A lesson in the power of artisanal marketing

I made a short and sweet video for you about some inspiration I received from my friend Ann Handley. If you prefer to read rather than view a video, an edited transcript about this idea of artisanal marketing appears below the video. Here we go!

Today I’m offering some ideas and observations on artisanal marketing inspired by a thank you note I received from Ann Handley.

There’s a cool lesson here that applies to content marketing, digital marketing, and even general business.

So let’s take a look at this thank you note, and the lesson that it taught me.

I have known Ann for at least 10 or 12 years. And the thing I know about her is that everything she does has a sort of artisanal craftsmanship to it (and I actually looked up craftsmanship. It is generally accepted as a gender-neutral word!)

Everything you receive from Ann has this certain personality … something that’s a little extra. That is the signature of her work, whether it’s her wonderful newsletter, a book, or even a thank you note.

The first thing I noticed about this thank you note is that it has this bunny sticker on it (see the photo at the top of the post). It says “Bun!” Why? Because Ann has this amazing speech and a story about a bunny in her garden and she knows I love that story. And where do you even get a sticker of a bunny like that? It’s pretty cool.

Now let’s look at the back. She has a bee sticker, and she’s drawn the path flight path of the bee and some flowers and some leaves. Why? Because I have bees on the grounds of my home! She added this special touch again — a sticker of a bee.

And then she has this whimsical little card inside. It has a fun literary theme to it, and a handwritten note. She’s colored it to add her personality.

And you can see here, she has a pretty good representation of me!

Now, why is this so important? Why is this a lesson for all of us trying to stand out in the world today?

There’s such an emphasis today on content volume and trying to figure out a way to somehow temporarily trick the algorithms of Instagram, or YouTube, or Facebook, or Google, or wherever you’re trying to show up in this … let’s call this the age of HubSpot … where we’re just trying to pump out content in such volume and at such scale as a way to earn the fleeting attention of these algorithms.

That’s not really marketing, at least for the long-term.

Artisanal marketing means emotion

What’s great branding? It’s about creating an emotional connection between what you do and your audience. It’s really not about getting somebody to click on a link. sure, you can probably trick somebody into clicking on your link. But you can’t trick somebody into reading your content. You can’t trick someone into loving it. You can’t trick someone into sharing it, and telling others about it, like I’m doing now.

This note from Ann is a piece of content laden with emotion. I’m not only talking about it and sharing it with you today and spreading some love for Ann Handley. I’ll probably keep it until the day I die. Isn’t that remarkable? Isn’t that something exceptional?

And it’s not that hard to scale “artisanal.” It just takes a little bit of caring. It means adding your personality. Maybe it even takes a little courage to put some of yourself into everything that you do.

But in the end, this is the only choice you have to stand out. You have to be original. To be original, you have to put a little piece of yourself into everything you do.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson and that it inspired you a little bit like inspired me. And if you haven’t been following Ann Handley. You need to do that and be inspired yourself.

I appreciate you and the time you took out of your day to read this! You can find more articles like this from me on the top-rated {grow} blog and while you’re there, take a look at my Marketing Companion podcast and my keynote speaking page. For news and insights find me on Twitter at @markwschaefer and to see what I do when I’m not working, follow me on Instagram.

Originally published at https://businessesgrow.com on March 1, 2021.

Keynote speaker, strategy consultant, Rutgers University marketing faculty and author of 9 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Cumulative Advantage.

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