e're home from being gone four weeks and finally settling back into the regular hum of life. I suppose I could pretend the laundry was done and put away, or, heck, even pretend I'VE UNPACKED MY BAG, but why front? My biggest accomplishment in the past two days was putting on yoga pants and getting the mail...baby steps, Internet, baby steps.
Polo and I have mostly taken refuge under a blanket, talking only when necessary. And by necessary I mean turning to my suitcase and asking, Why haven't you unpacked yourself?!?
Today we're going to LA to see the premiere of Hunger Games...and if I go in something nicer than yoga pants, I'm going to high-five myself.
creativeLIVE : April 2012...The Deets
e're just a few weeks away from my FREE online photography course with creativeLIVE and I'm extra excited to share a few more details of what's in store! We've been working away at planning a smashing good time and I can't wait to share even more in the coming weeks, but for now, here's more information:
I look forward to seeing you online April 27-29, 2012, so be sure to mark your calendars and register for the course HERE.
Lastly, for those who've submitted a video to be one of the six awesome in-class attendees, thank you! I've been making my way through the submissions and I appreciate your hard work! Being in front of the camera is difficult...as my good friend Anthony Quesada found out. He helped me film this video while I was in San Francisco and I'm pretty sure he wanted to fire me eight times. But I bribed him with Burmese food. It's fantastic what a plate of noodles can do for a girl.
Storytelling Marketing with Mary Marantz
elloooo J* readers!! First of all, thank you SO much for having us here today, and a huge thanks to Jasmine & JD for asking us to do a guest post for them. I *could* start off by telling you how when I first got that email from them, I may or may not have (but definitely did!) a little happy dance involving the running man and the Roger Rabbit in the middle of our kitchen floor. But since I don't want to start off right off the bat losing cool points with you :), instead I'm going to jump right in by telling you about....
This one time, at Starbucks.
Every single day of our lives, Justin & I get in the car and drive fifteen minutes each way past at least three Dunkin Donuts to pay probably double the price, just so I can hold that cardboard cup (with the weird, green, semi-inappropriate mermaid on it) in my hands. Because I like the way it makes me feel. From my very first day of law school- when I'll be honest with you I didn't even really like the taste of coffee, but everything else in my world seemed to be spinning out of control- it was that cardboard cup that made me feel like in that moment, I was living the collegiate dream. Like I was Elle Woods, Perry Mason and Judge Wapner all rolled into one. And that maybe, just maybe, somewhere deep down... I could do this.
And ever since Starbucks and that cardboard cup made me feel something, not about them mind you-but about myself, I have been what Kevin Roberts calls in his book Lovemarks "loyal beyond reason" to them. When you think about it, it is not reasonable for us to get in the car every day and drive past three other coffee shops in the pursuit of just one. It is not rational for me to pay double the price, when I could get a very comparable product elsewhere for half that amount.
Because what my experience will tell us, what the concept of "loyalty beyond reason" will tell us, is that buying is not a cold, calculated, rational, reasonable or logical endeavor. Buying is emotional.
Justin & I have been giving talks for a while now on this idea of emotional marketing: that the more they feel... the more they talk, the more they buy, and the more they go out and convince others to do the same. That when we can get our clients to feel something, we are basically raising up an army of evangelists hundreds strong that are going out into the world and saying our names. It's pretty powerful stuff. What we believe is that "emotional marketing" is actually made up of at least five smaller types of marketing that feed into making our clients feel something.
Today, I want to focus in on: Storytelling Marketing. So how do you go about telling a story that will actually make your clients feel something and want to go talk about you? There are 3 steps.
1. Figure out exactly what it is that you want them to feel. Be specific. Please don't say to me that you want your clients to feel "romantic" or "beautiful" or "in love." It's too general. It just blends you in with everyone else. And it's not a real story. On the other hand, tell me that you want your clients to feel romantic in that John Cusack holding up a boom box sort of way, and now we have something we can work with. Make it as specific, and as one of a kind as possible.
2. Facts that connect, Descriptions that compel, Plots that Inspire. Once you know what it is that you want your clients to feel, now you have to go about giving them the stories that actually make them feel that way. So what are the components of a story that make people feel something? They are: a) facts that connect people, b) descriptions that compel people and c) plots that inspire people.
If I told you right now that I grew up poor in a trailer in West Virginia, are those some facts that just connected me to a few more of you out there? Probably. If I took the time to describe to you the dirt floor, the caved in roof, the old wood stove, that musty smell that hung in the air and clung to your clothing....and your dignity like a badge of dishonor, are those descriptions that would make my story more compelling to some of you? I would hope so.
3. It has to be honest. If you put on your marketing hat right now, and say well, this is what I want my clients to feel, so what's a story I can make up that will make them feel that way? trust me, you are going to lose. People will see right through that, and they'll see you coming a mile away. Never underestimate people's ability to cut through the BS. So instead of making up a story that you think sounds pretty or will attract the kinds of weddings & couples you want to be getting, why don't you just try telling a story that's real?
For Justin & I, that real story we wanted to tell is simply that the way that we see love in this world comes first from how we see love together. And all the specifics that go into it and make it what it is. The quiet love. The day in-day out love. The working side by side to build a life together sort of love. So on our blog, in our about page, and in our promo video, we talked about our love. Together. And...we were real about it.
And about how we do the dishes together. Side by side. And how that You wash, I'll dry mentality has become not just a division of labor, but a mantra for how we take on this life. Together. That was the story we wanted people connecting with.
Because what we wanted, more than anything, was for the people who were hiring us to feel like we could tell their story like no one else could. That we alone could take what to the rest of the world might look ordinary, and tell it for the epic love story that it really is. And, that we could do it in a way that the rest of the world might finally and for the first time understand. Because the people who feel something from that story, those are the people I want out there saying our names.
At the end of the day, we could all go out and try the same poses, shoot with the same gear, buy the same lighting set ups, and apply the same Photoshop actions. But the one thing we will never be able to do, is to tell the same story. Because the way that I see the world is different from the way you see the world. And thank goodness it is. Because that is what makes us all irreplaceable. Make no mistake about it: buying is very emotional.
So whatever you do, make sure you're telling a story that makes people feel something.
To connect with Justin and Mary Marantz, you can find their website HERE and to get to know them better you can check out their promo video HERE.
Our Heads Held High
ou rubbed my back because of--yet another--battle with insomnia. It's just that I can't turn my brain off, I told you in between tears. We had just left Phoenix after the first stop of theFIX, I was still sick, and feeling like the worst version of myself...and I felt like a failure. At four o'clock in the morning, you sat with me as I rewrote my notes and rehearsed my presentation. By the time you shut the window to our room on the bus, the sun was rose and the moon disappeared, leaving pale purple shades in its absence.
On a break during the New York City show, I rushed to you and said the line for the girls' bathroom was overwhelming and I worried it'd cause problems with keeping things on time. You looked around a dusty storage room, grabbed a bottle of disinfectant and scrubbed the boys' bathroom toilet, later announcing to a line of waiting ladies it was officially a unisex option.
In Denver you took the dog for a walk, but when you didn't return 40 minutes later and didn't answer my repeated phone calls, I worried. Yes, I--much to my embarrassment--imagined you stuck in a ditch somewhere after being mugged or something. Right. Like a group of hippies wearing tie dye shirts are the mugging type, but still. I panicked. I thought about canceling the show and asking the attendees to act as a search party a few hours later when they were slated to arrive. When you bopped into the bus ten minutes later, I was so upset I cried. BECAUSE THE HIPPIES ALMOST GOT YOU.
Almost a month stuck on a bus with me and I don't think I can tell you this enough: thank you. You're the better half of me, our business, and our dreams. Thanks for the sunrises, clean toilets, and taking long walks. Tonight is our last show in Los Angeles and because of the dedication of you and team, we're completing it with our heads held high. Here's to living out loud...