When it comes to a being self-employed (or having your own agency), growing and maintaining own brand is an important factor when partnering as a vendor with third parties. This is why I’m happy to be a vendor for Pressable.
It Starts with a Referral
Relationships pay off. Always. My mantra is that if you invest in people, they’ll invest in you.
Andrea Middleton knew, last year at WordCamp US that I had just started my marketing business and was looking for clients — especially in the WordPress space. And, before I knew it, she introduced me to Jeff Mulholland, the interim CEO at the time. We had a great chat and I followed it up with a nice tweet to remind him of our conversation. Shortly afterward, they became a Twitter Pro client.
— Bridget Willard (@YouTooCanBeGuru) December 1, 2017
When you choose a vendor (or a client) you have to think about more than money. The most important part of choosing your clients is brand alignment. As you grow in your career, you are building your own reputation (we call that personal brand). Those connections are never in vain. I believe in relationship building with all of my being. As I have grown from a secretary in construction to marketing those businesses to switching to WordPress plugin products, all of those relationships over the past 10 years have helped me tremendously. When I put up my shingle, I had business. But it doesn’t work well if the brand values are not aligned.
In WordPress, we tend to have the same “company culture” as we have value alignment. But even then, we can experience slight differences that can lead to cognitive dissonance, unhappiness, and frustration. I’ve chosen clients (yes, when I accept their money, I make a choice) that I knew in my gut to be wrong. Why? Misalignment. Their brand doesn’t represent mine. Whether it’s communication styles or company vision, it just isn’t me. Those mistakes make me more grateful for Pressable. They are the most engaged, helpful client I have ever had. I am jealous of their company culture (much as I am with Yoast whom I visited this summer). You can fake a lot of things, but good company culture isn’t one of them. For someone who builds their livelihood on relationships, a healthy communication culture is key to me and my brand.
Win-Win – Sponsored Speaking
There is a saying that you have not because you ask not. It’s scary to ask. But I had an opportunity to give a keynote in Raleigh. So I approached Claudia. If this makes sense, let’s get a win for both of us. And we did. I gave the keynote, wore their shirt, mentioned it in the beginning of my talk, and in my recap. Also, I was able, as their vendor, to live tweet during the sessions.
When working on brand awareness, sponsoring a speaker is always a great idea. We decided to partner up again when I was asked to keynote for Seattle. And who knows what 2019 will hold. I know as part of the overall marketing strategy, we want to help bring visibility to people and using me as their Strategic Partner makes 100% sense. Just from the Twitter impressions alone, it was a great decision on both of our parts.
The Pressable Strategic Partnership Program is our way to contribute to building WordPress community. Our goals are to share news, collaborate on expert content relevant to freelancers and agencies in the WordPress space, and to help our partners amplify their voice in the WordPress community. Becoming a Strategic Partner means you get:
- Featured and shared content on Pressable social platforms with backlinks and profiles on the Pressable resources web page.
- Sponsored speaking opportunities at WordCamps.
- Co-Created webinars, podcasts, case studies or video assets for digital marketing and well positioned digital conversations.
- Engagement from Pressable Tweet Team on your social content.
- Dedicated communication with the Pressable marketing team.
Do you share our values? Do you care about the WordPress community, education, and networking? Then join us, and become a Strategic Partner today.
Bridget Willard is a marketing consultant who brings her teaching and accounting background together to help small businesses. She began her marketing career in construction, then worked in franchise development, nonprofits, and tech. She is especially known for her brand building for Riggins Construction and GiveWP. Bridget co-hosts WPblab with Jason Tucker — a podcast and live YouTube show on the WPwatercooler network.
Besides speaking at WordCamps near and far, Bridget has been managing the social for WordCamp LAX since 2015 and was a organizer for Los Angeles the last two years and Orange County since 2017. Additionally, as part of her volunteer work, Bridget is a Marketing Team Rep for Make WordPress.
When she’s not writing about marketing or social media, she is spending time with her Sully Dog, learning languages on Duolingo, or walking by the ocean.