From Marketing Wallflower to National Strategist

Christina Frei Celebrators, Innate Marketing Genius
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This article focuses on a Celebrator’s Innate Marketing Genius. Curious about your IMG? Click here.

Sarah Ottow is changing the world, one classroom at a time.  When she talks about coaching English Language Learner teachers and creating programs for school districts to help integrate ELL students, her energy is infectious.  A coach and consultant at the front lines of helping immigrants, Sarah gets clients by referral, but she wants to go bigger. As a Celebrator, Sarah easily lights up a room, but she truly dislikes marketing.  Even thinking about a consistent Mailchimp campaign makes her queasy.

It’s a blustery fall day and Sarah is heading to the parking lot at a middle school north of Boston. She has spent hours with teachers and administrators amidst smells of sneakers and art supplies, helping them navigate the challenges of English Language Learners. It’s been a long day and her bag is heavy with materials, but Sarah is rejuvenated.  She knows she is changing the lives of thousands of kids.  However, when she gets into her car and turns on the heat, a pit forms in her stomach. She’s thinking about her marketing.

As with most of my clients, Sarah is much more focused on her work than on her marketing. But she wants that inner reassurance that her business is growing.  That means it’s time to market more consistently.  And marketing brings overwhelm, headaches, and anxiety. Doesn’t it?  Working with Sarah, I diagnosed her Innate Marketing Genius. From the way she comes alive in service to others, it’s clear she’s a Celebrator. For Celebrators, the key is to openly appreciate your work, have fun, and invite others to do the same.

This sounds simple, but what is Sarah’s version of that? As we worked together, I uncovered a huge opportunity for her: ELL teachers and directors have been asking (even begging) her to create ways for them to connect with each other. ELL staff can often be in the sidelines of the administration, and this breeds isolation. These folks get so much out of simply getting together and exchanging ideas and chatting. Sarah is already piloting this idea next month with eight teachers.

The opportunity is in the breadth of this need. ELL teachers and directors are everywhere, all over the state, the country, and the world. They all want to connect in a more authentic way than the current professional organizations offer. Sarah is going to start a statewide network that will consist of intimate pods of ELL professionals, with access to a state-wide membership group that Sarah will manage.  Not only is she meeting their need, but Sarah will be in front of hundreds more ELL people.  She’ll offer curriculum in a paid model, and this will translate into tons of referral business.

It is also a Celebrator’s heaven, since she is setting up fun ways to connect and inviting people in.

As this network grows into a national organization, Sarah’s conversations with superintendents (her ideal client – people who can refer her to multiple schools with one email) will completely change. She isn’t simply a consultant trying to get business, but a national organizer of a professionals who are having a significant cultural impact.

This may sound like a huge project, but Sarah says “This is exactly what I want to be doing! It’s such a beautiful service to this community and it will help so many people!”

For this Celebrator, the sinking feeling in her stomach has been replaced by a happy dance. And all it took was finding her Innate Marketing Genius and creating a strategy in line with that.

Now it’s your turn! Let’s talk.