Episode 31 – Listening and fostering relationships

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Episode 31 – Listening and fostering relationships


My guest today on the show is Scarlett Rosier.  Scarlett is an organized and articulate customer service-oriented professional, with knowledge of the international market as well as the community and higher education industries. She has successfully, launched and managed engaging social media campaigns, branding initiatives and website projects. She builds partnerships with clients that allow for rich, dynamic communication and long-term client/agency relationships.

Highlights from this Conversation

Related to Digital Marketing

    1. What has worked well for you?
  • Listening and fostering relationships
      1. Listen for needs and build on that
      2. Multitasking makes you miss
    1. What hasn’t worked well that we can learn from?
  • Biting off more than we can chew
      1. Being engaged in too much and being master of none
      2. Intense focus makes you more successful
      3. Don’t do the coolest thing in the market, focus on what you are really good at.
    1. What are you excited about?
  • Storytelling nature of digital and the different channels
    1. Be true to who you are as a org and find a channel that works for that

Interview Transcript

Adam: [00:00:09] Hi, and welcome to the Good People, Good Marketing podcast. A podcast about nonprofit digital marketing and how to make it better, so that good people and good organizations can have good marketing as well.


[00:00:18] I’m your host, Adam Walker, co-founder of Sideways Eight, a digital marketing agency that specializes in nonprofit work, and 48in48, a nonprofit dedicated to hosting events that build forty-eight websites, for forty-eight nonprofits, in forty-eight hours.


[00:00:31] My guest today, is Scarlett Rosier. She’s the co-founder and Director of Operations at Rhyme & Reason Design. She is an organized and articulate customer service oriented professional, with knowledge of international markets, as well as the community and higher education industries. She successfully, launched and managed engaging social media campaigns, branding initiatives and website projects, building partnerships with clients that allow for rich, dynamic communication and long-term client agency relationships. Scarlett, thanks for joining the podcast.


Scarlett: [00:01:01] No problem. Happy to be here.


Adam: [00:01:03] Did I miss anything from the bio there?


Scarlett: [00:01:06] No, I think you covered all of it…


Adam: [00:01:06] Great.


Scarlett:  [00:01:07] …or at least a synopsis of it.


Adam:  [00:01:11] Well, it’s the best you can do in a short time, right? It’s hard to encompass an entire life into a quick bio, but we do our best, so that’s great. So, for our listeners, you should know that Scarlett’s agency, Rhyme & Reason is a great agency and I’m interviewing her about nonprofit marketing from the perspective of an agency owner, that is sort of driving the market forward in terms of trying to be more on the cutting edge of digital marketing and design, and want you to really push our thinking here, Scarlett, if you’re up for that?


Scarlett: [00:01:41] I think I am. I’ll flex my muscles.


Adam: [00:01:45] I’m certain that you are. There’s no doubt.  There’s no doubt this will be great. Okay.  So I always ask three questions.  I’ll roll into them here, related to digital marketing. Tell us something that’s working well for you.


Scarlett: [00:01:56] I think for us, this goes for pretty much anyone across the board is listening and fostering relationships, and the fact that it doesn’t matter what you do. If you’re working with nonprofits…if you’re working for profit. If you’re working with big corporations, small corporations, really is listening to what people need and then building upon that, and helping to create strong relationships  that are trusted because at the end of the day, you can help people find better results and be successful, if you listened to their pain points and then took that information, and not only just  created a marketing that worked to achieve, you know, success and get rid of those pain points, but also by building a relationship where people trust you to give them the right answers. And even if you don’t know the right answers, finding the right people to provide those answers. So that it’s nice and fluid and that you’re all working together, because if you don’t have trust relationships, and if you’re not listening to what people are doing, it’s going to be evident in the results that come from your work.


Adam: [00:03:15] I love that. Yeah, I mean, I love that I think about a lot of the idea of just active listening and it takes a lot of focus to do that and a lot of self-discipline, to not tune out or think about something else, or think about what your response is going to be, or whatever else. I mean even in interviewing people for a podcast,  I have to actively listen so that I can take good notes, so that I’m really learning and understanding what it is that you have to share, and I love that. I love that that’s where you start. I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed somebody that started with listening, so well done!


Scarlett: [00:03:48] I will say it’s really…I mean…I am a (00:03:53 unclear) Director and also a Director of Operations and copywriter, and I wear a billion hats every day. But you can tell when I stop listening and stop paying attention, is where things start to fall apart. Our clients need me to, you know, when you start multi-tasking which sounds awesome, in you know, in thought process, but when you start doing it you realize ‘oh, I didn’t pay attention as closely as I should have, and I missed something’.  And you realize that that is what people look to you for. They look to you to pay attention to what they’re asking and pay attention to what they’re not asking, and kind of read between the lines because that’s really where you get to the problem.


Adam: [00:04:40] Right.


Scarlett: [00:04:42] You only really realize what’s going on, when you stop trying to do a million things; and we all have our phones on us all the time. And everyone, especially the people that are coming up in the marketplace now, are…you know… technology. That’s what they grew up with. They grew up with computers and phones in their hands, and having access to information and constant communication, but not in the same way, you know, as that of the spoken word. You know, it’s text messaging…it’s e-mail…it’s you know, video…it’s what have you. And there’s so much information coming at you, that you have to take a moment to pay attention, or you’re gonna lose the opportunities.


Adam: [00:05:29] Yeah. Well, and it really gives kind of an edge, really.  And it’s a little shocking to say like ‘If you slow down and listen, you have an edge over other people’.  But, I think there’s truth in that, right?


Scarlett: [00:05:39] I mean it goes back to…what is it… the tortoise and the hare? I mean…the hare was running really fast and didn’t actually take advantage, you know, look around, and realize that it’s okay to listen to what’s happening and focus on what’s going on and you’ll get the results you want.


Adam: [00:05:57] Right.  I totally agree. So, I love that. Its got to also mean, I think,  everything we do, whether it’s serving people or whether you know, it’s marketing, or whatever it happens to be, I mean it does have to start with the listening and understanding what their needs are. Otherwise we can’t help them, right? So I love that, I love that.  So question number two. Tell us something that has not worked well that we can learn from.


Scarlett: [00:06:21] Can I write a book on that?


Adam: [00:06:24] You and me both.


Scarlett: [00:06:28] I would say, for us, it’s definitely been biting off more than we can chew. And going back to that concept, that there is…everything…we have everything at our fingertips, and we can do so much and we can read so much and we can watch so much . We can be so fully engaged in a billion different things, that you don’t actually…you become master of none. So really for us, when we try to do…to be everything and to do everything for our clients, is where we failed.


[00:07:00] When we actually took the time to say ‘You know what? We’re really good at “X”, “Y” and “Z”‘, and focus on those capabilities and building them up to the best possible place that we could, is where we were the most successful. And when we failed, was when we were trying to…you know… ‘Well, we can do “X”… we can do “Y”. We can probably do “A” and maybe “B” and “C”, but really we weren’t great at A, B and C and we were amazing at “X”, “Y” and “Z”, but because we were trying to do all of those, it watered down our ability to be successful.


[00:07:37] And it also, I think, you know, in building relationships – as I talked about in the first question – and listening and fostering relationships, that’s when you’re too busy trying to not drown.  Because you’re saying you can be all these things to all these people, you lose trust, you stop listening and you end up failing, when in reality, you’re actually really good at certain things. And that’s where people are gonna to look towards you, because there…there are tons of businesses in this world that have niche markets, and niche industries, and that’s what they focus on for a reason. And that’s really, you know, what we discovered is when we try to be too much, we end up losing too much.


Adam: [00:08:27] Yeah, yeah. I think that’s great. And I think as professional marketers on the one hand, we wanna do everything, and realizing that we can’t is smart, I think. For nonprofits, it’s the same thing. Nonprofits want to do everything. They wanna help everybody. But focusing on what’s going to work, focusing on one specific niche, makes all the difference in the world. I totally agree with you there.


Scarlett: [00:08:46] Yes.  And I think…


Adam: [00:08:47] I think that…


Scarlett: [00:08:49] …Go ahead. I think for


Adam:  [00:08:51] I was just going to say that I know that Rhyme & Reason is very focused. Like, every time we talk, I know you are very focused on what you’re doing. That’s great.


Scarlett: [00:08:55] And I think even for our ,you know, profit clients and for nonprofit, I think what we often talk about in our, you know, in our office, and what I talk a lot about with our clients, is ‘You know you don’t have to do the coolest thing out on the market’. Just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. And when you focus on doing, you know, if you know that you’re really good at taking awesome pictures…and having witty you know, messaging and quotes, use Instagram. You don’t need to do Instagram…and Facebook…and SnapChat…and everything, because you don’t have the time. You need to focus on what really is gonna work because again, once you start doing too much, you water things down and it’s not as focused or targeted. Whereas when you start to really focus in on what you can be successful at, is where we’re going to see the needle move.


Adam: [00:09:54] Yeah, yeah. It’s great. I love that, love that. I think you’re also the first person to say that for question number two. Well done! Let’s see if you can be unique three out of three. That’s going to be your goal. That’s the challenge.


Scarlett: [00:10:06] I mean, our mascot is a unicorn, so we are really for being unique and different.


Adam: [00:10:18] I love that. Unicorns are indeed unique and different by definition, so I like that a lot. Well, that’s great. So, then question number three. Let’s look for the unicorn answer. Tell us something you’re excited about.


Scarlett: [00:10:28] Sure. I think this kind of speaks to my little heart of copyrighting and the beauty of being able to tell a story, and where that comes out in digital marketing and in different channels across digital. Because we are really getting…you know, I was reading the trends for 2018, and actually one of them was to be human, which sounds so silly to the rest of us when we’re all human. But it…you know, it’s more than just being a person.


[00:10:28] It’s listening… it’s having…it’s creating a personality for your brand, where it’s something that creates emotion and I know that’s something that everybody talks about in branding is, you know, creating emotion…and connecting with your target market  and engaging on that level but with digital marketing, and the different channels that are available, you can have this storytelling human aspect, where I think nonprofits really have that ability to talk to the emotions, and to really get into creating that persona and telling that story through our channels. And again, it doesn’t have to be on every single channel because that might not be where the people who matter, are listening. It could be on, you know…SnapChat could be your thing, and that’s where you really focus and that’s where you are connecting with the right target market at the right time, with the right message. But it could be someplace else. And I think that’s what really excites me, is that there are all these different ways that you can connect with your target market, a) without having to spend a ton of money and b) without really having  to be something you’re not.


[00:12:12] You can be really true to who you are as an organization, and find a channel that works for you to tell your story. And  I hope that it’s not hard for people to be human, and organizations to be human. But I think again, going back to if you’re listening and building relationships and you’re staying focused, you can tell your story in a very honest and authentic manner in a variety of different ways. But it doesn’t have to be the same way as everyone else. You can be unique.


Adam: [00:12:50] Yeah.  Your story does not have to be like everybody else’s.


Scarlett:  [00:12:52] Right.


Adam:  [00:12:54] And you know, like that’s… I think that’s a good message though. Really. Because we get on these…you know, as marketers we get on the bandwagon. You know, everybody’s on SnapChat… I’ve got to go on Snap. Everybody’s on this…and I’ve got to do this. And everybody’s saying ‘This is the next thing’. And we jump from thing, to thing, to thing and you know, you’re right. And I mean,we don’t have to be all things to all people. We need to be true to who we are. That’s what you said. “Be true to who you are as an organization and find a channel that works for that.” I think that’s really, really, smart advice.


Scarlett: [00:13:24] Thanks. I’m giving smart advice…that’s you know…I worked really hard for that.


Adam: [00:13:28] I got some good points in here. I got some good points.  It’s going to be great. Yeah, a lot of tweetable stuff, so…


Scarlett: [00:13:34] I mean you’ve got to get GPA in college, so apparently I was somewhat taught about that.


Adam: [00:13:41] That’s great, that’s great. That’s good. Scarlett, this is great. Let me see if I can recap, and then you can add in any gaps I have here, and give us any final thoughts you’ve got. How about that?


[00:13:53] So, under what’s worked well for you, you mentioned ‘listening and fostering relationships by listening first’. That ‘listening for needs and building upon that is really the only way to go’, and this is sort of my summation. You said that multi-tasking makes you miss. So when you start multi-tasking, you stop listening and everything sort of falls apart. I think it was really insightful there.


[00:14:18] Number two. What hasn’t worked well, is ‘biting off more than you can chew’, and  ‘engaging in too much, is being master of none’, I think was your quote there. So I thought it was really great. ‘Intense focus makes you more successful’, so it’s kind of the counter-side of that. And ‘don’t work on the coolest thing in the market. Don’t do the coolest thing on the market, focus on what you’re really good at’, which I think is great advice.


[00:14:43] And then for what you’re excited about. You said ‘storytelling’. The ‘storytelling nature of digital and different channels’, which I totally agree with. I’m a big fan of good storytelling especially in the nonprofit space, where there’s so many good stories to tell. And then this quote – which was great – “Be true to who you are as an organization and find a channel that works for that.” You know, that may be your key differentiating point right there. Like that’s “the one”, right there. What do you think?


Scarlett: [00:15:05] I agree. I think that’s a good summation of everything all into one, you know, perfectly bite-sized thing, you can put a bow on it.


Adam: [00:15:15] That’s right, that’s right. And I think that’s tweetable. It’s definitely enough characters, so you’re all good. So that’s great. Well, Scarlett, do you have any sort of final thoughts or final things you want to share with our listeners before we wrap up here?


Scarlett: [00:15:26] I would just say you all know your story and your organization better than anyone else. And that’s really what sets you apart. So use that to your advantage and make it something that you yourself would wanna be a part of, and that you would think that your parents would wanna be a part of. I think that that’s always something that I think about, is ‘Would my parents want to share this on Facebook with their friends? Would they be…you know, it’s something I think about that, you know… you’ve created this space…this information…and how is it received by others, is also gonna be part of the experience.


Adam: [00:16:08] That’s right, that’s right. That’s great. I love that. Even putting faces on that, is like asking yourself, ‘Would your parents share this?’ That’s great.  I think in about five years, I’ll be asking whether my kids would share this, and that’s gonna be a much weirder question.


[00:16:22] So, but I totally agree. You have got to put yourself in that place that’s great. Well, Scarlett, this was so good. I really appreciate you being on the podcast. I think what you shared was excellent. I hope our listeners got a lot out of it and thank you for joining us.


Scarlett: [00:16:32] Thank you.  Thank you for having me. It’s been fun.


Adam: [00:16:33] Alright. And thanks for listening to the Good People, Good Marketing podcast. To get more resources about nonprofit digital marketing, make sure to go to goodpeoplegoodmarketing.com, where you can find more podcasts, blogs and other fun resources. Also, if you want to find me, Adam, your host, you can find me on Twitter, @ajwalker or on my blog, at adamjwalker.com, where I blog about leadership, productivity, habit building, the insanity of five children and all kinds of other fun stuff. Thanks for listening and tune in next time.

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