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Traditional Marketing Strategies That Still Work in Today's Digital Age

Transcript 

Kathy (host): 

Well, hello there, and welcome back to Help My Businesses Growing, a podcast where we explore how to grow and build a business that is healthy and sustainable. I'm a host, Kathy Svetina. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Marketing the business today can be pretty overwhelming because it's daunting to keep up with all the new tactics and platforms and trends that pop up what seems to be every few days, and there also seems to be this overwhelming pressure to tie most of your marketing efforts down to social media or to keep it purely in this digital space. And I'm no exception. I, in my business, struggle with us, too. So I've been asking myself, "Is this really necessary?" And the conventional wisdom, and I'm putting the conventional wisdom in air quote here, tells you, "Yes, yes it is. And all your competition and everyone else in the planning is doing it, so you have to be doing it, too. Otherwise, you'll be missing." And this fear of missing out on all things digital marketing is real- so real that we sometimes forget that old-time marketing strategies still work too, and have been for hundreds of years.

 

Kathy (host): 

So we're gonna be talking about this with our guest today, Nedra. We're gonna talk about what are some of the traditional marketing ideas that might be even more effective in reaching out and having those meaningful conversations with you. And what are some of the examples of these so-called old-school marketing tactics that we can all still use in our businesses today to help us grow our business?

 

Kathy (host):

 And just a quick reminder, all of the episodes on this podcast, including this one, come with timestamps for topics that we discuss. And each one has its own blog posts as well. So go and take a look at that. It's a really great resource. 

 

Kathy (host): 

So, as I mentioned, our guest today is Nedra Rezinas. She is a Marketing Consultant who helps service-based entrepreneurs learn to delegate and outsource so that they can scale their business and do more work in their zone of genius. She has over 20 years of direct experience and marketing and online businesses specializing in developing custom marketing strategies that attract high value. Join us.

 

Kathy (host): 

Welcome to the show, Nedra. 

 

Nedra (guest):

Great to be here. Kathy.

 

Kathy (host): 

I'm super excited you're here because we're gonna be talking about marketing, not just in terms of marketing for social media, but what are some of the other ways that people can actually go and market themselves? Because I've noticed that marketing for small businesses these days seems to be synonymous with social media and social media presence, but I'm wondering, what do you think? Why do we get in this place and why do you see this as problematic? 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Yeah. I think a lot of it has to do with just that feeling of keeping up with the Joneses or keeping up and doing what everyone else is doing and this pressure that you feel from your colleagues or your competition.

 

Nedra (guest): 

I see that a lot of my clients feel like they have to meet or exceed what they're trying to accomplish in the digital marketing space. They were like, "Oh, is my competition on TikTok? Does that mean I have to do it too?" Or just that pressure of how many platforms should I be on? It's really intense.

 

Nedra (guest): 

Like there was one day in December, I'll never forget when I had multiple phone calls with different people in my network and I wanted to ask, "Which platform should I be on? What should I be doing?" I'm like, "Whoa, slow down. I think the question is, who is your audience and where are they?" And then that will lead you to answer that question.

 

Nedra (guest): 

And you don't start doing something because so and so said that. You have to understand what your business is and who's your best clients and where are they spending their time. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, and I see that a lot too now. I spend a lot of my time on LinkedIn because that's where most of my audience is, and I see people recommending TikTok these days and it's just not something. It's very easy to go and chase that shiny new object when it comes to social media.

 

Nedra (guest): 

Absolutely. And you know, I've been on, I've used social media from the get-go. I mean, I was using Live Journal back in the mid two thousand when that was like a way to learn about what was happening in my city and kind of connect with people, and then that was on the right before Twitter imploded on us. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

And you know, Twitter, I was just telling, I was teaching a social media class last week and I was explaining what Twitter was for me back in 2008 or nine. It was going to conferences and connecting with people in different sessions and then saying, "Hey, you wanna grab lunch?" It was very, it was very quiet, very, very social, and I got to just meet people and it was such a different platform. It was really fun. It was not full of bots, and news reporting. It was much more collaboration and just a completely different platform. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

And so I think it's good to remember how things evolve. You know, like good intentions. But again, like you said, TikTok could be splashed in the pan and Snapchat. Who's talking about that? That was so popular now. Now we're on TikTok. What's gonna be the next big thing? It's the clubhouse. It was just so many, It's like you just gotta like, just put your focus on and just like what really matters and it's hard. Shiny object syndrome is a thing. 

 

Kathy (host): 

So what do you see that works well with your clients, the people that you're working with that might not have that big of a social media presence? What do you see that works well for them? 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Many of them really do well when they focus on things like email marketing, and referral partners, and putting energy into those things. Also, just sometimes it's just networking. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Like I had one client, I'll share a really good story. She was really just almost in tears being on Instagram. She's a personal stylist. That's where a lot of her competition and even the business she works through was like, "Yeah, just get an Instagram. You'll get clients." Well, that really wasn't working for her. And it was exhausting trying to come up with these creative posts all the time, and it's so image-driven. It's so much more work than text, I think, in that regard. So she was coming to me as like, "What else can I do? I'm really sick of Instagram." I'm like, "Oh yeah, we can. Let's think of some other options." And she's a really outgoing, extroverted person, and we realized who is she really targeting. It was very much apparent that she was helping women who wanted to uplevel in their either business or career and have clothes that made them feel confident and so she could help style them and find the right colors. And luckily it was during the pandemic, but she was in down in San Diego. And then, things started opening up as far as women in leadership groups and we thought, "Okay, this might be a really good place for you to start meeting women." Because what she found is when she was in person with people, she hit it off so well. They really wanted to work with her. So she attended a few of those meetings. And guess what? She got clients immediately. Because they're like, "Oh my gosh, I love your energy. I want you to help me." She had a really good price point for what she was offering. It was just like a win-win. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

And what was so nice is once she started helping, usually, these were moms too, but they were working moms. She ended up styling the father, the husband. And then they usually, there were teenager kids and they get in and out too. So she did the whole family and that was perfect for her. She loved doing that. So it was a really so much more fun for her to go out and use her natural strengths of meeting people, having that instant energy, just talking to people in person and that playing on her strengths. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, because I notice that for myself, too. Social media can get, I mean, it can get exhausted and there's this constant need for content just putting out content. It seems like every post only has a lifespan of 24 to 48 hours at most. And before you know it, you're putting all this energy and effort into something that is just so shortlived and it can be such a drain on energy if that's not your forte. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Absolutely. Yeah. That's a good reminder. I think we put so much energy in these posts, but then they go beep, and they're immediately forgotten.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. They're just a little bleak. In terms of this client that you just talked about. Did she completely stop her Instagram presence or was that she just minimized it and then she went and most of her focus was on, on the live events? 

 

Nedra (guest): 

She minimized it. She, especially after taking a break from it, that was something I recommended, "just don't pressure yourself." Just take a two-week break or something. And that really helped. I think just kind of going dark for a bit and knowing that wasn't gonna destroy her. Just giving her the confidence to do that was helpful. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

And then also reconfiguring what that meant. And redefining what is a good post. And it's nice when you start getting clients because then you can start picking pictures of clients, and happy clients in the post, which was something that was easy for her to do. But then she started realizing she could do some really other creative aspects of designing clothes and styling people, and then the pressure just to do it a few times a week instead of daily. I think she ended up going back to just two to three times a week at the most, and I think it even slowed down from there. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

And then one of the things we talked about too, which helped out. She hadn't reached out to her own network of people. She had been the principal styling for a while but hadn't really even told her family, friends, past colleagues, past coworkers, the whole network of people that she's known for a long time.

 

Nedra (guest): 

And so I recommended that she do that. And as soon as she started doing that, there was a high percentage of people that wanted to work with her because they, again, it's definitely helped with her personality. She's very outgoing, in fact, very extroverted, and she's really good at what she does.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. And you know, this also brings a point too, of people who have been doing business and they have been growing their business since they have been doing marketing way before social media ever, even came on the scene. So there is value in going back into these "old school things", and they can really drive the business forward.

 

Kathy (host): 

So what else have you seen that works particularly well? So we've talked about networking events, and we've talked about reaching out to your previous network. What else has been really helpful to the clients that you worked with?

 

Nedra (guest): 

Actually, I think old-fashioned mailings are starting to become something that can be a great way to reach out to people.

 

Nedra (guest): 

I had a real estate client and he was working on sitting at a calendar, and he's done that in the past, but he, it's been a while since he did it. And he's definitely been in the game for a while, so this is something. Talking about old school, this guy could tell me about all kinds of old school marketing techniques and probably educate me, and it was really great because we had a whole 20 minutes where we talked about him on Facebook and I'm like, "Really? What has that really brought you? What's been the ROI?" He's just like, "Nothing. And it's just so frustrating." And he is like, "I don't like doing it." I'm like, "Then stop. It's okay." Just giving him permission to just divert his energy into other things. But he, I was talking to him around December, which is great. It's a nice quiet time for realtors or people in that kind of industry to kind of ramp up, because the spring is such a huge opportunity.

 

Nedra (guest):

And so he got calendars out in the mail and kind of started showing different community centers. And I think the calendars helped start a conversation with some people, and I think he end up having a client out of it. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

So having something physical to send to people can be really great, but you wanna be thoughtful about it. And I think he hands, he had some handwritten cards with those, so it wasn't just like some random calendar in the mail. And I've gotten some, those two for realtors and it did make quite an impression. I mean, I think the more personalized you can go with that and send people something useful to people, it's gonna stand out.

 

Kathy (host): 

So was he sending these things in a mail? Did he have a list already of the people that were previous clients or were there these like new people that he was sending it out to? Basically just opening, I don't know if they still have phone books, and probably not and just basically sending it to people that are in this area. How did that really look like for him? 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Yeah, luckily for him it was, he had previous list. And he also brought on an admin person to help him go through and see if people actually lived at these places still, because that was part of it. He had boxes of all these like contacts and finally narrowed it down to a reasonable list, but then also did some verification to make sure that they actually live in these places.

 

Nedra (guest): 

Because it'd been so long since he's done that, so that they could probably moved or you know. So it was definitely to his advantage that he had previous people. But that's actually, it's funny. A lot of clients come to me because they forget they have these assets around them of what they can do for marketing. And I think it's because it's such a big push for the digital and the social that it's like, "Oh yeah, wait, we can do. We can go back to the nineties and do things like that, too." And that's okay. You know? 

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. And just before we started recording, we were talking about the importance of CRM. So I think that's something that it's really beneficial for the business too, is because now you don't have to have, you know, the old Rolodex, if anyone still uses it on their table, you can actually put it in the system and it's easy to update as people move, as you get new contact information. So how important is CRM when it comes to marketing?

 

Nedra (guest): 

I think it's really critical. Like I was telling before Kathy, I had a business coach that really jumped it into me how important is to track people that I'm interacting with, whether it be a referral partner or a potential lead, a past client, and, how often am I talking to them. Because you can make it up in your head and going, "Well, I think I reached out to them last month, or I might send them a card." I don't know. In reality, that's probably not at all true. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Your brain's probably filling in the gaps there that are not happening. So the CRM just keeps you honest and helps remind you to follow up with these folks. And it could be, there's so many different ways to do that without having to use social media.

 

Nedra (guest): 

You can call people. You can send them an email. You can write them a letter. You can get really creative when it comes to that and have a lot of fun. I think people are starting to do more of these like coffee, and lunches now that we're in this phase of everything. I'd see more people doing things kind of like, like they were a couple of years ago, which is great. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

But yeah, CRMs I think, are critical to helping you keep honest about what you're tracking, who you're reaching out to, and if what progress you're making. 

 

Kathy (host): 

So what are some of the things that you should be tracking- at least at a minimum level when you're putting that data into the CRM?

 

Nedra (guest): 

I think it's important to see if they're if you have an email list. Are they on your email list? You have to be careful how you ask that because one of the things I actually recommend people do is like, every time you have like a contact form out there online or anytime you're talking to people, ask them if they would like to be on your email list. I think. That's really helped me grow my list. I've been really happy to see how many people say yes. So just don't assume the worst. Like actually assume the best. I think is good. 

Nedra (guest): 

And then also, are they also interacting with you in a different capacity, or do you have someone else in common that's also really helpful to know if you have like someone mutually that you can both respect and have as a trust-building person like that.

 

Nedra (guest): 

I think CRMs really are good at connecting the dots. It helps take the place of having to go on LinkedIn. You can also create your own little mini system of that, which is really powerful. And then just being really good about taking notes about, "Did you call them? Did you email them?" There's usually patterns, right?

Nedra (guest): 

Also you can check the certain times of the year because right now I feel like it almost feels like it's the holidays. Things are really quiet, right? Are just busy vacation time. But September could be a really good time to look at that CRM and go, "Okay, I'm gonna contact these people," and there's a higher chance they're gonna respond to you because they're just more in that kids are back in school.

 

Nedra (guest): 

Let's do things. Let's get this done before the end of the year. Let's fix some things.

Kathy (host): 

And do you have any recommendations for someone that's really looking for CRM? I will throw one in for myself because I've been really struggling with having a CRM that is- I'm a service-based business, that would be. It requires as minimum input from me as possible. 

Kathy (host): 

And I have tried everything. I have tried HubSpot. I have tried some Zoho, Bigin. I mean, I've tried every, every single one, and none of them really worked for me except the ones that are AI-driven. So the one that I use right now is Cloze- C-L O- Z-E. And the nice thing about it is that it actually, just as you were talking about. It reminds you, "Hey, you've been interacting with this person. You haven't sent them an email for like three months or something", and they call these things blast from the past. And I found it so super, super helpful and I cannot tell you how many times I have actually totally forgotten about this interaction that I have with the person, and just having that reminder has been really helpful. 

Kathy (host): 

So I was wondering if you have any other CRMs that you have found particularly helpful for you and for your clients? 

Nedra (guest): 

I have, and I'm a little bit more on the probably more little analog-style just because it's just how I roll right now and it's called Less Annoying CRM.

 

Nedra (guest): 

It's a really funny name, but a lot of colleagues I know really enjoy it too, and it's just really simple. And what really impressed me is the company trained me, gave me some really good training on how to use it, and it helped me import my contacts. And so they made it really easy to set up. 

Nedra (guest): 

The hardest part was for me to get everything in an Excel spreadsheet, but I should have had that. That's on me. I should have been more organized. That was the whole point of getting the CRM was to finally force myself to get organized. So it was kind of ironic, but once it was in, I was so freed just to enter the data I wanted and it's very minimal. And the trick of it is to always check in every day because I can see my task list and see what's going on and I can create these cool funnels to let me know where people are, the leads I have like where, what touchpoint they are in the process, or I can create other funnels. I can customize to the note to like great ends if I want. And that, I think that's what's beautiful about it is because it's not I'm not locked in, like you're talking about these other ones I've played with. They're so restrictive and they're just too big for a lot of these business owners we're talking about. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

And putting myself, I'm a small business owner. I don't need a big blown-out thing. I just want something simple that's been serving me for almost four or five years now, and it's very affordable. It's like 10 bucks a month. Yeah, it's a winner. I really enjoy it. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, thanks for that recommendation. And we're gonna put all of both of these in the show notes too, so you can go check them out. And we're not sponsored by them, so we don't get any commission based on this. We just really, really enjoy them. Go check it out. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

So true. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Before we started recording this, and I wish we actually recorded this earlier because we had this conversation about referral partners, and I think this is very interesting and especially relevant for my business as well because that's how I get a lot of business as a fractional CFO through the referrals.

 

Kathy (host): 

Let's talk about like what is referral partner marketing? What does that look like? How does good referral partner marketing looks like? Let's start with that first. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Yeah, no, that's great. And that's was just gonna mention that in another way. A lot of my clients get work and repeatable work, which is wonderful, so I think looking at referral partners. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

I've taught this workshop a lot. One of the things I like to do is to look at people that are adjacent to what you do that are not competitive, but you have similar clients. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

And so I think one of the examples I usually give is for a personal organizer, who else would be a good fit for you to connect with? Especially if a personal organizer works with women going through a divorce. It could be like counselors, divorce lawyers, could be realtors like usually, they're going through like a house move. People know, kind of look at like different, different ways their life is changing and there's usually some big event they're dealing with. They're going through their kids are moving out to college or going out to college. All think about like what your client is going through, and then think about who they're touching as well in their interactions. And then those could easily be your referral partners. 

Nedra (guest): 

And again, it's really important to have that collaboration piece and not have it be competitive. And really separate that out. And I've even, I've had a lot of success with some of my own referral partners where there is a little bit overlap, but we just be honest with ourselves and say, "Okay, this is what I'm gonna focus on and you're gonna focus on this if we're gonna work with this client." and it's pretty agreeable. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

But I think one of the things that I recommend people do is have a good conversation with someone that's potentially a good referral partner, and then try a project out together and see how it works. If you do want to collaborate and see if you like their style and build trust that way. And maybe it's a small project, not take on a big client, but just take on a small client or project. And then once that goes successfully, well then you look at other things together. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

I used to run a web design business, so I bring on web designers to help me with projects. And that would be one way to try them out is to see, "Okay, we got a small web design project. Let's see how this goes." And then luckily I had one web designer who I worked with for, oh my gosh, almost eight years because we had a few successes and it just kept getting, it just was easy to work with them. And we also had really fun things in common to in our lives. We've had a good relationship and so that also is really important, too. But I know he'd bring in work and I'd bring him work and, but yeah, usually we worked together on projects and that was quite nice. 

Nedra (guest): 

And I think it just depends on the relationship. And you wanna just define it so everyone knows what's going on. There's no, "wait, what's happening?" The wishy-washiness isn't gonna help anything. And you wanna make it very crystal clear what, who's doing what role. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah, I think that's important. When you are looking for these referral partners, we talked about looking at your customer's journey, people that they're gonna need after you, people that they're gonna need before you, and where they are. How do you go about finding these referral partners? What would you use? Would you use LinkedIn? Would you use your Chamber of Commerce? Where would you go about finding them? 

 

Nedra (guest): 

That's a great question. I think it depends on what, who your clients are, and who you're serving. So like for me, I'm realizing that web designers and videographers are great referral partners because I can come in and do the strategy before, after a project that theirs, depending on their client's going, "Hey, can you help me with some marketing strategy?" And they're like, "That's not. I don't do that. That's not my lane. But hey, I have Nedra over here. She can help do a plan." And then they bring me in and we can do this work on this together and help meet your needs without having to like report web designers. Always being asked all these questions and they're just like, "I just do this."

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Everyone thinks that they're like this magical wizard that can do everything. I think it's important to know like the phases of what you're trying to do with your client. And for me, like I'm a good example usually it's like after website is completed, they wanna do the marketing for the website. I can come in and help strategize with that. Or if the web designer is going, "Okay, Nedra, this poor client is. I'm not ready to work with them. They need your help first". And then you can guide them through what kind of website strategy and then other things they need and then I can just do the website for them. And that's worked out well too.

Nedra (guest): 

I think it's important to talk about that, but also once you nail down who those referral partners are, they can figure out where they're hanging out. And LinkedIn could be a good place to start. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

But I think also another good place could be association groups where there's like-minded people where you have something in common. I think of one in particular, but, or even networking groups can actually, networking groups can be a great place to find people like that, but it's really important that you have like similar values. And it's well run. Don't just go to any networking group, vet them first. I have the best advice I can give.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. There's so many networking groups out there and some are better than others, but how would you go about vetting those networking groups and how would you go about finding them? Because now you have to find them. Would you Google them? Would you ask other people for recommendations? How do you go about that?

 

Nedra (guest): 

I ask people for recommendations these days and I haven't really gone to any in-person ones in a while. They weren't really working for me that well, and I found that you have to be really careful. Because sometimes you go to them and it's just a bunch of salespeople and that's not who you're wanting to connect with. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

I think one thing you can do is once you find one, look at the directory, and see who's attending them, and see if those are people that you wanna connect with. I think that can be a real eye-opener and see if they're like-minded people or if they're even close to who you could collaborate with on a project.

Kathy (host): 

And one tool that I've actually found recently that really helps me with that is it's called Spark Toro. It actually finds these audiences and these associations and the networking route where your target audience is and who you're trying to target. So it actually does a lot of the research for you, and obviously, you still have to go through it, comb to it, and make sure that you know it's relevant to you. But that is something that I have found in my business that has worked really well for me. So the name of the tool is called the Spark Toro, and we're also gonna put that in the show notes as well. 

Nedra (guest): 

That sounds great. I want to check that out. 

 

Kathy (host): 

We also talked about now that you've figured out where these referral partners are at, where they are, who they are. Now, you've identified these people, how does the process of keeping in touch with them so it's productive? How does that really look like? 

Nedra (guest): 

Yeah, that's what CRM comes into place. It helps remind you to kind of gentle reminders of like, "Hey, when's the last time?" Like you were saying earlier, "When's the last time I had spoken with this person? Was it three months ago? Really?" And I think a good rule of thumb is once a quarter. Depending on what, how often, maybe you're in a networking group together, so you see each other monthly, so that wouldn't be an issue, but maybe you're not. And so that could be a great way to connect and it could simply an email. 

Nedra (guest): 

I actually just did this the other day where I reached out to a bunch of people via email and that was very successful. I got a lot of great responses and I think I might be getting some work out of it. So it does pay off, and especially to share good news or share something that is upbeat can always be so good. Even it's something simple and little, it doesn't matter. Like I think people are so hungry to hear and be seen and hear something positive that can be just enough to be like, "Hey, yeah, I do wanna talk to."

 

Kathy (host): 

I wanna dive a little bit deeper into this because what I've seen to that advice. You gotta reach out to them, but the question is always what do you really talk about when you send an email to these people? Because and I know and I've seen that and I've heard that and I see that with myself as well. It's like, I don't wanna be a nuisance to them, like every three months. I don't want it to be like, they know that I'm trying to follow up with them because they've come across. My CRM told them, "Oh, it's been three months. You gotta go and contact them." What are some of the things that you can send them so that it's not just, "Hey, here I am." But that it's beneficial to them, too. 

Nedra (guest): 

Exactly. So this is where I've kind of learned in the last few years is to really be a human with people. People appreciate if you remember details about their own lives and actually connect with them.

 

Nedra (guest): 

A lot of times the emails I sent out. I'm like, "Hey, how's your summer going? What are you doing for vacation? How's your family doing? Just really, being more thoughtful about that as much as possible and adding a little bit more personal information in there. I think that's actually how I start out my emails like, how's your summer going? Are you taking a break from work? I'm actually going camping and I'm really excited to get off the grid. Like that was really how I started it and I think the more you can be yourself and not have it be so businesslike is just takes the pressure off and then it just makes it more of a normal, natural relationship.

Nedra (guest): 

Because I want my referral partners, I wanna get to know them because also wanna be able to send them gifts if they do refer me like I just had a great experience where one of my referral partners referred me and it was great. And so I wanted to thank him. And I know he liked Star Wars, so I sent him this really cool cutting board with a fun little Star Wars thing on it, and I'm like, "Sweet. I think this will be a really great. It was very custom." He's a really thoughtful gift, and so I think getting to know your folks. that you're working with can only be to your benefit because one, you get to know how to gift them. Two, you just get to know them and you get to like have a good relationship with these people because who you wanna enjoy, the people you work with. Otherwise what's the point, right? 

 

Nedra (guest): 

So I think that could take the pressure off of like what you say and you could just be like, "Hey, I know you moved last month, how'd that go?" Or you know, just something simple. And that's what the CRM is helpful to keep track of do these people have kids? Do they know what's going on in their lives? How can you make just acknowledging things that are going on just helps to make it more real and personal? 

 

Kathy (host): 

I love that. Especially the whole gifting idea too. I mean, I do a lot of that as well. Every single time. Either someone sends me business or I just sometimes just send them a gift just because. Let's talk a little bit about how do you actually reward people for sending you business? 

Kathy (host): 

Because we also had a discussion about referral fees and we're both on the same page. In my business, I don't take referral fees and I don't give referral fees. I definitely thank all my referral partners. I send them a gift, cookies, chocolate, whatever it is, whatever they really like because I do wanna acknowledge that relationship, and I definitely do wanna thank him, and I'm really, really thankful every time people send me business. But the reason why I don't take referral gifts or give referral gifts is because I want them to be neutral when it comes to looking for providers. I want them to go and find the provider that's the best for the client based on who's the best, not where they're gonna get the money from. And then on the other side, for me as well, I don't wanna have that bias either, because for me since I'm so close to the purse, so to speak, being a Fractional CFO, I don't want that the referral fee to, in any way, be a bias in me thinking, "Who is gonna be the best for the client", so I always wanted to be very straightforward and black and white. So that's why I don't do the referral fees. But I wanna take your take on that. What's your idea about the referral fees? How do you feel about that? 

Nedra (guest): 

I agree. I had a good colleague of mine tell me about it. She's an Interior Designer and she was saying how she had this one lighting company she was referring a lot of work to, and they kept saying, "Yeah, thanks for much referrals. We'll reward you. We'll something." And this was like months went by and I think almost a year went by. And then finally my colleague got something in the mail and it was a check and she just like, "Seriously, that's what you sent me? Oh my God. Like, I wish they hadn't done that." Because I just soured the whole relationship. Like, why couldn't you just like sent me a thank you note or acknowledgment or even a gift or you said cookies, flowers, something would've been much better than that. So I think expectations could be really just muddled, and emotions get involved. 

Nedra (guest): 

Yeah, I agree with you, Kathy. It's really important to for integrity's sake, just to not play with that and do different things. And my philosophy is, I read the book Giftology by John Ruhlin a couple of years ago, and it kind of changed my whole outlook on gifting, especially even with my family. Like his idea is he started out selling knives as a young man. And you know, they're accustomed you could put like initials or names on them and people really loved them and they were something that people could talk about. You had a barbecue and you had this knife and you're like, "Wait, where'd you get this knife?" It was like a conversation starter and he realized how much people treasured something that could reuse that was practical but also customized. And so his big push is to like, "If you're gonna give someone, try to give them something that's useful and thoughtful and personal." Food is okay, but it can, it goes away. And flowers are great, but they could die. So it's just like all these having these different ideas and that's why it's important to get to know your person because you're the person you wanna set a gift to because you know you wanna make a good impact. And so he has amazing stories in this book about blowing people's minds, both a gift and, and try. And then the gesture is there. It's like, "Okay, I really wanna appreciate you for helping me. I wanna make you feel special." And, and so it's really cool. 

Nedra (guest): 

John's created this whole community called Gift and Grow that I've been on for a year or two and it's so amazing what I learn on there about how to gift people and ideas and inspiration and I don't know, I think there's, especially because he's been saying and other people like, "We haven't been going to conferences. Like that's just been kind of a really quiet thing." So gifting has picked up and that's a great way to show people you appreciate them and also top of mind, like you said, just sometimes out of the blue. It can be a really powerful way. I've gotten speaking opportunities and work because 

Nedra (guest): 

I've gifted people and just surprised them and did it really thoughtfully.Like there's this really cool company called Popup Cards. I knew this one colleague of mine really loves unicorns and there was this really fun popup card that had a unicorn in it and it just like blew his mind. He was just like, "Oh my God, this is awesome. Thank you so much." And just really helped us have a start, a sparker conversation.

Nedra (guest): 

So I think the more you can get to know people, And have that wow factor. It's so fun, it's so rewarding and it really makes them feel special. And that's the whole point is to connect with them on that level and kind of take it a notch up before above, which is just a business relationship because I think things are evolving and we're beyond that now.

 

Nedra (guest): 

If you wanna really connect with people. It's like you gotta really make a difference, make an impact. 

Kathy (host): 

I love these examples. I'll definitely check out that book Giftology because that's something that I'm really interested in. It feels great for the person who receives it, but it also feels great for someone who gives it as well.

 

Kathy (host): 

And I notice every single time I send the gift out. I'm really looking forward to the person enjoying it just for the sake of enjoying it. So it's, it, it's almost like a give in a way as well. 

Nedra (guest): 

Oh yeah. And I could tell the serotonin in my brain lights up when I start gifting someone or planning something for someone. And I really treasure it because it really helps me feel like I'm showing them the gratitude I have in a way that's gonna really light them up. You don't always get a chance to do that very often. And so the more, like I said, it's really, really important to get to know people so you're not just sending them something blah.

Nedra (guest):

 I've got sent stuff in the mail. I'm just like, seriously? I don't drink black tea. You didn't do your homework. You don't know me that well. I wish you would've just asked me. You know? It's just funny. 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. This gift-giving also extends to clients as well. So what I like to do in my practice, I would just randomly every couple of months, I will send them a gift through the mail because, and it really takes that client relationship up to the next level because they, they know you care. You wanna make them feel special. 

 

Nedra (guest):

Exactly. And one of the tips that John gives in the book that I think could be an easy way to give people. One of the things I wanna mention too, the whole address thing can really kind of make people very uncomfortable. Right? That's one thing I get asked the all the time, like, how do you get people's addresses? "Because that's just so." "Oh, I don't know how to ask." I'm like, "What the things that John suggests is and I just come out and ask". I'm like, "Hey, I'm not gonna send you any bad mail. I'm not gonna spam you, but I just, I'd love to send you something." He actually recommends. You could say, "I really wanna send you this book. Can I have your address? And then you have like a window of like six months to a year to send this book. Which a book is a great gift. I mean, that can be a really thoughtful thing. That could be an easy way to give people and, and kind of baby steps into this instead of like, full blown, like something custom.

 

Nedra (guest): 

I think it's better to work your way up and do small things and get brave because this can be very uncomfortable for some people and that's something I've helped a lot of clients with. 

 

Kathy (host): 

And some people don't wanna give out their home addresses. So usually the way how I ask them in the past is, what's the best mailing address?

Nedra (guest):

 Exactly. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Because it could be a PO address. It could be something, something they wanna send to a, I mean, it could be anything, right? Versus, "Hey, what's your home address?" Seems so invasive. 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I see the same thing. And I think I've only gotten told "No thanks." Like twice in 200 times I've asked to. So yeah, I think people, it's surprising especially if you go about it the right way, people will be generous and share that with you. 

 

Kathy (host): 

This has been absolutely delightful. I really love this conversation. We've covered so much round, especially when it comes to referral partners and gifting, which is super, super important things to, and start embedding in your business. But I always ask this question, every single guest that comes on this podcast, and this is. If someone wants to get away from social media when it comes to their marketing- marketing their business, what is the next step that they can do in the next week or two to get them closer to all these other tactics that we talked about?

Nedra (guest): 

Yeah. I'll show this podcast with you. I think it's called Softer Sounds. She actually has some really good tips on this that will like support what I'm gonna say here and, and give more steps. But I think the first step is, this is where that CRM comes into play, have a list of who your core audit community is. If you're on Instagram or LinkedIn, who are you talking to there? And you need to have them move to a different place. And there's a whole process in that. And it could be that you're gonna be doing podcasting or email marketing or something where you need to show up in a different place that they can connect with you. And that's really the secret is to start making that list and so you can kind of help migrate them. 

Nedra (guest): 

I noticed one business coach. Was it 2018 or something before, before people were migrating off social media. She decided to get off Facebook and it was a big deal because she had a big Facebook group. But she, she let people know, she warned them, kind of gave them a whole process and was able to migrate people off there. Had a little bit of loss, but in the end she was so much happier and her community was happier because she had better energy and so she just connected with them via kept podcasts and email. She hasn't looked back since, and so happy to be on their side of it. So yeah, there's just totally of processes in place and I will share those in the resources with you. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Great. Awesome. We will put those in the show notes. And where can people find you? 

 

Nedra (guest): 

Yeah, just my website, which is my name, nedrarezinas.com. You can definitely connect with me there. Email's always a great place. I check my email a lot. 

Kathy (host): 

Awesome. Thank you so much for being on the show, Nedra.

 

Nedra (guest): 

Thanks for having me, Kathy. This is a fun conversation.

Kathy (host): 

Thanks so much for joining us and I hope that today's episode has inspired you to step back, reevaluate your marketing, and check out what timeless marketing tactics can still work for you today and for your business. Next week, I'm excited that we are going to have Michael Haynes back as a guest, and we're gonna be talking about strategic planning. It's going to be a great discussion, so I recommend highly, highly recommend that you tune in. 

Kathy (host): 

Also, if you love this episode, you can find all the timestamps, show notes, blog post, and links on the website, newcastlefinance.us/podcast. And before I go, as always, I do have a favor to ask. If you are listening to this on the Apple podcast, if you could please go to the show and tap the number of stars that you think the show deserves because this kickstart the algorithm and it helps other people find it too.

 

Kathy (host): 

Thanks so much. Until next time.