How I Know Rich and Heather
In November 2018, I started a new corporate marketing job, and Rich Nickel was already on board as a freelance graphic designer. If I’m honest, I’ll tell you that I had big plans to select the graphic designer and was a bit disappointed to learn we were already under contract with someone, but Rich and I got to work. After just a short while, I discovered that Rich was one of my favorite graphic designers with whom I’ve ever worked. He listens to WHY I want to do something, asks clarifying questions to make sure he understands, takes a look at my horrible sketches and Canva mockups, and perfects my vision.
Unfortunately, so many times, there is a disconnect between a marketer and a graphic designer. Believe me; I’ve experienced this time and time again in my 20 years of marketing. The marketer can see what they want and know the results it will bring, but they often don’t explain it well. The graphic designer can receive an assignment but might proceed in what they deem the best creative direction despite the strategy. This combination can result in hours of wasted time and the development of frustrating relationships. The vision and the creativity must come together to produce excellent marketing results. That merging of art and strategy is what happens when I work with Rich. It’s like magic, and usually on the first or second try. And if we aren’t on the same page, we ask questions, draw out concepts, and brainstorm until we are.
After I decided to start my own company, I knew I wanted Rich on board as soon as possible. First, he created my awesome logo after seeing my vision in my sketches. Then, he jumped on board with a few free and nonprofit rate clients I took on when I first started. Finally, he sent me cards of encouragement, and he believed in the next thing I was trying to create – this business.
Rich lost his biggest client and his primary source of income in June of this year. In July, I was able to put him on retainer for the same amount. Isn’t it awesome when you see God in your relationships? I love being able to tell His story in my own story.
Rich’s wife, Heather Wayt, also worked with me in my previous job serving in sales and customer service. We didn’t work as closely together, but I love how she solves problems and is up for almost any challenge. I love the way she gives her honest opinion about Rich’s work and will brainstorm with him if he hasn’t quite figured things out. She knows he can do wonderful, beautiful things, and I think he does them even better because he has her love and support.
Rich and Heather came to stay with us a few weeks back. After some client visits and lots of brainstorming, Seth and I took them to Rosie Food and Wine, where I asked them the Good Pour questions while we drank a good pour or two. I hope you enjoy reading their answers.
Rich’s Sumner Story
Rich and Heather live outside Chicago, so they don’t have a Sumner story other than enjoying their stay here. I hope they’ll be back quarterly.
What is helping him right now?
What is an organization or cause near and dear to their hearts?
Their local food pantry and Sandy Hook Promise
What is a movie, television show, podcast, writer, song, etc., to add The Good List?
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- The Today Show (Heather said “they are our friends.” Ha!)
- CBS This Morning Sunday Moment of Nature
(Read more from The Good List.)
What’s a marketing question for me?
Can a business exist without marketing? (Rich and Heather obviously know the answer to this; they just want me to preach….)
Short answer: No.
Yes, marketing can be expensive.
Yes, marketing usually ads employees and/or vendors.
Yes, some marketing can be hard to track return on investment.
Yes, a lot of people are tired of or concerned about social media.
Yes, most of the time, you have to pay to be seen.
But do you need marketing? Absolutely.
In addition to branding, website, social media, and advertising, marketing includes:
- customer service
- word of mouth
- customer appreciation
- market research
- product development
I promise marketing exists in your business whether you have a marketing department or even a marketing line item on your budget. Marketing is anything that explains to customers or potential customers who you are and how you can help them. Without marketing, you will not gain new customers, current customers will move on to competitors, and you will not be in a position to learn the ongoing needs of your audience. In addition, you will not build trust and relationships with your customers.
Build it, and they will come? That only works in dreams, precisely a field of them where ghosts show up.
Marketing is a part of every successful business, and it is worth the investment.
Now, whether or not you are investing in the right type of marketing or just pouring money down the drain, that’s another question. Schedule a free consult call and let’s chat.