A lot of people don’t realize that your retreat doesn’t start on the day when your participants arrive, or even when you arrive at the venue to prepare. Your retreat actually begins way back before any of that – when you first have the spark of an idea for your retreat, then make that commitment, and the soul of the retreat is born.
From that point onward, you will find lessons emerging to prepare you to become the leader your retreat needs you to be. You can think of it as a kind of “initiation” from Spirit to enable you to embody the soul of the retreat.
Sometimes, it comes in the form of beautiful, ease-filled insights and downloads. You might get clear insight into the activities you’re going to include, the people who are going to come, or the transformation that will take place. One of my clients received the name and theme for her retreat in a dream one night. These are wonderful signs you are on the right track!
And other times, the preparation you need to undergo feels much more challenging.
Marketing can be part of your transition into leadership
I hear variations on this statement from so many retreat leaders – both new and experienced:
“I know when I get up in front of the room it’s all going to be fine. It’s only the marketing I find hard.”
And when I hear someone saying that, I smile. Because it’s telling me that their transformation into the leader their retreat needs them to be has started.
When you market your retreat, you need to do three things:
- Connect with your ideal clients and understand deeply, and with compassion, the transformation they need/ desire (how you will serve them)
- Share your work and the gift you are going to give in a compelling, authentic way that really conveys the value of the work
- Show up and be seen in your full power and magnificence – embodying the energy that will inspire people to be drawn to you as a leader
The truth is, you cannot do those things – and effectively market the retreat you are going to lead – unless you are already standing in the energy you will be in when your participants gather in the room and your retreat begins.
So if marketing feels challenging or “sticky”, it probably means that you are not yet aligned with the energy of leadership you are being called to create.
How your leadership lessons can present themselves
Depending on the kind of transformation your retreat is going to create, the challenges it can begin to present can show up in infinite ways.
My most recent retreat, Lazy Bee, had a clear intention to transform our relationship with time. As you can imagine, all kinds of opportunities to look at how I relate to time began to present themselves!
Perhaps someone you knew would almost certainly sign up as soon as you made them the offer decides that this was not an opportunity they were interested in.
Maybe you find yourself struggling to come up with the right words to talk about your offer. You’d planned to offer a webinar to build interest but the ideas just won’t come.
Or you get stuck when it comes to pricing – should you offer an early bird rate? What would a payment plan look like? And if someone gives you a compelling reason for a discount, is it unfair to tell them they have to pay full price?
Notice what your most recent challenges have been. What are they showing you about what is ready to be transformed or transmuted for you to become the leader you are meant to be?
See your challenges as energy
When we’re able to lovingly observe and become present to ideas, beliefs or patterns that are ready to be transformed or released, we can see them for what they are: energy.
Is it an energy around receiving that has you caught up? Around speaking up and being heard? About taking up too much space or owning your value?
Whatever it is that’s ready to be transformed is asking you to give your loving attention to it. It may be something that you’ve never before shared with anyone else, or had validated. And that’s often a really important part of your evolving journey: to accept and honor the parts of you you’ve previously kept hidden or shielded.
When we can see and be with that which we’ve never shared it no longer has a hold on us.
Marketing is more than just actions
So if marketing your retreat feels hard, or you find yourself wishing you could just be in front of the room instead of talking and sharing about what you’re doing, take a moment.
Ask yourself what energy is being brought to your awareness.
Bring your loving attention to it.
And, either for yourself or with someone you trust, honor and acknowledge that part of you so that you can transmute the energy it holds.
You don’t have to do it alone
Becoming a leader of empowering retreats is a journey of transformation, and having the right support can allow you to become the leader your Soul is calling you to be. If you’d like to talk to one of our team about how you can get what you need to bring your retreat to life, contact Julie, our Associate Coach, to book in a call. We love to help retreat leaders like you create fulfilling, profitable, transformational experiences. Click here to book your call.