Social Media Marketing and the Cultural Creative

Many of you know that I came from the music industry. I’ve been everything from an opera singer to a symphony violinist, from an accompanist for belly dancers to a strolling Mariachi, from an electro-pop keyboardist to a 90s rave trance producer. I worked with, taught, recorded and coached creative artists for over 40 years. Over the past 5 years I’ve devoted myself to working with another branch of creative artist–non-fiction writers. And from my experience, if there’s one thing ALL these right- and whole-brain creatives resist even more than sticking to one artistic venture at a time, it’s business and marketing. The end result of this resistance can often be devastating, leading to decades of sub-standard living, perpetuating the classic image of the “starving artist”. Even worse, all too many creatives I have known give up on their dreams because they simply cannot make a living at what they do. This leaves them feeling both unfulfilled and like social flunkies. It can even make them ill. Eventually, heir confidence wanes, giving them even less emotional “fuel” to succeed.

But what constitutes “success” for the masses is often not part of the equation for the creative soul. Many creatives regard business and marketing as “predatory” and they refuse to be successful at the risk of their “integrity”. However, because they have no alternative approach or paradigm to reach “success”, they simply suffer. And therein lies the problem.

It was this observation that originally inspired me to sit down to write The 7 Graces of Marketing back in 2010. I wanted to help creatives and other similarly “sensitive” people see that they could create a different paradigm for marketing that didn’t entail turning them into “predators”, which was intrinsically against their nature. But while that book showed a lot of statistics about the connection between “old school” marketing and socioeconomic change (mostly for the worse), it showed only a vision or theory of the 7 Graces. What it did not do was provide a manual of practical ways to make it happen. And really, if you look at any movement in history, ideological change always comes about in the same order:

1) The observation comes first

2) The theory or vision comes as a result of the observation and

3) The proof or practical application comes after the theory.

If you’ve ever seen the excellent film Einstein and Eddington (I watched it over the holidays), you can see this three-fold process in action as mainstream scientific thought shifted from classical Newtonian physics to a more relative view of the Universe.

“Ideological change always comes about in the same order: 1) observation; 2) theory or vision; 3) proof or practical application.”

Since The 7 Graces of Marketing was published in December 2011, a community of people have been gathering organically around the 7 Graces ethos. We have a thriving Facebook group and a London MeetUp group. We meet regularly in person and online. We are not all “creatives” in the traditional sense of the word. But we are all what might best be called cultural creatives: those who have been attracted to the idea of the 7 Graces want to create a different paradigm in business and marketing.

So now that we are past the “observation” and “theory/vision” stages of this ideological shift, it’s time for practical action to begin. But where do we start? Well, if there’s one valuable thing we can learn from watching party politics, it’s that the antidote to one extreme is rarely (if ever) the opposite. Continually shifting from Tory to Labour, or from Democrat to Republican, just results in a relentless pendulum swing that takes us nowhere. Similarly, if we toss out marketing on the grounds it is “predatory” and passively expect our dinner to come to us, we’re likely to turn the whole of society to starving artists.

But what if we take the creative approach to marketing? What if we use our natural inclination to conceive, cultivate and nurture instead of capture and dominate? What if we become farmers instead of hunters? Or, even better, what if we take the positive aspects to “hunting” in marketing (such as conducting marketing research and being pro-actively engaged) and combine them with the long-term, nurturing of “farming”. And finally, what if we combined all of that with new communication technologies? What wonderful new marketing model could we create by combining the best of who we are with the best of who we have been?

And to that end, I have just published a new book, a logical follow up to The 7 Graces of Marketing. It’s got a cute name, but I assure you it’s a serious book. It’s called Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically. This time, I HAVE written a practical guide, holding the “vision” of the 7 Graces within it. My idea for the book came as a direct result of requests from our 7 Graces Facebook community. I asked them what they wanted, and they said they wanted to know how they could apply the 7 Graces at a practical level in their own marketing. Parallel to this, within the span of a few weeks, I must have heard at least a dozen people tell me they “just didn’t get Twitter”. Then it suddenly dawned on me that this was the Universe’s way of saying the time for writing about theory and vision had passed; we are now in the proof and practical stage.

Tweep-e-licious took me five months to complete, from concept to publication. It’s nearly 300 pages long. It’s the fastest book I’ve ever written. I have to tell you, I’m very happy with it. It was nice being able to write something practical, and something so many people seemed to want (rather than just something I wanted to write).

If you’re wondering “Why Twitter?”, I give many good reasons WHY Twitter is important in the introduction of the book, as well as why it is such a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Throughout the body of the book, I take you through all the steps and strategies I use with my own marketing clients to help them build and cultivate their marketing platform on Twitter.

Now, you might think writing a book on Twitter is a big diversion from the topic of “ethics” in the 7 Graces, but I assure you is it absolutely vital. Social media has fundamentally transformed the way we communicate in a very short span of time. I can think of nothing in history that has altered our communication paradigm more than Facebook and Twitter. And I would argue that Twitter and text messaging (owing to the way they are structured) are possibly the most radical shift in our communication model we have ever seen. Because of this, I believe it is vitally important that we as a society consciously create the culture and ethical underpinnings of Twitter. And wouldn’t it be amazing if, in doing so, we were able to kick-start that practical “paradigm shift” in marketing so many cultural creatives crave?

If you’ve read to the end of this article, my guess is you’re a cultural creative (even if you didn’t know it). So let’s get creating. Creation is an active process. Vision is great, but it’s time for action. Let’s get Tweeting and change the world.

~Lynn Serafinn
6 January 2013

Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. You can read more about the book or purchase it HERE. On that page, you can also get instant access to a free 90-minute #Tweepelicious Twitter audio class. Just go to listen to your free class.


As always, please do share your comments and reflections below.

Lynn Serafinn author of The 7 Graces of MarketingLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestsellerThe 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell’. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise. Her latest book, Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically is out now on Kindle and paperback.

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