The most important detail overlooked by pagan online businesses when building a brand

Building your brand is the most important thing to any business. Your brand is your opportunity to show transparency and offer a welcome mat. It is the hospitality of your business. Consumers want to feel like you know exactly what they’re looking for; they want to trust you. The most overlooked detail when building a brand is that the brand is commonly focused on the owner or operator’s vision. When you only focus on the vision of the owner or operator there is little room to grow your target audience and increase sales.

See most of us were taught that we need to focus on The 4P’s of Marketing which are:

Product or Service: What does the customer want from the product or service? What needs does it satisfy?

Place: Where do customers look for your product or service? If they look in a store, what kind? A specialist boutique or in a supermarket, or both? Or online?

Price: What is the value of the product or service to the customer?

Promotion: Where and when can you get across your marketing messages to your target market? How will you reach your audience will it be by advertising online, in the press, or on TV, or radio ads, or on billboards?

"Drink Coca-Cola 5¢", an 1890s advertising poster showing a woman in fancy clothes
“Drink Coca-Cola 5¢”, an 1890s advertising poster showing a woman in fancy clothes

It’s different now! now we must implement The 4 C’s of Marketing which are:

Customer: Product or service worth, competitive advantage and market positioning.

In order to use the 4Cs marketing concept, you must clearly identify your target audience/customer and keep in mind that you may be targeting more than one group.

Cost: Affordability, satisfaction and value using the 4 C’s you must look at cost from the consumer’s point of view, they are looking for a deal.

Communication: Customer Engagement “What’s in it for them? Social Media Engagement.

Convenience: Purchasing barriers and online sales. In the world of technology, convenience is valuable.

Now that we have a clear understanding of the 4 P’s and the 4 C’s of Marketing.

Now we can see that when selling our products and services we must keep the consumer in mind. In this day in age we have more competitors than ever and our brand must be universal. By Universal I mean expanding your target audience with emotional marketing. Emotional Marketing is when the consumer feels empowered by the message that you are sending through your Advertisements, Logo, Website and ALL of your Social Media Channels.

Let’s take Nike for instance. They truly do have a universal feel and it’s because the focus on the evolution of one’s personal growth and development. Now ask yourself how can you make your product or service have that same effect? It’s quite simply actually…..Implement emotional marketing in the core of your branding.

Image of marketing for Charissa's Cauldron
Image of marketing for Charissa’s Cauldron

You must paint the picture of what it could look or feel like to the consumer. The consumer must have a mental or visual experience that triggers emotions that prompts them to buy and encourage others to have this fabulous experience or product. Your brand must create a moment of magic for each potential customer.

Now that we have all of that out of the way, here comes the fun part. I want you to take time to re-evaluate your brand and make sure your core values still show. Then I want you to ask yourself what will it take to prompt your targeted customer purchase? Really think about it, what would be the best way to experience for you to experience your own product or service? And build from there.

Short Bio

Shalena is hands on with her Family, Friends and her Community, because they are what’s most important to her. She believes in helping other reach their full potential. Raised in the Christian faith as a child she always felt like something was missing, that there was more to life. As life went on she realized that she has a deep connection with nature and began to research religions that were nature based. It was then she found Wicca and now she has Pagan/Christian Roots and Beliefs.

She is the founder of SWINC Corporation, SWINC Marketing and The People’s Tax Company. She created SWINC Marketing in 2014 because she has a passion for help small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. She has been a freelance Marketer over the past 7 years. She has helped local schools, small businesses and entrepreneurs on paid and unpaid projects. She understands the need for affordable marketing solutions and genuinely wants to help the small business community.

 

Shalena Ward

Marketing Expert

Multi Business Owner

Pagan/Christian Roots and Beliefs

Wife and Mother

Nature Witch

Luna Dragonfly

www.swincmarketing.com

sward@swincmarketing.com

(248) 733-3792

The Frugal Witch and her Working Tools Part 1

Working tools are those of which you will want or need to be able to practice your Craft for Rituals, Sabbats, and other magical workings that are dedicated to your tradition. I will be giving you examples of different tools that are used in many different Paths and what you can use in place of the more expensive versions of them.

KNIFE

The Athame is mainly used for directing energy in magical Rites. This can be used for creating circles, calling the corners, even for adding salt to water. The Athame is associated with fire and the masculine aspect so this can also be used to represent the God on your altar.

Some Paths have certain distinctions of how this knife should be. Some say that they have to be double-edged, some single-edged, some say dull, some say sharp. I believe that your Athame can be of any shape, size, color, dullness, or sharpness that you are comfortable with. You do not have to purchase an expensive knife. In a pinch you can use a regular knife right out of your kitchen. I found my Athame at a thrift Store many years ago. It is double-edged and dull and is steel with a green on the handle. This knife called to me and I paid all of 50 cents for it. You can use whatever you are comfortable with.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

BROOM (BESOM)

This tool is used for cleaning away negativity from ritual areas and circles as well as at some Handfastings. The Besom is a very powerful fertility symbol. I have 2 small Brooms that I keep near my altar. I purchased these also at thrift stores for around a dollar a piece. I always have my Besoms brush side up to protect it from unwanted energies.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

THE BELL

The Bell is not a common tool but it is used in some Paths. You can use this tool to invoke the God or Goddess, to call for the Watchtowers or corners, to ward off negative energies, to welcome positive energies, or even during your Rituals or Rites to signify a beginning or end. It is basically up to you on how you would like to use this tool unless your path already has a use for it. I have a small bell that I purchased at a yard sale for 2 dollars.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

CAULDRON

These were found in the homes hanging over a freshly lit fire and always had something bubbling in them. They are now made today in many shapes and sizes and are used in Pagan practices with water for scrying and also to build small fires in. I have a small brass Cauldron that sits on my Altar that I use specifically for burning incense in or if I am working on a spell where a fire is involved I can place a small one in there. It is of personal preference as to what size you want or need and even if you need one at all. I found mine again at a thrift store and only paid a few dollars for it.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

CHALICE OR CUP

The Chalice is used for libations during Ritual or Rites for holding water, wine, or juice. It is also a symbol for the Goddess and can be used to represent Her on your altar. It can be as grand as a jeweled silver goblet to a regular ordinary juice glass from your kitchen cupboard. I love checking yard sales and thrift store shopping so I love looking for a single wine glass or champagne flute that has a beautiful color or cut to the glass. You can normally purchase something like this from 25 cents to a couple of dollars depending on where you find it.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

PENTACLE

Most Altars have a Pentacle on them. This can be made of wood, metal, clay, or even a picture of one in a nice dollar store frame. If you are a crafty person you could make one of clay or just purchase a small round piece of wood or metal and paint a Pentacle on this. Not so crafty, find a picture of one that you like and glue it onto a piece of wood, cardboard, metal, or encase it in a frame. Mine was a gift from a fellow Witch who made them.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

STAFF

This is used in some traditions to mark quarter points or to hold banners representing certain elements or symbolic flags. The Staff is also used similarly to the Wand. You can purchase one of these already made or you can make one of your own. If you decide to make one of your own, it is a pretty simple endeavor. I love to be able to take walks in the woods. I find it very relaxing. If you have the opportunity to be able to do this, listen carefully to the wind and the sounds around you. Look around you, on the ground or up in the trees and focus your mind on finding a Staff for yourself. You may find the perfect branch laying on the ground or even a low hanging branch. If you are going to cut it off the tree make sure that you ask the tree for permission first and thank it after. Once you have your perfect Staff you can then clean it up, paint, it, stain it, add cords or ribbons or even gems to it. It is totally up to you on what you want it to be. My Staff was a lonely piece of wood I found on the ground.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

SWORD

The Sword is used in a very similar way as an Athame. It can be used to cast circles and call the four corners, however if you are in a small area it may not be practical to use a Sword. If you do wish to use one, always look around at yard sales, thrift stores and even online to find what you are looking for at a price you can afford. Mine was purchased at a yard sale many years ago for just five dollars.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

THURIBLE OR INCENSE BURNER

This can be your Cauldron if you are going to be burning incense on a charcoal or you can purchase an incense stick holder rather inexpensively at a dollar store. Some people prefer to have a censer that hangs on a chain so that they can use the smoke to purify the circle as they walk around it. This again is of your own personal preference. I use stick and cone incense quite a bit so my stick incense holder was purchased at a dollar store and the cone holder (my Buddha) came from a thrift store for three dollars.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

WAND

The Wand represents Air and Male energy so this can also be used to represent the God on your altar. Wands are used in a very similar fashion as the Athame and Sword. These can be made from glass, copper, silver, or other metals but are usually made of wood. Just as the Staff you can make these yourself by purchasing a dowel from a hardware store or even using a small branch. I have a beautiful piece of driftwood that I found and I decorate it with ribbons and gems for whatever use I need it for. It is always changing and I love having the ability to do that. One little side note to this, if you do not have an Athame, Sword, Wand or Staff you can direct energy just by using your finger. The energy direction has more to do with intent than it does with the actual tool you are using.

DSCN1643

INCENSE

This is used for cleansing the area, tools, or space you are working in. It also helps clarify your mind and helps with meditation, not to mention making your home smell nice. Different scents are used for different reasons. The least expensive way to go is to burn sticks. You can find many different varieties and they are usually less expensive than cones or making your own. However, if you are going to burn powdered incense or fresh and you do not have a fire proof container to burn them in, a bucket or old coffee can with sand or salt in it is another inexpensive route to take.

©Ravenwings 2016
©Ravenwings 2016

Keep an eye out for part 2 of this article coming soon!

Rose Miller ~ Ravenwings.

Riding the winds with Diane Lonsway of Michigan Pagan Fest

Diane Lonsway is the firebrand behind the Michigan Pagan Fest that has become an international phenomenon.  Beautiful in mind and soul, forthright, and down to earth, she embodies the drive and vision that can be found among the best of us.  She is also, as typical of many people who do the work involved to make things really happen, a name you may not know.  She took a moment to allow a brief interview on who she is and what she does for this powerful event.

Diane Lonsway with Permission
Diane Lonsway
with Permission

Take a moment and pull up a chair while we get to know heart of Michigan Pagan Fest.

How would you describe yourself if you were talking about you?

Laid back, humble, smart, can be funny, people-pleaser.

What would you say describes you specifically as an event organizer?

I’m organized, experienced, and friendly, hate drama, listens to my attendees and staff.

How does this affect the way you see the world?

It’s my world and I only see it that way lol.

 How did you get started, where did you begin your journey?

Started at the Florida Pagan Gathering in 1998 helping with sound than moved onto video, photography and the website. I still do the photography and website and eat with the headliners.

Who would you say was the most influential on your style.of management and organization?

Roger Coleman who founded FPG and the current board president of FPG, Ann Marie.

What makes Florida and Michigan different? In what ways are they sort of alike?

MPF is smaller and location is easier to handle. We run on a dozen or so minions and volunteers. FPG requires so much more staff. FPG is a non-profit, MPF is not. We host many of the same headliners and musicians.

How are the communities in respect to their attendance and preference of programming?

Michigan Pagan Fest public symbol

I have seen FPG close to 700 people and as low as 350 with other festivals popping up in Florida. Programming is similar.

What do you look for when you are headhunting headliners?

My personal friendships and knowledge of many them helps. We ask who people would like to see and go after them.

When you decided to take on the Land of the Fresh Water Seas, what was your biggest challenge?

It was an accident! We didn’t actually decide to do a festival at first. I am friends with Spiral Dance from Australia and one of their tour stops in the U.S. canceled on them. They got a hold of me to see if there was someplace that would host them in Michigan. I had the perfect partner to help start this. She knew all the local people to assist and I knew all the headliners and had the experience of working FPG for many years.

In talking we decided to call some of the headliners whose numbers I had in my phone. Called Edain McCoy and she said absolutely, emailed Raven and Stephanie Grimassi and they were in. Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone also had a cancelation on their U.S. tour and when they heard we were having one they called me. So our first festival (although expensive and in the hole) was filled with amazing headliners and musicians.The first two years it was owned by a non-profit. I have personally owned it for the last five. The biggest challenge has been staying in the black. When you see and hear the attendee’s excitement, enjoyment and finally blissful exhaustion after it’s over you put all the aches and pains of doing this aside and realize why you do it.

What has been your greatest victory?

Breaking even to live another year.

 Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone
Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone – image by Sianna74
You call your volunteers Vikings? Why?This is new this year for our site/vikings people. Regular staff is called minions. Then we have our guardians. Vikings are setup and tear-down and emergency weather assistance for tents and canopies and have to stay the entire weekend. We just tossed out names when coming up with this department and it stuck. Volunteers are on-site only, they do not attend meetings.And what would you say is the biggest motivation behind your volunteer morale?People like being part of something bigger than themselves. For some it is the only way they can attend due to finances. We like to be drama free and treat our volunteers with respect.

Is this a labor of love?

You have no idea.

RD has been a big personality. Can you describe this larger than life entertainment dynamo?

He helped start the Atlanta underground drag shows. He has 2 doctorates. Enjoys the entertainment world and sings like you wouldn’t believe!

What can we expect this year at the festival?

We have 75 workshops, 24 vendors, Opening, Main, & Closing Rits, Peruvian Fire Ceremony, Bardic Circle, Variety Show, Midsummer Masquerade with Tommy Toons and of course camping and hotels.

It expanded too, right?

Yes, currently we are a four day festival.

What should folks pack who are camping out?

Depends. We have the option of the slumber party which is bring everything but the tent and claim your spot in the huge building.  If tenting it. Extra stakes (from experience) for your tents. If you have forgotten anything, Walmart and Meijer’s are right around the corner.

Any special tips for festival etiquette?

Always ask before taking someone’s picture. Do not throw anything into the sacred fire for the entire festival. No means no. Enjoy yourself! 

Now, if you had a theme song for this year. …what would it be

“Wind of Change” – Scorpions. Most words apply

This year, Diane has once again brought renowned people to the festival that just keeps getting better.  This year lasts from Jun 23 – 26, 2016.  Headliners include Judika Illes, MR Sellars, Orion Foxwood, and Lady Bona Dea.  Music, workshops, fire, drums, and magick.  Sounds like a heady mix to put the wind in anyone’s sails.  Thank you, Diane, for being who you are and doing what you do.