enveloped with traditional stamps pasted in a twisted row from someone you know and respect, will carry a thousand times more clout than the slickest digital communication. We need to explore extensively the reasons why. We need to delineate the principles that never change amidst all the glitter of modern living. Like Tea has concluded, when we do, we’ll discover that time spent cultivating and using those principles will bring more lasting, meaningful success. Find true success that APPEARS to have happened fast, and I’d wager there was a whole lot of time spent priming the pump before. http://www.firepolemarketing.com/blog/2012/07/19/priming-the-pump/

  • http://www.thenumberswhisperer.com/ Nicole Fende

    Love it. Count me in. I’ve been won over to the crock pot in the kitchen… so slow cooking marketing is next :)

  • thehow2girl

    Love it Tea – too many people looking for the quick buck and fast track instead of enjoying the journey and stopping to smell the flowers :)

  • carlagolden

    You had me at “slow.” Thank you!

  • Sara

    This website is absolutely perfect timing for me. THANK YOU for existing! I can’t wait to read more!

  • http://twitter.com/nicolenavratil PepperoniIsNotAVeg

    So, so awesome. I am a new small business owner (10 months), and have often felt the RUSH of “needing” to figure out what I’m doing. Really looking forward to hearing more, eventually. :)

  • mobiyogi

    LOVE this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ccalliard Cassandra Hayes

    Oh! How I needed to hear this. Now i know my platform. Take it slow there is a lot to learn… Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/OpalescentOkapi Megan Peterson

    I love this. Count me in too. The line “Panic is not a business strategy” really stuck out to me. I needed to hear that. And the graphic with the turtle is fabulous. Thank you!

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    People have to stop believing in the get rich quick mentality if for no other reason than because it simply does not work. Ask yourselves who you know that managed to do that. (Not the people who LIE and you can’t prove they did it – I mean someone in real life you can talk to about it.) I bet you can’t find even one. Even the odds of getting lucky are slim and none.

    Grabbing for that promise of the golden ring is what keeps people from doing what actually works: building a business based on quality service and products and especially RELATIONSHIPS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/agentreneegade Renée Magnusson

    Now THIS resonates with me. I love it!!

  • Nat Couropmitree

    Resonate with your mission. I’ve been teaching for years in my Empowered Marketing program that business owners should market in alignment with their unique pace and path

  • http://twitter.com/taleio Talei O’Keeffe

    Love all of what you had to say!! It is sooooo true. I will definitely be taking your advice on board

  • Erica

    I was spinning my wheels working 80 hours a week. Yeah, I was rewarded for work at my corporate job, but that wasn’t my passion. My healing arts business that I was trying to build on the side was what I wanted to focus on. But trying to balance everything took its toll on me. I had a stroke…it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. :-) It taught me to slow down…I mean, really slow down. It taught me what was really important in life.Relationships…with family and friends, of course, but also with clients and anyone else you encounter. And I moved from having an ego-based consciousness where my mantra was “what’s in it for me” to doing everything from the heart where I am serving others. It feels wonderful to live life from the heart.

  • Lee

    This is like the “old time” way of doing business. These are the sort of people I seek in my own life, the type that I prefer to patronize. These are people who care about their craft and who want to build a relationship. their business is not a get in line and I’ll serve you kind of business but a hi I’m glad to see you back and I’ll do my best for you business. Amen to this movement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/purpleann1 Ann Peckham

    I wrote something similar in my journal yesterday “I realise that I have a kind of urgency in my day to day running as if I am running out of time” so it is wonderful to have found this which really resonates with how I would prefer to be

  • http://www.CritterWisdom.com/ Carmelo

    This is so good. The mad dash to achievement often obscures the beauty of the journey itself. Are we in this to beat someone else? Are we here to be the best, first, or make someone else inferior? You’re so right, that’s not an abundant mindset. I’m finishing a book entitled “Defeating the Guru Addiction Syndrome to Gain Control of Your Life” and it speaks of these same topics. Letting go of the world’s Ego-System in favor of being present in the continuous “now” moment is such a wonderful way to live AND do business.

  • http://twitter.com/wholeself Kate Griffiths

    Here, here. This is manna from heaven. I so agree with this. It is all about the journey and trusting that the right thing/ people will come when we need them. And if you are connected to self and source they do or at least that’s my experience in business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/philip.wade.96 Philip Wade

    Just popped over here from The 7 Graces FB page. Love the manifesto! Having been a director in a large engineering consultancy business in the UK I left that fast paced world behind to focus on my spiritual path and instantly I got my life back. In the stillness, if we are prepared to listen, lies our answers… Will happily offer a guest blog on this transition if that helps.

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Would love to have a blog post from you, Philip. Send it over.

      • http://www.facebook.com/philip.wade.96 Philip Wade

        OK it may be after I come back from a short holiday later this week with my wife now. We’re off to Egypt for a week for much needed rest. We’re back on 7 December.

  • ColleenConger

    Every point you made hit the nail on the head for me and my business. I feel rushed every single hour of the day to buy this, read that, invest in my business right now for “insert some dollar amount that ends in 97″ and you’ll be able to sit back and relish your bank account balance.

    Looking forward to spending time on the blog and meeting other people that just want to take it slow and learn at their own pace.

  • SandyMcD

    Slow marketing. An antidote to the toxins of scarcity, urgency and panic. Permission to breathe again. I’m in.

  • http://twitter.com/Joyfulpaws Barbara Techel

    I’m so thrilled to have found your website. This is right up my alley! Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/zografispaula Paula Swenson

    Adding my “huzzah” to the list . . . I pretty much adopted this strategy when I started my current business — my third as a solo after 2 partnerships — it was the only way I could even face being in biz for myself again . . . and it’s working, more and more as I develop patience :-)

  • http://www.discovershareinspire.com/ Rachel

    Refreshing :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bsetcltd Carlana Charles

    What a lovely premise. Very glad I found this site.

  • Drew

    What a delight to read, thanks.
    I’m in the middle of both starting a business and writing a novel. Sometimes I wake up anxious with all I want to achieve.
    It’s good to breathe, let it happen at a natural pace – and enjoy that process.

  • kayoko

    Where WERE YOU!!!!!!!! I am a TURTLE going DEEP and WIDE, who were trying to do narrow, fast, result, target market, elevator speech, now, now, now. OH!!! I was beating myself up. I STOPPED!!! And I embraced my wonderful successful being right NOW. Blessings to you. You are my hero. TRUE!!

  • Shauna

    I love this concept. I’m just starting out and find myself completely frazzled with learning all I can, building my website and marketing myself. I must admit marketing is very daunting for me. I’m not one to go door to door and am trying to find alternative ways to market my freelance business.

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Thanks so much for chiming in, Shauna. When we’re just starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the learning because we think if we just learn about the one secret, magic bullet marketing thing, we’ll be golden. So we keep searching. OR we keep doing marketing things while avoiding sales things. But starting out requires us to really focus focus focus. Focus on only one or two marketing things and then let the rest go for now. Focus on getting sales so you’ll have proof of what you’re capable of (and can build a portfolio of testimonials and expertise). And remember it’s all an experiment. It doesn’t have to be perfect (especially your website) so don’t get stuck in perfectionism head games with yourself either. And hey, if you haven’t yet thought about creating an actual PLAN for yourself, head on over to theWordChef.com and subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll get my outline free and can hit me up if you have questions or get stuck. :-)

      • Shauna

        Awesome, I’ll do that Tea. That’s where I am now – devising a plan. Frankly, I need some help. It was much easier when I was writing for content mills. I didn’t need to have a plan. Now, I refuse to write for them because the pay (or lack thereof) is a slap in my creative face. As the result, I have no new clients and no current income. That is very scary indeed, considering I gave up a good paying job to achieve my dream of being a full-time writer.

        • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

          Also, I believe there are a couple more days in which to apply for a scholarship to Tea’s Digital Dining Room, wherein she helps us make sense of all the crazy and come up with an actual Workable Plan to get ourselves from here to there.

          Check on her blog on the Word Chef site – it’s one of the fairly recent posts. Scroll down to the bottom and fill it out – Tea’s good about helping us to take away the scary about this stuff. :-) :>

          • Shauna

            Thanx, Birdy. I’ll check into it.

          • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

            Most welcome! :-) :>

  • Sam

    Needed this today…back on track, and touching base with previous amazing clients! Thanks

  • @catdboivin

    Only just recently I was telling my beloved I wanted to adopt a more organic way to market my writing. He said, “like slow marketing?” Bingo! Still, I wasn’t sure how to define it…I’m glad a search on the internet took me to this beautiful manifesto. Thank you!

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      So glad you found us, Cat. We’re a bit quiet over here these days, but still thrilled to have you chime in. Hope there will be more to hear in the coming months!