Smashing Your Goals with Marketing that’s Felt

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Allison DeFord. Allison is the founder and trailblazer of FELT Marketing for Manufacturers. Allison's company works to help manufacturers connect with the hearts of their customers through impactful marketing.  

To understand marketing that’s felt, you need to understand the core values of your marketing process.

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Allison DeFord. Allison is the founder and trailblazer of FELT Marketing for Manufacturers. Allison’s company works to help manufacturers connect with the hearts of their customers through impactful marketing.

The conversation of the episode started with Curt introducing Allison to the show. After this, Allison elaborated on what FELT Marketing is. She said that business owners usually do not know how to make the right move for their customers. Not only this, but they also don’t know how to get through to the hearts of these customers.

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Adding to this, she also said that they offer marketing with emotional engagement. After this, Curt asked Allison to share her magic potion of how she does so many things at a time. Moreover, how she always offers marketing that’s felt.

Answering this question, Allison said that there was a time in her life when she was extremely insecure about her voice. However, at one point she attended a workshop where she had to present something in front of all those people. This is where everyone loved her presentation and she regained her confidence.

Since then Allison has been working on marketing that’s felt and her podcast as well. After this, Curt asked her about how she helps her clients and what her process is. Responding to this, Allison said that every time she has worked with a client, they usually focus on the number instead of the why.

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For instance, she recently worked with a client who told her that their competitor has a lot more followers on Instagram and other social media platforms. Here when Allison did her research, she found out that even though they have so many followers, they do not have any posts. This means that they are not reaching out to as many people and the number of followers does not matter here.

This is why, according to Allison, to work on marketing that’s felt, you have to focus on the why first, then the numbers.

The conversation ended with Curt and Damon thanking Allison for her time.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

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Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Allison DeFord


Damon Pistulka  00:04

All right, everyone. Welcome once again to the manufacturing ecommerce success. I’m your co host, Damon Walker. And I just want to say we are so excited today. Because first of all, we’ve got a new director Gunn word our do now our director. We’re happy to have him and what is to work for kibbles in treats. It’s quite a deal. But enough about our new director in the show the way the show is going to happen. The flow of this show we’re so excited about that today. I need to turn it over to my host, Kurt Anderson, my co host Kurt Anderson. Oh, excuse me wrong way. Kurt take it over me.


Curt Anderson  00:47

Amen. Thank you brother man. This is just such an honor such a thrill i am be I’m can you get the smile? My face just says it all. I am just so excited for today’s program. Our guest today. I don’t know if she even needs an introduction. Our guest today is the one the only Allison afford Allison. Friday, my friend how


Allison DeFord  01:11

are you? Fantastic. I’m excited to be here. Oh,


Curt Anderson  01:16

this is such an honor. Guys. If you’re not familiar with Allison afford and man I can’t imagine that you’re not. I want to just first off I have to give a big warning. Okay, like this, like first off this show is very serious. If you’ve never come to our program before. The show is very serious. Okay.

So the warning today is if you are drinking any fluids while Allison is speaking, I encourage you to swallow those quickly because they’re going to end up on your keyboard because Alison is just that funny. number one number two. So Alison is the founder of felt marketing. She is a marketing Trailblazer. She is just a fierce branding guru. She runs us awesome, amazing podcast. Alison, tell us a little bit about yourselves because I yourself because I could go on all day long.


Allison DeFord  02:03

Well, I’m not sure I can live up to the hype. But thank you very much. The honorary president of MFG out loud Kurt Anderson


Curt Anderson  02:14

is me. Yep.


Allison DeFord  02:17

Should we have gun word change the camera


Damon Pistulka  02:19

downwards change in the camera position now he just gave me this the okay in the back. Yes, Justin. He realized he was off a little bit.


Curt Anderson  02:26

Let me fix my hair. Go ahead, Alison, would you please?


Allison DeFord  02:28

Uh, yeah, fillip marketing. We’ve been around since 1994. And most marketers waste time and money on marketing that doesn’t grow sales, and I got tired of hearing the same stories over and over of them being taken advantage of, or, you know, we tried this and it didn’t work, or we’re spending all this money and we’re not getting results. And so if you connect to the heart of your ideal customer, that’s how you’re gonna make sales easier, and more profitable.

So that’s what we do. We come in and we help you do a marketing retro fit me Cletus system, and connecting with emotional engagement. That’s what we’ve been researching for over a decade. And it really works like tapping into that 90% of the brain, right.


Curt Anderson  03:24

This is awesome. Well, Allison, let me let me just drop a couple things. Again, just for folks who are coming on that might there might be, there might be one or two people that are new to you. So let me just tell you a little bit about my friend Allison afford. So Alison, I read this a great LinkedIn success story. So Alison, I was on LinkedIn one evening, and there’s this post came up. And I read this post and and I was a victim. I was a victim. I’m a victim Jean. I was drinking something and Allison hands down had it wasn’t an all star post wasn’t a post of the year.

It was a Hall of Fame post. I still remember it vividly. vividly. I would burst out dying in it’s one of the funniest posts that I’ve ever seen her night connected. We’ve been fast friends ever since my soul sister just love her dearly. We’ve done a wonderful business together. And as a matter of fact, she is a great speaker. So for anybody, any of you guys out there, we do a lot of webinars, trainings, and what and Allison is one of our rockstar speakers. So what does she do on Wednesday? 48 hours ago. She does a gig at Temple University this big we have a great program at Temple University. It was so popular I get this email my email box this morning.

At not only do we want Allison back, we want her to do the exact same program again, Damon quote, because it was so good. She’s under you are sent University of Nebraska iMac Alson. You have your MFG outloud podcast which you just have amazing rock stars with your brother Raiza Gatto. Yes. A little bit like, what’s your magic potion? Like you’re in such high demand with these webinars and these workshops? Tell everybody just give everybody a little nugget or a taste. What What? What is your silver bullet there? Why are you so good?


Allison DeFord  05:12

Um, wow, I don’t I think it’s one of those things that for I got to be honest with you, for most of my life, especially adult life, I hated my voice. And I went to a weekend workshop with my former business coach Peleg top, who’s fantastic. And we’re sitting in this room of like, 25 people. And we had to talk about what we were most afraid of. And I said, using my voice, right, I’m afraid of like imposter syndrome, I’m afraid I don’t like the way it sounds, I hate myself on video. And I just, it was just this awful self loathing.

And so we had to do homework that night, because we spent the night there. And we had to go back to our room. And we had to, I had to write a, like a little script. And I had to, like, come back the next day. And I had to use my voice. So I sat down on this couch in front of all these people, I don’t know, who were all really talented and, and I did my spiel.

And they all were like this. And I thought, really bad. And they all just burst out clapping. And, and they said, Girl, it’s like we were sitting here with Oprah. And I’m like, Oh, wait, no. And they said, You must use your voice. Honestly, I started, Ray and I were talking in 2018. And we kept having these change the world conversations. And he and I said, You know what? I go we should we, we need to put this out there. Right? And we could have guests come on and like talk about the stuff that people are afraid to talk about. We need to say it out loud.

And he was like, Okay, what do you think? And I’m like, we need to do a podcast. And he said, Great. Do you know how to do a podcast? And I said, Nope. I’ll figure it out. So that’s what we did MSG out loud. And it’s all about you just conversations about marketing and sales for manufacturers. And we have on the most amazing guests. Like you too. And it’s just been the most profound thing I think I’ve ever been a part of so far. And until manufacturing masters, which we’ll talk about.


Curt Anderson  07:47

Absolutely. So this great segue so let me plan this so MFG out loud is absolutely an amazing podcast guys. If you haven’t heard it, strongly encourage you invite you welcome you implore you check out MFG out loud, awesome podcast. I was just talking to our mutual friend at the Nebraska MEP. Joel Roy. I know he was one of your your recent guests. You have amazing guests great conversations. And I know like it’s I love how everybody sees it like word of the year.

And I’ll tell you Allison and I’m in it we goof around we have tons of fun but man you know I love you from the bottom my heart. My the word for you, when you come to mind is courageous. You are just so courageous. You’re inspiring. Your posts are inspiring, snarky, funny, odd, brilliant. All these other things, you know, again, you I’ve had the honor blessing. You’ve pulled me in on projects. You’ve done great speaking for us. So let’s segue into this. Okay, so now word of the day are my word for you courageous.

About letter of the day. Now let me share this with you. I don’t know if you guys know this. My wife is a preschool teacher. And so it’s common. Hey, kids, today we’re going to have a letter of the day. So when you’re married a preschool teacher I frequently hear okay, Kurt, let’s practice being a good listener today. Your little crate needs time for nap time. You know, but that’s that’s, you know, another story. But how about Allison? If we went with a letter B, what are some words for the letter B today that you would if I just said letter B? What do you think?


Allison DeFord  09:11

Be brave. Be bold. And brilliant.


Curt Anderson  09:24

Okay, let’s say those. So be brave. Be bold. Be brilliant. How about one more? How about how about badass badass There you go. I knew I knew you had one more in you. So Alright, so let’s go let’s let’s segue into like when you’re working with manufacturers, I know we were talking about like maybe like a little five pronged approach that you have with your manufacturers. You want to kick off there. Let’s start like manufacturers struggling struggling with their voice, their branding their messaging. Where do you start? Let’s take them on that journey.


Allison DeFord  09:57

Well, I know we’re talking about credit Your goals in 2022. And I thought I would start with some wisdom that I heard this last week from Brendon Burchard. If you don’t already, subscribe to the growth day, pod or app, sorry, it’s an app. And it’s fantastic. For personal development, he comes on, and he has these daily fires on growth day. And so he said, you know, he works with a lot of high level CEOs, Olympic athletes, you name it, these people make a lot of money. And he said, they always seem to start with the numbers when you’re talking about goals, like, okay, hey, last year, I made $10 million. So this year, do I want to make 1220?

What number do I want to go with? What number makes sense? And Brandon said, When you focus on the numbers, instead of the why? How do you know when enough is enough? And I thought, Whoo, that’s really good. So I wanted to give you a really, Mike, you know, we’re looking at things on a macro level, a micro level story that just happened recently. And so, client reached out to me, and he said, Hey, I’m really happy with the social media content that you guys have been doing for us. But I’d really like to increase our followers this year.

And I said, Okay, of course, you know, because we’ve been, we’ve been having really great gains over the last year. And he said, in looking at, you know, on LinkedIn, you can look at analytics, right, and you can look at what your competitors are doing and what. And he said, our closest competitor, who’s about the same size has twice as many followers. So we want to, like double. Yeah. And I said, Okay, well, let me take a look. Because I’m a fan of the numbers don’t lie, right. And so I looked, and I got back to him. And I said, you know, it’s interesting. They have twice as many followers as you do.

And they have three times as many employees on LinkedIn. And I said, ironically, they have this many posts. They have this many videos. And they have this many articles. Hmm. I said, You know what that means? They’re 2000, whatever, followers doesn’t mean shit. Yeah. Because no one’s hearing them. So somebody hit like, or follow, and then they get nothing. So I said, you would rather have and this is, many people in the in the world today are talking about this statistic, and I totally believe it, you would rather have 100, ideal fit. Perfect. Made For You followers, then a million?

Who could give a crap about you? You know, or like on Instagram? What? Why? Let’s go buy 1000 followers, let’s buy 10,000? Why would you do that? You know, so I’m a fan of don’t start with the numbers start with why? Why do you want to do this? And who are we doing this for? So I think that’s the most important thing that I help manufacturers do in the beginning of any conversation. Great. Why do you want to do this? Why do you want more followers? So you can show it on a report at the end of the year? Right? Or is it because you want to achieve something? Like what’s your mission?

And how are you going to help them get to their hero state? How do you want them to feel? That’s my favorite question. Because I get this. What? How do you want your customers to feel? They all look at each other? And they’re like, I don’t know. I said, Well, that’s what we need to figure out first. So if you know why, and you know how you want people to feel, it’s like reverse engineering. Yeah. So then you can create the strategy, the plan and the substance to then turn up the volume and market on behalf of infor people instead of at them. Right.


Curt Anderson  14:38

And you know, this is like our one year anniversary. You were on the program a year ago. I think this week, actually, Allison, and I think if I’m not mistaken, like your program was, you know how to make your customer a hero of your story. I tell that it’s been such a game changer for me. Thank you. Oh, you mentioned that hero state so you threw out hero state. So anybody that’s, I can’t imagine anybody meeting you for the first time here. But if somebody is new to this new to this concept, Hero state, if you don’t mind, let’s take a little dive into that. What is that hero state? How do you help that client? Make that hero, that hero state of reality?


Allison DeFord  15:21

Well, you know how I always talk about no one cares about you. They care about them. We all care about our, our own selves. So if you are really in tune with who it is that you are trying to be of service to write, then, you know, what keeps them up at night? What drives them crazy, what is what is the motivation for them?

Right? You know what someone’s hero state. For me, every single one of my manufacturing clients, their hero state is growth, its growth and and helping their customers succeed. So if you know what your customers hero state is, then you can guide them. Donald Miller, who wrote building a story brand is which is brilliant. He talks about this, and he said, You know, it’s like, they’re Luke Skywalker, like every great movie, right? As a hero, and a guide. There you go. Story brand, it’s brilliant. So the beautiful part of every story is that the hero transforms.

So if you can show your customers number one, I see you. And I feel Yeah, right. And, and so you’re, you’re showing them that you’re relevant, and you get them. And then they can see, hmm, this is why what’s in it for me, I’m going to solve this problem. And I’m going to transform and this is what it’s going to look like. So if you can plan your marketing and your sales strategy, to get to that point to help them get to that point, it makes everything so much easier, like 100 times easier.


Curt Anderson  17:14

So this widening


Damon Pistulka  17:18

Well, it’s amazing, right? And the way to share it it Allison is so true. Because if you look at it, that way, you understand how you’re going to make your customer successful, and then develop that content around it in the exact phases.

You talked about, you know, bump, bump, bump, and then how that is going to how they’re going to look after doing whatever with you. Is is so cool, because it does just allows people to come into the story and imagine themselves walking through the process with you and imagine themselves in the end going, yes, we’ve solved this, or we’ve achieved this or whatever it is. Yeah. And it’s it’s just it just that when you see it done? Well, it is pretty amazing.


Allison DeFord  18:02

Well think about like Weight Watchers, I think that’s a great example, which is now called WW Yeah. They, you know, when you go on a site like that, or you get an ad from them, they don’t show you a grossly overweight, out of shape person. They show you your ideal state. So, like weight loss companies are brilliant at this. Because you see that and you think, yeah, I want to look like her, you know. And so I think that’s it’s kind of like that. It’s the transformation. I love that word.


Curt Anderson  18:39

Digital transformation. So, transformation. So for anybody that’s again, hasn’t been in one of your webinars, man. And boy, I encourage everybody, if you haven’t caught one of Allison’s workshops, you have to check her out. So Allison, the ultimate favorite line of all time, I did a little blog post I knew last week is perfect. I have a part two coming up next week. This awful dreaded disease that is plaguing the world. It’s like a pandemic. It’s this dreaded syndrome. Can you for anybody that’s not familiar with a syndrome that we all suffer from. When I met you, I went through my website and it was everywhere. Can you please enlighten What is this dreaded disease that’s going on?


Allison DeFord  19:22

Yes, it’s the OUI OUI syndrome. And but it’s funny because now I was talking to a client yesterday. And she started saying my words back to me. I thought, this is fantastic. Yeah. She said, Yeah. I said, Well, do you do you think that those those social media posts have been working well for you? And she said, No. And I said, Well, do you think it’s because they’re covered in Oui oui. And she goes yeah, I said, Okay, well, the good news is it’s curable, right? We’ve all had it. It’s so easy to focus on your own navel, and be enamored with it. And then want to tell everybody, look how great it is. Do you see this? Do you see my navel? Do you see what it can do? And and it’s just yeah, it’s so easy.

And so I tell people to do the five second speed test. Go to your website, and see how many times a week? Yeah, and you’re gonna go, Oh, my God, it’s a lot. Like, I’m really, I’m really sick with this syndrome. So what do you do about it? You got to flip the script. And you got to talk about, excuse me, you. So when somebody sees the word you They immediately are locked in. And they think, oh, that’s me.

What I get, okay, so if you just flip the script, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about yourself. But if you lead with the customer, and you lead with you would, it would be much more interesting for me to sit here and talk about how I could help Daymond and Kurt transform than for me to sit here and tell you. Well, Phil’s been around for this long, and we have this many clients, and we do these things. But that’s what we all do. Right? We want to talk about what it is we do, and our shiny products. And it just like an ad, I tell people all the time, I’m like, you know, and for years manufacturers have, especially if you’re a contract manufacturer, you want to show every


Damon Pistulka  21:42

part that you make ever made. Yeah,


Allison DeFord  21:45

well polished, and it’s in like a pattern and that’s the whole ad. And I’m like, That’s not motivating. No one care. You know, your target is x. Okay, that might appeal to me. What is that going to help me do? I said, What if a boat show people? They go, Huh, we’ve never done that. Okay, let’s, you know, so again, it’s all about that emotional engagement. Right? So if you flip the script from waiter you, that’s going to be the first thing that will change the conversation.


Curt Anderson  22:19

Right? So guys, so tip of the day, please go to your social go to your website. How many times are you using the word I write? I was like to say, hey, unless we’re pirates, we don’t say I kept in right? Our MIDI. So how many times you say the word I? How many say the times you say our how many times you say the way the word we so let’s flip the script make it all about them. Our ideal clients. Now I know you love your brand guru you love. We were talking about a great brand before we jumped on live some great manufacturing brands. What are some brands that you admire that you love that you feel are just absolutely crushing it and doing it right?


Allison DeFord  22:59

I’m a huge fan of Yeti. Yeah. Nike, Duluth Trading Company. Oh, yeah. Yeah, big ass fans, which we were talking about earlier. And Gerber knives. Yeah, no, it’s funny because Donald Miller shares the story about Gerber knives. And I think that this ad campaign they did was brilliant. Because it started off with Hello, trouble. And I thought what I got to know more, and they spoke in the ads as if they’re speaking to that, that side of you, right?

That’s like, I don’t know, I’m from the Midwest, we say ornery, or that side of you. That’s, you know, the risk taker. Hello, trouble. And it’s it’s something that you never see this anywhere. So it gets your attention, but it immediately taps in to that emotional side of the brain. So yeah, those are some some brands that I’m I love it when a brand you can’t wait to see their stuff. And it just feels very personal.


Curt Anderson  24:15

Right? Yeah. And the great thing is like small manufacturers, you know, yet granted, we’re not going to be like, you know, Nike, we don’t have the budgets to hire Michael Jordan and all sorts of great athletes, so on and so forth. However, it doesn’t mean that we have to be boring, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be creative. It doesn’t mean that we can’t make it all about our ideal clients. And just get a little have fun with it get a little bit a little creative.


Damon Pistulka  24:40

I think the fun is the fun is where it’s really at. I mean, there is one company that I get an email from every single day and I don’t put it on unsubscribe and it’s Duluth Trading because they are saving they I mean, okay, first of all, if you’re a dude and you haven’t laughed at their underwear commercials, I don’t know what’s wrong.

I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but I’m sorry. Your funnybone is gone. And, and, but but like you said, it doesn’t have to be crazy. It doesn’t have to be multi billion dollar kind of strategy. It’s just about sharing people and, and in real real life and and how you’re why you’re doing what you’re doing that and how that benefits, you know how you bring them in and let them feel? Yeah, you can be a part of it when when you’re with us


Allison DeFord  25:30

being human. Yeah, I tell clients all the time, be more human. And that brings up something that I that I thought of that I wanted to share. There’s another disorder that plagues auto brands. And it’s NPD non personality disorder. And what does that mean? It’s when a brand is number one, they haven’t defined their personality, right in their brand guide, which they don’t have either. So they don’t know who they are as a brand. what their personality is their voice, their style, their tone. And, and so they everything that they put out into the world. It kind of sounds robotic.

It’s usually about them. But there’s no flavor. There’s no you don’t know it’s from them. Think target. When you see, I mean, when my kids were little, they see a target commercial before the bull’s eye shows up at the end, right in the beginning. They’re like, I don’t target. Okay, that’s what we’re talking about Duluth, you get something from them. They have a style, they have a voice. Right? So are you irreverent? Are you funny?

Are you damn funny, like, you know, are? But But like, take a stance, have a personality? Don’t be afraid. You know? It’s funny, like, talk like a human to us. Why am I drawing a blank? Instead of you have? You’ve, you know, like, oh, yeah, we have we’ve like, write, write like you talk. Right? And it doesn’t have to mean like, you know, the way kids text and they don’t spell properly. Yeah. Like not that because that drives me nuts. But like, you know, talk like a person and talk like your customers talk. That’s the other thing.


Damon Pistulka  27:35

The funny thing about that is I do it because I grew up in the middle in a big farm, right? I can’t help it. And I was talking to somebody the other day, and they just fell over laughing. They were just belly laughing. And I’m like, what they just do. And I used one of my euphemisms or euphemism for whatever I was said something about, you know, being in a creek and not knowing where you’re at, I forget what it was, it was just one of those things that just comes up. And he just starts to laugh. And I was thinking about what you’re seeing.

And it is, it’s really just letting your personality come out, letting your personality but your whole brand personality, because like you talked about Gerber and Gerber is they’re kind of like, bring trouble on, we’re gonna have a little fun with it. That’s what they’re trying to show you because that’s the kind of brand they are. And, and Duluth Trading is like, yeah, we can make clothes like everybody else. But we’re gonna make them better. And we’re gonna make fun of why we make them better. Right? And it’s just, it’s so much fun if you do this as a manufacturer, or as any company to let that that personality shine through, I think because it’s, it attracts the right people.

You know, Gerber doesn’t want someone that in sorry, if anyone’s listening, they don’t want the accountant in the room that’s never got outside their office and hasn’t got themselves, you know, on the side of a, you know, 1000 foot mountain going Holy hell, why did I try this? You know, but that’s what you want to try to attract the right people with it. It’s the biggest fans example is perfect, I think because you look at who orders that. It’s the maintenance department person, that or someone that’s building the contractor that’s building the place and they just say, I need that biggest fan. Oh, okay. Look it up. How brilliant is something like that when it’s simple and effective?


Allison DeFord  29:20

Well, in the thing that like we talked about Carrie Smith, the thing that he did was he took the risk. Yeah. I think most of us feel afraid. And we’re afraid to to own that thing that could offend somebody. Yeah, so we tend to just keep it vanilla. And I can honestly tell you look at every brand that you absolutely. That’s Beloved. They took some kind of a risk. So I like to encourage manufacturers to don’t be a me too. There’s only one of you. That’s the unique story that you have to tell. And you nobody else helps your customers, just like you do. Right?


Curt Anderson  30:12

Yeah. And you do a phenomenal job with, you know, you and I worked on a project together. And I love what you said, you know, well, you know, you’re doing a nice job with your marketing. But you’re whispering remember that, you know, your screen, you know? And so, share a little bit if you could, I, you, I was man, I learned so much like a professor was in the house, Allison. So your empathy chart, empathy map, if you will.

So again, like you aren’t talking to talk, you are walking a walk, you know, making that emotional connection. I know, we’re at the top of the hour for anybody on we are with Allison afford man, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out her podcast, shoot her a LinkedIn connection, shoot her some love, but just share a little bit. For those who aren’t familiar with the empathy map, if you could help them, you know, talk about how that is such a, I can’t unders I can’t overstate what a powerful experience and what a powerful tool that is.


Allison DeFord  31:05

Yes, it’s the empathy map is something that we developed. And it’s got pieces of your brand pie, right? And we’ll run a client through this and say, Alright, what are people hearing about you right now? What are people seeing from you? Or about you? How do people feel? And and, you know, what are the pain points or gain points with about you gain points? I like that. Yeah. And and it’s very eye opening, I’ve taken myself through the process.

There were many bricks to the head. And and you realize that and you say, Well, how do you find out? Well, thank you internet, it’s pretty easy. You either ask your customers, which is the best way. The second thing you can do is simply do that research and see what how people are talking about you. And it makes a huge difference, because without empathy, you’re missing that pivotal part of the brand strategy and the marketing strategy. Because without empathy, that’s, I don’t know, that’s part of where you get back into the wee wee syndrome.


Curt Anderson  32:25

Right, exactly. So if you don’t mind, I do this every time but every whenever I’m with Ellison, I have to I have to drop a quote of yourself and do you mind I’m going to drop a little quote. So again, LinkedIn Success relationship. Here we are besties man, you’re just man you got me yet. You had me at hello. You remember that? Post me if you want to talk about that post, but he had me at hello and that post? So Alison, I we became fast friends.

We’re going back and forth. You and I had never spoken. And man, we’re talking about all sorts of diseases. Maybe we should be in the medical field. There’s this awful and there’s another dreaded awful disease. You labeled it it’s I don’t know if you guys suffer from this. It’s called Best Kept Secret as a does anybody suffer suffering from bus kept secret ism. This goofy dude, he’s writing a book and he sends us note to this woman and he says, Hey, I’m writing a book.

Could you give me a i? This this guy this? This friend found a blog post of Alison’s and it had this amazing quote. And so he goes out and says, hey, could I put take this quote and put it in my, in his book, and I’m going to read that quote to you guys. You remember this quote? Allison, I’m going to read it to you. So okay. 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.

Savor that to avoid falling into the abyss of mediocrity, or God forbid extinction. manufacturers must do something they’ve always resisted in the past. That’s from Allison du Ford, founder and trailblazer and felt felt marketing. Allison man dropped the mic. I love that quote. I love her citing that quote, what we’re worried like, what was it in your mind when you put that out there? Like did you have a customer in mind? Just that was your career? Like what inspired you to drop that powerful statement?


Allison DeFord  34:33

I think it was a mix. Um, I think it’s interesting. There have been people that I’ve worked with in the past, and you realize you’re not the right fit. When your vision for them and their company and their customers is greater than theirs. Yeah, yeah. Right. And it’s not a put down and it doesn’t happen all the time. But when your heart and passion Passion and you can see, right you can see, like the end game. And like a coach, I can I can do the playbook and help you get there. But if you keep resisting along the way, because you’re afraid, your will they’re not doing that.

competitors aren’t doing that. So well, we might look weird. Well, they’re all blue. So we should be blue. Right? You know, it’s like this. So I think fear just gets in the way of this just this massive potential. And in this society, right? changing, evolving at the speed of culture. If you don’t get out of your own way, whether you’re a manufacturer or any kind of company, I mean, myself included you guys, you know, any kind of business owner, if you don’t get out of your own way, and put yourself out there, try the new things. Don’t be afraid of change, you will become extinct. Yeah. So that’s where that came from. Via this?


Damon Pistulka  36:07

Well, it is you said this, this is something that I talk with people a lot about, is this extinction, they don’t realize because it’s a it’s a slow progression. It’s like It’s like dying, the death of 1000 paper cuts, right? It just is because and all of a sudden, what happens? Are the manufacturers especially in contract manufacturing, right? They don’t, they don’t think about this so much. Because they see somebody new coming into the market or whatever, somebody’s got something. And they go, Oh, well, they’re trying social media, or they’re trying this kind of thing, that kind of thing.

They’re digital, this digital that but we you know, we’ve got this solid customer base, and we don’t do business like that. And then the next thing you know, they go, oh, man, it’s it’s you know, that that customer that we used to have is not ours anymore. It’s theirs, because there’s some new people that came around and they got them and then you go, well, and then they’ve got these customers that we didn’t realize, but they were on our or they were on our target list.

And they got them because they engage with them. It’s like, this is a slow death that you and this is the challenge that we face, as we talk to executives in manufacturing is like, it’s it’s a death that’s coming that you don’t even know it’s coming until it’s too late. Yeah. So we have to be able to we have to keep talking about it. But these manufacturers these are the people that take are taking the initiative and having fun with it. I just love seeing what they’re doing. It’s so much fun.


Curt Anderson  37:28

And you’re seeing it more and more. And I think you know, whether we say due to COVID because of COVID Thanks to COVID however you want to phrase it, I think a lot of manufacturers I you know, in Mersing here on LinkedIn, amazing innovation, amazing creativity. Again, like Damon, we’ve been so fortunate, blessed we had our mutual dear friend, he’s with us to now today, Val Weber at my man.

I mean, like she is a perfect example. Our buddy Dan bigger is just absolutely relentless. So I mean, we are seeing it more and more and this is becoming the norm. You know, I think the folks that are you know, more resistance. So I think embrace it. Elson, you talk about like consistency, adaptability, longevity are three key components. You also shared like five steps. If you if you remember those five steps, too. Can you share with our crowd? What are five steps to really start smashing it smashing their goals for 2022?


Allison DeFord  38:27

Yes, well, number one, you’ve you’ve got to figure out why. gotta figure out why. It’s more important than the numbers. And you’ve got to make your customer the hero of the story. So that’s number one. And and your goal. I would encourage you to stop what’s the right word? Stop being okay, with just ROI


Curt Anderson  38:55

that been okay. You know what Dan Biggar says he, if you don’t mind me saying, he says, I’m not okay. With being okay. I love that line. I’m not okay with being okay. And you just see, you know, he just walks the walk. Just very inspiring. So I just wanted to share that Windows, you’re saying?


Allison DeFord  39:14

Yeah, no, that’s excellent. And, and that’s the thing is, if you’re just okay with ROI, you’re leaving so much on the table. And what I mean is, let’s go for ROI cube. I’ve been talking about this for years, return on investment, return on influence and return on innovation. Hmm, that’s what I talk to people about when they say, Well, you know, we’re a manufacturer is should we really be on social media? And I said, Well, if you’re not, then you’re not part of the conversation because it’s happening with or without you. So either jump in and be part of it.

Or you go sit on the sidelines, as everyone passes you by. Right. So ROI cubed is for Sure. And that’s part of that payoff for, you know, spending time and money on social media, on anything digital, it’s been a hard conversation, too, you’ve got to have a strategy. People, you know, you make these big plans, and you make this long convoluted thing, and then it ends up in a PDF somewhere in your computer, and you forget about it. Start with strategy, it is everything, it’s the plan. And then you’ve got to break it down and keep it simple, you know, simple and fluid so that it’s adaptable.

Because just because you started it in January, doesn’t mean it’s going to look exactly the same in June, you’re probably going to need to adapt. So make sure that it’s adaptable, and that you are as well. Three, you’ve got to have substance. If you don’t focus on content and your substance. It’s like baking the most beautiful cake anybody’s ever seen. And they think, oh my god, I pay so much money to have a piece of that cake. And then they come to it. And I swear to God, I use this in that Temple University presentation this week. It reminds me of chevy chase in Christmas vacation.

We cuts into that. Yeah, he and it goes. And everyone’s like, Oh, besides cousin Eddie, who will, you know, lick the bones? But yeah, without the substance, you’re serving up some of that nasty ass Turkey? And nobody’s gonna want second? Yeah. So don’t do that. And what do I mean by content? Some people think it’s just the words that you use. It’s the words, it’s the visuals. It’s how you show up. It’s how consistent are you? Do you show up once a week on social media, because I’m here to tell you, that’s not enough.

The algorithms gonna go who you’re gonna go straight down to the bottom. So consistent, relative relevant content that speaks to and gets to the heart of your ideal customer is essential. You’ve got to tell a more compelling story. And you’ve got to show them their transformation state. And then the last thing is to be consistent, to adapt on the way. And because this is about longevity. This is a long game. Yes, a new way conversation, right? Social media is not like, hey, we’ll show up intermittently, when we feel like we have something to say, No, you show up even when you don’t have anything to say.

And it’s hard. But sometimes you just show up and listen. And that’s where you get the gold, you know. So there’s like I always say there’s no secret sauce. There’s no magic wand. And there are no shortcuts. You’ve got to show up, like Seth Godin talks about this all the time, show up and show up and show up. Yeah. And right and be authentic. With Heart, and then you got to measure and adapt along the way and make those adjustments which requires change. Hmm. And then repeat. So it keeps cycling through? Yeah. Don’t forget to nurture your customers. Right.

It’s not just about the getting, you got to focus on the giving. It’s like I call it the circle of the circle of life for your customers. It’s not a funnel. It’s a circle. Yeah. And it’s like, it’s like the Hoberman sphere, right. So if you’ve got these disconnected, like, what if Green was missing on this, it’s not going to be a sphere, that’s going to like roll down a hill and gain momentum. It’s gonna be clunky, because it’s like missing a whole part. So it’s gonna go cuckoo. So create that connected system, that connected experience for your customers. That’s how you’re going to crush your goals. 2022 Okay.


Curt Anderson  44:11

Moment of silence. Yeah, woman of silence. It’s lunchtime over here on the East Coast and the warrior. We’re gonna so we have a couple of things that we’re going to wrap up with. So first off, thank you. God bless you. We love you. You are just amazing. You’re such an incredible blessing to Dave and myself and so many others out here in our LinkedIn sphere. Our world you are just you make our world a better, brighter place. I love your text messages.

And God forgive me sign up for Allison’s newsletter. If you want one of the funniest Yep. Is of content online. You have to go to felt marketing go to her website. I beg you implore you plead with you. Sign up. I Just I received your newsletter this Sunday, man, it makes my week. Love your newsletter, check out Allison’s podcast.

So now Allison, you were just holding up a friend of yours and I see I see in the distance is Wonder Woman. So we opened up the program with the letter B. case I didn’t mention my wife as a preschool teacher and she you know, we went through that but let’s say we’re gonna close out the program with a letter W. If I said the letter W to you, what are some words that come to mind? And what is that? Who is that character in the green behind you next to like, Who is this Can you introduce introduce us to this gentleman?


Allison DeFord  45:39

This is yoga Joe. Yoga. Joe. Nice. My new favorite obsession. And yes, I feel like today’s episode was brought to you by the letter W. Nice. Be a warrior.


Curt Anderson  45:51



Allison DeFord  45:53

Keep it weird.


Curt Anderson  45:54

Keep it weird.


Allison DeFord  45:56

And stay wonderful. For a wonderful life.


Curt Anderson  46:01

That’s an if God if they are still with us at minor fracks she sets what she talks about mine facts. We’re trying to keep it weird. We want to be like Austin, Texas. So yeah. Oh my goodness. Allison, you are just such a delay. You’re an angel. Thank you. Thank you for I know you are super busy. We are so blessed. your IRA our first three P on this program. Their first time so you are a three P we just we need to have you keep coming back over salt.


Allison DeFord  46:31

I was invited. Because yeah, people that don’t know. This Friday, I get a call from Kurt. Hey, can you jump on a call with Daymond? And I didn’t like your time. Let’s do it. So I get online and you go oh, by the way, we’re live and I was like, What the hell?


Damon Pistulka  46:51

Yeah, we kind of do that once in a while. Yeah.


Curt Anderson  46:54

We had a good conversation we so So guys, let’s wrap up on this. So first off, Allison, as you just found out is absolutely amazing. Brand guru. Brilliant, hysterical, courageous. She’s an awesome mom, I had a great conversation with you and your college senior Dre. He’s graduating from Indiana University. She’s graduated in May. So she’s moving on to exciting new things in her life. And so Allison parting thoughts parting words that you want to leave everybody with? As they go off to smash it in 2022?


Allison DeFord  47:31

Wow, there’s so much I could say I would I would say clearly. Remember, you can do hard things. That is straight from Glennon Doyle. If you haven’t read her book, untamed, I highly recommend it. Keep doing hard things. And don’t be afraid to show people who you really are as a person as a brand.

I think the thing that I have learned in the last couple of years, and especially this year, or this last six months, which has been some of the most difficult in my whole life, was to ask for help. And also, don’t be afraid to let people see you. Like just really show up as a company and honor the struggle. You know, don’t not talk about the hard things, talk about them. And do it with heart. So like I always say, the most beloved and successful brands aren’t just seen and heard. They’re felt. So make that emotional connection. you’ll crush it. You’ll crush it and 2020


Curt Anderson  48:38

Drop the mic. No doubt. God, that was what a great way to end. So Alison, thank you. We wish you a magical, amazing, wonderful 2022 You deserve all greatness. So thank you for sharing your truth. Thank you for sharing your brilliance, your comedy, everything about you. So thank you guys. Thank you for joining us today, everybody. Damon, let’s go out and just crush it this weekend. Guys have a killer weekend. Daymond.


Damon Pistulka  49:08

Well, I’m gonna I’m gonna take it away here with the comments. We’re going wild. I didn’t want to stop because we were doing it but a ray started off we had John we had Bonnie we had Gail we had Val Greg Michaud is here today. Chris Harrington. We I’m just going through Kenneth is here today.

We had some people that I don’t know him. But if you send me a connect request, I will connect with you. Nelson. Nelson. Bryson, man, manufacturing master. Oh, awesome. Awesome. So it’s just good stuff. Thanks so much for being here today, everyone. Thanks so much, Alison. Thank you. It’s awesome. And we will once again our director is taking us out now. So yeah, thanks for putting this up and putting up with us being a little goofy but we will be back again next week. And another show another great guest thanks so much for being here everybody and we’ll be back.

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