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Creating Content that Connects with Your Audience with Michelle Venorsky

of Hello Marketing Agency

I'm so grateful to have my friend, Michelle Venorsky here with me today to talk, about content, getting off the hamster wheel and how to really market your business with ease.

Michelle is amazing. She has introduced me to so many people (like Sarah and Ellen at Flipfort, Josie and Nicolette at Broadview Eye, Charity D’Amato at Studio Chartreuse and Shari Hunter at Two Cafe) and helped me reintegrate back into the Cleveland area after having a local business and then going online for two years.

Megan: When I meet somebody and we hit it off and then they refer me- it means so much. Not only is it my version of Facebook official with friendships (Referral official? lol) but it creates a beautiful friendship web with new likeminded people to the point where I often forget how we all met.

You were so kind in introducing me to so many people and I'm just so excited to have you here and get to really pick your brain on marketing and some things that can feel challenging as business owners but are so crucial in spreading our mission and our message.

Michelle: We have to, right? I think that's part of being female business owners, especially small business owners, is lifting other women up and anytime you can make a connection or help somebody out- do it.

Speaking to Your Client

Megan: I love what you were just sharing with me about your background. That it’s almost like a trianlge, these important points of marketing, that have all come into play in your business from PR to social media to branding.

Why is integrating all three of those elements so important?

Michelle: Well, it really starts a step before that. You really need to start with the consumer and who you are speaking to. Understanding:

  • What do they think or feel about your brand, organization or whatever it is that you're trying to promote

  • Really gaining unique insight into their head

  • And thinking about how can we build a relationship.

We like to say that we're marketing agnostic, and we don’t not lead with tactics or disciplines first. Because just meeting somebody, I have no idea what the answer is going to be to their problem yet or what the right marketing solution is.

  • Maybe it is just PR.

  • Maybe it's PR and some type of social media or digital beyond that.

I have no idea. So let's understand your audience first and really think about how can we build a relationship with them?

Because really we all forget at the end of the day, we're all consumers and we all know what we like and what we don't like. You can do anything to market your business and get somebody to be a client for a day but nobody wants a one hit wonder, right? We want to build sustainable, long term, mutually beneficial, two way relationships.

Building a Relationship with Your Clients

Michelle: So what can we do to build a relationship and make that piece work? First and foremost we’re specialists not generalists. So we will often say, you should really think about this or consider doing this. And you should talk to this person because they can help you do that.

That warm lead and referral is a service and builds a deeper relationship and trusted friendship.

When it comes to relationship building in the PR and social space, which is where we focus, it's almost hard pressed to find somebody who could not benefit.

From third party credibility from the press to social being such a huge part of our lives and then branding is really happening whether somebody's doing it or not.

Megan: I love what you were saying- it's kind of this local mentality. I've talked about this a lot having had a local business for 10 years and then moving into the online space, which are two different worlds. But what I approached the online space with that local mentality like you’re saying in mind.

You run a local business differently. When someone walks into your space or you meet them at an event or on the street. You approach them differently.

I think has gotten lost in translation a lot. Do you feel the same with social and people randomly reaching out instead of being thoughtful and intentional?

Michelle: I mean, we're sitting here right now in Chagrin Falls and there's so many reasons why love this little slice of Cleveland.

One of them is I can walk into Lemon Falls and they know what I like. I can walk into Heartwood and they know what I like. You know, Mick can make me my exact drink how I like it at Aurelia, right?

Everybody knows everybody and looks out for everybody. And while that's very unique, and we're very fortunate to have that here, you can take that magic and translate it online by building a genuine relationship.

Not trying to be everything to everybody or posting constantly just because you think you have to or chasing the likes, but instead share meaningful content that you know provides some type of utility, resource or help to your audience. You can build a genuine relationship on social. It does exist.

You can take what you have here locally and celebrate that on a much larger scale.

Slow Marketing in the Online Space

Megan: What are some ways that you are building relationships online?

I know for me, personally, one way that I've kind of merged the two worlds has been with audio messages. Those are so huge. When somebody comes into my world and follows me, I try to take the time to send them an audio message and say (not in a sleazy way) Thank you. You are a person entering my space. I want to welcome you in like I would my home.

And I think that is a little different than how most people are looking at social because the emphasis can be so much on: when's the count going up?

I know you're mentioning here that the content in itself can be utility and help and that gives value. Is there anything else that you're thinking about when you're working with your clients to make sure they are bringing that local, relational aspect to what they're posting or how they're showing up?

Michelle: Knowing who you're speaking to, not just their demographics but understanding their psychographics as well.

Marketing is holistic. The left hand has to know what the right hand is doing. So look at all of your stats not just the social ones. Find out what is working because together you'll start to form a really nice picture of who you're talking to.

And then think about how can we help them? What is it that they're seeking? If you've already been posting or doing things online, what is resonating with people? What are they engaging with? What are they not engaging with? What channels can you be on that makes sense?

Just because all the channels exist does not mean you have to be on there. And by the way, you might not even need to be on social, right?

Again, going back to the audience, what they think and feel and prefer?

And if you are on social, don't think that you have to post constantly and on every channel. Every channel has a different behavior, so we have to use them differently.

I think that becomes very overwhelming when people think about it. There's just so much out there, and it's just so big.

But you can make it small. You can make it your own.

Megan: I love that you said you might not need to be on social because that’s exactly where I’ve gone with my audience and business.

The way you’re sharing totally reminds me of feminine business/gentle business/slow business. The concept is the same as slow living but for business.

It's like, how do we:

  • Slow down

  • Let go of the fast paced hustle culture

  • Show up more mindfully and intentionally

  • And with the mindset of simply helping people

A lot of people who are doing this feminine slow business are considering avoiding social media altogether, which I take a slightly different approach to.

I think there's kind of that balance in between where what are your goals are and how do you want to live your life.

So I'm curious for the people who don't need to be posting on social or are overwhelmed by it all and maybe aren’t seeing results how would you recognize: Oh, social is not the right fit for you.

Michelle: Well, first I would almost separate the two because we had a client and they hated social but I think they were thinking it was still a fad and they just did not see the point. And we said, we get it. There's some days where I still wish it was 1994. And especially having two girls, a teen and a preteen, some days I wish I never heard of Instagram, right?

But it does exist. And just because you personally may not like it- if your audience likes it and your audience is there, you either need to hire somebody to help with that or find somebody else in your organization to help with that or find a way because there's going to be a conversation happening and you at least want to be part of that conversation.

At the end, if you luck out and you hate social and also your audience hates social too, then it's just going back to marketing in general:

  • Where can we add value?

  • How can we help?

  • Where is our audience so we can build a relationship with them?

    • Is it something offline? Are we doing events? Are we doing different experiences? Are we doing classes? Are we doing old school advertising?

      • There's a million different ways you can build a relationship with somebody. It doesn't necessarily have to be in the digital space, but it, I cannot say it enough. It just depends on your audience and every audience is different.

Things are constantly moving and changing. Always be in beta. You want to continually evolve and change and modify whatever it is you're doing in that space.

Marketing is not this clear cut precision, like brain surgery, right? It's a mix of art and science. You just got to roll with it and adjust as you see fit.

It's about being more mindful. There's constantly trends and, personally, I tend to sort of ignore them because the space changes so much.

I feel like if you are always true to the basics, then you don't have to worry about hopping on the latest bandwagon or whatever it may be. Always being mindful, genuine and transparent- those are always in style.

Connect with Michelle



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Cleveland Mompreneur Guide Podcast
Welcome to the Cleveland Mompreneur Guide where we highlight the amazing Mom Business Owners to know here in Cleveland, Ohio.
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