Burnsville Marketing Agency

Made In Minnesota – Events By Melody

Made In Minnesota – Events By Melody 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Welcome to our blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format is a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet Melody, founder of Events by Melody, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Welcome, Melody! Thanks for being here today.
It’s great to be here!

We would love to learn a little bit about you and how Events by Melody got started!
Sure. Ever since I can remember, I knew that someday I would start my own business. I wasn’t sure what that would be exactly but I knew that working the Monday-Friday, 9-5 job just wasn’t for me. 
In early 2016, while I was still working at my full-time marketing job, I created a logo and website, you know, just for fun. I thought to myself, I’m going to be an event planner! I had always helped friends plan and coordinate their weddings and I was helping the engineering firm I was working for plan their corporate events (holiday parties, retirement parties, golf events etc.) Planning events has always been something I’m passionate about and I wanted to help others. 
When I launched my business in July of 2016, it took about a month but my first prospective client called…it was a bride looking for coordination services for her upcoming wedding. Long story short, her wedding was a few short weeks later and I quickly had one wedding under my belt. From there, the Events by Melody name spread rapidly. By the end of 2016, my company had coordinated 11 weddings and 1 corporate event (all while still working my full-time marketing gig!) In 2017, we coordinated 41 weddings and 2 corporate events and in 2018 we have 50+ weddings on the calendar (and counting!) Now I’ve got a whole team to back me up. Oh, and I ended up quitting my marketing job!

Q. Can you tell us a little about the services you provide?
A. Events by Melody specializes in weddings as well as corporate and non-profit events. The majority of our business is weddings, where we focus on wedding planning, design and coordination. Some of the corporate and non-profit events we plan/coordinate include holiday parties, award ceremonies, golf events, walk/run events and more!

Q. Looking back…do you think you were destined to be in this business?
A. Absolutely! When I was in elementary school, I would sell pencils to my classmates. In middle school, I tried selling landscaping rocks from my neighbor’s front yard (shhh!). That didn’t work so well though. Apparently nobody wants to purchase these from a 12-year-old kid but hey – I tried! In short, I’ve always been driven and motivated and wanted to become my own boss and own my own business for as long as I can remember!

Q. What do you find most challenging about the business you’re in?
A. The wedding/event planning market is saturated and there is a ton of competition. To be successful in this industry, you have to differentiate yourself. Whether this means having a clean and modern website, staying heavily active on social media or attending networking events and really putting yourself out there, you have to stay top of mind…always!

Q. If you could start your business all over again what is the number one thing you would do differently?
A. Honestly, nothing. I got to where I am today because of what I did from Day 1. While I could have done things differently, I would likely still be on the path I’m on. I’m a firm believer in the saying, Everything happens for a reason!

Q. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of juggling…how do you stay focused or get re-focused?
A. Organization is KEY. I use a monthly planner/agenda book, set reminders in my phone and create to-do lists. (I LOVE crossing items off the list. Best. Feeling. Ever.)

Q. If you only had $500 to spend on growing your business, where would you spend your money and why?

A. I would spend that money on my team! I would love to treat my team to a group outing/team building experience. My team is what helps make Events by Melody successful and I couldn’t do it without them. Treat your employees like they make a difference and they will.

Q. What are three words you would use to describe your organization?
A. Professional, fun, authentic.

Q. Something fun…if you could start any business today what would it be?
A.
A doggy day care! This is actually the business I wanted to start years ago before I started Events by Melody. I LOVE animals and think this would be so much fun. And who wouldn’t want to hang out with cute doggies all day?!

Q. What’s the best advice you’d give a business owner who is just getting started?

A. Have patience and believe in yourself. You can achieve anything you put your mind to. You will have failures along the way and make mistakes in the beginning but take these in stride and remember that at the end of the day, they are learning experiences.

If you’d like to learn more about Events By Melody, visit them online Eventsbymelodymn.com.

Want to be featured in our Made in Minnesota blog series or do you know of a really cool business that would make a great feature? Contact us today!

Pssst…Marketing Doesn’t Have to Suck!

Pssst…Marketing Doesn’t Have to Suck! 900 600 WildFigAdmin

“Ahhhh . . . This is so refreshing!” We’ve heard that a lot over the past couple of weeks. We’ve had several new clients who, after completing a Strategic Marketing Session with Wild Fig Marketing, have commented that they are once again excited about their marketing. More specifically, they’ve realized marketing can be fun, and it doesn’t have to suck!

Here’s what we recommend our clients do to make marketing fun again:

1. Infuse your hobbies and interests into your marketing content. If you love to downhill ski or fly-fish, think about how you could tie that hobby/sport into your business. For example, if you were a financial planner who loved to fly-fish, you could write a blog about the correlation between preparing to fly-fish and preparing for your future. What lures/financial tools do you need? How much time should you allot? How do you find the best fishing spots/right mixture of financial products?

You get the idea, right? Take something you find fun or enjoyable and incorporate it into your marketing content. It will make content writing much easier. It’ll also help you connect with your customers and prospective customers. Who knows? Maybe it’ll help you land your next big client who also happens to love fly-fishing!

2. Tell a story. Stories are incredibly powerful and memorable. Think about it: How many stories have you heard already today? I consider myself a master at taking everyday stories and turning them into opportunities to educate and connect with my customers and prospective customers.

For example, a blog article I’m working on right  now is about my dog, Steve, who’s incredibly persistent and a bit naughty, too. But it’s also about  about the importance of persistence when following up with prospects. I’m going to tie it to the story about how Steve conquered our garbage due to his persistence. Stay tuned–this will be a funny one, I guarantee!

See, marketing really can be easy and fun when you tie it to your everyday stories! Think outside-the-box and use your stories to educate people in a more meaningful and memorable way.

3. Incorporate your personality and voice. This is SO important to remember when it comes to all of your marketing content. So often we forget that people do business with people, not businesses. If your marketing content sounds just like everyone else in your industry, what will set you apart? Make it easier for your prospective customers to identify with you by infusing your personality as well as your company’s personality into your content. Don’t hide your larger-than-life personality or your calm, soothing tone of voice.

EMBRACE it and USE it!

Want to test how effective this idea is? Go find one of the brands you follow or buy from on a regular basis and read their home and about us pages. Then go to their competitor’s website and read their home and about us pages. Which one drew you in? Which one would you buy from? I’d bet that you’d choose the first brand again because you connect with them and their messaging. There’s nothing wrong with the other brand. They are simply appealing to a different audience.

Marketing doesn’t have to suck. If you incorporate your interests, stories, and personality, it can even be fun! If you’re still feeling uninspired, Wild Fig Marketing can help you find a fresh perspective.  Contact us today to get started.

Every Good Story Has a Villain

Every Good Story Has a Villain 900 600 WildFigAdmin

As a business, do you know yours?

When you think of the components of a great story what elements come to mind? Plot, setting, conflict, resolution – all important elements, right? But there is one central story element that underlies each of these elements and that is the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist – the hero and the villain. Without a struggle between the two any potentially good story will otherwise fall flat. This is also true in terms of content marketing. Let’s take a look specifically at the important role of the villain and how this element of story can propel the success of your marketing efforts.

First off, why do we love a villain? David Robson, in his blog British Psychology Society, describes how when we witness the good vs. evil tension in books or film the empathy network part of our brain displays the greatest response. We long to see our hero shine brightly and triumph over his/her adversary. What is a hero without an adversary to overcome? Marketing expert Donald Miller has some thoughts on this, “Villains deepen our love for the hero of the story and captivate our attention – we keep watching because we want to see our hero take the bad guy down.”

In the same way, incorporating a villain into your marking efforts gives you the opportunity to position your brand as the shining hero that saves the day. As a business owner you are well-acquainted with the hero of your story – the product or service your business provides. In the hands of your customer this product or service equips him/her to do battle against the villain of your story. But who exactly is your villain? What is it that your brand goes to battle against and triumphs over? Is it a competitor, a nagging problem, a lack of knowledge or expertise…? Or maybe it’s crummy customer service, a confusing process or a safety hazard…? This is your story and you can tell it exactly how you want. You may even consider creating a piece of company lore about your brand’s place in the world.

One company that has knocked this ball out of the park is REI. In 2015, the outdoor gear giant took a marketing leap with their #optoutside campaign. They pitted holiday consumerism as the villain, closed the doors to all their retail stores for a day and encouraged consumers to rally against this big bad villain by spending Black Friday making outdoor adventures and hashtaging them on social media. In doing this REI discovered that there are literally millions of people out there who want to join this fight. Long after the Black Friday campaign is over consumers continue to feel a strong sense of brand loyalty to REI by choosing to #optoutside (5.5 million hashtags and counting!) in this worthwhile fight.

Utilizing “the villain” in your brand’s content marketing strategy will not only give your audience something to rally against therefore increasing brand loyalty but it will also make your brand stand out from the competition by highlighting its unique attributes. Mac pulled this off successfully in its series of Mac vs. PC commercials a number of years ago. Mac strategically pitted itself against the PC by personifying PC as boring, nerdy, clunky and irrelevant while casting it alongside of its own hip and progressive image. While the villain in this marketing campaign wasn’t inherently evil, Mac portrayed PC as something many consumers want to rally against – convention for convention’s sake. This campaign won over countless consumers who want to embrace a hip, progressive and more user-friendly personal technology experience as reflected by Mac’s 36% increase in overall sales the first year of the campaign.

Strategically incorporating a hero-villain dynamic into your content marketing strategy can ignite a passion for your brand’s cause and give consumers something to stand behind – increasing brand awareness and loyalty. If you want help clarifying the villain in your brand’s story, sign up for one of our Cultivator Strategic Marketing Sessions. One of our marketing experts will help you identify the villain you’re trying to overcome and help craft a perfectly detailed strategy to help you attract and retain more clients and generate more revenue!