Promoting Conscious Consumption Part 1: Accepting Support

By December 31, 2014 Sustainability

This is part one of our promoting conscious consumption series. We will follow up next week with a new part.

The times when people bought things indiscriminately are starting to pass

Rather than buying what’s cheap and easily available, the internet and other technologies have made it possible for people to consciously choose the products and services they buy.

A greater awareness has made people more conscious about the effect that their consumption has on the world.  Not only do we all want to have the possibility of choosing a higher quality of item, we also want to feel good about what we purchase. We want the products and services we support to align with our personal values and principles. This will only become a greater priority as time goes on and we become more aware about our impact on the world and the things we buy.

Not only can we choose things, we have the power to consciously choose what to put into our bodies, into our hearts, and into our minds. Even though it’s beyond our power to control every single aspect of what we consume, ever small step helps move us in the right direction.

So, it makes sense to offer things that align with our values in a way that’s clear and makes it easy for people to decide to buy from us or do business with us. You buy from your heart. Now, how can you offer that option to your customers too?

Part One: Accepting Support

Others truly want to support you. 

One of my own personal greatest struggles in entrepreneurship is realizing that others want to support my business too. As an empathetic person, I tend to focus very highly on the needs of others sometimes at the expense of my own. One of my great joys is seeing clients happy and grateful with the work we’ve done together with them.

But, another part of me tends to feel that people are generally thinking the general marketing maxim “What’s in it for me?”. This might be partially true sometimes, but not all the time and in all circumstances. I do truly believe that others others like to see us thrive and do good work. When we do good work, they do by extension as well.

The healthier our business is, the better quality of services we can provide our clients and more present we can be for them. Our own branding agency work for clients is based on a highly in-depth process, which means that we can’t offer simple “quick and easy” jobs for them. But, we can offer “worthwhile”, and that’s enough.

I think a lot of the time people don’t understand why we go through all of the different exercises and processes we do. We try to make everything as fun as possible, but there’s a gap to fill before you start seeing things take shape that feels uncomfortable in the way that things do when things aren’t all solved and in place yet. Yet, when we see how excited people are when they see it all come together and the level of understanding that follows, it all makes sense.

Just as we ask our clients to take a small leap of faith when they first sign on with us and place trust in our process, so can you.

Some ways to help people support your business might include:

  • Sharing your story. Most of us want to support a story that supports our worldview, is the sort of story we’d like to have ourselves, or that makes us feel something profound and meaningful. We all have our own amazing stories, so it makes sense to share them with the world.
  • Making sure you have a process developed along with the proper boundaries so that you don’t feel like you have to take shortcuts. You can and must be the host.
  • Charging a fair rate so that you can make a living and feel good about what you offer. I’m not a believer in the idea of “charging what you’re worth”. Value is arbitrary and there are marketplace and other factors that affect rates. So, when I say to charge a fair rate, I mean that you must charge a rate that covers your expenses and makes you feel safe and taken care of.
  • Helping your clients see you as an active partner in their business, not just a provider. This means taking on responsibility for the work you do for them and its impact on their business.
  • Remember that people actually love to help others. If you need help, ask for it and provide information so that people can feel good about supporting you. You might be surprised at how generous people truly are when they believe in a good cause.

Perhaps most importantly of all, remember that you are worthy of accepting support. You’re here because you’re contributing to the world and you deserve to have your space to do what you desire in a healthy and sustainable way. This means that you must accept support in order to continue with your work.

Coming soon! Part 2: Be Unique, But Not too Unique

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