The old one-dimensional female archetypes -- the soccer mom, the starving artist, the successful-but-lonely boss lady -- are dead. Women are creating new, multidimensional archetypes and defying stereotypes. The most fulfilled women are constantly creating in multiple areas of their lives, whereas burnout often happens when we feel like the routine of our day job is all we have time for. The Archetypal Woman Series is a tribute to inspiring women who rearrange time and space to explore and excel in a range of activities. May their stories encourage you to expand into your own uniqueness for the benefit of you and everyone in your orbit.
Editor's note: Describing RA MA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology as a yoga studio is technically accurate, but completely inadequate. Six years on from its start in a single location in Venice, California, RA MA is now a global wellness conglomerate, with four global studios, women's leadership and rigorous Kundalini yoga trainings held all over the world, a streaming platform with subscribers in over 200 countries, a non-profit foundation, and in-store and online boutiques. RA MA physical and online spaces host literary and wellness salons featuring world-renowned speakers. The Institute's founder, Guru Jagat, also has a bestselling book, two fashion lines, and a podcast.
Charlotte is at the epicenter. She's tasked with getting the word out about all of RA MA's offerings, which ultimately share the same goal: giving people an experience of a more fulfilling way to live. She shares how energy is the best marketing tool--and she has some critical advice for entrepreneurs. ~ Mary Margaret
What are you responsible for as Director of Integrated Marketing at RA MA?
I’m responsible for all things marketing including brand strategy, website development, email marketing, and campaign planning and execution for RA MA’s biggest programs and events.
How has marketing played a role in RA MA’s incredible success?
RA MA’s success didn’t start with marketing—it started with Guru Jagat’s complete and total commitment to her vision. The incredible amount of work and creative decision-making that brought RA MA into existence is more important than any individual marketing decisions. That said, marketing was the next essential step to building our audience and gathering momentum.
Guru Jagat, RA MA’s founder, talks often about how attention is the hottest commodity of this age. There are a lot of options out there in terms of how we spend our money. How do you help RA MA stand out? How important is it to you to go out and convince people to invest in your programs, versus just doing your thing and trusting the right people will find you?
It’s true—the reality is that people are busy, they don’t know who we are, or why they should care. As a marketer, it’s my job to make people care.
It’d be easier to sit back and trust the right people find us, but this is a naive approach that leaves too much to chance. We’re selling something we believe in, that we’re invested in, and that we know a significant number of people will benefit from—so it’s very worthwhile to get the word out.
Since RA MA’s most powerful asset is energy, we have to get people to experience it somehow, which is why we offer a lot of free content on RA MA TV, YouTube, and other platforms. This plays a huge part in how people discover us and go deeper into our world.
What marketing cliches do you stay away from?
We never use corporate jargon and stay away from a lot of basic stuff you see online in the wellness space, e.g. “TGIF” or “Self-Care Sunday.” We also stay focused on the long view and don’t get distracted by hypes or ephemeral trends.
From my perspective, people respond to RA MA’s social media strategy because you aren’t afraid to use humor. The yoga scene sometimes sets itself up for ridicule, but you guys are in on the joke. Is this a conscious strategy, or do you just strive for authenticity and humor comes naturally?
Humor is the lifeblood of our team culture at RA MA. We never take ourselves too seriously! This shows up naturally in how we personify the brand online. At the same time, I believe in the power of humor to drive a point home and love using it as a marketing strategy.
What marketing advice would you have for a first-time entrepreneur with little marketing experience?
Whatever you do, don’t outsource your marketing. It’s too important of a job to give to someone else (at this stage at least). Take the time to learn the skills— it’s easier than you think. And have fun with it!
Do you think it’s a non-negotiable for entrepreneurs to be on social media these days? How can an entrepreneur get over any inhibitions or reluctance?
If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on a huge potential audience. This is where the majority of people are spending their time online—why would you limit that? If you’re getting hung up about it, you need to shift your perspective. It’s easy to make excuses and stay small. It takes real ambition and commitment to make your work go far. At the end of the day it’s not about you, it’s about what you’re meant to give to the world. What’s more important?
What are your long-term goals in your role?
My long-term goal is to show the world a different way of living and being IS possible. I found RA MA during my early 20’s when nothing in the world made sense, and it opened me up to a totally new dimension of the human experience. This place is truly a refuge. Using the art and science of marketing, I’d like to make sure we reach everyone who’s searching for different options.
Charlotte is the Director of Integrated Marketing at RA MA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology, a Kundalini yoga school with locations in Venice, California; Mallorca, Spain; and New York City. Her work with RA MA includes content creation, website development, and multi-channel marketing plan development and execution for RA MA’s biggest programs and events.
You can find Charlotte on Instagram @charlottesface.