CONNECT(ED)ITORIAL
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3 Ideas On Connection In Small Business

One of my favorite things about featuring and working with a small business is their commitment to building a true sense of community.

A lot of what we’ve found in our stories on The Style Line, is that this particular wave of entrepreneurs are very conscious and willing to bridge the divide between our digital age and the human need to have a sense of tangibility. We’ve mostly focused on talking to owners in the fashion, food and lifestyle space, but can imagine that this mentality is pretty widespread across many (if not all) verticals. It's just a matter of being able to effectively act on these ideals.

On the marketing side of things, I believe small and/or emerging businesses have an incredible opportunity to set a high standard for authentic connection with their customers early in the company’s life. Whether you're an online business or have a brick-and-mortar set-up these are a few takeaways I’ve personally learned from working with and featuring a few incredible small business owners -

“Small business is nothing without connection. Making meaningful connections daily with clients, vendors, and the Johan community ensures that we remain top of mind, and most importantly, provides a solid foundation for long-term mutually beneficial relationships. Social media, specifically Instagram, has proven to be the most effective tool for connection, mainly through quick, sincere interactions that build trust and rapport.” - Laura Housgard, Owner of Johan

“Small business is nothing without connection. Making meaningful connections daily with clients, vendors, and the Johan community ensures that we remain top of mind, and most importantly, provides a solid foundation for long-term mutually beneficial relationships. Social media, specifically Instagram, has proven to be the most effective tool for connection, mainly through quick, sincere interactions that build trust and rapport.” - Laura Housgard, Owner of Johan

HUMANIZE THE EXPERIENCE:

We consume a ton of information via online outlets and there is a growing increase in mobile shopping. Despite this, people still want to have their cake and eat it too. Create opportunities to engage with your customers based off the data/feedback you’re receiving that might be missing in your marketing strategy. Online or off, this can work both ways depending on the nature of your business.

“It’s magical to keep discovering the 6 degrees of separation. Everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people. cafe' society still has the good old fashion "real people" connection...  It’s amazing how many of us are all connected and we discover it so often under the roof of Jack's wife Freda.” - Maya Jankelowitz, co-owner of Jack's Wife Freda

“It’s magical to keep discovering the 6 degrees of separation. Everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people. cafe' society still has the good old fashion "real people" connection...  It’s amazing how many of us are all connected and we discover it so often under the roof of Jack's wife Freda.” - Maya Jankelowitz, co-owner of Jack's Wife Freda

Consider The Big Picture:

This is a huge idea we continue to drive in our stories on The Style Line and through our work with CONNECT(ED)ITORIAL clients. Small teams have the capacity to think about the big picture and create actionable plans that cater to their business and how it will affect their industry in the long-term. This is in turns creates an opportunity to keep your brand’s customers engaged in the conversation and involved in every step of the process. If you need a great example of this look no further than Everlane and their radical transparency.

“In today's world, genuine connection can be a tricky thing. Through my iPhone I feel connected to my clients, friends, family and others across the globe -- I'm able to conjure them up on my screen with the tap of a few buttons. And as convenient and impressive as that power is, I do find that devices can foster an artificial intimacy. Of course I'm biased (given that I work in hospitality), but there's still no substitute for sharing a meal with someone in real time.” - Rachel Van Olsen


“In today's world, genuine connection can be a tricky thing. Through my iPhone I feel connected to my clients, friends, family and others across the globe -- I'm able to conjure them up on my screen with the tap of a few buttons. And as convenient and impressive as that power is, I do find that devices can foster an artificial intimacy. Of course I'm biased (given that I work in hospitality), but there's still no substitute for sharing a meal with someone in real time.” - Rachel Van Olsen

ACT LOCALLY, THINK GLOBALLY:

Finally, in order to truly connect I’ve found it’s important to create a core network within your business’ local community. Working on initiatives and projects that can provide you with immediate feedback (and real-life face time!) can result in game-changing information that can be applied in your strategy, as your brand (and brand’s reach) grows. 

- Rachel Schwartzmann