It was early Thursday morning.
I walk in to Jubala Coffee immediately pleased with it’s atmosphere.
Regulars filled the room with warmth and full of smiles.
I’m about to meet an extremely successful marketer in about 20 min. I tried to keep calm and focus on what I wanted to know about him, which was pretty much everything. I had to narrow it down somehow though. I couldn’t take all day.
Before I knew it, he was tapping me on the shoulder and our conversation had begun.
It is assumed that someone who is well acknowledged in their industry is going to be a thrill to meet. However, Jeffrey Slater completely exceeds your expectations. I immediately felt a rush of inspiration, hope, and ease while talking to him. He is absolutely brilliant, and that is clear.
If you get the chance to meet him you should immediately take advantage of the opportunity.
Though I learned many things from Jeff in that short period of time, I don’t want to spoil his presentation. Therefore, to narrow it down, here are 7 things you can learn from Jeffrey Slater.
Which are also 7 reasons why you should come meet him in person next Tuesday, February 23rd!
1. Look for something blue
He said to me, “I found out about the coolest product the other day. It’s for the wedding industry. Blue sparkling wine, you know like something blue?”
Immediately I thought, why has nobody thought of this yet? It’s brilliant!
I asked him, “Do you think it’s better to focus your expertise on one idea than to do several things?” He replied, “If you are very specific, you’re going to stand out amongst everyone else.” Simple as that. Then went on to say…
“When you are narrow and focused then you can really build a small, loyal, community,”
In other words, people don’t really care when you’re broad. What’s another bottle of wine in the hundred some sitting on the shelves in Harris Teeter? Most of us do not have time to search through all of them. We either scan for our favorite brand, type, or price and quickly pick a winner. However how many blue wines do you usually see?
That’s the whole idea here. Look for your something blue before anyone else even thinks to do so.
2. Find your story
Now, say you have a brilliant idea but there is no “oomph” behind it. There is no magic there that truly brings it to life. Well, according to Slater, everything should have a story behind it.
One thing I like to ask Marketing related professionals is, “When you have a creative block, what do you do?”
Slater responded, “I try to look for a story and a lesson. The story that becomes the product or service, and the lesson I can tell about it or learn from.”
“This even helps with product positioning. By solidifying your story, it will help lead you to how your product will fit in with the rest of that particular industry.”
Remember sitting down with the grandparents listening to their stories that will end up getting retold for years to come? People love a good story. And if they love it, they’ll remember it. If they remember it, they’ll recommend it.
3. Don’t be afraid to try Sushi
Fears are one of our biggest enemies.
Luckily for Jeff he did not let those get in his way too often. One day he decided to call up Ben and Jerry. He thought, why not? “No one was their to tell me it was a bad idea, so I figured I would just try it.” Oddly enough guess who answered the phone? Ben himself.
Before he knew it he was planninglunch with Ben and Jerry, and ended up getting a business deal out of it.
“The first time I ate sushi was with Ben and Jerry”
Is there a lesson to be learned here?
I think it’s better to take risks then to try nothing at all. To also remember, everyone comes from the same place. We may have a different title from someone else, but we are still human beings. However, that could be a question to ask Jeff on Tuesday.
4. Be completely honest with yourself
Speaking of stories, Jeff Slater and his wife Rachel, (now known as Ra Elohim), have an incredible one to tell.
Ever heard of Rachel’s Brownies?
Jeff’s wife started her own bakery about 18 months before he ended up joining her. Neither of them had any idea of how to run a business.
Slater got his undergrad degree in Art History, and his Masters in Communications. He had no clue what he was getting into at the time, but judging by their success it didn’t take them long to figure things out.
“Neither of us were business people, neither of us had interest in business. It just sort of happened, and it gave us some unbelievable experiences. Especially from a professional and commercial sense. We didn’t know what we were doing so there were a lot of ups and downs and challenges, as you can imagine. Somehow we ended up selling our products to United Airlines, and Ben and Jerrys. We were guests for President Regan for a special lunch with other booming small business owners. We were seen on, CNN, featured in New York Times…we just had some extraordinary experiences. And with each one of them, I have a blog and story to go along with.” (Slater)
5. Treat $30 million like $30.00
Which leads us to the sale of Rachel’s Brownies to Goodmark Foods, where Slater ended up getting his first marketing job.
Immediately he went from a $30 marketing budget to a $30 million dollar one.
I asked, “How in the world did you transfer your mindset from $30 to millions?”
“Simple. I treated 30 million like 30 dollars.”
While at Goodmark Jeff had a hand in many popular campaigns. Such as how to Snap into a Slip Jim.
He even taught macho man how to set up his own email.
True story. Ask him about it on Tuesday!
Managing a small marketing budget to a million dollar one was different but he always tried to look at it through the lens of…”If this is my money what would I do with it?” If he treated the money with respect and caution, he was confident it would end up in the right place.
6. Don’t just focus on ROI
Jeff made a lot of great points about how important it is to measure all types of success, not just your Return on Investment.
Of course we all want to make a profit, but you have to think about how the money got there.
Slater likes to ask, “What tactics made you so successful? How do you measure those? How do you measure return on influence? How do you know if your business is growing because you have the right product at the right time or your advertising is working? What are your reasons for success?”
He said you also have to remember that it takes time, and that…“Marketing sales may put the seed in the ground, but what is going to water it and help it grow?”
7. Be willing and open to share
One thing I immediately appreciated about Jeff Slater was his evident passion for helping others. One reason why he works so hard is because he desperately wants to be there for others. That is why stories and lessons are so important to him. He is constantly thinking about how an experience can help teach someone else something.
He even wrote an entire book to share to those in need of some real Marketing expertise. Which is definitely something you should consider reading.
I came to find out many incredible things about Jeff and his journey to where he is now. I gained some insight on his thoughts on how to improve your marketing strategy in ways that most people forget about.
However, it simply was not enough, and that is exactly why purchasing his book and meeting him on the 23rd is a must!
Really hope to see you there!