Valentine’s Day Sharing

I feel like so many other people are doing amazing things in honor of the holiday and beyond and I simply must share!

Never forget that one of the best ways we can spread love is to just share what other artists, friends, people unknown to you are doing. Well, only if you believe in it. If you don’t, then don’t share. Why? Because I truly believe that when we open the door for sharing good, AMAZING things happen. I want my friends/non-friends/fellow artists to be incredibly successful, or at the very least be happy with what they are doing. That comes through the power of positive reinforcement, enthusiasm and sharing.

Sharing does have a marketing term, “buzz marketing” and it is one of the most effective marketing tactics out there. Why? Because people want to purchase things they can trust. People don’t always know to trust things on their own, but when they have a friend that can vouch for the item/individual/place/airline/restaurant/cleaning lady/customer service/vendor, etc, they feel more at ease and therefore are more willing to test whatever that thing may be. If they have a good experience, they will then tell someone else about it and the cycle will continue for who knows how long. Many companies, both large and small, would kill for this type of marketing because it is at no cost to them. It doesn’t require having a social media marketing team, nor does it require paying for advertisements.

For example, I know a company, Seltzer Goods. I know of them because they make a pen called the seven year pen and have AMAZING customer service. Because of these two things I will be loyal and I will talk about their seven year pen for as long as they are made. Maybe even a bit after they stop making it. (I hope that NEVER happens!) What happened with this company is that I purchased a pen after reading a review for it in NY Magazine. I love this pen; it is MY pen. So I was a bit distraught when, the pen stopped working, or rather ink stopped flowing with ease. Can you Imagine!?! I have since learned that the pen does not enjoy writing for 10 hours straight, but you know, what pen does? Either way, I contacted the company by email and said hey, I bought this pen and the ink isn’t working, what should I do? The response I received was instant and said, “we’re sorry. a few other people have complained, we’re testing the ink now so this doesn’t happen again. what is your address, we’ll get you some refills now.” Not only did I get refills, I got a few freebies, like a card. As I wrote back to my contact, you’re like Zappos!  And now, I’m sharing the story with you, so who knows, you may rush out to buy a seven year pen, or you may even end up buying a few of their cards. The possibilities are endless!

At the same time, sharing can be negative. When someone has a bad experience with a client/company/product, etc, there is a want/need to share. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I believe that there should be a greater force of positivity behind it. Maybe the negative is being shared so that the company can do better in the future? That should be the goal of sharing–having positive intent. As a small business owner (I can’t believe I said that!) and a designer, I’d love for any negative comments to come to me directly. Without them, I can’t change anything. However, if someone details to me why they are upset, etc,  I could do something to turn the negative into a positive. Not for marketing, but for customer satisfaction. My greatest concern is always having a happy client. If that generates positive sharing, then awesome.

Sharing one last story of positive sharing: I read a blog called Smitten Kitchen from time to time. It’s an AMAZING blog about cooking and the writer is open, personal and shares recipes and her process. Yesterday, she posted a recipe for Valentine’s Day themed brownies, white and dark hearted brownies. (I think I may try to make them because they’re so darn cute!) Back to the point, several months ago, I emailed a friend who also likes to cook and has her own blog Coffee in a Teacup (she’s an American in London) about Smitten Kitchen and she (gasp!) already knew about it and pointed my attention to a few other blogs of interest to her. I have in turn become readers of these blogs.  This may not be the best example of buzz marketing, but it’s an instance where the concept of sharing went between two people and will continue on thanks to people I tell, or maybe even you, reader, who may be curious about both of the blogs above.

Now to the true point of this blog, here are my top picks for not just today, but for Valentine’s Day 2011 (I hope you’ve found my weaving some of my favorite things in with a positive/marketing posting as fun as I have):

* The {NewNew} blog posting yesterday titled, “What Makes Valentine’s Day Sweet To You.” I love a lot of the things they posted, but I’m also just smitten with the fact that they included me and my annual Love Mix in the article. I’m towards the end of the article, but there’s a picture of my Valentine’s Day themed card, “Te Amo.” YAY! Go NewNewers! Also you should read some of the other Valentine’s Day postings on top, they’re a mixture of heartfelt and hilarity.

* I am EVER the philanthropist and believe that since we’re sharing a day of love, we should do it sustainably and charitably. People of all walks of life need love just as your significant other would, your parents and siblings would and even yourself.  I know for me this past Christmas, while visiting my grandfather at his assisted living apartment, I was saddened by the elderly that were just sitting not talking, didn’t have family members visiting. I told my little brother that we were going to go next Christmas and play games with them and talk to them. I realize I’m talking about Christmas here, but my point is that it was a wake up call to me–we all get old, we all get busy, but nobody should ever feel lonely.  This blog posting has some GREAT ideas about how to give Charitably this Valentine’s Day. They also have a really cool image of a heart bitten apple.

*A tag from a sweater I bought at the Gap earlier this week that says, “Handle With Love.” There I was in Gap putting together tops for the photo shoot I participated in yesterday when the sweater that this tag belonged to, just jumped out at me. It was on sale with an additional percentage off, so I took it. When I put it on yesterday, I noticed the tag hanging from it and smiled. It’s now on my vision board for the year because well, it just makes me happy. (You get two for two here as I am showing my now very LARGE vision board for 2011 and my messy, messy work space as well, for those of you who read my posting about creating a vision wall.)

Lastly, I want to share two shops on Etsy that I have fallen in love with: The Cupid Bow and Arrow Pillowcase from Knock Knock Studios. So freaking cute! Her other stuff is gorgeous as well, but if you’re looking for something super cute for your love, this would be it!

The second shop I want to share is Gray Works Design. I recently purchased a gift off of their website and well, holy moly it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. EVER.  Not to mention their stuff is sustainable and upcycled, or as they say in their own words: “We’ve been making our Footed Plattes™ (a term we invented to describe the versatility of our cutting boards) since 2006, using only locally and sustainably harvested or salvaged hardwoods, hand rubbed with organic olive oil…” I can not express enough just how gorgeous, fast and responsive these guys are. Maybe the foodie in your life needs a new cutting board? I think so!

On that note, happy sharing, hunting and loving- there are only two days until Valentine’s Day!

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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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