One of my most favorite spiritually-guided marketing coaches and mentors, George Kao, returns for the second season of The Brave Bear Show. (And, yes, his little brave bear Buddy makes a cameo.)
While recently contemplating whether I’d finally be “ready” to return to public coaching, web show hosting and podcasting, George was always that voice of encouragement that would not stop playing in my head. He said it best in one of his recent teachings: “I never feel ready (when I begin).”
Though I didn’t feel quite ready myself, my heart yearned to return to this work I love to do. So, in Brave Bear fashion, I resurrected this show pretty much overnight after a four-year hiatus. And now we have a Season 2, thanks to mentors like George who have taught me: when we show up with the intention of serving our community and we genuinely and authentically are ourselves, then we will be perfect for the people who need and want what we are sharing.
(If you missed George on Season 1 of The Brave Bear Show, you can replay it here.)
Listen on Apple Podcasts (coming soon)
Marketing is extremely powerful, which means that—like Spider-man would say—we have a great responsibility. – George Kao
No matter what, you will somehow be taken care of. – George Kao
If I had really settled into that eternal security…if I’d really trusted that, then I think I would have gone into my authentic voice and way of doing things sooner than going through years of shallow success and deep pain. – George Kao
There’s the myth that things happen a lot faster than they usually do. – George Kao
For some people, it might take them only 30 days to suddenly hit it big. But some might take three years. If a person is selling you a marketing training program and putting a timeline on it, I don’t think it’s a good idea. It usually gives people the wrong idea that it’s going to go so fast. – George Kao
Try not to put a timeline on when your success will happen. Instead, it’s more important to love the activities you do every day. – George Kao
Go at your pace. Love the activities you do every day. Trust me, it will work out and you’ll be happier for it. – George Kao
When you do things out of desperation, the energy and vibrations being sent out or embedded in your actions will attract the people who are desperate also. – George Kao
If you’re attracting desperate people, some of them might sign up fast. They’re also going to expect the moon and the stars overnight. Can you deliver the moons and stars overnight? Once in a while you can. But, most of the time, it takes time. – George Kao
What if I only had six months left to live? Do I want to die having figured out how to make money? No, I want to die having known that this day and every day I spent was from the heart. I put more love out there genuinely into the world. That’s how I lived. That’s how I died. – George Kao
I’m not going to try to sell anybody on anything. I’m going to speak the truth and I’m going to invite from the heart. Doing this since 2016, the finances have just gone up every single year.
When I was ‘chase chase chase money,’ I was always just trying to sell everybody. And I never really had a waiting list even though I had a bigger audience then. It wasn’t until I became authentic and I stopped selling in that way that I had a waiting list. And 2020, the pandemic year, has been the best year in my business in a long time.
Check in with yourself at least once an hour to say, ‘Let me come back to what I believe is deeply true about life, what I know is going to be my destiny and what I’m really here to do.’ If we check in frequently and we do the right actions in business from a place of love, it really does work. – George Kao
Weave spirituality and authenticity throughout the entire day and throughout everything you do. – Berni Xiong
I see content as a ministry, as a cause…I’m gonna bless so many people, some of whom may never buy from me, and I am perfectly okay with that. – George Kao
George’s three practical ongoing actions you can take to operate with heart and love and make things work out:
- Content creation and distribution
- Rhythm of offers
Content Creation and Distribution:
What is content creation?
- Content creation means exploring your life’s experiences and the things you’ve already learned and, then, sharing it publicly.
- Instead of thinking “content is something I have to do so I can get clients,” a more authentic way to create content: Can I create content for my own growth, for my own exploration, through public journaling?
- Public journaling is primarily about inner exploration and for outer service.
Don’t think you’re creative or have much to share?
- Don’t attach yourself to the outcome. Just know that—no matter what—you’re growing, you’re getting more creative, you’re getting smarter by writing or by making videos or by recording podcasts, and doing it consistently.
- See content as a ministry, as a cause: “I’m going to bless so many people, some of whom may never buy from me, and I am perfectly okay with that. If I do it consistently, I will get better at it. And if I get better at it, more people are going to want to read or watch or listen. And, as my audience grows, I’m going to get clients.”
Rhythm of Offers
Why have a rhythm of offers?
- Too many of us don’t invite our audience on a regular basis to work with us. So your audience sees you sharing wonderful, heartfelt wisdom, tips, experiences, stories, and thinks you’re doing it as a hobby.
- You actually have to remind them on a regular basis what your business, your product and your service is.
How do we make an offer?
- You can make a post on your social media and say: “Hey everyone, I love the work that I do with clients. I just love to work with people who are going through [this transition] in their life or are going through [that struggle] or trying to reach [that goal] or trying to experience [this]. And what I love doing for them is [this work] and [that work]. So if this sounds interesting, reach out to me, I’d love to talk with you about whether I can help you with [this] or whether we can play together on [this] and grow together.”
What should we be offering?
- Whether it’s a service you provide or an online course of yours or talking about your book, have a regular rhythm invitations and announcements. Remember, you’re just sharing something you would anyway as a personal growth exercise also knowing that it’s going to help a lot of people.
- When I sell, I don’t beat around the bush with tons of content cleverly trying to sell you something. You can be really upfront and ask your audience for referrals. They like you, so why wouldn’t they want your business to succeed? Or why wouldn’t they want their friend to know?
How will I know if it’s a good offer / if anyone will be interested?
- Think of rhythm of offers as inviting your audience to remember what you do and something you can help with because you love doing it.
- Whenever you make an invitation or announcement, it is always a market test. If anytime we are attached to an outcome, that’s when suffering happens. That’s when desperation happens.
- Make your offer light. Make it say “Hey, I love doing [this] and I’m really curious when I talk about [this], does it interest any of you?” If not, that means you’ll have to talk about it in a different way.
How often should we offer something to our audience?
- Offer something at least once a month, if not once every two weeks.
- If you invite people to your services every two weeks, then you have 26 experiments every year.
- Collaborations make work more fun and business more fun.
- Being a solopreneur means you don’t have a team, but it doesn’t mean you can’t play with other solopreneurs.
- People tend to trust us more quickly when we’re promoting or advocating for somebody else instead of just tooting our own horn.
What are good ways to collaborate?
- You can get into affiliate relationships with other service providers, if it feels appropriate. You get paid a small commission for referring business or vice versa.
- The simplest collaboration is unpaid. You can interview each other for your respective audiences.
What if we’re competing in the same line of work or industry?
- I never think about competitors anymore. I replaced that word with the term “niche mate.” Niche mate is someone who is in the same niche as you are.
- You want to be friends with your niche mates because they are either your best partners or best teachers (or both) since they’re in the same niche. If you watch what they do, you can learn a lot because it’s hard to look at ourselves, except in a mirror.
- So if you watch how he does things and you like how he does that, maybe you can emulate that. Or if you don’t like how he did that, you’ll make sure you don’t do that in your business.
George Kao is an “authentic business coach” who advocates for integrity and compassion in marketing, instead of the predatory tactics that we’ve all experienced as consumers. George has self-published 4 books, created over a dozen online courses, has personally coached hundreds of clients, and offers many free videos about authentic marketing and joyful productivity at his website, GeorgeKao.com.