Seems like there’s been a lot of retirements announced in my small town newspaper lately. There’s usually an ad giving a profile of their career, their smiling photo, and details of the retirement reception.
As I read the latest one, I thought it seemed like a shame. Here was the story of a well-qualified person, one I’d like to do business with, but I never heard about them until they were leaving. I don’t begrudge the retirement; I think it’s a mistake the business never took time to share what an asset this person was until they were almost gone.
And I’ll bet you a dollar that this same business has trouble thinking of things to feature in their ads.
Radical advertising idea: feature your people while they’re still active.
Use this idea in the newspaper, in all your social channels, and in your email newsletter. Do it with text, photos, audio and video.
If you did nothing else but feature your people for a whole year, you’d have a solid marketing strategy. Each person has dozens of stories worth sharing, so you really could fill an entire year with just your people.
Don’t believe me? Here are a dozen story ideas for each person on your team:
- Qualifications: give a resume, bullet style. Cover education, training, years of experience. My local tractor dealer has been doing these. It’s a good start.
- Background: where are they from? What made them choose to live here?
- Customer story: let them share a story of a customer they really made a difference for. Either leave out details to make it anonymous, or better yet, ask for the customer’s permission and feature them, too. Internal staff who never deal direct with consumers still help others on your team, so tell that story.
- Community involvement: are they part of any teams, groups, organizations? What causes matter to them?
- Fun: how does this person spend their off hours? What do they like to do that they would like to share?
- Training: whenever they complete new training, share what they learned and how it will help customers.
- Tools: everyone uses some kind of tools to do their job. Let them explain them in a way anyone could understand.
- Milestones: you don’t have to wait for 5, 10 or 25 years of service. Each year is an anniversary, even if it isn’t a round number. Always include a story of something that was important to them over the past year.
- Answers: collect every question a customer asks for three weeks, then let your team pick ones they’d like to answer for everyone.
- Tips: each person has learned a few things that will help someone.
- Trends: your team knows what’s changed in the business lately, much better than customers.
- Goals: what do they want to learn, do or accomplish?
Now, if you’re going to go to the effort of creating great stories on your people, don’t make the mistake of using them one time and then forgetting them. Use and re-use those stories all over.
Use all the media available to you: audio, video, photos and text.
Use all the channels you can: email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, newspaper, radio, or even posters.
- About the Author
- Latest by this Author
Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.