allison, people, manufacturers, marketing, manufacturing, goals, talk, feel, damon, masters, darren, crushing, alison, posts, long, thought, fun, number, year, wonder woman
Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Allison DeFord
Damon Pistulka 00:00
Goodness, we are live and it’s Friday. It seems like we haven’t been here forever for for ever. I can’t even speak I’m so excited today. But here we are again on the manufacturing ecommerce success show. I’m Damon Pistulka I’m one of your co hosts and that lovely dude right there. Kurt Anderson take it over my friend
Curt Anderson 00:23
dude happy 2023 Damon and but and just for the record if you guys if you hear anybody snoring demon who’s snoring right now
Damon Pistulka 00:32
your dog right there
Curt Anderson 00:34
just had surgery and so number one he blew his ACL couple years. Well guess what when you blow one you blow the other so now he’s down there recovering so he’s like he just snoring I think the roofs gonna cave in. So if the roof caves in Damon you and Alison just keep crushing it. So guys. All right. Happy 2023 What an absolute man. I’m like, I’m like verklempt right now. What an honor. What a privilege. We have Allison to Ford. On stage Ellison. Happy New Year, my friend. How are you?
Allison DeFord 01:03
Happy New Year. I’m awesome. I appreciate you guys having me. And like I said a moment ago. Everyone that’s on here the bar is low. So it’s all uphill from here. Have no fear. These guys got you
Curt Anderson 01:19
a piece of cake. So all right, we’ve got we’ve got so much to cover. So anybody out there not familiar with Allison boy, you need to get to know Allison to Ford, founder president of felt marketing. We’re going to dig deep into her marketing expertise. I’m saying it now. I’m going to say it multiple times. If you are looking for a fun, this is our key hysterical newsletter. I encourage you I invite you I implore you, I’m pleading with you and you’ll thank me letter later sign up for Allison’s newsletter. It is phenomenal. It is absolutely incredible.
So I want to dig in. I need to understand how you do that. But I we’ve got a lot to unpack. We have a lot of friends here already. You know everybody’s role in your partner in crime. We’ve got Diane Greg missed us here today. Yeah, Arlene. So guys, happy New Year. Thank you. Drop us a note. If you’re not connected with Allison, please connect with Allison on LinkedIn. And boy again, you will. You will thank us later. So Alison, here’s my first question. Now first, Damon you know, Ellison is a repeat offender. Yeah, like a multiple repeat, repeat
Damon Pistulka 02:25
offender. I utilize them for punishment to come back and be nice.
Curt Anderson 02:28
And she’s a glutton. So thank you, Alison, you were one of our absolute first guests on the podcast. You were one of our first guests in 2022. And so we wanted to kick off the year on a high note with you. My first question for you of the day. You ready?
I sit down I don’t think you are. When you’re a little girl growing up now I know you are in sunny Southern California. You grew up in the great state of Indiana to the Hoosier State. And when you were a little girl growing up I don’t think I’ve asked you this question. I had been on that show multiple times. Who was your hero? Growing up as a little girl in the great state of Indiana who was your hero?
Allison DeFord 03:09
Good question. This will not surprise you but Wonder Woman and Superman,
Curt Anderson 03:19
Wonder Woman and Superman so let’s take it one step further. There she is. There’s Wonder Woman so Now was it what was it Linda Carter? Was it Linda Carter wonder what like what’s Wonder Woman? Yeah,
Allison DeFord 03:31
because it was the TV show. Yeah, that was actually actually Superman the show when I was really little you know, it was it was all black and whites and yeah, I don’t know. I just I liked that they were strong. I liked that they were always saving and helping people and just were good people. So I think that’s what drew me to the
Curt Anderson 03:55
good old days. Was that George Reeves you know Superman so got you know if you’re under the age of what I don’t know like Yeah 50 I have no idea what we’re talking about. But you know, great Superman. sick or not sick um, but TV show. Wonder Woman boy when we were kids that was awesome. Damon you remember those days, don’t you? Every time
Damon Pistulka 04:12
I hear Wonder Woman I hear that Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman I hear it screaming in my head every time we say that name. Well, it just comes it’s like you know you watch the what do you watch? Watch Wonder Woman.
Curt Anderson 04:24
And what do you do? Well, Allison is absolute Wonder Woman. She’s also the manufacturing Trailblazer. I’m flying to colors right here for you, Allison. So I know. Tim’s have their T shirts. Our Christmas trees are Christmas trees. That’s right. He was in the movie.
Who was the gentleman that played on the TV show and we won’t get caught but guys Google that did the TV show from like the 50s 60s I’m gonna choose Christopher Reeves. God bless him, you know, so let’s dig in. So Alison 2022 just wound down you had a wonderful year. You are our guest in January of 22 kicked off our year one The questions we talked about, everybody’s just like their word of the year, right?
Like, Oh, my word of the year is whatever, right? Last year I was we were talking about courage. And I was sharing how like I find you just so courageous. You’re such an inspiration to many of us here, your network, your friends, your LinkedIn family. You’re talking a little bit about your your word for the year for 2023. I thought it was just a great word. Can you share with everybody? What’s the word? What’s your aspiration, your inspiration? What’s gonna go on for 2023?
Allison DeFord 05:30
Well, it’s interesting. I have, I have a couple of Super Friends. And also agency owners and we’ve been masterminding together for 10 years, every single
Curt Anderson 05:42
week, 10 years.
Allison DeFord 05:45
And every year, we would pick four words, and we would draw them on a Starbucks mug, you would get it it was like black, or white, or sorry, black or red, like, like, an account with a white pen. So we would draw, of course, being artists and whatever, we would draw the words on there. And then every week we send each other and update. And those are the words at the top of the update. And what I realized this year was that was too many. I needed one. So the word and this just came to me and I go with my gut, because it’s usually pretty spot on.
My word for this year is F U N. B, because if I bring fun to every situation, to every hard thing, that I may be look courageous, but I’m scared shitless by bringing some fun, and it doesn’t necessarily mean silly, sometimes. But I think you know, to a client meeting to a big presentation that maybe I’m shaking in my boots, just bring the fun. And immediately when I say that word, I feel myself relaxed. I smile. And I think okay, let’s let’s do this. I got this.
Curt Anderson 07:09
Yeah, that’s awesome. I’ll say that. First. Drop the mic moment. And 23 just occurred, guys. So bam. Got the mic. Well, fun, right. Have fun. I absolutely love this. Let’s let’s man we have so much to cover, but we can’t let that one go. So they were we had a guest couple years ago. And boy, wouldn’t it inspiration. She’s through the MEP network. We’re going to talk about the MEP s today, Allison. And so she our friend April Schmidt. And she was terrified. She’s an introvert didn’t want to come on, you know, like I asked her on her LinkedIn and on LinkedIn live shows she had like this look of terror.
And she put out a post and she said, You know, when you had those moments in life, it was turning moments and like it was just me and Damon, you know, but she’s like, when you have those turning moments where like, you know, as you’re saying, like there’s, you know, terrified, horrified. Do I do this? Do I stay in my no growth zone as she called it? Or do I break out of that no growth zone. And her term was I get courageously uncomfortable. courageously uncomfortable, and I just I absolutely love that phrase.
And so you took it to a new level. Nice and simple. Three letters, guys. Fu and let’s just have fun in 2023 None of this serious stuff removed COVID and all that garbage, right? So just let’s let’s unpack that a little bit further. So what type of what are some goals aspirate? What’s What’s some fun that you’re going to have? In 23? When we’re going to have you back here in January of 24? What are some things that are going to be fun on your plate that you’ve accomplished?
Allison DeFord 08:40
I would say a lot more speaking, which I don’t know if you guys remember this, but I really don’t like my voice all that much. And I detest seeing myself on video. So it’s a really uncomfortable, it’s, it’s getting more comfortable. Because now just do it. Right? Just show up be present. It’s not about me, it’s about being of service to the people that are that are listening or that are watching. So when I reframe it, but I think speaking for sure. A new podcast is coming. And, and I’m really excited about that.
And then I think also watching the growth of my clients, right taking them from you know, we were here we had no unique voice, we had a kind of credit website. It you know, now there’s new ownership, new shift, and then we helped them morph into something unique, you know, into the category of one and then watching what happens with that and watching how much fun they end up having in their team and another thing would be some travel, more travel and I never thought I would say this in my life planning.
I’ve always been a fly by the seat of my pants kind of go. And what I’ve learned from one of my Super Friends is that the more you plan, and you know really schedule your time, the more freedom you have. And I’m finding it to be true. So, I’ve been experimenting with that, and that’ll be something I will talk about next year. Okay, all right.
Curt Anderson 10:33
Mic drop number two. Yep. Plan to give yourself more freedom is that we just said, Man, how juicy was that? Man? We’ve got chatbox. Guys again. Happy Friday. We’re here with Allison to four drop us a note. Please connect with Allison afford we got Val in the house. They’ll Happy New Year Tom Herman. My friend. Happy New Year. Whitney’s Chapman. She’s getting some trivia answers for us. Thank you. We got Christopher Reeves. George Reeves. She’s fine out there related. We got Chris Harrington is here today.
And I know you were on the broadcast recently. So this is just out man. We’re just your lots of love coming at you Allison. Elson, your founder president of felt marketing. You’re the boy advocate cheerleader the zealot of manufacturing masters. We’re going to talk about that. You talked about your public speaking you’re speaking at Purdue University. week and a half from now we’re going to talk about that. Let’s get into fillip marketing.
Okay. Back in a day you decided boy, you were Wonderwoman you’re taking an entrepreneurial plunge, felt marketing, you have taught me so mad dude, I like I learned every time I’m around you. I’m like a sponge when you’re in a house. Empathy, curiosity, emotional connection. Just share like that felt marketing the story behind felt and like what you’re what you do for manufacturers?
Allison DeFord 11:50
Well, I’ll make a long story short. For years, we were deferred designs, because my last name right, that’s what you do when you start out. And then we, I brought on, you know, other colleagues, and we realized this was way bigger than me. This was and it wasn’t about me. And it no longer represented us. So we were looking to rebrand. And this was like 13 plus years ago, I think, and my creative partner at the time, and was for 20 years, we were standing outside, we had this yard behind our building, believe it or not in Southern California. Rare. So we’re standing out there.
And we’re really just like pacing. And we’re thinking and I honestly don’t remember which one of us said it. I feel like it was this combination. And it’s like, you know, the most beloved brands, they’re not just seen, they want to be seen, right? They want to be heard. But the most beloved brands, especially the ones that she and I were huge fans of they were felt people could felt something, right when you go get that cup cup of coffee at Starbucks or when you I don’t know, I I’m at a loss at the moment. But
Curt Anderson 13:08
like, Apple users or you know, like, Harley Davidson, you know, like, they’re just they have that emotional connection.
Allison DeFord 13:15
Right? Yeah. And we both like it was like a lightning bolt struck. Yeah. Which is ironic, because that’s in the, in the felt logo now. But it was like, Yeah, we want to be the embodiment of what you can become. So leading, leading by example, because I think for many years, we made the same mistakes that I see manufacturers making today.
Right? We spoke our own language. We talked marketing speak all day long, because we loved it. Well, if they didn’t give a shit, right, it was like, and you’d scratch your head and think we’re doing all these things right? Why isn’t it resonating? So I’ve made all the mistakes I still make mistakes, but it’s a lot of fun to have been doing this for so long that now I’ve recognized the patterns and I can help people overcome faster right?
Curt Anderson 14:09
absolute love are different a Bonnie’s here man you talk about emotional connection with her go lids boy she’s been absolutely crushing it making tons but she’s actually she’s helping folks with disabilities. Bonnie, you’re doing awesome. Happy New Year to you. Happy New Year to everybody. So Alison, you’re doing this thing. Manufacturing masters. Let’s I want to I want to let’s there’s a lot to cover there. So let’s let’s dive right in there. So felt marketing.
You’re just a marketing guru for manufacturers. I’ve seen it firsthand. You’re just a dynamo, a powerhouse you do incredible work. Now you’ve trained not I’m gonna say transition but you’ve taken things to a higher level with a team at manufacturing masters. Just share with the folks what’s going on there. What are the benefits the value that it’s just priceless? What you guys are doing? share with everybody what’s going on at manufacturing masters?
Allison DeFord 14:58
Well, I appreciate you asking about that, and I, again, I want to use this as an example of how you step out of your comfort zone. And manufacturing masters happened because of a multitude of things. Number one, I stopped being quiet. And I really started showing up in 2018, only four years ago, and using my voice, and so therefore, you know, putting the message out there.
And then Ray and I met, and we decided, okay, we keep having these changes the world conversations, we should start a podcast, and we should have these conversations, you know, weekly. What do you think? And he’s like, Okay, do you know how to start a podcast? And I’m like, nope, but we’ll figure it out. Scared that scared me to death. So we started the podcast. And we had Darren Mitchell, on the podcast. How did I meet Darren Mitchell through LinkedIn, through LinkedIn and out there and
Curt Anderson 16:04
and I’m not sure if you said in the name of your podcast is MFG out love. MFG out loud. I jumped in the chat earlier today, guys. Absolutely. Check it out. It is awesome. It is amazing. Damon, you’ve been a guest probably have, you know, a bunch of folks. Barney Greg issue. You’ve had tons of our LinkedIn family as guests. It’s a great podcast, please continue from there.
Allison DeFord 16:27
Well, because we had Darren on as a guest, and then got to know him. He reached out after he sold his business. And he said, I’m starting something new. And I’d like you to be an expert on the platform. And I said, Me? Yes. He said, Are you an expert? But you know, you just think I’m not worthy.
You know, there’s so many other people. And he said, No, I want you. And so long story short, he said, I’m creating a platform, an on demand, education and training platform, just for manufacturers. He said, because what I want to do is help them know all the things that they don’t know, the things I wish I would have known 25 years ago.
And he said the problem though, is that you want to hire a consultant, or you want to hire an expert, but you don’t know if you can trust them. You really don’t. And sometimes it’s hit miss, right? Sometimes you spent a lot of money. They do amazing things. You think my god that just changed my business in my life. Sometimes it’s the complete opposite. And so he said, I want to provide a network, a community of experts, for manufacturers that they can trust.
And so today, it just launched this year in jet, sorry, last year in January, there are over well over 500 videos, short, no fluff, you learn something in every single video, even if it’s not directly related to what you do. It blows my mind, I learned something. Every time I watch a video, and it’s all done in a manufacturing environment. And these are people that specialize in everything in manufacturing that you can possibly think of.
And so now there are over 500 videos, there are over 120 experts from around the world that otherwise, how would I have known you know, Ben over in England, and he has this amazing technique, or you know, somebody that’s doing something on the shop floor that, Oh, my God, it’s gonna be a miracle for my business. So and it’s a subscription base view, you can opt out anytime you want.
There are no strings. And you can reach out to the experts on your own if you would like to and work with them directly. There’s no middleman. It’s it’s just amazing. And so he reached out to me and I said, Well, who’s who’s going to help build the brand who’s going to name it? And he said, Well, that was my next question. So felt ended up naming, manufacturing masters. Because it’s a triple entendre.
And that’s what I know we’ve we’ve hit something like we’ve hit a goldmine. It’s you’re being taught by manufacturing masters, you want to become one. And it’s like getting a master’s in manufacturing. And the tagline is everything they never taught you in school, right? So it’s, it’s been a lot of fun. And I’m also a brand ambassador.
So I get to work with MEPs and manufacturing associations and help them bring manufacturing masters to their members at a discounted rate. And it just it does so many things for them. I can’t even tell you from lead generation, the analytics Allah own are worth their weight in gold. And really just staying connected and bringing this massive amount of learning to your people best practices. So awesome.
Curt Anderson 20:14
But that hey, man, that wasn’t your first time was it? That was awesome. Let’s say hey, let’s get you’re getting a lot of love here. How about your buddy here man have a raise the gun Oh, guess what Ray’s gonna Damon Ray is gonna be on a program in a few weeks. Yeah, our friend Bonnie, talk about fun best time with you. And Ray, we’ve got our dear friend Chris Harrington, Happy New Year, Chris and then and gals in the house HAPPY NEW gal. And just you are so worthy Allison.
So I, you know, you connected myself with Darren and just what a relentless entrepreneur and I remember I sitting at my dining room table, and I’m having this talk with Darren for the first time. And he painted his vision, he’s like, I’m creating the Netflix for manufacture. He goes, well, people could go all over YouTube and find this hack or this person or whatever. And maybe they’d be good.
But he’s like, I’m gonna consolidate all that expertise in one hub. And sure enough, you brought that dream to life, talk about some of the victory some of the success that you’ve seen. And and then we’re gonna cite into the relationship you have with MEPs. We’re gonna talk about your program that you have coming up at the Purdue MEP, but just talk about some of the successes or just some of the great rewarding things that you’ve heard from people take advantage of manufacturing masters.
Allison DeFord 21:27
I think my favorite story to date is Darren was sitting in actually live in a room with 20 different people from manufacturing company. And they’d been using the platform. And this guy had been really quiet during the whole meeting. And he kind of raised his hand and Darren is like, yeah, you have something to share. And he’s like, I gotta tell you, he said, I’ve been doing my job for like, 26 years. I’ve never known what best practices look like. I honestly don’t know.
Right? You know, I mean, he goes, I’m doing my job. Okay. But I don’t know, could it be better? And he said, Now I know. Right? He said, This has been a godsend for me. And I just feel so like, empowered. And I feel smart. And like I have this point of reference, and date. That’s my favorite story. Because it just it gives me chills every time I think about it. Because it’s like, What a revelation. It’s just so simple. Right? It’s all there for him whenever he wants to turn it on.
Curt Anderson 22:38
Right. And that’s, you know, as an entrepreneur, you know, you’re forced, you’re thrown on so many different hats throughout the day, you need to be an expert in you know, everything. But you become a jack of all trades, master of none. Where now you no pun intended. Now you have access to manufacturing masters. I think a number of folks that are here with us today are actually do you want to give some shout outs like Ray, I think is great. You. Yeah, so who are some of the experts that you have on, on on manufacturing masters?
Allison DeFord 23:09
Oh, my gosh. There’s a lot of amazing people that I feel honored, absolutely honored to be among these other folks, you know, and learn from them, that they’re just, I mean, there’s people from like, Campbell, soup, Boeing, Continental Airlines, from big to really small manufacturing operations. And people from every walk of, you know, HR, finance, you name it, it’s in there. And I think what’s so great is that every video the whole, like, every one is coached, by the way.
So this is like a TED Talk. This is very, I want to say scripted, but it’s very planned. And every single video has to have a what’s in it for the viewer. What am I going to talk about here, the three points effectively, here’s the wrap up, go. And it’s like, there is zero fluff. Darren said no one has time for that. It this is not entertainment. It’s it’s training, best practices, inspiration. So yeah, I think that’s what I love about it is it’s very succinct, tight.
Curt Anderson 24:34
Perfect. Okay. And I know you I think you were in Arizona when you did your your shoot, right and just share a little bit like let’s somebody’s out there small manufacturer. They’re hearing this for the first time or they haven’t really had a great dose of Allison, can you share like just some, whether you want to talk about the Wii Wii syndrome or like, you know, what are some marketing tips either from the video or like, what are the things that you’re getting best practices out to manufacturers that maybe you’re seeing that are slipping and past them.
Allison DeFord 25:01
Well, in my I was one of the early ones. So mine are a little bit longer than five minutes. But they’re jam packed. Like I wanted each one to be like a masterclass. Yeah. And I did a series to kind of cover from strategy to social write from strategy to execution. So I cover things like make a website makeover, what are the components? What are you probably doing wrong?
How do you overcome it? I talked about a social media strategy and how to create the content, we talk about reigniting your brand, because brand foundation is what I often see is the weak link. Or most manufacturers, so it’s like before you get out the gate, and start amplifying a message. Yeah, take two steps back, and let’s shore up the foundation.
Curt Anderson 25:55
Can you Can we dig into for a little bit like read save somebody’s like, Man, my brand is just stale, you know, but I stopped my it’s not my like, I’m not a branding guide myself, you know, like, say somebody like boys, it’s just not my wheelhouse. Not sure who to turn to just when I hear branding, I’m thinking it’s, you know, dollar signs, it’s gonna be very expensive. What are some tips or suggestions that you have for manufacturer that needs to kind of spice up their brand?
Allison DeFord 26:19
Good question. Well, and I was going to talk about that today. My plan was to talk about crushing your marketing goals in 2023. And I’ve got five major tips of how to do that. Let’s,
Damon Pistulka 26:32
let’s do it.
Allison DeFord 26:33
Okay. With what’s getting in your way. And that will answer the question that you just asked me.
Curt Anderson 26:40
Let’s hit it right now. All right.
Allison DeFord 26:42
So the number one thing that I think is important, and crushing your goals, and 2023 is less is more. Same thing with my word for the year, right? Instead of four or five words, I have one. And I understand that, you know, you’ll have a variety of goals, right? It’s okay to have more than one goal. Obviously, you’ve got financial goals, you’ve got analytical goals, growth, goals, etc, personal. But what I see happen with manufacturers often is that they have too many goals.
And then it gets a little convoluted. And so then as the year goes on, then nobody revisits the goal, goals, plural. And there’s just this, there’s this lack of clear crystal clear focus. So I would encourage a manufacturer or if you’re helping a company, let’s say you’re just a marketer, you know, or not necessarily in manufacturing, but pick a word, what’s your word for the year? What’s going to drive every goal, everything that you do. And I want to piggyback that with number two, the most important thing that I see people forgetting to do is to ask why.
So you have this goal. And I’ll give you an example. And then I’ll give you the example of how to flip the script. So I had a manufacturer recently say, we want more engineers, to know who we are, to know what we do, and to engage with us this year. I said, Okay, that’s cool. We can help you do that. I said, What if we flipped that a little bit? I said, How do you want these engineers to feel? Crickets, they just look to me, like, what? And I said, How do you want them to feel? Right at every stage of the buying cycle?
So before they know you, how do you want them to feel? After they get to know you? And they’re evaluating you? How do you want them to feel? If they come to your website? How do you want them to feel? So think about how different that statement will be. We want more engineers to know about us, like stressed us choose us. Or we want to empower engineers, to know what they don’t know. We want to infuse engineers, right? With an easy button. We want to make it easy for them.
So whatever your word ends up being, it will infiltrate your goals. And it that’s your why that’s the crux of everything that you’re doing. And I feel like it’s very systematic and connected. I’m a fan of a holistic system. So everything one thing connects to the next to the next to the next. It’s all connected, right, like the Hoberman sphere, which of course I have here that, you know, does this and when everything’s connected, you’re gonna get more momentum, because you’ve got a full deal. So
Damon Pistulka 30:07
that’s awesome. I just got a laugh because I one of the things I read every day and part of my my personal mission is talks about how I want people to feel. And we use that in our business. And I was like, Ooh, girl, Allison’s saying that maybe.
Curt Anderson 30:25
All right. So, Damon. We have to take a moment of silence. Yeah. Why we’re doing this. Please read this. Everyone. Yeah. To get the felt marketing newsletter. I am inviting you. I am welcoming you. I am pleading you with Yeah, do it just doing Do yourself a favor. I dropped the link in the chat. If you don’t see it. Go to fault marketing hit subscribe.
There isn’t a more entertaining and actual newsletters out there. She loved the 12 days of felt miss I, Allison, you’re such a gift, man. Yeah, let’s get the momentum going. But I just want everybody to just savor what she said. We want engineers to engage with us find us like us know, how can we help them be the hero of the story is Allison’s line that you taught me? You always use? My guide? How do we want them to feel and make them feel? I’m done talking? Ellison please take it away? Where are we on? Number four? Where are we?
Allison DeFord 31:30
Number three? Okay, number three, write them down. Okay. So once you simplify your goals, right? And you know why? And you know how you want people to feel? Then it’s time to reverse engineer your how? So, excuse me, what kinds of content? Because that’s what marketing is, right? Its messaging, its content, its video. What kinds of content will help engineers, for example, feel the way you want them to feel?
Would it be some inspiring TED Talks? Would it be industry trends and patterns that maybe they haven’t identified? Comparisons or a configurator tool, which Kurt’s been talking about? Demos, inspirational quotes, case studies live Q and A’s. Do you know how many? And I mean, I’m guilty of this as well, I should do way more lives and show up. And but most manufacturers, they’re not doing most of those things. And I think we get caught up.
Because I, you know, we do social media for a number of companies. And it’s a lot a lot, a lot of we we, you know, it’s like, oh, let’s talk about the award that we won, or the it’s lots of, you know, look how great we are. And it’s just such a natural thing, right? We all do it. That’s the I think the nature of social media is very narcissistic. And what I like to help them see is that people think about the your favorite brands. And I think we can learn a lot from b2c, as b2b folks here. They’re not constantly showing you how the coke is made. Right?
The precision equipment that makes that beverage that you love, how that goes into the can? The why oh, the new website that they have that talks about coke and can no, they’re showing you people enjoying the beverage they’re showing you, you. So I think we can learn a lot from that, that b2b has forever in a day been so focused on ourselves. And we think that people want to know how the thing is made. And, you know, no, they want to know why you do it.
They want to see themselves getting this problem solved, that only you can solve. So again, you can see how this all connects. Right? So now you’ve reverse engineered your how, and you will now know what to say and where to say it is just going to pop up. It’s going to be so easy. Number four, I would encourage people to package it. Right think about a campaign, an overarching campaign. This doesn’t need to necessarily cost you know, a zillion dollars or anything.
But when you put all the components together under one umbrella, it’s such a stronger, louder, clearer message. People need to see things What is it 13 to 25 times Seems like a commercial before they actually remember it the first time, thus the repetition. And I have manufacturing clients that say, Oh, well, we already talked about, I don’t know having a lunch and learn, we already talked about. And I said, you have to talk about it and talk about it and talk about it. I said, I want you to always assume no one saw that last post. Yep. Once thought
Curt Anderson 35:26
it’s a blip. And probably at that moment didn’t care.
Allison DeFord 35:29
Yeah, right. Right. I said, think about it. Think about what someone is doing. When they’re looking at these posts. And I, I said this recently. In a training, I said, it reminds me a lot of Top Gun, Maverick. Miracle number one, they actually see your content at all. While they’re scrolling. Yep, you’re never too, they actually stopped to glaze over it. Number a miracle. Number three, they actually stopped to read it and internalize it. Miracle number four, they click like, that’s a lot of miracles write to count on. Miracle number five, they share it. And maybe comment, right?
And that that’s, that’s one post. And there’s this is they’re seeing this all day long, from everybody. So how do you stand out? What are you giving them? That is valuable? What are you giving them? What are you talking about that no one else is talking about? So and then number five, you’ve got to schedule, what you’re going to do. That’s the way to crush your marketing goals. Again, that’s that the planning gives you the freedom. So if you schedule these things, and then you kind of analyze them, you’ve got to pay attention.
And every single month, well, how did we do? Is this working? And I see a lot of sales managers get caught up, especially if they’re in charge of also marketing, which makes me cringe. But they they say, Oh, well, our followers didn’t increase that much. It was only 5%. Our engagement is was only up 1%. And what I like to do is I remind them, let’s take a look at the quality of the numbers, not just the numbers. So it’s definitely quality. Sorry, quality over quantity. Do you have more architects now following you than were a year ago?
Yes. And that’s what you wanted? Do you have more contractors following you? Do you are is anybody engaging? Well, yeah, people are engaging, they weren’t engaging that much last year. So it’s like, really paying attention, not just month over month, but year over year. And then, you know, let’s face it, if you get a million Russian porn stars following you on Instagram, BFD, it doesn’t change your business?
Oh, you have a lot of followers. That’s not That’s not the point. The point is growing a community. That’s the difference. So I would rather hat and think about how many customers do you actually need? Between now and like, let’s say in 10 years, I’ll be 65? How many new clients? Do I need to help? Am I capable of helping in 10 years? Same with a contract manufacturer? How many customers do you need? Right? And once you break that
Damon Pistulka 38:40
down, you know, you do that a few times? If you got it.
Allison DeFord 38:43
If this is not like we don’t need a million, we probably don’t even need 100 Yeah. So that’s a way I think to help yourself crush those goals is to, you know, especially when sales gets involved, we get so focused on the numbers, not saying they’re not important, we need the money, right?
We need the growth. We need the healthy, you know, bottom line, but I think that this will help you actually achieve those goals versus setting these lofty things. And then you go okay, go. And your sales and marketing people are like, I can’t turn water to wine, you know. So you’ve got to have the tools and the resources. The other thing that I want to make crystal clear and I wrote this infinity green letters on my iPad, your sales team should be involved from the beginning.
And if you say well, I don’t have a team, I have one guy, okay. Get that guy in a room. marketing needs to work with him needs to learn from him or her. Right that the whole point is that we’re working together. So you’ve got to D silo this This year, finally just make that change, make that shift and really invite each other to the table. Because that’s the only way that you’re going to, I think really tap in and become more relevant is if you know your salespeople are the boots on the ground. So their their knowledge, their stories, it’s invaluable.
And it’s an it’s ironic it not really, the more we feature employees, selfies, low production value just you know, in the moment type of posts for clients, those always get the highest engagement because people know people they like people and you’re the face of the company then and I feel like I’ve done a lot of talking to other things I wanted to cover were five ways that I see manufacturers what’s getting in your way of doing these things. So you guys can chime in or let me know when you want to enroll in
Curt Anderson 41:02
drinks so your brother race is dropping some knowledge we’ve got Vail in the house and and of course you know sell the sizzle not the steak. Yeah. And if anybody wants to chime in you know I think a lot of people here they’ve gone through like either webinar or like listen to Allison listen to us, that we we syndrome and if anybody’s not sure that we we syndrome fail, why don’t you explain to people drop in the chat box what is that we recently?
So I just Elson while you’re catching a breath. Let’s just recap and then we’re going to dive in because I man this is so good. Okay, number one, less is more. Less is more be focused on your goals. Number two, ask why. Number three, reverse engineer your how? Number four, package it number five, schedule. Big word of the year. Measure
Damon Pistulka 41:52
these? Measure it Yeah.
Curt Anderson 41:54
Scheduling in. Allison, let’s keep this party rockin and rollin. And guys, I know like I don’t really know what time I’ve lost track of time. If you’re loving this, we’ve got Allison is going to be live at the Purdue MEP Manufacturing Extension Partnership on the 19th of January. I believe that’s a Thursday at 12 o’clock Eastern time I dropped the link in the chat box. Man, if you’re not getting enough of Allison, sign up for her newsletter, go to felt marketing.com And you want to sign up for it. Please sign up for her newsletter, you will thank us later come to her webinar. Allison, take it away. Let’s keep this party rolling.
Allison DeFord 42:30
All right. Well, this is based on I would say I’ve been doing this 30 years, but the last 15. These are the patterns and the consistencies that I see that are getting in our way of just crushing our our marketing and sales goals. So if you remember nothing else from today, I want you to remember this one thing. Ready. Marketing, start from the inside, out. And from the top down.
So the problem that I see so many times is that if the leader or leaders, right, they don’t know the why they don’t talk about the why they’re not focused on how do we want customers to feel? Maybe they don’t even believe in marketing. They think it’s still, you know, Mad Men in the 60s and smoke and mirrors and, you know, advertising bullshit. And it is not. Some of that still exists. Oh, yes, unfortunately. But it has changed dramatically.
So if you’ve got a leader that doesn’t believe in it, that’s going to hurt the efforts of the company, that’s going to hurt the efforts of the sales team. The whole point is that if you’re marketing properly, strategically, not at people, but on behalf of and for them. You are helping your salespeople sell while they’re sleeping. And as Greg talks about all the time, you’re making it easier to find you to like you and to trust you, which you need those three things before someone is going to give you their money.
And I talk about marketing from the inside out, is that a lot of times, you know people can see where your heart is as a brand. And if you’ve got a big heart, if you’re doing good things, if you are talking like a person and not a robot, if you really human people are going to be drawn to you faster and for a longer period of time. So that increases loyalty. So, again, it’s really important to me and I think it’s important for anybody on this Live, that marketing starts from the inside out and from the top down. Okay.
Curt Anderson 45:06
The chat box is on fire. It’s on fire. We got to pull a couple of like, actual items. Marketing starts from the inside out tapped out like Man, if you’re replayed, like take a screenshot. Yeah. I don’t mean Daymond. But yeah, no pain and maybe.
But how about this? Whitney? leadership that doesn’t believe the struggle is real. Val? I know. Val, boy raving fan of Alison’s here marketing? Is everyone at the company, every customer interaction, your culture, Gail says, right? And so in that course, the know like trust, Greg, Misha was absolutely brilliant. Yeah, awesome. Keep it rolling, please.
Allison DeFord 45:45
Well, the think the underlying thing that I see missing in most manufacturing operations, and in a lot of companies period, is there’s no unique value proposition. So when you come to their website, or you’re talking to a salesperson, what’s the thing? Right? What’s that unfair advantage that you have, that you’re leading with? That tells the potential customer? What’s in it for them?
Why should they buy this? And why should they buy this from you? What what is that unique thing? And I think it’s my favorite thing in the whole world to help companies identify what that is. And it’s usually right there under your nose, and you can’t see it, because you’re too close.
For one, one client, I we did took them through the process. And I said, based on our findings, you guys do one thing better than everyone else. And they said, What’s that? I said, you make it easy. You make one part of the construction process easy from start to finish, from tech support, purchase, how to use it, how it performs easy, and they just looked at me like that it and I said yep. Nobody else is talking about it in their lane, right? Nobody, right.
And the other the other bigger guys, they don’t make it easy. There’s too many layers, it’s you know, you’re thrice removed from you know, actually talking to a person etc. So you’ve got to get a clear and unique value proposition. It’s no longer about quality, customer service, and your, you know, hundreds of 1000s of square feet of shelf space. That’s just entrance into the game. Number two people are suffering from non personality disorder. They are, some people aren’t even vanilla.
Right? It’s like a soda sandwich on nasty stale white bread. And it’s, it’s they’re doing themselves a disservice. Because they are so cool. They’re so unique. So you know it don’t be afraid to identify what your personality is. Every brand has one. So, you know, do you want to be the sort of sandwich or do you want to be the, you know, juicy, 64 ounce Porterhouse dripping in butter and garlic and you leave people with a memory that they can’t forget. So, non personality disorder is killing us.
We’ve all been guilty of suffering from it. And I want to help manufacturers overcome it. Third, is that we we syndrome. Okay, so zactly godless Vale? Yeah, she she’s, she’s an advocate. And it’s, it’s true, though. You know, if you are busy staring at your own navel, instead of staring at the person in you know, across from you. You’re doing yourself a disservice.
Damon Pistulka 49:16
I still remember that picture. You sat down. I don’t know how long. I still laugh at it.
Allison DeFord 49:21
Yeah, I’m a little kid, right?
Curt Anderson 49:22
Oh, yeah. David, I thought we were gonna do that on the show today. I said we’re gonna die next year, next January when she comes back out. So just if anybody’s wondering what we’re talking about, so when when you come to spoiler alert when you come to the Purdue workshop, I don’t know if you’re going to have that slide or not Ellison, but she has this famous slide. It’s like a nine year old boy and like every nine year old guy knows exactly what we’re talking about. And he’s sitting there squeezing his belly button looking at it, you know? Right. It’s hysterical. So all right. So
Allison DeFord 49:53
that’s what we knew. And and seriously if you look at any pull up 10 websites and website from different manufacturers. Diane, tell them you’re learning. Oh my god. If you do, we call it the five second speed test. So if you do a five second speed test, count how many times you see the word weak. Right, and especially on your about us page, you got to flip the script, that’s usually the second most popular page on a website. It needs to focus on the viewer and the problem that you solve. And then you can give a little you know, how you solve it.
Yeah, and it’s not a history lesson either. I want to point that out about it, you can have a history but make it separate way down here. Because what they care about is why you’re doing this thing for me. And the more you can flip the script from a Wii to you, it changes everything, just like the example I gave earlier. If you said in, and I see this all the time, on a website, we do this thing. We use this kind of equipment. We’ve been doing this for this long. We’ve won these awards, we have the certifications. Work with us.
Curt Anderson 51:23
Allison, I’ve just I believe we’ll talk offline, you need to do a TED Talk
Damon Pistulka 51:27
of the week. Yeah. Oh, no, I
Curt Anderson 51:30
was I was preparing. Like, you know, if I was to do a TED talk, what was my topic and I hit the wee wee syndrome. I’m like, Allison has got to do the Wiebe syndrome on a TED talk. You need to get that word out there. So anyway, please continue.
Allison DeFord 51:44
I’ll consider it. Okay, number four, consistency and creativity. So I see a lot of manufacturers who they say we don’t have the bandwidth. So we’ll have our internal person Carol, who also does accounting, and whatever, we’ll have her do some social posts when she has time. And I’m telling you right now, you are missing such a massive opportunity to be part of a community, right?
Social media, if you’re doing it correctly, in the b2b space. You’re it’s a two way conversation. And it’s ongoing. And it’s happening with or without you. So why not participate? Why not show up? Why not lead the conversation? Instead of? Well, we’ll just have Carroll throw a little spaghetti on the wall. And yeah, we’ll see if something sticks, I guarantee you it won’t. So it’s a waste of time. And the lack of creativity.
Curt Anderson 52:46
What’s now what we’re Carol’s task again, she’s she’s a bookkeeper.
Damon Pistulka 52:50
He’s a purchasing agent, and our person and their social media marketer, oh, my God, you’re killing us. All right.
Allison DeFord 53:00
But it’s really it’s a disservice. And also, when people think that their high school nephew can come in and weed out a couple posts because they’re young. So they must know about social
Damon Pistulka 53:12
media know about social media.
Allison DeFord 53:15
And again, you know, these things don’t work. So it’s just, they’re not going to help you crush your goals if you keep doing what you’ve always done. And then number five, you have no opt in, you have no lead generation happening. And you’re not nurturing people after the sale. So these are the things that I see, really, and they’re easy fixes.
They’re easy fixes. Like, I’m in the process of redoing our website, for example. It’s long overdue, so guilty as charged. But, you know, one thing that we put together and I got this idea from Jay Baer if you don’t follow him, he’s amazing. Is the 17 Wit problems, sorry, 17 problems we help manufacturers solve. Just to just to download and by doing that, you’re giving somebody a window into Hmm, I wonder if I have one of those problems, right. Or maybe I’m unaware of, you know, so it’s, it’s to stimulate conversation.
That’s just a simple example, because a lot of times people get hung up on I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to start. And I my super friend gave me this is perfect for today. Right? crushing your goals. Yeah. And I wanted to share with you one of the cards. This is from Napoleon Hill, right thinking Grow Rich. Do not wait. The time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command. Yep,
do not wait. So,
Allison DeFord 55:09
right. And that’s not gonna stay. Because,
Damon Pistulka 55:11
look, Kurt and I, now that we’re, I mean, we didn’t wait, how will he still don’t know how to do this? And it but I mean, if people I wasn’t a client last week, no doubt, right? They spent 10s of $1,000 of 1000s of dollars on a video for their company.
And it’s like, I was like, why? Who was it for? for that? I watched it. And it was we we all Yeah. And I’m like, You know what you guys could have done. You can just spend Oh, 500 bucks and some video equipment W live streamed and you got 10 times the value out of that thing? Yep. answering some questions, giving people some good information, helping them you know, feel the way you want them to, but Oh,
Curt Anderson 56:05
well. Allison, I don’t know if you ever get tired of this. But I have a famous quote that I share every time that you’re on stage. Do you know a quote I’m going to share with you yes, that’s brilliant. Do I do are you are you okay? If I share your share this quote from this, this anonymous person? Sure. It’s from a very famous book according to my mom. Okay, guys, we’re gonna shoot. Oh my god, what a year. It’s gonna be like, any inkling of what 2023 is gonna be. Okay, guys, Allison afford Thought Marketing.
Please connect with Allison on LinkedIn. Let me just so I have a quote that I’m going to share with you guys. Okay. Okay. staying relevant and profitable. Today, capitals today requires three things. Now we cover 10 right to book it’s a five, go back and please rewind, listen to Allison over and over. Bring your Kleenex, make sure you cover your keyboard so you don’t spit whatever you’re drinking on the keyboard. All right. staying relevant and profitable today requires three things continuous self disruption, reorganization and strategic communications.
Continuously innovating and keeping pace with how customers search, purchase and share to avoid falling into the abyss of mediocracy or god forbid extension. manufacturers must do something they’ve always resisted in the past. That is for my dear friend Allison afford Allison. You shared that with me. We had we met we haven’t spoken. You gave me that quote? I’ve dropped in my little book. Dude, you are such a gift. You are a blessing.
You’re our sister. We love you. And oh my goodness, Grace, you are so so much. But I know everybody probably like if they’re winding down. I know. We’re coming up. We’re probably past the bottom of the hour. I lost track of time. I’m just so absorbed in this. Okay. We covered your podcast MFG. out loud with your buddy, your partner. Your brother raised the guy. No. Ray’s gonna be with us. You are the director, President, CEO of North American Forest Foundation. I want to make sure I’d give you a shout out there.
You You’re speaking at the Purdue MEP Manufacturing Extension Partnership by November 19. Thursday at 12 o’clock. You guys don’t want to miss this. Connect with Allison Allison, my last question for you today. You ready? You said no. Okay. We talked about integration. I kind of went there earlier. But I 2023. You talked about your word for the year is fun. Who are what is your inspiration coming into this new year? Who? Or what is your inspiration as you crush and smash your goals for 2023?
Allison DeFord 58:51
I would say definitely Mel Robbins. If you don’t already follow her. I feel like she’s my future. bestie. And we have a lot in common. And I love that she shows up, even when it’s a shit show. And she’s just constantly dropping the gold based on just being authentic. And so I’ve she’s been an incredible influence on my life and my work.
And I would also say, you know, the manufacturers that I help, I just I I light up when we see their growth and their enthusiasm and their team gets excited and they feel proud. That that inspires me tremendously to do what I do every day. And I love it so much. I would do it for free. I really do. And I believe in manufacturing, I believe in you know community, and just all of us working together. And I’m also inspired by you guys truly my my LinkedIn bandit.
Are others my manufacturing mafia people? Darren invents manufacturing masters and it’s just, it’s exciting. It’s really exciting and you know, there are days when I feel like I don’t know I don’t have anything to say. I don’t think what I what I’m saying is worth anything you know, it’s that imposter syndrome or whatnot. And literally yesterday I didn’t know what I was going to talk about today there was a mental block and I thought well shit this is not gonna go well it’d be a huge bomb
Curt Anderson 1:00:38
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was awful right worried about Yeah, go back Yeah, it was so mad. It was like terrible look, you know, epic. LC your Mac. So I guys let’s do this. Let’s you know been found Mel Robbins. Okay, so Hey, guys, do us a favor, man.
If you’ve been sitting down or whatever you’ve been doing just take a break take a pause and just like once you stand out of your chair, let’s give a standing roaring ovation for the one the only Allison to Ford Allison food guy get our love for you is just endless. I cannot express what what you know. I’ll get all choked up. Anyway. Damon, what do you got? Dude? Man, it was this like what a way to start off the year man. Why? Like I don’t know we don’t want this like our last episode for the year because yeah, we’re
Damon Pistulka 1:01:31
not just drop it. It’s okay everyone, we’re canceling everything.
Curt Anderson 1:01:36
We’re done. Awesome session we’re getting a round of applause So guys, let’s do this 2023 man, just hope you had an amazing holiday season just you know come out with just fire be someone’s inspiration. Look at it like Alison it wasn’t sure what she was going to talk about today and just absolutely destroyed today. So Alison, awesome job. Guys go out there keep crushing it. You’re going to smash your goals and 23 Damon, let’s close it out. Brother. Take us away man.
Damon Pistulka 1:02:08
I really don’t know what we’re gonna say after that other than Thank you, Alison. I mean, I mean after Alison, I mean, just just sorry. You just want to go okay, remake this just walk out the door. So you do Okay, right. We’re just gonna walk out the door. But hey, thanks, everyone for being here. This first one we had as we thought was stellar. Go back and look at it again. So knockout Kurt and if you have to that’s probably a good idea.
But then take take take heed what else is saying as Kurt said connect with their checkout manufacturing masters checkout felt marketing. Yep. And you know what’s even funny? I’ll do this because I put on the shirt today. But it’s it’s all good people. We’re here. We’re back again this year. Allison with Wonder Woman. I got my little army gentleman that you sent me so long ago. It stays with me every day. Maybe we’re gonna be back again next week with more great shows, and more great guests. Thanks so much everyone we’re out for this week.
Curt Anderson 1:03:12
Seeing her out