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 my many 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.
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 tens, hundreds or thousands of 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 (Raw Food Made Simple is perfect here) 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 your personal story with them, bringing in the more vulnerable and human side of yourself and your journey – sometimes people feel intimidated or “less than” around people eating raw foods which is why they can act defensively or even aggressively. If you show your human-ness right up front this is far 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 total success in these kinds of situations. Most new people, unless they’re health conscious, are not going to be turned on by the idea of a green smoothie right off the bat. You have to meet people where they’re at and what they love TODAY.
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 free! 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.
Your Facebook profile – you can drop hints via comments, photos, videos, links to raw food groups and pages etc. A great page to “Like” or link to is www.IWentRawForADay.com which shares real-life stories of people who tried eating raw for 24 hours – most for the very first time.
Tweeting – write about what you ate today (and make sure it sounds yummy!) or share any raw-related expeditions, tips, conversations or recipes.
Blogging – there are 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...
Create 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:
- Being featured in local or national press/ TV
- Sharing your personal story on a raw food or specialist web site
- Teaching classes and/or workshops
- Organising and running events (large and small)
- Running teleclasses
- Hosting an online radio show
- Writing articles for print media or internet
- Creating a film or documentary
- Becoming a Raw Food Coach or Teacher
- Retailing products (food, equipment, books etc.)
- Writing a book or eBook
- Publishing a magazine
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.
© 2011 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.