For the final installment of the musical newsletters, I thought we'd revisit the glory days of Y2K. And why not? I'm as invigorated as anyone watching Ben Affleck place his hand on J.Lo's bum or Paris Hilton take on cooking in bedazzled driving gloves. So pull on your low-rise-boot-cut jeans and come along as we talk about marketing and sales strategies for the 21st century. Each hyperlink will take you to a tune from the early 2000s to remind you that marketing and sales are much lighter than you think. 


My nostalgia started creeping in when I watched the Paris Hilton documentary earlier this year. [Side note: if you haven't watched it, it's worth a viewing and a consideration that influencer culture has its roots in trauma.] But today we'll focus on the masterpiece that was The Simple Life: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie taking on middle America and all of its simplistic glory. 

The simple life is often how I feel when trying to explain to entrepreneurs that marketing and sales are fundamentally just about relationship building. In our haste to "build an audience" or "grow our consumer community" we often forget about the aspects of human nature that will actually do more for our marketing & sales than the often toxic torrent of spammy emails & social media posting. And in the end, nurturing dynamics often don't cost a thing and is far less complicated than trying to figure out how to win at an algorithm.


At the end of that algorithmic nightmare is another human being and their perceived needs. And whether you're selling marmalade or jeansI can teach you a few simple guidelines to ensure you're nurturing relationships in a way that is authentic to you and your company. It's easy to think that marketing and sales strategies are one-size-fits-all. But remember the wise words of E-v-e: "I do what they can't do, I just do me."

  • When you're thinking about your marketing and sales strategy as a way to meet your financial goals, it can often feel overwhelming to consider how many people we need to connect with to make that a reality. Focus and start where you are.
  • Audit your own personal connections. The best place to start is with your personal connections as a reflection of how well you do with connecting and nurturing relationships. I have observed repeatedly that those that grow online, only do so as an amplification of their relationships IRL. 
  • Know who you want to be connecting to. Oftentimes, we find ourselves wanting to reach an audience that we aren't currently connected to. Like making new friends on the first day of school ;) It requires stepping into the unknown. 
  • Be curious and test your assumptions. Most of us think we know our customers, but often we don't know them as well as we should.  We often see people in the image of ourselves instead of the truth of who they are. (#tweetthat. JK don't use twitter.)
  • Think benefits not features. As entrepreneurs who begin a business from a trade practice, we can often fetishize the features and the process of our production. We're stuck in our own experience. We forget about the human on the receiving end and what's most important to them: how they feel when they experience our product. 
  • Create depth. Intimacy does not come from automation, it comes from acknowledgment and appreciation. How are you engaging?
  • Add value. Business is only transactional if you make it. How do your communications add value when they're taking up the mental space of your customers? 
  • Repeat. 


Our next book club will meet on SEPTEMBER 14th at 7 pm. We will be reading Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics. This is a free event, please email me to register. 


I'm going to keep this section short this week but a few things came across my virtual desk that I wanted to share. Bob Doto did a lot of heavy lifting around the topic of anti-capitalism that I found refreshing at this time. Frank McClung, a veteran himself, wrote a considerate take on culture and strategy through the lens of recent events in Afghanistan. And Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, wrote a contemplative piece on visioning and reality.  

Lorde is also nostalgic for the early 2000s which feel so far away a-a-ay. And finally, a few resources I have shared before, but relevant to this topic: Seth Godin On Being, Dan Pink To Sell is Human

Have a safe and healthy holiday weekend. This newsletter will be resting for a few weeks as I ease back into teaching at Pratt. When I return in mid-September I'll be sharing my thoughts on my year (yes it's been a full year) without social media. And as a sneak peek I'll leave you with a one-word summary: GLORIOUS. 


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