For the past few years I’ve been talking and writing about leaning into following inspiration.
Learning to follow inspired ideas, instead of chasing success. Trusting your gut and the ideas that come to you, instead of doing what you think you have to do in order to be successful.
But I realize talking and writing about inspired marketing and inspired business may not fully explain how to actually do it.
So I wanted to share a real life story from my business that illustrates exactly what I mean by working inspired.
This is a perfect example of following what shows up and having one inspired idea turn into a cascade of events that, while not planned, perfectly support your intentions.
I hope by sharing this case study, you will see more clearly how you can implement inspired marketing in your business.
Following what shows up leads to taking inspired action.
For the past few months, I’ve spent most of my time creating new online courses. And, because inspired ideas keep showing up, one after the other, I’ve been able to create four new online courses so far this year:
- 10 Ways to Get Inspired
- Overcome Challenge: The Transformative Power of Inspiration
- Therapy Dog Training
- How to Live an ExtraOrdinary Life
None of these online courses were planned.
In fact, I was somewhat surprised to find myself diving so deeply into my online course business. After all, prior to this latest spurt of new courses, I had only created one new online course in each of the past two years. In fact, after publishing my book, The Following Inspiration Experiment and its companion online course in 2019, I wasn’t sure I even had any more online courses in me.
After completing the four courses this year, I wasn’t feeling particularly called to create any more. There were no compelling new ideas. So, I really didn’t know what was next. But I also knew better than to worry about it.
That’s when I received an invitation from a LinkedIn acquaintance to do a short interview (I’m talking less than 3 minutes) about the work I do, and my thoughts during this challenging time in our world. After we recorded the interview, we spent a few more minutes chatting and something she said struck a chord in me. It wasn’t anything earth shattering. It was simply her observation of the journey I’ve been on.
She validated what I had accomplished.
I woke up the next morning and kept hearing her words over and over in my head. They inspired me to begin work on an online course that I first drafted an outline for several years ago. It was an inspired idea that had stalled, which sometimes happens. And, for the past few years, each time I’d thought about diving back into creating the course, I’d get a strong sense I wasn’t quite ready. That I still had more to experience before I could create it.
Her comment helped me see I am ready.
That I don’t need to experience anything else. That I’m “qualified” to create and teach the course right now. I put the word qualified in quotes because that’s where I’ve felt a lacking the past couple of years. Her brief comment wiped that doubt from my mind.
So, I opened up the draft course outline that had been collecting dust on my computer for a good two years, and started fleshing it out.
But then, consistent with the way inspiration often works, something else happened that sent me in another direction.
This is where the inspired marketing story begins.
Another friend had invited her entrepreneur friends on Facebook to share a link to their websites on her page. She had seen others doing the same and wanted to extend the offer, explaining it would help her learn more about the work her friends are doing, and it might also provide some free marketing exposure for those friends.
I decided to post a link to my website.
After I shared my website link, I noticed there was no description, and the image displayed said absolutely nothing about the work I do. “Missed opportunity” my head chimed in. It also made me realize that after rebuilding my website earlier this year, I had neglected to set up a sitemap, or proper page descriptions. In fact, I had done nothing to make my site search engine friendly.
I was inspired to set the online course project aside, and tackle SEO.
Here’s where the inspired marketing cascade really begins.
The inspired idea to optimize my website led me to an SEO plugin for my WordPress site. I then spent a week optimizing every page on my website, something I honestly have never done in all my years in business online, but that suddenly felt right and timely.
Once that SEO work was completed, I realized that despite the fact I was leaning into my online course business, I wasn’t maximizing my own website to market my courses. This led to an inspired idea to create landing pages for all 15 of my online courses. I spent another week creating 15 new pages for my website, one for each of my online courses.
So, instead of simply providing a link to my courses on Udemy, I now have a page dedicated to my online courses on my website. This not only helps market my online courses to anyone visiting my website, it increases the content on my site and over time will help attract more qualified site visitors. And, because each online course page is optimizing for a specific keyword, hopefully that traffic will result in more online course sales.
But the inspired marketing didn’t stop there.
In the process of creating the online course landing pages and selecting videos to feature on each page, I found myself getting re-energized about all of my online courses, including the ones I created years ago.
This inspired me to rewrite the marketing copy for several of my courses.
If you had told me a month or two ago that I would be re-writing sales copy for my marketing courses I would have said, “Uhhh, no!” Because investing energy in those courses was the last thing I have felt inspired to do for a few years now. Instead I’ve been focusing all of my energy on sharing my message of following inspiration.
Clearly the universe had other plans for me!
This entire cascade of events made me realize something pretty important…
Yes, I can keep creating more content and online courses (and I probably will). But, I already have a ton of valuable content and I ought to make sure I’m doing all I can to help it be found by those who can benefit from it.
While I remain committed to continuing to only market as I’m inspired to, I know this realization has instilled in me an intention to make sure people know about all of my online courses, not just the newest ones I’ve created.
I know that intention will lead to more inspired marketing ideas.
Ideas that won’t feel like something I have to do to sell my courses, but rather things I want to do to share them with those who can benefit from them.
So, just to recap the work I’ve done over the past month that WAS NOT PLANNED, and that quite honestly I was surprised to find myself doing:
1) Starting to work on a new online course that’s been on hold for years
2) Adding an SEO plugin to my website
3) Optimizing all of my existing web pages
4) Creating optimized landing pages for all 15 of my online courses
5) Taking time to optimize my blog posts (something I’ve NEVER done!)
None of this was planned.
It wasn’t something on my to-do list. It wasn’t even something I thought, “Oh I should do that, but I don’t feel like it.” It simply wasn’t on my radar at all.
At the same time, none of it was difficult. In fact, it was quite enjoyable. And, I know in the long run it will help more people find, and benefit from, my online courses.
This is how inspired marketing works.
It’s about paying attention to the ideas that show up. Ideas that may be sparked by something someone says, or by something you experience, or observe.
It’s about listening to that little voice inside that’s telling you to do something.
And following through by taking action on whatever that little voice is whispering.
Because when you do, it always leads you in the right direction. And very often it takes you on a journey you never would have planned on your own, but that will better serve you, your business, and all the people you’re meant to help.
Now I supposed it’s time to get back to work on that new online course!