Updated: Aug 6, 2020
I am currently reading a middle-school novel to my eight-year-old daughter that somehow taught me a life lesson about marketing your business.
The book is called The Candymaker and, although its beginning is lack lustre, it turns into a surprisingly deep and engrossing tale, full of insightful social commentary.
Hear me out:
A major plot point has to do with the secret ingredient that goes into the Candymakers’ chocolate, which is stored in a dusty old tin. Everyone wants to know the secret and will stop at nothing to get it - there’s a thieving 11-year-old, a 13-year-old professional spy, and a money-hungry businessman all plotting to steal the tin containing the secret ingredient.
In the end, the secret ingredient tin is taken by a good guy, who eventually returns it back to the Candymaker. Through the whole novel, no one dares open the box to see what is inside.
When the tin is returned to the Candymaker, he christens the hero an official Apprentice Candymaker and offers to show him what’s inside.
Can you guess what is at the bottom of the box?
It’s a mirror.
When the Candymakers look inside, they see themselves. As in, the secret ingredient isn’t an additive; it’s the person making the candy.
The secret ingredient isn’t the components of a product; it’s the people who make the products.
How the book’s lesson spills into marketing
It is easy for small business owners to get caught up in selling, selling, selling their product. Maybe you are a retailer selling your clothes.
Or a small town always promoting the next ticketed event.
Or a life coach selling your ideas.
The important thing to remember is that in a saturated market, your products will blend in. YOU are what makes them special, and your authentic voice will drive your brand’s growth.
Eating our own advice (or...at least the candymaker’s advice)
Here at Cat’s Cove Communications, we’ve been having a lot of internal conversations about this exact topic. On social media and the blog, we’ve been documenting our daily office life, but we haven’t been intentional about doing the deep work.
On our platforms, we are going to be spending a little more time showcasing our secret ingredients. You can expect to see content that helps you, the reader, understand more about who we are and what we do - and, ultimately, that is to help support you in your marketing.
Because it’s time we started taking our own advice. It’s time we started sharing the people and ideas behind what we do.
So, how do you showcase your people?
There are many fun ways to showcase your people on social media. Here are a few:
Do a gratitude post on an employee’s birthday, highlighting their skills and how important they are to your business
Find a quirky national holiday that relates to a team member and showcase them (FYI, next Wednesday is National Cookie Day. Do you have a resident cookie monster?)
Is one of your employees volunteering in the community? Give them a shout-out and a thank you!
Now, that’s cause for a sweet-treat celebration.