Once upon a time, your pal Tyronius was in a cult…
Ok, not exactly.
More like I was an extremely fringe member of a ‘cult-like’ organization.
And lest you jump to any conclusions:
I didn’t worship a guru, or abandon my family, or hop in a VW bus and cross the country, or do any of the stereotypical culty things.
And the organization I’m referring to isn’t exactly a cult either.
Here’s what happened:
A few years back I decided to deepen my meditation practice and as a result, began exploring teachers.
I’ve never had a personal 1-1 teacher, but I’ve done my fair share of reading, studying, and practice. And, along the way, a very kind Zen monk gifted me a book by a guy named Reggie Ray.
I was immediately hooked. Reggie cut through a lot of the typical Buddhist and meditation stuff and seemed to get to the heart of the teachings. And he did it in a way that was extremely interesting to me.
He brought in connections to mythology, Jungian psychology, evolution, movement, and various indigenous Earth-based traditions, all of which interests me.
So I became a “student from afar”, listening to his Dharma talks, reading his books, studying his teachers, and even investing in a few online courses his organization ran.
So even though I wasn’t part of the organization in any official capacity, I did feel an affinity to the group. And even had plans of attending future retreats and pursuing a 1-1 teacher from the group.
Fast forward a year or two and this teacher/organization got accused of some sketchy things. It wasn’t your usual sexual abuse scandal that’s all too common in Buddhist organizations. But there were accusations of what some are calling “spiritual abuse”.
Now as someone on the outside, it’s extremely hard to know what really was going on. Because of the intensive nature of the practices this organization taught, I think it’s completely possible that this “abuse” was really just high-level teaching that certain students couldn’t handle.
That being said, the fact that so many people felt abused and taken advantage of, is a sign that something wasn’t quite right.
The moral of the story?
Well I’m guessing a lot of you don’t care about meditation and care even less about Buddhism (though some of you on my list came from when I was consulting for meditation teachers, so perhaps this is more interesting to you). But what you do care about is growing your business through email marketing. And one thing that happened to this group, shows the “fringe benefits” of email marketing.
Specifically, they’ve been able to communicate with their followers via email, which means that I’ve been getting info “straight from the horse’s mouth” instead of relying only on internet gossip (where I first heard about this scandal).
And even though the vast majority of you out there will never face a scandal on this level (this scandal has effectively shut down the organization and sent the teacher into “hiding”), it’s very likely that as you grow your business and come into the spotlight, some sort of scandal will arise.
Even if it’s just some silly rumors that float around (or, someone maliciously attacks you… which happens far more than you may think).
If you have a channel of communication you regularly utilize, and if you’ve used that channel of communication to build relationships with your audience, then you can easily use that channel to set the story straight (the Hearstian in me says you can use it to “control the narrative”, which sounds more 1984 then it actually is).
And no, what I’m talking about probably won’t net you any sales today or tomorrow. But if you do have something awry arise, it could potentially save your brand and your business.
There’s no guarantee. If some nasty rumor circulates about you, it’s almost certain to drive away some portion of your audience. But the ones who stick around and listened to reason through your email appeals, will be more bonded to you, more dedicated to YOUR mission, and more likely to buy your stuff.
I only bring this up to show one of the more subtle and untrackable benefits of email marketing. There are many more like this. Which we can discuss in the free consultation I give every new prospective client.
To set up that free consultation, simply reply to this email to get the ball rolling.