"Debate is masculine, conversation is feminine."
~ Amos Bronson Alcott
Have you ever thought about how advertising works? Is marketing part of your line of work? Are you one of the facilitators or workshop leaders on my list who needs help getting your message across?
The fact is, you can’t set foot in the outside world nowadays without being bombarded by advertising. Actually, our inside world is being increasingly invaded as well, it seems like the only way to avoid ads is to pay for an exclusive ad-free service of some sort.
That’s one of the hidden benefits that people report to me after they make the switch to vinyl records in the home. Unlike the online on-demand music services like YouTube, there’s no ad placement on a turntable!
But that’s an aside to the main point I want to make this morning. On the heels of International Women’s Day, I feel inspired to talk to you about the difference between masculine and feminine business models. Obviously, there’s more than one way to float your marketing boat, but I trust this metaphor will be helpful.
If you’ve ever spent much time with marketing people, you’ve probably heard phrases like “crushing the competition,” “dominating your demographic,” or “nailing your target market.”
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with those phrases per se, that sort of language can be uncomfortable if your goal is to create a loving container and attract people to a workshop, or even further removed co-create or collaborate with a colleague.
The thing to remember is that masculine energy is electric and feminine energy is magnetic. They are both perfectly balanced and valuable in nature, so it behooves us to understand them better in order to make use of the advantages of either to suit our purposes.
Electric masculine energy is outwardly focused, scanning the horizon with a line of sight that seeks connection. Magnetic feminine energy focuses inward, with feeling, creating a warm and inviting container.
So the language you use should suit the energy you are intending. You see the masculine model used far more often in mass marketing where the idea is to hit a large number of people with a scattershot approach. And all too often you’ll notice the dark side of this being manipulated with the amplification of fear and the projection of inadequacy.
When you extend the feminine metaphor to marketing you said see that it’s not so much of a numbers game as it is more about aligning with people who are a match. People are naturally magnetized where the energetics are congruent.
At the end of the day, all marketing is storytelling. (Sales, on the other hand, are about persuasion, but that’s a topic for another day.) Your story is always what people are going to encounter first.
So is it the heroic tale of what a great hunter you are? Or is it such a fascinating story about the nest you create that people can’t help but share it?
I often find myself helping our Dance First members with marketing and promotions. Quite often people are only looking for a dozen or two participants to fill a workshop or retreat. It’s really common for people to be completely burned out with wasted effort trying to reach a huge audience online.
When it comes to marketing, word-of-mouth is the cornerstone. So rather than hoping that you will pull a few needles out of the haystack of the millions of random people on social media, the question to ask is how can you get a few people who believe in you to talk about you more?
This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight below is an example of what I mean. A few years ago when I started working with Wendy Roman, she was simply trying to get enough people to make the trip up to Canada to fill her summer retreat.
As I got to know her better, I realized that she had far more to offer than what she could comfortably include in a weeklong retreat. So we got creative together and came up with a way to “expand her container” to create a much richer experience for her participants.
So now the week spent in person at her Rhythmwood Retreat Centeron the spectacular Bruce Peninsula of Ontario is just one part of the 12-week transformative Rhythmwood Soul Journey that the group experiences together. An extended preliminary program is completed with a post-retreat follow up to come full circle.
With several online meetings and self-guided somatic experiences under their belts beforehand, the women are steeped in Wendy’s methodology and well acquainted with one another by the time they arrive. They are able to drop in deeply right off the bat and make the most of their time together in person.
Aside from the fact that her retreats are now regularly selling out, (she also does a winter trip to Costa Rica), one of the biggest benefits has been the positive change in her day-to-day activities. Instead of beating her head against the wall trying to figure out Facebook ads, she’s getting better results by focusing on what she loves.
Designing the curriculum, shooting videos, writing extended descriptions, and basically creating a unique and deeply satisfying container is far more satisfying and in tune with her spirit than trying to reach millions of people with just the right slogan.
One of the big surprises for her is how many of her participants keep coming back. Besides the fact that she has built something that people want to tell their friends about, they are also happy to experience it over and over.
So if you ever have a reason to reach an audience with a marketing story, think about which gender approach suits them best. It has nothing to do with whether you want to attract women or men to your work, it’s more about the energetics of what you are offering.
Whether you are feeling magnetic or electric today, make the most of it!
Much love till next Monday!
Dance First Member Spotlight :: Wendy Roman and her Rhythmwood Soul Journey!
This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight shines on Wendy Roman and her upcoming Rhythmwood Soul Journey! Wendy is a long-time stalwart of the Conscious Dancer community and a valuable member of the Dance First Association. She’s also the co-founder and operator of the Rhythmwood Retreat Center, located on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula of Ontario, Canada.
Wendy has designed her annual calendar to include two epic journeys that you can participate in. During the cold winter months she leads a group retreat in Costa Rica, and during the warm days of summer, she hosts a group on her home turf. With a broad background in the somatic arts including Soul Motion, Nia, and Dance Our Way Home, Wendy brings her nature-based sensibilities to her facilitation to create a unique and memorable experience.
The summer Rhythmwood Soul Journey is more than just an epic dance retreat at her exclusive residential retreat center, it’s a 12-week expanded experience of connection that begins months before and extends afterwards with the aid of group video conferencing and topics for personal exploration and reflection. Brown Buffalo Woman says ”Rhythmwood Soul Journey gave me the space to breathe in a radical acceptance of who I am.”
I’m especially enthused about the format of the Rhythmwood Soul Journey because I helped her design it! The idea of an expanded container of care, where the participants can begin to create their bonds of connection and start to embody the teachings well before coming together in person is a splendid example of the feminine business model I teach people about.
Expanding the opportunity for integration and sharing by having an online post-retreat meet-up is another way that this extended model of a journey is enhanced. With loving intention and focus provided early, much of the ‘getting acquainted’ is out of the way once folks arrive in person, and the ability to drop in deeply right off the bat is enhanced.
The full title is “Rhythmwood Soul Journey: Dance of the Feminine Spirit – A women’s experiential journey of inner discovery through body, heart and soul.” Participant Enza Gaumond says “If you want to spread your wings and connect with the wild and sacred woman within you, this is the retreat for you!”
Rhythmwood is an amazing hand-hewn log and stone homestead, straw bale earthen dance studio and residential retreat center that has been consciously created and built by Wendy & Rick Roman. It’s evolution is an amazing story of dreams and determination that took place over the last 27 years. You’ll enjoy home-cooked and mostly home grown meals, beautiful nearby beaches, and cozy lodgings.Check out this video Wendy made to show you the place!
Space is limited, and and there are only a few spots left. You’ll want to reserve your space right away so as to be ready when the journey begins with the first online meeting and self-guided somatic exploration. Here’s what Esther Gieringer had to say: “Rhythmwood Soul Journey has been a sacred and magical experience. The deep connection to the feminine spirit, embraced my soul allowing me to break free and soar.”
The public Early Bird discount expired on February 28th, but Wendy has kindly offered the same $200 discount to anyone who hears about it from me and mentions my name when signing up. With the first online assignments and meetings happening in the middle of May, now is the time to get in touch with Wendy and RSVP.
The entire Rhythmwood Soul Journey experience runs from May 16th to August 8th, with the residential retreat happening July 7-12.
Learn more and save your spot at