If you’ve been into raw food for a while – or even a little while, actually – it’s not unusual to become so excited about what you’re learning and discovering for yourself that you want to tell the world!
Yes, we all know that feeling, right?
Well, those longer-termers among you will know that running around telling everyone how they "must go raw" is generally a recipe for disaster; it can alienate friends, family, colleagues and even partners if you don’t know how to share this right!
In the past 16 years of being a raw foodie if there’s one thing I’ve learned, both personally and professionally, it’s this: people have to want to go raw.
Think about it : )
Did anyone twist *your* arm into going raw? Did anyone try to twist your arm into going raw?
Have a think about that for a moment and see what pops. If this did happen to you, remember how it felt... How did you respond or react to it? Was it positively or negatively? I know many people who actually didn’t pursue a raw food journey because of the way the information was presented to them.
My experience suggests that for every 100 people who go raw, 98 go raw because they decide to, and it is their decision alone. (The other two tend to it because their partner coerced them or their health dictated it). This is a very important fact to bear in mind when you’re serious or keen to spread the word.
In this article I’m going to share with you a multitude of ways that you can be part of the change. Since I’m currently writing this article in one of the “raw food Meccas” of the world, LA, it’s certainly given me a revised perspective on what’s possible when like-minded people get together and start making things happen.
The good news is, you don’t have to live in “raw food central” or be part of a group to make things happen. That’s not where I live! I live on a farm in almost the middle of nowhere with no raw food friends to be found within a pretty large radius! (- Does that surprise you? It should inspire you!) You, like me, can be sitting in your own private corner of the Universe and still touch many many lives, but it’s a case of knowing that there’s certain ways that are more effective than others...
So, starting with the premise that “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink...” we’re going to look at ways you can promote in your own way but only to those who show interest : )
In Public (face-to-face)
When someone asks you about your food – you can smile nicely and say “I eat raw foods because they make me look and feel my best and I’ve never felt better”... and leave it at that! (Until they ask a positive question afterwards, at which point...)
You can offer to lend them a book or point them to a web site that you love – let the book or internet do the talking, so the pressure is off both of you
Share with them your personal story, bringing in the more vulnerable and human side of yourself and your journey – sometimes people feel intimidated or “less than” around people on raw foods which is why they can act defensively or even aggressively. If you show your human-ness right up front this is less likely to happen. (NB: Human-ness is not to be replaced by “lack of confidence”!!)
Verbally share a quick, easy and delicious recipe that you love and you know other people will love – something involving ice-cream, chocolate or pizza is usually a recipe for success in these kinds of situations. Most new people are not going to be turned on by the idea of a green smoothie! You have to meet people where they’re at and what they love NOW.
Gauge the level of their seriousness - this is critical as you can only evolve the conversation as much as feels appropriate to do so. The secret is always to stay one step behind the conversation with those who are more sceptical and take the conversation one small but bouncy step ahead for those who seem genuinely excited and interested. (Once you know this, things get easy!)
On the Internet
There are so many ways to reach people online, and the great thing is, of course, that many are fr*ee! Here follow some of the many ways you can spread the word, working up from the casual to the formidable!
Chatgroups – starting one or participating in one. Very cool if it’s in one outside of the raw food realm as this exposes a whole new audience.
MySpace and Facebook profile – you can drop hints via comments, photos, videos, links to raw food groups and pages etc.
Tweeting – write about what you ate today (and make sure it sounds yummy!) or any raw related expeditions
Blogging – so many great raw food blogs out there now, but there can never be too many, so set one up for free and get started!
Web site – for those of you who feel you are on a mission and want more than a blog...
Creating YouTube clips – demo raw food recipes, hints and tips, experiences etc.
The “Best of Both Worlds”
If you are really serious about spreading the word then you might be thinking (or may already be doing) pro-active promotion online and offline. For those of you who would love to be more “out there”, whether it be for pleasure or profit, here are some of the ways you can go about that:
As you can see, there are SO MANY ways to raise raw food awareness, and this list is by no means exhaustive! Even if it’s “just” (I use the term very lightly) showing up in the world as your truth. The irony of life is that it’s not the necessarily the size of the ripple you make but where you make it: you never know whose life you are touching and how they will in turn pass on the flame – or to how many and in what far-reaching ways.
One thing that has really struck home for me this past year is learning that two of the UK’s best known/ newer faces in raw food (Russell James and Jo Thomas) both had their professional raw food journey spring boarded by attending my Raw Food for Beginners class! Little did they know that a year or so later they’d be affecting literally thousands of other people through their own unique work – hence the power of raw food classes – you just never know who’s in your audience and what YOUR work will enable them to do. It’s really very exciting and humbling all at the same time. (For some invaluable and FREE training on teaching raw food classes click here)
If you’d like to know more about how you can up the ante on your raw food pro-activity in professional terms then you’ll want to know about my new offerings for 2009 that will help you do just that! Check out my latest blog post – Professionally Raw – for all the ways, both free and paid, that I can help you do your thing this year!
This is when life gets really exciting!!
© 2009 Karen Knowler
WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at www.TheRawFoodCoach.com.