Sunday, June 9, 2019

Andy Sernovitz Inspired Me Years Ago. I Need To Embrace His Philosophy Again.

A decade ago, the president of the company I was working for at the time sent me an autographed copy of 'Word of Mouth Marketing' by Andy Sernovitz. He wanted me to read the book. Gain some insight. Learn. Share my thoughts on the content. My level of enthusiasm wasn't exactly radiating. I love to read, but not these types of books. However, I was hooked after only a few pages.

What I enjoyed most about the book was how Andy Sernovitz presented the material. It was funny, raw, and personable. Light and airy. The book could have easily been duplicated into a conversation held in a cafĂ© over coffee and an overpriced pastry. 

One of the most profound things that I learned from 'Word of Mouth Marketing' can be summed up in 5 words.

Be. Part. Of. The. Conversation.

What that translates to in the marketing world is that you need to be present when people are talking about your product, brand, etc. It doesn't matter if they're praising your product or brand or doling out criticism. You should always be there. Engaging in the conversation. Generating more conversations.

An example of this would be the graduation party Lisa and I hosted last May for a good friend of ours when she received her Associate's degree. We threw her a party. That was her gift from us. The only thing she was responsible for was sending out the invitations to her friends and family.

Lisa and I planned the menu. Assorted finger sandwiches. A couple of pasta salads. Potato salad. A cheese platter. A vegetable platter with my dill dip. And, a gorgeous marble graduation cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. All homemade.

A few of the guests brought appetizers.

When everyone arrived, I was in the home office. Frong porch. Hiding. With an adult beverage in my hand. I didn't know most of the guests. The guest of honor and Lisa kept telling me to get my ass outside. I prolonged the process. Hesitated.

Everyone came inside to make plates and headed back outdoors, Lisa came inside and found me. She gently put her foot down.

"The guests are eating. I'm going to make a plate and so are you. You need to eat and get outside because people are complimenting your food left and right and asking questions and I don't know what to say because I didn't make any of it."


We made our plates and headed outdoors. Lisa had my chair set up by the camping table so I would have a place to put my plate.

I was introduced to the guests I didn't know.

There was a constant flow of guests going indoors to get more food.

I was at that point where I found myself amid several conversations about food.

My food.

To back up a bit, everything I made for this party was homemade. Simple. Recipes I have memorized that have been passed down from decades and decades ago.

Take the potato salad for instance. It's the same potato salad my Mom made when I was a little girl. The only change I made was I used scallions instead of onions and I added lots of dill.

One of the guests complimented the fact that I kept things fresh and simple. That generated another conversation that I enjoyed being a part of.

I talked about my belief that foods should be fresh and simple and seasonal and homemade. I'm not a fan of fancy food or meals.

I wasn't raised on fancy food or meals.

When we had Summer parties and got together for holidays and other special occasions, the food was beyond delicious. Our families always kept it simple and fresh and homemade.

You don't need to spend hours on a single dish or appetizer and spend a ton of money on pricey ingredients.

I could go on and on and on about that, but you get the gist of it. 

Throughout the myriad of conversations, people were inspired. Surprised. However, above all, they were satisfied.

I do not run a catering business nor do I make food and sell it to the public, but if I did...

In the here and now, I need to take that very same concept and apply it to my Work at Home Dog Mom Life. My blog. My Facebook pages. My social media streams.

I've been slacking on that.

A. Lot. 

I know this. I own it.

Instead of just viewing the replies and such, which I do periodically throughout the day, I need to respond. Generate conversations. Be part of the conversations.

While doing so, figure out why I stopped doing that in the first place.

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