You’ve heard or read me say over and over again that when you lead with your values, your clients will self-select. Today I’m going to talk about how that works. Of all the things I talk about and all the messages I spread with the world, this is the one I am a 100% expert on. If you put your values, your passions, your goals for the planet out in front of your marketing, your clients will find you.
How do I know? I am a Facebook/Google algorithm success story. I started digging into the world of values-based business and leadership in 2013. Since that time, I have followed, liked, listened to, and read everything I could about this whole community of businesses and brands that are doing things differently - from brands that give back to brands that are eco-friendly to companies that are paying their staff better and offering more vacation, I have soaked up everything I could to help me figure out if this way really will work.
Six years later, I use bamboo toilet paper from a company that donates 50% of their profits to help build toilets, ibuprofen from a company that donates medicine to inner city clinics, perfume from a company that packages sustainable and donates at least 1% of their profits to environmental groups, cleaning products from a company that is carbon neutral, deodorant that comes in a reusable container, and makeup made from broccoli seed oil and elder flower extract (that works!).
Every day in at least one conversation someone asks me how I find these companies, and I always say, “they popped up in my Facebook feed.” It’s true!
In fact, recently my mom and I were looking for a place to stay for an out of town wedding and found Legacy Vacation Resorts. Not because we searched “eco-friendly vacation resorts in Florida,” but because it was the first place that popped up in our Google search! Turns out, they are way more than eco-friendly. Legacy is the only certified B Corp multi-state vacation resort, they offset the carbon footprint of their guests , and they pay a living wage. Thanks Google! And thanks to Legacy (and the others amazing brands I’ve discovered) for being so transparent with their goals that the algorithms picked it up.
The general statistic is that 66% of consumers want to spend their money with a company that shares their values. It is our job, as the business owners, to be sure those consumers can find us and our values.
I was reviewing the financials of a client recently and noticed that almost all of the food they were buying for their restaurant was organic and/or local. I asked the owner why he doesn’t have that noted anywhere in the restaurant. His response was that it seems “showy” or not classy. He said he just does what is right becuase it is right, not because he is trying to get more customers from it. The idea of publicizing that seemed like a “sleazy marketing tactic” to him. Fortunately, we were able to have an honest conversation about how we have a responsibility to let people know where we stand and what we are doing to make the world better with our business. People want to know this. They are looking for it. And they are deciding where to eat, shop, and travel based on what they are able to find out.
Yes, sleazy marketing exists. And there are plenty of companies that practice green-washing or claim to be more values-based than they truly are. And, here’s the stinger. If you don’t put your values out in front, these companies could get your customers - because your customers couldn’t find you as easily.
The first rule of marketing is make the decision easy for your target client. So, go ahead, put it on your homepage. Put a sign in your restaurant. Use it in a Facebook ad. Let the world know what matters to you and what you are doing to make the world just a little bit better. Be loud and proud! Your customers need you.
The world needs you.