We made a rather sizable decision in the fourth quarter of 2012 to reconfigure Enve Creative – away from being predominantly known as a “web design business” and toward being a strategy and branding business (check out: “Don’t Call Me a Web Designer“).
Almost immediately, we were contacted by Diana Combs, a writer who was looking to attract editors from wine and lifestyle publications. She had been reading the 2012 Writer’s Market and had learned of the importance of having her own website to feature her writing samples, biographical information, and blog, as well as business cards and stationery.
As Diana and I spoke during our initial consultation call, the Online Marketing Formula started to percolate. Diana had tapped into an underserved market – people who loved wine but were kept ignorant by the fact that they were unable to understand the complexities of it, mainly because traditional wine publications and articles were written for people at the connoisseur level. Diana wanted to write for that underserved audience and here’s where magic started to happen.
One of the key aspects of the Online Marketing Formula‘s success is pinpointing and building a strategy around what makes each client distinctive and expert in their fields / industries. At first blush, it appeared that Diana had identified a niche market and, with that, opened up a vast opportunity to elevate herself in the wine writing field.
I suggested that perhaps she might want to not only develop a website around her work, but also craft a brand around her market, thereby building a community from her intended audience and exemplifying to potential editors that she was already becoming a known quantity in the marketplace. It didn’t take Diana long to realize the potential of what I was proposing, and we signed on to work together.
We offered Diana a number of possible name choices, from which she selected Writing on the Vine, and then developed a logo using her chosen color scheme and appropriate imagery. We then held an online strategy session to look at various websites together to identify which styles and textures spoke to Diana.
We moved on to set up and brand new Facebook and Twitter pages, all the while providing Diana with resources to help her understand how to maximize social media’s effectiveness and reach her core audience.
We explained the importance of beginning to grow Writing on the Vine’s exposure even before we had launched the website. We always ask the question, “When the website launches, who will you tell?” Diana immediately took the initiative to run Facebook ads to generate that community we were looking to foster and took the reins in engaging her new crop of Facebook fans through humorous and informative posts.
We developed a WordPress website that encompasses all the tenets of the brand as we discussed them, Diana’s color scheme, textures, and writing. Diana requested an online forum, so we included that as well, and we beautified her blog posts – imported from Blogger – with rich photography and attractive styling.
We also added a tip jar, as many of her fans were already requesting that she review certain products – and that’s not cheap! She’s been introduced to and will soon benefit from the multiple-stream income model, simply by upgrading her existing blog to a full-scale website. We have discussed ways in which she might monetize the website further – through affiliate programs and content marketing – so she has a roadmap to follow as she grows Writing on the Vine.
We finalized, tested, and launched ahead of schedule, publicizing the new brand with a widely distributed press release that we wrote in collaboration with Diana. It’s still too early to tell how the response will grow over time, but we’re confident that Diana has the right qualities and understanding to continue on successfully.
Diana’s enthusiasm for her new brand, as well as her willingness to utilize the advice and guidance that we offered along the way as part of the Online Marketing Formula, took this fledgling idea to a whole new level. In less than a week following launch, she had writing offers coming in following her promotion of the new site.