My life as a farmer started decades ago when I apprenticed to a small biodynamic farmer at 18. And I distinctively remember the day I really knew in my gut how much I wanted to have farming a permanent part of my life.
It was a rainy April day, temperature in the high 40’s. And we’d been working in the field for a few hours transplanting broccoli. This is on top of getting up early to milk the cows and process the milk. We were cold and wet. A warm, generous lunch in the farm kitchen was still close to an hour away.
And at that moment I had never felt so much a part of life.
As I sat there in the muddy field with chilly fingers and several long rows of work ahead of me, I could feel in my bones and sinews how all the work I had done that day was going right into the food that would in turn keep me fueled for my afternoon chores. I felt utterly content.
This desire to stay connected to the realness of farming never left me. So years later, when my oldest was 3 years old and I was expecting our second child, my husband and I decided to “escape” Brooklyn and move to the country. It took several years more to get to a place where we could have a garden and even more time to plant fruit trees and start with livestock.
But here we are. And no matter what happens in cyberspace with my business, we still have our farm. Every day, it gives me perspective when I take a break and stand outside and look down towards the pond through the line of trees to the next field. This is what’s important – being alive.
Now I could go on for a bit on this topic, waxing philosophical. This is not the time or place.
But there is a marketing secret here. Your market is yearning for the same thing. Now it may not be milking cows or playing in the dirt. Not everyone wants to be a farmer.
But most people – just about everyone in the natural health market – are looking for something that makes sense to them at this real, tangible level.
Something they can get at a gut level. That they can really hold in their hands and say this helps me live.
Something that in turn makes them feel more human, more real – not just a figment lost in the infinite scope of the universe, time and the internet.
It’s why so many people are turning to natural health over conventional medicine. Something that grows in the soil seems to be a better fit for our bodies than something dreamed up in a lab.
So here are a few tips for keeping it real in for the natural health market:
Don’t just talk about the science. Science is good, it answers the logical part of our brain. But also talk to the instinctive part, the part of us that wants to taste, hold, touch, smell and see what we’re getting.
Even if your product uses a powder or extract, bring in some descriptions of the original source – how it’s grown, what it looks like, how it tastes or smells. And describe the product as well. Describe your capsules, packed with light brown antioxidant-rich powder, for example. Or the light watermelon flavor of the drink mix. Or how your shampoo’s minty-lavender scent will make showering an experience in itself.
Focus on the benefits, the deep benefits that your prospect can connect to. If your supplement lowers blood pressure, okay, you can refer to that (in FDA-friendly terms, mind you). But no one really feels when their blood pressure is high or low.
What people do feel is the anxiety about how healthy their blood pressure is. What people do feel is the sense of relief and pride that they have healthy blood pressure. Talk to those very real experiences.
Make yourself and your business real. Most recently I worked on an email campaign for a client. In this campaign, we transformed the company’s communication from a business-tone to a personal tone. We designated a spokesperson in the emails (his wife and co-founder) and we spoke to the recipients person-to-person, acknowledging foibles, excitement, concern, pride and more.
The heartfelt, personal responses plus the sales pleasantly surprised my client.
This last one is particularly important when it comes to internet marketing. Cyberspace puts us all in space suits, longing for some security. We’re looking for some guarantee that we’re still tethered to earth. When you show prospects that your business has real people behind it, real technical challenges, office politics, etc., you convince people that you’re for real. That their money and the hopes they invest in your product will not disappear – poof – into the wide world of the web. They feel more security, more trust and emotionally more connected to you. The perfect mix for a sale.
Bottom line – make it real for your customers and they will make your business.
What are your ideas for making internet marketing more real, especially when it comes to the natural health market? Leave your comment to get this discussion going.