AFK: How Walking Away Made Me a Better Marketer

By Andi Graham

pixel2013 / Pixabay

As some of you probably already know, I took a bit of a hiatus this summer. My husband is a teacher who has summers off. I’d always dreamed of taking long, leisurely trips or renting an apartment in a foreign city for a month and working on location during his time off.

As a sole proprietor, that was never a possibility. In fact, I’ve always found myself working at least a few hours (or more) of every day on every trip we’ve taken — and extended absences beyond a week were never in the cards.

After 10+ years of these pseudo-vacations, I was tired. I’m a traveler at heart, and I wanted to wander. I wanted to show my daughter the world while she’s still young, and let my artist husband explore the great works in European museums.

So when flights to Barcelona dropped in price last December, I presented the idea to my partners who responded with a resounding, “Do it.”

And I did.

Illustration of Andi daydreaming about travel

We left the country for 36 days this summer, exploring Spain and visiting Paris for a week. While I had a few conference calls, reviewed my team’s work, and counseled folks through a few sticky situations, I was gloriously unchained for the most part.

My team, and my partners, stepped up in my absence to allow me the space and time I needed to — honestly — not think about work for a while. Which leads me to the things I did think about, and how they relate to our work.

Because there’s always a blog post hiding in big life events, right?

Be vulnerable and reach out first.

You know how people talk about the French as being rude? After spending three weeks in what must be one of the most friendly countries on earth (Spain), we felt that when we got to Paris. Although I wouldn’t call it rude so much as I’d say Parisiens were frosty, or just a little cold.

The only ice-breaker that we found useful was an attempt at leading with our own terrible version of French, and asking politely (in French) if our server or shopgirl or AirBnB host could speak English. We put ourselves out there — and that little bit of vulnerability changed the dynamic of our interactions.

This is something we always tell our clients when we’re planning their marketing approach — we have to show a bit of vulnerability. Humanize your business; give your visitors and customers a reason to empathize with you, to care about you as a company and as individuals. Create content that shows your target buyers that you understand them and that you know what they need to solve their problems.

In short, that means staying away from heavy industry-specific jargon that your buyers might not understand. Write content that answers simple questions — even really simple questions — that make your visitors feel less alone in asking them. Meet them where they’re at with content that addresses their needs Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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