Blueberries, Business Cards, and Books

One of my clients, Chautauqua Hills Farm, is nearing their blueberry picking season. We recently sent out an email update showing pictures of the early fruiting bushes, and let customers know that they could sign up to be on a list to be notified when the “Nickel-Size Blueberries” are ready to harvest. Eager, swift replies showed a definite pent-up demand for the tasty, naturally grown berries.

What’s exciting for me is not only seeing the word spread through email, in-person, and social media avenues, but the fact that I get to promote products and services I believe in. In this case, I absolutely love blueberries, and I also appreciate the use of healthy, natural growing methods.

Early Fruiting Variety - Growing Blueberries!

So it was a win-win for me when Lance, the owner, spoke as a guest speaker in one of my classes last fall, and I was able to approach him about developing Chautauqua Hill’s use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and an email newsletter.

I’ve really enjoyed working with CHF. Not only have they been patient with my busy school schedule, but they bring lots of ideas to the table for content and marketing with their values and style in mind.

I’ve continued to develop my WordPress skills, worked back and forth with another freelancer who set up their website and is currently developing the e-commerce side, and learned a lot about blueberries and healthy food in the process.

Blueberries aren’t grown to a great extent in KS, and besides being pretty, tasty, and fun to eat, there’s a certain delight in picking and eating food yourself. But enough about blueberries. My takeaways for you today are simple, but sometimes simple things are the most important to implement.

I think the reminder Chautauqua Hills Farm provides is to provide something of value, something people want. If that happens, people will talk it up for you. Once you’ve earned that trust and interest, the marketing of a quality niche product almost takes care of itself.

And if you feel you have a great product, but people haven’t caught on yet, hang in there…with consistent and relevant communication, you’ll eventually get through.

The other two “B’s” in my post today are business cards and books. I had the occasion to hand out a few more of my business cards this evening after attending a meeting, and one person really liked my card. The background is the same as this website, and I have a number of ways of contacting me listed on the front. I kept the back clear for writing notes (e.g. offers for free initial consults, etc…).

Already they’re a little outdated, as I now have an About.me page and am working on my Facebook Page behind the scenes, the links for both of which I’ll probably put on my next printing of business cards, but I’m so glad I got them done when I did. Many times prior I’d wished I had one to give out, and finally had resorted to at least giving out small strips of paper printed with a color version of my avatar and a few links, to at least have something.

My takeaway here is to not always wait till something’s perfect before you move forward on it. Too often as perfectionists or procrastinators or both, it’s easy to put something on the back burner till we feel it’s completely ready. But even though I knew I’d probably eventually have more links, a P.O. Box, and more to put on business cards, I also knew I had enough to get started with for now. And you do too. Whether it’s printing business cards or some other project, doing something is progress.

As a side note, I did find this list of 10 Features of a Memorable Business Card invaluable,  from Interview Angel, as I created my cards and thought through what I wanted to accomplish. Even though I didn’t implement all 10 ideas, I felt my card turned out better for having thought through these suggestions.

Finally, my last topic of the night is books. I checked out a book at the library today which a friend told me about recently (the book version of The Princess Bride), and as I noted yesterday, one of my goals this summer is to take time to read a lot more. Besides just the knowledge value of being well-read and staying up on ideas, old and new, in one’s industry (and others, for that matter), books are valuable as a business example here because of the way they are shared.

Someone will lend a book out from his or her personal lending library, someone else will check a book out at a library, and still another will read on his Kindle (I’ve been seeing a LOT of people’s comments about reading more on Kindles and Nooks than they had been reading from regular books, and it makes me curious about trying one). You can summarize or narrate a story for someone else, convert it into a movie plot line, it can make you laugh or cry…in other words, a book is versatile.

For me, the lesson of blueberries, business cards, and books is in creating things that are quality and in-demand, shareable, and versatile. Your thoughts?

 



This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 1:30 am and is filed under Social Media & Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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