Turning Pain to Gain: Jurell Sison’s Novel Marketing Strategy

Turning Pain to Gain- Jurell Sison’s Novel Marketing Strategy
Photo Courtesy: Steve Miles

By: Steve Miles

“If you have the answer to someone’s pain, why wouldn’t you want to do everything possible to get that message out there?” That is Jurell Sison’s unique approach to marketing – and one that ties in very closely with his love for ministry and teaching Theology.

Solid Foundations

It’s not every day the words marketing and Theology come together, but Sison’s story is one of resilience, innovation and motivation. Growing up in a Filipino American family, Sison’s spark of creativity ignited with his grandmother who taught him to draw and paint from a very young age. 

His first job was as a youth minister for one of Cleveland’s largest Catholic Churches. There, Sison pushed himself to learn photography and videography to promote his efforts with young people in the church. His talent in photography and entrepreneurial spirit came to the fore later that year when he broke into the wedding videography industry, before switching to creating promotional brand videos for small businesses in Cleveland. 

It All Starts With A Question

As his videography business grew, Sison landed his first major client, Inner Bliss Yoga, and was also able to connect with one of Cleveland’s most influential Portrait photographers – James Douglas. Driven by his desire to succeed, he cold-emailed Douglas with the subject line ‘Can I Clean Your Floors?’.

“I offered to do all his dirty work as long as I could spend time in the studio to learn and be around the community,” Sison explains. “He emailed me back 15 minutes later—he needed a ton of help painting a 100-foot hallway for his gallery show. That email pretty much changed my life.” Following their initial interaction, Douglas called Sison back for every big shoot; that summer, Sison worked with a number of influential personalities, including Machine Gun Kelly, Travis Kelce, Stipe Miocic, Jake Paul, Logan Paul, and more. 

Overcoming challenges

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Sison and his wife were expecting their second child. But as the world started shutting down, many industries, including his, were losing clients. Sison, however, never lost faith in his talent and abilities. 

He quickly pivoted and started offering new services for media, ad management and e-mail marketing. Switching the services he offered allowed him to become a Campus Minister making six-figure sums. But on a personal level, the effects of Covid-19 continued to wreak havoc in his life. Sison found himself feeling unhappy, lonely, and slipping deeper into depression with each day passing. “Reaching your financial goals is nice but it didn’t mean much to me when I was miserable. Investing in yourself is one of the most important parts of this journey,” he explains. “If you are not happy, healthy and whole enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor–what is this all for?” Sison says.

It was during that time, Sison was diagnosed with depression and ADHD; but after years of therapy and prioritizing family and relationships, he has incorporated all his spiritual learnings into a unique marketing methodology designed to help businesses beat challenges. 

“Good marketing has the potential to connect the dots so that businesses can grow and people can live happier lives,” Sison notes. “But it all starts with pain.”

Sison’s vision is to allow businesses to become the best version of themselves by combining his marketing expertise with his theological knowledge. “In ministry, we tell students to ‘find where your passions meet the world’s greatest need.’ and it’s no different for businesses. Each person and every business has the potential to alleviate some sort of pain and to make this world a better place.”

True to his belief that marketing can be used for positive change, he has launched TheLivingPerson.com, helping thousands of people online become the best version of themselves through the Mile-a-day Challenge. His TedX Talk titled ‘Want To Be Happy? Big Mistake (Joy, On the Other Hand…)’ has reached over 105k views. Sison’s alternative approach promises to promote businesses in a positive and creative way, while building a community that redefines marketing for the younger generation.

Published by: Nelly Chavez


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