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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

summer artist date winner shares her story

By the lovely Arwa of GemKitty:

I was particularly thrilled to find out that I had won the artist date contest, not only because it was my birthday, but more importantly, because I had almost stood myself up.

The days leading up to my date had been crazy busy. I was working long hours to finally launch a jewelry business that had experienced several false starts. So it felt really difficult to walk away from my endless list of to-do's to "indulge" myself.  But on further reflection, it occurred to me that while I had kept every single appointment I had scheduled with someone else that week, I was on the verge of ditching the one appointment I had scheduled with myself. Sad!

Despite my misgivings, I dragged my bum to my yoga mat and kicked off my date with my Get Your Yoga On CD, trying not to fidget as I listened to Kimberly's voice telling me to center myself. (Boo!) At first, I wasn't feeling it at all.  But, once I started sun salutations, things started to settled down. My mind calmed and my body slowly opened up. I noticed how neglected my ridiculously tight shoulders were, and realized how much they had been craving a little love. 

Post yoga, I felt refreshed enough to finally tackle a project I had put on the back burner for months: to transform the front of my jewelry supply cabinet into an inspiration board brimming with images I had collected. It's a such treat to finally have some color in my creative space!

Truly, the date felt like reward enough, but even better was the mentoring session I won with Kimberly.  We chatted about marketing and branding businesses. It was an inspiring conversation and these were some of the takeaways that I wanted to share:

* Think of your brand as a lifestyle, not just as a product(s).
It's really important to think about what your product means for your customer and then to speak to that meaning when you create on-and-offline content for them. This is the best way to ensure you provide them with real value.  For example, Tranquil Space yoga is not selling a yoga class, but also the tools to keep you mindful the other 23 hours a day you are off the mat! And so, the Tranquil Space blog supports this by providing tips to finding tranquility off the mat etc.

* Make every customer feel special.
 Everyone loves a treat, and and surprising your customers can really make their day.  It doesn't necessarily have to be material: a handwritten note is always appreciated. For example, Kimberly mentioned how she will write a note on the packing slip or include a lavender sachet with online TranquiliT orders (mmm!).

* Do your homework.
When you approach bloggers or members of the press to pitch your product, be sure you've done your research. Compliment their work (you shouldn't be pitching them if you didn't respect their work right?), ask nicely, be able to explain why you/your product would be a good fit for what they're doing, and consider offering a benefit to their readers (e.g. exclusive coupon for 10% off). For example, all Tranquility du Jour readers receive $25 off at GemKitty thru 10/25 w/code: tranquil. Enter: tranquil in the gift certificate field during checkout.

Intrigued? Let this challenge be the push you need to indulge in an artist date. OMwork: Send moi photos of you getting your artist date on and I'll share them with our readers. The most creative artist date photo/write up received by December 21 (the winter solstice) will receive a complimentary mentoring session plus my newest Tranquility-to-Go yoga CD. Create away + do share!

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