We all know what marketing goals are, or at least why we want to create them. Marketing can increase sales, build brand awareness, grow market share, help us launch new products or services, target new customers, enter new markets and … blah, blah, blah. I think we’ve all heard this so long that we’ve stopped listening. Why? Because these aren’t really goals. They are a wish list, and for most people, a tiring one at that. Most of us are really wishing we could just wave a wand and just make them happen.
Because in reality, marketing sounds like work. But it shouldn’t be. I love marketing strategy when it’s tied into our passions. When we lead with our hearts — in anything — we love what we are doing and we attract our ideal partners, be they mates or clients.
What better month than February to talk about marketing with love? And speaking of that, don’t miss a little love coming your way in #4!
First, ask yourself this: What would you do tomorrow if you knew you couldn’t fail? What new project would you begin? To me, marketing is all about projects we love and bringing others into them. Here is some inspiration for doing just that.
#1 Marketing Your Passion
What is it you are passionate about in life and work and how can you weave that into your story this year? Is it music and wine? Check out Kala Maxym, owner of Five Senses Tastings, and how she weaves those two passion together with stories for clients looking for a different type of event. And Wanda Wen of Soolip, a luxury stationer, has practically written the book (albeit in letterpress and artisanal paper) on the beauty of the word. Her cards, gifts and invitations are always from the heart and reflect mindfulness and inner peace. She weaves her passion for that, and yoga throughout all her own social media marketing and that has attracted clients such as Anthropologie for whom she and Karen Alweil are currently producing a line of nature-inspired placemats, and Lexus who years ago hired her to do a journaling workshop for one of the company’s annual wellness retreats.
#2 You have something your competitor doesn’t – you.
The No. 1 obstacle we face when bringing our passion into our marketing is fear. I hear it all the time when I bring it up to clients, and even friends who are grappling with how to position their stories with blogs or social media. They say that either that no one will care, or that it’s been done before. I think those phrases come more from the mind than the heart. If artists were led with the minds and not their hearts, there would ever be another painting, film made, book written or event produced. My advice: If you love it … be it food, wine, yoga, painting, writing or photography, close your eyes and let that passion seep into your marketing efforts. Because when you bring your passion into your business, you have something else no one else can ever duplicate — you. A great example is the annual calendar that Catering by Design in Denver produces. It’s the brainchild of co-owner Cade Nagy who loves to create a great photo as much as a great meal. Big lesson here — it’s just a calendar, and analog at that. But it’s done extremely well with love and care and has been done that way for 13 years, so consistency also plays a big part. The large-format and high-quality printing tells the viewer that these images are important to Cade. It’s marketing from the heart. And let’s not forget, a calendar that is also an art piece is something people will put n a place of honor, will keep and will look at every day.
Photo by Cade Nagy
No. 3 Take us behind the scenes
Another way to show your passion, and really create a bond, is to take people behind the scenes to see how you work. The profession of event planning, floral design, fashion and art lend themselves to this naturally. Think about it. Fishing and trucking are less than exciting careers, and yet Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers have proved popular shows! In your creative field, the work just naturally lends itself to your own show, starring you and your team.
Before and after shots are really amazing marketing tools to show people, even those in the same profession, what you actually did to create an environmental transformation. But it’s fun to take that a step further with Facebook Live and Instagram Stories that give viewers a front-row seat in real time. You can even let them know when you will be airing the “episodes.” As they become invested in the story, and the outcome, they see the sweat and effort and it changes the dynamics of your relationship. In a word — they see you.
Recently, I enjoyed following along with Loriann Serna from Wife of the Party as she produced a three-day corporate event. The photos above are from one of the events and show the floral design team of Shawna Yamamoto making that gorgeous ceiling treatment. Dave Merrell from AOO Events also did this from Houston for a Super Bowl party he was producing (finished product below).
Top photo in Wife of the Party collage: Barbara Doux
#4 Be everywhere
For the past few years, I’ve been saying yes to every speaking engagement that has come my way. I am not a natural speaker, so I have to say yes quickly, before I have time to think about it! Each time I’ve been so happy with my decision. And this year I’m saying yes to volunteering and being on committees as well for ILEA and SEARCH. I highly recommend this as a way to remain relevant and also give back.
Something for you! Speaking of giving back, I appreciate you and have an offer that will be hard to refuse… Catersource: The Show for Catering & Event Professionals is coming up March 12 – 15, 2017, and this year it’s leaving Las Vegas for New Orleans. I for one am very excited about this! New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. And the kind folks there have given my own promo code so you can enjoy the tradeshow for free!
To claim this, use the PROMO CODE: 17LGTS when registering for tradeshow only on the Catersource site.
And just another note on speaking … here are some tips I’ve learned: The more you do it the easier it gets | Be prepared — have the first five minute down cold. Starting is always the hardest part | Be secure in the knowledge that 90 percent of the room could never imagine getting on stage and already respects you for having the courage to get up there … maybe this isn’t totally true, but I tell myself this and it helps! | Be authentic. It’s OK to make mistakes, tell them your true thoughts | Don’t promote yourself. Only be about giving back as much as you can | Again, when you give the love, it comes back.
PS … I’ll be speaking twice at Catersource this year. Hope to see you there!
How to Build Your Audience: Marketing and Strategy for Instagram on Monday, March 13, at 3:45 p.m.
Social Media Power Panel on Tuesday, March 14, 9:15 a.m.
#5 Meet and Eat
For me, this is the year of small get-togethers where we can really connect with one another. I love traditional networking events and I support them wholeheartedly, but it’s been a longtime goal of mine to create smaller events based around an educational theme, or simply an eclectic assortment of professionals who can inspire one another. And of course, it would be about food and wine!
While I haven’t done one this year yet, I have some in the works for clients, and have been to several that others have organized. One of my favorites was called “Meet and Eat.” Caterer Chris Brugler and his sales and events manager, Cindy Chen, put together a series of people for lunch at Chris’ home. The fact that it was in his home made all the difference in terms of creating a bond. We hung out at his family’s table and were there when his son got home from school. Like No. 3, this is about experiencing and building a relationship from a different point of view. Let prospective clients and partners see what you do, and if you can, invite them in, literally, to your home or place of business for lunch.
Finally … do something EVERY day towards these actions
Goal setting is a big part of making things happen. I love my Powersheets workbook, even though it’s super girly (actually, that might be why I love it … it’s truly so different for me which sets it apart from anything else I have or do).
Every day I get up and look at my big goals and small goals. I make lists. I hold myself accountable. In addition to some of the actions listed here I want to master the art of podcasting (research is underway), launch my new web site (check … you’re looking at it!), and create a way to engage people in a different way with my blogs through “Shop the Story” (on its way at the end of this month) and of course travel … I’ve got to get back to Italy this year and also want to go to Franklin, Tennessee, to see first hand the life that my amazing artist friend, David Arms has created for himself.
This is nothing new, but time goes VERY * VERY * fast. And if we just say we want to do something, without accountability, at the end of the year we are no closer to doing those things we wanted to do.
But now I see I’ve come full circle with the blah, blah, blah! Bottom line is this… when we market with the creative #passionsthatdriveus, we just automatically attract ideal people, clients and situations. And leading with our heart is what it’s all about!