The other 50% of my clients are more in-tune with marketing. Sometimes, it’s even difficult for them to justify hiring a consultant. However, they too may not have the time to give the areas of concern enough attention, particularly if they are a smaller business. These clients are often confused as to why something is happening or not happening in the way they’d like or want to see increased results - faster (be it sales, website traffic, etc.). Or, some of these individuals are simply overwhelmed and want to understand where their energy is best spent and where they might potentially need help. In these cases, I often come in as a consultant and help them with a prioritized action plan or come in and assist with an item they don’t have time to do, but that we find is important.
The best advice I can give is to not panic and to work with someone you can trust. Referrals are valuable. Even if I don’t take work in a particular area (like graphic design) or offer a service a client desires, I have an esteemed network that I trust for those types of client work. Utilize your networks to make big decisions, but don’t be afraid of making them at all.
It all seems the most important which can be overwhelming, but maybe something often rises to the top. Do you see a common area for improvement with your clients or out in the world?
I think a major question for most brands and companies to remain strong in 2019 and beyond is reviewing one’s relevance. What is your true purpose? Why are you here? Who are your audiences and how do you or your business serve them? When this is well communicated and understood then it can surface in all other messaging and platforms. You want to communicate with potential customers and clients in all ways that are available to you and make sense for your company or brand and, be open to changing and evolving - technology doesn’t wait for anyone to catch up. Just because you’ve done something one way and it’s working - still doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best path. And, there are always relatively painless ways of testing new ideas out there, don’t be afraid of doing so! For example, most email campaign management software allows you to send email campaigns with two different subject lines (along with other differences). If there’s a good opportunity and not a make or break it promotion, give it a try and see what has the best open rate.
Is there a brand that you think executes their story and experience perfectly?
A few of my favorites are Monocle, Glossier, Garden & Gun, and Goop. The most interesting thing to me about all four of these brands is that they’ve executed and told their story so beautifully in digital and/or in print, and then opened stores and restaurants after the fact. These brands are growing and touching so many different areas. Monocle has a shop in London, Garden & Gun has a store in Charleston and a restaurant in Atlanta, and though they started as online companies, Goop and Glossier have a mix of pop-ups and stores around the globe. When you can have such a significant brand impact digitally that there’s demand for the physical - you’ve mastered both engagement and the total brand experience. For their followers- Instagram, newsletters, blogs, playlists, products, conferences, events, collaborations, books, and podcasts weren’t enough. That’s not to say that through not having a physical space you’ve not achieved success by any means, but the simple fact there’s a potential or continuous demand for more than what you currently offer is rewarding in itself. In an era where there’s often gloom and doom stories when it comes to brick and mortar retail, this e-commerce transition to brick and mortar trend is fascinating to follow.
We’ve loved working with you and getting some perspective on the ever-changing world of digital and Print marketing. Can you shout out another profession or field that works to support small business creatives?
This past year, I leaned heavily a local business networking group called The Circle. It was wonderful to talk through big decisions and/or problems with other local small business owners while learning and growing with each other. There’s an array of professional groups in Austin - from Boss Babes to Creative Ladies Night. If you can’t find one that’s a good fit, you could even start your own. And, I find the FELIZ community to be extremely supportive of each other as well!