In honor of my rock star clients, I present one of my favorite rockstars, Sheryl Crow. My clients made me so happy in 2011, this seemed like a pretty fitting video from my front row vantage point last summer. Hit play and hum along (or sing at the top of your lungs as you scroll down this post)...
So today seems like as good of a day as any to reflect on what an incredible 2011 it's been for Larock Star Creative. One year ago tomorrow was the official first day of my *new* marketing biz. I joke about the *new* part a bit, because, I had actually been a marketing consultant for years.
I'd given speeches on giving your business a facelift, How to Stalk People on Twitter, I'd helped realtors, wedding planners, coffee shop owners, coaches, beef jerky makers (not kidding) put together blogs, launch social media campaigns, brainstorm. But I never had put it all into action as a business. But with the help of my amazing coach, mentor & rowdy ass friend, Meadow Devor, I decided that January 1, 2011 was my big business coming out party.
I had the most amazing set of clients a newbie business owner could ever ask for. These brave souls are launching their own big bad selves into the entrepreneurial universe. And I was fortunate enough to be their first point of marketing contact.
So I'd love to give a huge shout out, thank you, danke schoen, muchas gracias, je vous en prie, ginormous gratitude virtual hug-a-thon to these amazing brag worthy clients.
Keep an eye on these supah stars, visit their brick and mortar spots, have them make you a delish cup of cappucino, call on them for incredible service, join their virtual classes and marvel at how they're jumping in feet first (thank you Colleen Troy) into 2012.
(what I did: photo shoot, copy writing, web design)
Boatie Ward got my business off to a big start with the launch of her new interior design business. She had worked in the design business for over 20 years - but never as her own entity. In January 2011, she launched her design business and Interiors with Boatie was born. Boatie and I crammed our bodies into bizarre positions trying to get the perfect photo in a powder room, teetered on ladders to get up close and personal with chandeliers, and placated cute doggies who wanted to be in every portfolio shot. We scanned her sketch book, jazzed up her bio and then came up with a face to face thank you gift campaign to get her digits in the hands of contractors, home owner association leaders, boutique owners and other connectors in the business. And it worked beautifully. Boatie hand delivered gorgeous giant paperclip sculptures (hand made in Haiti) and stuck an oversize business card in everyone. It's a beautiful piece to hold letters/files on any desk--mine still has her gorgeous card in it--making her top of mind all the time. If you live in Steamboat, I highly recommend Boatie's tasteful eye, addiction to Ann Sachs tiles and gentle appproach to bringing your dream home ideas to fruition.
And start your own annual gift campaign to stay top of mind with your clients ... what cool stick around piece can you come up with?
(what I did: web design/graphic design)
Hello Laura! Laura approached me with this idea about a month before her 39th birthday. She is an up and coming coach who wanted to make her 39th year one to remember. She is ushering in 40 with a bucket list filled with everything from mechanical bull riding to sending a message in a bottle out to sea. She has the best smile, warmest voice and a pretty audacious 9 months under her belt. She turns 40 in March and I think she's about half way through her list. If you're looking for a way to celebrate yourself - definitely check out Laura's site.
And what a brilliant way to inspire her future coaching clients while keeping them engaged with her and entertained. Hats off to Laura for the birthday bucket list. It's a GEM!
(what I did: web design/graphic design/social media/teleclass launches)
Terri Fedonczak gave me the opportunity to get in touch with my inner wild teenager and cut loose on her site. Polka dots, squiggles, bright colors and photoshop fun... Terri had me laughing all the way through the process with her Imelda Marcos inspired shoe collection, whether to post or not to post controversial teen topics and her un parallelled wit & wisdom. We had so much fun on the site, that she's come back for rounds two and three for launching awesome teleclasses. Check out the book club that's coming up: Martha Beck's A Wild New World. With Terri as the host - this virtual book club will be a girls gone wild chapter by chapter breakdown of Martha's coolest new tome all about the "Technologies of Magic". Sounding a bit too woo woo for you? Terri brings it down with her crazy ass sense of humor - I seriously can't recommend this highly enough (and it's only $49 bucks for 4 weeks!).
Terri's now using her huge gifts to get her speaking career up and running. She is so damn funny, smart and tenacious that I have no doubt she'll have sell out events sooner than she can say, "I love margaritas". I love Terri's fearless approach to business - after a bout of breast cancer - she really gives it her all and just GOES FOR IT!
(what I did: web design/graphic design/photo shoot)
Clark & Caitlin bought this already established coffee shop in Steamboat - but it needed a hip new vibe and a little bit of TLC. I had the honor of getting to shoot photos of this caffeinated power house with my friend and colleague, Drew, of Creative Werd. Drew and I got all jacked up on coffee and then nibbled on yummies while I bossed him around and he captured some fab photos of the Steaming Bean offerings.
I'm psyched to say that Steaming Bean is the meeting place of one of my favorite Steamboat entrepreneurial fire starters, Ignite Steamboat. Colorado start ups and coffee shops are like the new Hemingways hanging out in cafes in Paris. And this group is so amazing. Check out videos of the spark talks here.
Take a page out of Steaming Bean's book and provide a place for awesome communities to form, inspire and IGNITE. Whether your business is virtual or bricks and mortar (ie it has a front door), you can bring people together, make them comfy cozy and then watch the amazingness that happens.
Who knew drinking coffee could be good for starting a business (ahem, well I guess Howard Schultz kinda figured that one out)... but I digress.
(what I did: web design/graphic design/business cards, business goal re-vamp)
Oh Donna. Oh Donna. Donna. I can't help it. The Ritchie Valens song pops into my head everytime I work with the animal whispering, big Bernese rescuing, Donna Kramer. We did a business revamp for her - emphasizing her huge gifts in the animal world - scrapping a niche she thought would be "better" for business. Donna was totally willing to be open minded and deeply personal in her business. Now her business is all her - through and through. And her people are coming. Possibly in a stampede.
Donna's big into writing thank you cards to her clients and acquaintances. It's such a simple, yet gorgeous way to connect and stay in touch. Let me clarify, these are ACTUAL letters, not emails or FB posts. The power of the pen connects Donna to her people. And now, we're making some stationary for her to keep in touch AND keep her animals front and center for her lucky recipients to post proudly in a sacred spot.
(what I did: web design/graphic design/logo design/copy writing)
Lori was a blast to work with. She and I talked for hours upon hours while making her site happen. She's the first client I had worked with whom I had never met - but her video love notes to me kept me laughing and feeling connected. I found myself hanging on her every word. I was supposed to be writing copy for her and instead was enthralled by her philosophies on living simply and consciously. A yogi on and off the mat. She inspired me to declutter, get my financial house in order, meditate and PRACTICE yoga! Ok seriously folks, if she's this good over the phone, then you need to meet her in person. Especially if you live in or near Los Angeles (and give her a squeeze from me). She offers life coaching as well as yoga classes. She's the calmest person who lives in her zip code - I'm quite sure of it.
Lori doesn't love blogging, and was up front about it with me. But she is adorable on video and her voice is incredibly soothing. So she's letting go of the "I should write a blog" banter and coming up with meditations for clients to download and relax with her over and over again. I'm a big believer in using technology to leverage your own personal gifts. There are no shoulds in Larock Star marketing. We find the fit that's right for your business and we lean into it.
(what I did: web design/party planning/brainstorm)
Park and Clark (yes same Clark from Steaming Bean) are double trouble and doubly fun. I adore these two art afficianados. Park hired Clark last summer to really uplevel our arts council here in Steamboat and Park has done a job that has exceeded all expectations.
Speaking of expectations .... I had the huge pleasure of getting to help plan and launch the legendary Great Expectations party of 2011 to benefit the arts council. On a committee of 3, I definitely got my share of input and then photographed the festivities for the post party social media blitz. Apparently this good deed got some notice from Park and Clark as I was quickly snatched up to re-design their web site (sadly out of date - using - gasp - comic sans font!!!).
Park was approaching some edgy artists and we worked together to create a clean, sophisticated site that would show off the new line up. We are constantly updating and tweaking, so, seriously, check back often. And the show at the end of January SNOW/CRYSTAL: INTRICACY, IMPERMANENCE, AND INFLUENCE will be like nothing that's ever been seen before in little ole' Steamboat.
Park is incredible to work with. He has a clear vision of what he wants, but he's not at all afraid to bring in the resources to make it all happen. He sees the super nova strength of what several people can pull off rather than trying to do it all on his own. We are really incredibly lucky to have him here in Steamboat - for however long he decides to stay...
Ok anyone who hires me to work for them whose tagline is No Bullshit, Just Magic has my vote. PLUS, Kira is an amazing person whom I've had the pleasure to get to know over the last 12 months and I got to have a pretty rowdy weekend with her in Lake Tahoe last July. She is an incredible writer, coach and fish monger. Yes, she owns a fab little fish shop in the Pacific Northwest + she's a kick ass thinker fixer. She primarily offers her life coaching via email and is quite ninja magnificent in areas of weight coaching and money coaching. Her writing will crack you up while cracking you open. Seriously. No bullshit. Just Magic.
(what I did: copywriting, photo shooting, video editing, social media campaign, e-newsletter writing)
Wow - I can definitely say that this is the hardest working, most incredibly fun set of people I have ever worked with. The chamber chicks (+ honorary chicks: Matt & Tom) are awesome and I was so grateful to land this gig. I got to re-vamp the e-newsletter campaign - add some serious spice to a sort of vanilla weekly email blost. I commandeered the blog (we're talking Charles Barkley singing opera, hot bikers in spandex - ahem, yes, these things are relevant to summertime in Steamboat), I shot photos at the summer events and tweeted, facebooked and youtubed my little fanny off. Oh and then I got to get my jingle on and shoot their Christmas card. Love this photo ... love this crew! As Vice President of the marketing board, I get to have my hand in creating 2012's campaign.
This group has taught me so much about having fun at work. They work hard and play hard (oh and they laugh really really hard). If it's not a fun task such as covering giant fields with tarps so people won't get muddy feet during a hot air ballooon launch, they still make it fun. Why gripe and groan when you can smile and just enjoy the challenge. Love their attitude. Seriously. It rocks.
Shameless plug here, Steamboat really is the greatest summer on earth, so book your plane ticket for next summer! Check my video out here of just one weekend in Steamboat. The Sheryl Crow song is probably over by now anyway...
Oh wow. This project was huge for me for 2011. I was hired by a very forward thinking amazing group of biz whizzes here in Steamboat. It's a complicated subject for non-resort living people, but suffice it to say that our resort town depends on air service into our teeny little airport and (as everyone can relate to) airlines have become increasingly difficult to work with.
This forward thinking group realized that we needed to get some permanent funding for our air service into Steamboat and because of the recession - getting a new tax passed was going to be quite the uphill battle. So they called me in to make the campaign engaging and approachable to the residents of Steamboat. They really just wanted me to send out sound bytes via social media of why air service is good for Steamboat, but they opened their minds to my crazy ideas (and then their jaws drapped a little bit) and after we mopped up the drool, they let me get going. I put several hundred people in pilot hats and shot photos and videos of them all over town. Had bands sing leaving on a jetplane to us. It was a social media campaign that put the FACE back in facebook. We were on the streets - guerilla marketing at its finest and it was a blast. Yes, I did make my husband dress up like a pilot for Halloween while I was a Pan Am stewardess. Oh and we WON - by a huge margin - after really really crummy initial projections.
I told the journalist who wrote about the campaign 2.0 tactics I used, that I was either going to look like a crazy person or a genius. Hopefully the win helped sway the vote a little less on the crazy side and more to the genius side :-). Although, I do love me some crazy. See picture above of me in Pan Am get up. Yes. I do go ALL OUT for my clients. And they go all out for me. Love that!
And even when everyone around you says it's not going to pass, you can work your tail off, give it your all and win by a mile. Seriously. That's what we did. Naysayers begone. Yes to air rocks on!
San Francisco Surf Mama is the completely genius brainchild of Leslie Santos. It's a community of women in the Bay Area who connect via surfing, while giving reciprocal childcare on the beach as well as encouraging each other to, "Leave Expectations on the Sand". In a male dominated sport, this community is making big waves and I'm so excited for this launch. Leslie's project put me in touch with an amazing graphic designer: Jody Wody Design and my dear friend, Drew (mentioned below), and I got to put this baby together. It took a village for this one, but the result is extraordinary. Membership is free - so if you're a soul surfer or a true blue big ocean surfer - check out Leslie's community and join.
Fabulous stationary, schwag bags, adorable tank tops and stickers are available for members to purchase and remind themselves what it is to be a surf mama.
Thank you, Leslie, for the gift of this project. We launched the site December 19, 2011 and it was by far my best Christmas present. This is mine (and Leslie's favorite page). Hover and click on all the boxes for the full SF Surf Mama experience. I think Leslie's undisclosed mantra is go big or go home. She is creating this community in such a thoughtful and creative way. Seriously, I'm still marveling at this one.
Ok those were the biggies of 2011. I put huge amounts of love, time and attention into my biggie projects that I can really only accept a limited number per year. If you want to get on my roster for 2012, I highly recommend emailing me soon.
I do save time in my schedule to work with some mini moving and shaking projects in between the big stuff. People who already have web sites, but would love social media help or marketing ideas, or copywriting or a mini makeover. I actually LOVE doing these mini projects. Especially when my clients are big time implementors.
Here is a sampling of the rest of the kick ass people I got to work with in 2011. I either tutored them in social media, brainstormed with them for crazy new ideas, streamlined some class offerings, created a quickie banner, launched a few teleclasses, shot photos for promotional videos or just talked their ears off about all of my wild ideas for their business.
This is just a sampling as this has already become the world's longest blog post. If you're still with me (bless you my child), feel free to check out a few other projects and people I had the pleasure of working with in 2011. Paid/Trade/Pro Bono. It was an awesome year thanks to all of these geniuses!
Colleen Troy Coaching (warning: she's wildly adventurous, so buckle up!). She'll take you kayaking in the Pacific and coach you through it and she wants to know what your biggest, scariest, hairiest goal is so that you stop living a life that's prescribed for you by anybody else.
Brooke Castillo and Meadow DeVor (photos of the amazingly awesome Rowdy Retreat for their rowdy vid)
Field & Stream, Brooke and Meadow. These two are a blast. The retreat was a game changer for me and shooting pictures of my lovely rowdy cohorts in compromising positions on the ropes course was so.much.fun. Plus, they've kind of sort of had a huge impact on my life. So this was a seriously small gift (in comparison) that I could give to them for all the big hearted bitch slapping they've given to me. xo
Annmarie Chereso: Perfectly Imperfect Life Coaching (she's perfectly imperfect and a dear dear friend). She finds her way on Dr. Laura Berman's radio show as a sought after expert in the field of divorce and parenting and is currently building a Success Summit of Oprah proportions. Watch out, World. Annmarie is AWESOME!
Louise Orders: Woah, people follow Louise's Orders and they love her. And she gets their butts into shape. And they're lucky to have her. And I got to add a little fun to her site for her Circle Time blog (shown above)
Katie McClain: If there are monsters under your bed or in your brain, call Katie. She's got your back. She has had mine many times over. And my daughter's picture has a starring role in her latest teleclass video. Love Yourself. Lose the Weight. And I got to help name her company, in French: Ma Vie Magique. Just kind of rolls of the tongue, doesn't it? Oui Oui! Bien Sur!
Max Daniels: As she said to me and I say right back at her - Max, I love the stuffing out of you! Her blog: Stuff my Zen Teacher Says wows me with every post. She's bright, brilliant and so soothing. She taught me that I don't have to eat Greek yogurt for breakfast if I can barely swallow it down. And she makes me schedule one hour for my business a week - with myself - which I find extraordinarily hard to do, but wonderful once accomplished.
I gave her the idea to come up with a business card worth keeping and she sent me this little lovebug in the mail with which she has papered the city of Boston. Keep Calm and Don't Diet. Yes, ma'am. Love this card, Max. Marketing and motivational brilliance!
Cape and Vine Design: Are you kidding me? An hour of me critiquing her old web site had Susan so fired up that she went out and created her own seriously amazing site - self taught, keen design eye and one of the loveliest non coaching coaches I've ever not met. If you need interior design work in the Cincinnati area or want to see what she's curated on her global blog (inspired by her Cape Town, South Africa upbringing) - go find Susan. Stat.
Partied: one of my besties, Drew, is starting this incredible social media app for the nightlife scene in 2012. If you're over the age of 30, you probably will never hear of this, but it will be the go to guide for the 20 somethings - I promise. I give him my ideas and years of owning a bar expertise, as often as I can. He helps me with every bit of html that stumps me and keeps me laughing through the process. I'm so excited for his project to launch. And when I earn my first olive on the site ... I get a boat ride.
Drew's app is a huge lesson in niche marketing. He doesn't have to re-invent facebook to make it big (though he wants to), he is focusing on a niche of young people who love to party and creating something for them based on all the goods from facebook, twitter, flickr & google places. He's not re-inventing the wheel, he's like one of those super cool DJ's who takes everything awesome and mixes it into something even BETTER.
Anyone else can duplicate this bit of brilliance. Just think about it.
I think that's everyone. But honestly, there may be more. I've had an incredible 2011 and I can't wait to reveal all of my rockstars of 2012 (yes there are several projects that started in 2011, but won't be launching until this month. Stay tuned ....)
Chief Creativity Chick
Larock Star Creative
(this is me trying to be a rockstar for a bunch of 5 & 6 year olds in November. Bieber Fever. Baby Baby Baby OHHHH! Not sure they were too impressed, but I had a blast.)
PS: I bet you thought this blog post would never end.
But here it is
THE END ...
THE BEGINNING of YOUR rockin' 2012...
If you want to be one of my 2012 LaRock stars email me your project or just jump on my mailing list. I've been in major creation mode and I've got some crazy inspiring ideas for you and your business in 2012. Jump on my mailing list here - I don't spam, would never give your name away and seriously, you'll love me. If you don't, you can unsubscribe at anytime.