2020 had many moments. Good ones, bad ones, intense ones.
Heading into 2020, I was just a few months into launching The Marketing Junkie. Before the world shut down, I was sailing smooth waters with clients in the performing arts industry preparing for an active performance schedule, small service-based businesses and start-ups just launching their businesses, and a healthy mix of nonprofits, brick-and-mortar retail and architecture. Then March happened (the dreaded shut down).
The original plan.
I had ambitious goals of working with my marketing friends in all of the above mentioned industries with the goal to share their marketing story. It included free referral traffic and promotion in exchange for the person’s time and insight. The goal was to find 20-ish connections to take on two topics and give my brand new site a bunch of content that I didn’t have to write, but would promote and share. It never panned out, but the desire to educate and tell brand stories was just stirring in me. As the year progressed, I dreamed of ways to revive this program. It was no longer about free content that I didn’t have to write. It was now about featuring these businesses and promoting them when they needed it most. Somewhere in 2020, I lost a bulk of selfishness and refocused on how I can make an impact.
What could I do?
I hosted free marketing chats on topics like content planning, branding, how to read analytics. I tried to revive a group of freelancers and contractors by bringing in virtual speakers to share insight on things like insurance, taxes, entity selections and contracts. I brainstormed with my chamber board on how we can make changes that positively impact our local business community. This was no longer about launching my business. This was about helping others.
It’s not about me.
2020 continued and where one door closed, another would open. I had to shift gears on how I was approaching websites and rework (and save) about ten different *NEW* relationships. It was looking like the performing arts center wasn’t going to be able provide entertainment safely given all of the mandates and restrictions. My non-profits were stressed because fundraising and advocating simply had to change. Personally, I was feeling frustrated with social media in general (covid-19, politics, cultural shifts and stresses, economic instability etc.). I would lay awake at night, mind swirling, just trying to make sense of it all. Feeling completely helpless, I prayed for guidance. I asked that my way be made clear. “Show me how I can make a difference.” 2020 had already shown me ways to get over myself, it was now time to be the good.
Enter Haven of Hope, a men’s homeless shelter in Van Wert County. Enter Families of Addicts – Van Wert, a support group for families experiencing the pain and impact of addiction. Enter PLC Health Clinic, a non-profit ministry whose mission is to protect the life of the unborn, offer alternatives to abortion, encourage sexual abstinence outside of marriage. These agencies have incredible passion and devotion to their missions. And humbly, they have given me the opportunity to help tell their story using social media, websites and more.
The new plan.
2020 began with the plan to feature/collaborate with area businesses and have them tell their own marketing story. The idea quickly dissolved and disappointment settled in. But as the year went on, I could see a new plan forming and now these brand stories are ready to be told. It’s time to take these lessons we’ve all learned – the good, the bad and the ugly – and share them with the world. The new plan is to have authentic, non-scripted conversations, showcasing our teachable moments and strengthen our relationships. The new goal includes offering low-cost training sessions, built around the needs of non-profits, small businesses and start ups. I’m inviting you along to join in. Will you help me tell your story?