Christine Gritmon, the owner of Christine Gritmon, Inc., teaches growth-minded small business owners how to tell their brand story online in efficient, effective ways that value their time and money.
We want to hear your thoughts on this episode! Leave us a message on Speakpipe or email us at email@example.com.
About the Episode:
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many small businesses hard. While unable to sell their products and services, many businesses stopped marketing altogether. But as Christine says, “If it’s time to eat, it’s time to market.”
Knowing how to utilize online marketing, especially during a pandemic, can be challenging. That’s why creativity is necessary.
The beauty in online marketing is that it allows you to reach a wider audience than traditional marketing allows. It also allows you to stay in front of others, even when they can’t visit your business in person. And when they are finally able to visit in person again, they’ll remember you over your competition because you didn’t let them forget you.
One thing to keep in mind while marketing online is you need to leverage the human connection. People don’t want to be sold to. So instead of asking them to buy from you, tell them more about what you’re selling. Provide value, show them behind the scenes, and make a human connection.
Listen to this episode to hear how other businesses have gotten creative during the pandemic.
- Where to find everything for this week’s episode: karenyankovich.com/128
- Introducing this episode’s guest, Christine Gritmon (2:12)
- Christine’s story (4:21)
- Where marketers go wrong on social media (10:35)
- Why small businesses need social media (13:03)
- The impact of COVID-19 and digital marketing (16:14)
- How others are getting creative with online marketing (23:26)
- The silver lining in the pandemic (30:07)
- Dig into untapped opportunities (31:09)
- The importance of the word “virtual” (33:51)
- How to learn more about Christine (37:59)
Resources Mentioned in the Episode:
- Join the Free LinkedIn Workshop
- Sign up for the She’s LinkedUp Masterclass
- Join my free Facebook Group if you have any questions about today’s episode
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Read the Transcript
Karen Yankovich 0:00
You’re listening to the Good Girls Get Rich Podcast Episode 128.
Welcome to the Good Girls Get Rich Podcast with your host Karen Yankovich. This is where we embrace how good you are, girl. Stop being the best kept secret in town, learn how to use simple LinkedIn and social media strategies, and make the big bucks.
Karen Yankovich 0:23
Hello there. I’m your host Karen Yankovich. And this is Episode 128 of the Good Girls Get Rich Podcast. And this podcast is brought to you by the She’s LinkedUp Accelerator Program where we teach simple relationship and heart based LinkedIn marketing strategies to women to help them get on the phone consistently with people that can change their business their life their bank accounts for ever. It’s digital marketing with the human touch and I am always available to tell you more about that. So you know we have an interesting guests on the podcast today Christine Gritmon Somebody that I met a few years ago and you’ll hear about how we met on the show. But what I love about Christine is she’s really true stayed true to serving her community. And she’s done it in so many ways. And we’ll link to some of the things she does in the show notes that you can certainly check out. But I love that she really stays true to serving the community serving the small businesses in the communities that she’s a part of. And I think you’re really going to enjoy what you hear from her today. You know that I love that when you share these episodes, so if you’re loving what you hear, share this take a quick screenshot, let me know you’re listening. tag me tag, Christine, her links are all below. Christine is a beast about resharing thing so I can promise you to get in front of her audience. If you share this new tag both of us and of course I like to try to get in front of my audience as well. So definitely share this if you are resonating with what you hear today. Just take a quick screen share as you’re listening and putting on your Instagram stories or tweeted or your Facebook, whatever, whatever works. For you, LinkedIn, you know it was wanting to put it there. So, check it out, I want you to take a few minutes and listen in to my interview with Christine Gritmon. So we have Christine Gritmon. here with us today on the Good Girls Get Rich Podcast. And Christine teaches growth minded small business owners how to tell their brand stories online in efficient, effective ways that value their time, energy and money. It doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to know what to do. And so simple, right, like we’ve sometimes overcomplicate things, and that’s what I love about Christine because she kind of cuts to the chase. Christine. I’m so glad to have you here today.
Christine Gritmon 2:38
I’m so glad to be here, Karen. Thank you so much.
Karen Yankovich 2:40
Yeah. So Christine, do you remember how we first met?
Christine Gritmon 2:44
I remember that we were at Social Media Day Mawa in 2016. And I had just started my business. It was the first real event that I went to as Christine Gripman, Inc., and it was very interesting to be handing out my card. And you know you were everywhere. You were a presenter. You You had a booth, you were giving out like fake dollar bills. It was fantastic.
Karen Yankovich 3:04
Like million dollar bills. They were million dollar bills. Yes, they were million dollar bills. But here’s what I remember. I remember that it was Social Media Day. And one of the things that I had pushed, because I was part of the committee at the time, and I pushed them to do like the board where people’s, you know, tweets and stuff like that came up, you know, when they were tweeting and talking about the conference. And it was coming up. And I was like, Who’s this Christine Gritmon who’s verified? Like, I didn’t know who you are. But all I knew was you were verified and nobody else in the whole room was verified. And I still have not been able to get verified on Twitter. So I was like, Who is this Chris… I need to meet Christine Gritmon cuz she’s verified on Twitter.
Christine Gritmon 3:42
Well, I was also using the darn hashtag more than any human being…
Karen Yankovich 3:45
As you, as you do. Now that I’ve known you better as you do. That’s it. You go anywhere you go. Well, let’s talk about that. Let’s make sure we talked about that today because that’s such an important part of the conversation we want to have. But but it speaks to The importance of your personal brand. I mean, it’s just silly thing, right? The little blue checkbox. And people can say it doesn’t really mean anything. But you know what it meant something that day because there was, you know, 100 200 people, whatever, however many people at the conference, and you were the only one that I had my eye out for, right? Because I was like, I need to find out who this person is. Right? So. So it speaks to that. Right. So before we get into all of that, though, tell everybody a little bit about about your journey about what you do who you do it for. I love that you like to keep things simple. But tell us a little bit about what what you’re doing.
Christine Gritmon 4:32
I think that’s so hugely important, the simplicity element and I also think that really the small business owner community is really kind of underserved when it comes to social media strategy. Never before have such powerful tools, such powerful marketing tools and such powerful engagement tools. Been in the hands of just about anybody. I mean, these tools are free to use. This is a revolution in marketing. It really is. is a game leveler when it comes to businesses of all sizes. And yet so many people are just letting the opportunity pass them by because they’re scared of it. They’re intimidated, they’re not sure what to do. And even people who don’t like to use it personally, they they are even more worried about using it for their business because they don’t get it. They feel like they’re sort of behind. They feel like it’s silly, maybe even. And so what I do from the very beginning, since I started my company in May of 2016, I knew that I wanted to serve small business owners. What that means has changed. It has definitely evolved over the past four years at the beginning, I wanted to do the standard Social Media Manager route where I would just manage the accounts for businesses, I would create the content, I would post it I would engage for them. And I was specifically actually doing that for restaurants at the time. And then once I got what I thought that I wanted, which was all my favorite restaurants as close I realized that it was a nightmare. And I especially realized, yeah, and I especially realized that keeping up on all of that content creation, I realized that, to have me do it, right, they would have to set up a time with me, I’d have to come over, they’d have to cook all sorts of stuff or have all sorts of things ready for photographic purposes. We wanted the natural light. So it wasn’t, you know, while the restaurant was open and actually doing business. So even if we did it when they were doing business that happened a couple times, you know, I the waiters were tripping over me, that wasn’t good either. So it was just really non ideal. And I realized that them being the ones who are in it, who were there and who were seeing the business happening and who are experiencing every moment of it and had their arms totally around their business. They were the ones who had the best opportunities to create content. They just needed to recognize those opportunities, and learn how to leverage them strategically on social media. So I transitioned from being And account manager to being a coach. And what I do is I now coach and train small business owners and by small it can be literally one person when I say small, I mean small.
Karen Yankovich 7:11
Yeah, because, they need help.
Christine Gritmon 7:13
Yeah, very unlayered organizations where the person who owns the business has their arms fully around it. So teaching them how to do it better, and how to recognize those moments of content in what they’re already doing, because nobody wants to take this on as their whole separate job, right? If they had a marketing person, they have a marketing person, right, but also figuring out how to do it strategically, not just posting pretty pictures, figuring out how to engage, figuring out how to make sure that they are conveying a clear brand. And one thing that I’ve gotten increasingly inspired by lately is the fact that more and more especially this year, especially after we’ve seen the effects of the quarantine on small businesses, I’m realizing more than ever before that people were spending to people, that has always been a fact it is basic neuroscience that we are hardwired to respond to other people, if we see them in the newsfeed, if we see them anywhere, we’re hardwired to make eye contact. If it’s a video, we’re hardwired to look at it for at least, you know, a couple seconds before moving along. So that is a distinct advantage. But Furthermore, the only true thing that any business has any business big or small, the only true difference that they have is their people. Because no matter what you do, there’s other people who do it too. There are and so by leveraging the human side, a lot of businesses we’re not doing this until now. And a lot of businesses still aren’t doing it. But the more we crave human connection, the less of it we’re actually getting. The more showing the human side of your business and the human people who are running your business and who are a part of it, the more that is really what is going to be connect with people. So the next stage is now that we’re in this era of, you know, human to human connection mattering so much more than anything else. Who do we see leveraging it? How are they leveraging it? And what’s happening to the businesses that aren’t leveraging it? Because that difference is getting bigger and bigger?
Karen Yankovich 9:19
Oh, my gosh, it’s so true. And I think, you know, I feel the same way, Christine. I think that when social media first became a thing, and I so agree with you that we don’t… so many people don’t understand how it really levels, the playing field, so many massive size companies. But what was happening was we were kind of dialing it in, right? Well, we have five Facebook posts a day and we were quitters. And yeah, we were just dialing in like, here’s the here’s our strategy. And we’re just post posting, posting, posting. And I think we got at least my experiences, people got tired of the noise, it just became noise. And we started to tune out the noise or get annoyed by the noise and then then so it kind of came full circle back to the It used to be, which was person to person marketing.
Christine Gritmon 10:03
And it’s funny because a lot of business owners got super annoyed when when Facebook announced their huge algorithm shift in January of 2018, which was away from business posts and towards personal posts. But here’s the thing they never said they were getting away from business posts. They said that their algorithm was going to strongly prioritize conversations, active conversations. And so if you are a business, you can do that. But so many. So marketers crashed the party marketers are what wrecked social media. Social media started with social in the forefront. It was about connecting people to people first, it was just connecting Harvard students to Harvard students. It was connecting those existing communities and little hubs. And then once marketers came on the scene, and they started figuring out how to use it. They started using it like an old fashioned marketing tool, where marketing and selling were sorted. one in the same. And they were broadcasting marketing messages to people and people don’t want to be sold to especially not someplace where they actively went to socialize. It’s like coming, you don’t treat a party, the way you treat a networking event. And honestly, if you’re doing networking events, right, you’re not quite doing it that way, either. You’re still a little more human there.
Karen Yankovich 11:21
I was thinking the same thing. I was thinking the same thing. Because at the end of the day, people buy from other people. And yes, do people buy stuff from a Facebook post? Of course they do. That happens. But that’s the you know, that’s when they buy pens. Yes. Not when they’re buying coaching or consulting or higher ticket things, right. So and, you know, if they’re not like, I remember when I remember I had a guy years ago, who was my client, and at the time, I was doing a lot of the same things you were doing. I had an agency and we were creating content for him. He had a new product it was coming out wasn’t live yet. So we’re kind of building the buzz for it. And we had all these Twitter followers before it came live. And then it came live and he like, let’s say 500 Twitter followers. When the product was available, he was like, Well, why haven’t they bought? I’m like, Well, honestly, you thought all 500 of these people were gonna buy your product? Like, is that really what you thought? Because if that was the case, I have 100,000 Twitter followers, I wouldn’t probably be working with you. If every one of my Twitter followers was buying something from me every day, you know.
Christine Gritmon 12:16
Last year there there was this Instagram influencer, this young woman, she had something like 3.5 million Instagram followers. And she did a post and she said, Hey, I’m finally dropping a clothing line. And I really, you know, I put my heart into this and I hired this photographer and these these makeup artists and my friends with models. And we need a first order a first drop of at least 36 shirts sold in order for the manufacturer to manufacturer this line. So I need a minimum first order of 36 shirts. She has 3.5 million followers. She was getting really engagement from those followers too. And yet she could not sell 36 shirts. She just couldn’t do.
Karen Yankovich 12:59
Such good story. It’s such a good story. It’s so true. Because it isn’t. People don’t like I said, people don’t want to be sold yet, yet. These small business owners need the visibility that social media brings to them. You know, like, I can remember a situation where I used to live where there was a florist in town who went out of business. And I remember feeling personally responsible at one point, yes, like a couple weeks before the florist went out of business. I was at like CVS, and I was going to a friend’s house for lunch and I picked up some cheap, cheap, the color that flowers aren’t supposed to be flowers at CVS, and brought them to my friend’s house for lunch because I’m like, Oh, they bring her some flowers driving right past the florist to do that. Oh, and I remember thinking when they went out of business, why did they think they just stopped with the flowers? I’m like, You know why? Because they weren’t reminding me they existed. Nope. You know, like, so small businesses need social media to do to continue to to create That visibility if you’re a yoga studio, and you’re continually putting out there all cool things about your classes and your products and services, and somebody wants to take yoga, that’s where they’re gonna think, to to go take a class, not somebody who doesn’t do all of that, even if their classes are better, right? Where are we? So I also remember when I moved to where I live now, looking for a dentist. And I went, I went online and I did all this research and I found a dentist and I went to the dentist, and it was the worst dentist dental cleaning I ever got in my life. But I was like, it’s the only day I looked, I wanted to go to every other dentist within 10 miles or 20 miles and saying, You guys need to do a better job with your digital marketing because I went to this crappy guy, because I couldn’t I didn’t know any of the rest of you existed. Right? So like we so small businesses need to do this. But like you said, they need to kind of know what they’re doing. And it needs to, I believe it needs to get infused into their business not be a separate line of their business.
Christine Gritmon 14:56
Yes, absolutely. And another thing by the way, hopping on kind of a postscript to that influencer story from before, a huge part of why she wasn’t I’ve read a million think pieces kind of doing a post mortem on the whole thing saying what we think Monday morning quarterbacking is such a thing in the social media industry. But one big thing that I saw that’s very true is that the product she was trying to sell was not aligned with her brand people were following. People were following her personal brand. She was a personal brand. That was the whole thing they were following. They weren’t following a clothing company whose brand that they liked. They’re following a person whose brand that they liked and the stuff she released did not look like the stuff that she wore at all. She also just like one post on it that was kind of ridiculous if you’re going to represent something represent it, but that was a huge part of it. They said you know, you’re not selling stuff that’s on brand for you. So why would you think this audience who is bought into your brand would buy it? We’re not buying in just because we like you? We’re buying it because we like your aesthetic right? You know, so so making sure that she had a fundamental misunderstanding of why people were following her and what that meant, and especially what her responsibility was to her audience to make sure to provide what they followed her for.
Karen Yankovich 16:14
So we’re recording this. So summer of 2020. So tell us, so life has changed, right, like, for everyone? And I honestly, I honestly think forever, you know, I mean, I certainly think that, you know, we’ll get there. I think we’ll get back to networking events and in person events at some point, but I think that, but I think that what I believe what people are seeing is the benefits of digital marketing, the benefits of marketing virtually the benefits of working virtually. So I think that that’s going to stay around for a long time. How do you think that that is impacting small businesses that you work with?
Christine Gritmon 16:47
Well, one huge thing that I’ve seen is that the gulf between those who are doing it and those who aren’t doing it has widened more than ever before in terms of performance. There are a lot of businesses, businesses were under Understandably kind of shell shocked by this whole thing heading them, no one was expecting to close. A lot of small businesses already operate on very slim profit margins. So they truly did not have a cushion too late to lean back on. Some businesses realized, okay, this is a time to nurture community, this is the time to make sure not to get forgotten. And even though they didn’t have anything to sell, and they couldn’t Well, first of all smart businesses found a way to sell online, the really smart businesses…
Karen Yankovich 17:31
And people and people are buying them. Yeah, let’s say I hear people say, well, it’s not the time to market and it’s not the time to buy. I completely disagree with that.
Christine Gritmon 17:38
Is it the time to pay your mortgage, then it’s the time to market? Isn’t it time to eat, then it’s the time to market? No, but but absolutely. Some places were really smart and they pivoted and they pulled an online shop together. They figured out something else they could sell they did whatever they could to kind of stay in business online to whatever degree they could. And even that the only ones that succeeded in that are the ones that really loudly, clearly and repeatedly communicated that shift online. But even if there were people who couldn’t like, for example, like a massage therapist, you know, you can’t do that remotely, you can give tips and tricks. But that’s not the same. People who were smart said, You know what, I don’t have anything to sell, but I can still keep in front of my audience and make sure that I don’t get forgotten. So some things that they did was, you know, a lot of branding work. Certainly, this was a really good time to do branding work and to put posts out there that didn’t sell but did communicate something about yourself and your values. Some of them did things like throwback showing stuff that they used to do or used to have, I think, a very smart thing to do for a restaurant, for example, restaurants that didn’t do take out showing meals and saying, you know, I can’t wait to you know, who can’t wait to eat this again. I even saw a few restaurants have their chefs do cooking demo videos of some of their pockets. Something like that doesn’t mean that someone’s not going to come in and buy it once you’re open because they’re still not going to be able to Make like the chef, it doesn’t damage your business. It just makes me hungry for yours. Um, but then other businesses they shut down. Part of this was psychological and I understand it. A lot of business owners got very depressed and it is hard to take initiative when you’re depressed very hard. But I mean, you really see that that that was to their detriment in terms of not saying anything in terms of just saying, I don’t know what to post. So I’m not going to post anything at all even posting that vulnerability, even literally posting. I don’t know what to post right now. That taps into a conversation and a feeling that your audience is already having that says that you’re human that says that you’re vulnerable. And here’s the sneaky part. It makes them want to help you.
Karen Yankovich 19:45
Christine Gritmon 19:46
Because if you are going to be spending your dollars and a lot of people you know their income is more limited right now. A lot of people got laid off. A lot of people are furloughed. If someone is going to be spending money. Do you think that they would rather spend it with a big corporation or do you think that they’d rather spend it on the actual human in front of them on their feed? Who they know has bills to pay? I mean, you don’t want to say it like that. I don’t want to guilt them and…
Karen Yankovich 20:11
No, right. Yeah. You know, I’m thinking about I have so the gym that I belong to the one that does an exercise class that I like, and she created a summer program. And it’s, it’s via Facebook Live, she created a Facebook Live, I just looked while you were talking. There’s 74 people in it. She charged $200 for the summer. She does so that’s what’s that $3,000 that she that she’s brought in on this? And she’s that she started out three, two classes a week. Now she’s added a yoga class yesterday. She added it. I mean, it started a week ago. And she’s doing three or four classes now and then she’s added encouraging people to share recipes and there’s a diet bet for the month of July and who do you like when the time comes for the gym to open up? People will go to her classes because they remember her right one of my neighbors Teaching Zumba and she literally does Zumba classes in my street The street is lined up or down with people a couple times a week. They’re all outside doing Zumba. And you know when when the gyms are open again, they’re going to want to go to her classes, because she showed up and she’s not I don’t think my neighbor is charging, but I think people donate. Like I think I think people have been donating to her. But it is you can continue to show up as a small business owner, for the people and whatever that looks like for you. Because we don’t know what the other side of this looks like we might be on the other side of it. This might be the other side of it. Right and, and or the beginning of the other side of it. So we’ve got to be doing what we can do to serve the people we serve. I think continually and the small business owners, that’s who my heart goes out to because you know a lot of them are really really good at you know, teaching yoga and not really, really good at the stuff you and I are talking about. Right? But that’s why you’re here. That’s why you do what you do. Right?
Christine Gritmon 21:57
Well, I think another thing that really gets in people’s way To your point, they’re really good at what they do. They didn’t sign up to be a marketer, except they did. Of course, when you when you sign up, when you start to own a business, a lot of times people are driven by the passion for what it is that they do. And then they’re struck with the other realities of owning businesses, including the go to market and it just throws them for a loop. But a lot of them are really ignoring the assets that are running under their noses. A lot of people in particular think that what they see every day and what they’re accustomed to, is boring. They think no one’s going to want to see that no one’s going to want to see the behind the scenes. They just want to see the shiny, perfect final package, when actually the shiny perfect final package often doesn’t differentiate you that well from anybody else.
Karen Yankovich 22:42
Oh my gosh, yeah.
Christine Gritmon 22:44
So behind the scenes, showing people your journey, showing people your face, communicating your thoughts with people, letting people see your why letting them see the why behind everything that you do. I think that that really can go on much longer. Your way. And that’s what builds a following. People don’t want to follow brands as much as they want to follow people. And if you can recognize that you are a brand, whether you like it or not, everyone’s a brand. Yeah, that that just makes it so much easier because people say, well, oh, I don’t want to deal with branding. I don’t want to have to come up with a brand. It’s like, No, no, no, you have one. You just need to define it.
Karen Yankovich 23:24
Right? So give us an exhibit. Is there an example you can share of somebody that you’ve been working with? Maybe that is you don’t have to tell who they are. But something created that somebody’s done through this time that you know…
Christine Gritmon 23:35
One thing that’s really brilliant is I have I have a client who’s an event planner. Mm hmm. So you hear event planner and Bernstein and you go Oh, my goodness say they’re they’re on food stamps now ran sold weddings, postponed events. You know, you don’t no one wants you think no one wants to book a new event because who knows when they can have it? No, she’s been doing great because first of all, aside For her marketing, she reached out and really gave a lot of extra touches to her clients. She has been talking to them from the get go because they’re freaking out more than she is. And she knows that and it’s her job to know that it’s her job to be the one who’s not freaking out. So she’ll freak out when she’s not on the phone. When she’s on the phone. She’s all theirs. And then she actually didn’t lose business. She was very on top of some postponed events. And she made sure that she was working with good realistic people who didn’t try to postpone to like July. She was she’s working with people postponing into next year. But she also did a very smart thing with her marketing, not even to her clients, which is that she started sharing ideas for lower key events. You know, you keep seeing news stories about people who had a socially distance wedding where it was like just them and their family, but it’s still you know, Pinterest and cute. And so she she talked about how people could do that. She didn’t say hire me to do this. She showed ideas. She gave suggestions and some people did hire her to help them out with it because yeah, and being able to enact it yourself are very different. But she also talked about the care she’s taking for clients. She did a whole blog post about care packages that she sent her some of her clients with postponed events and she put these like beautiful, vintage II velvet facemasks in the packages and I was Oh, Instagram picture. She She just had all these beautiful things. She kept her aesthetic going, she kept her Instagram aesthetic going, which really helped and and she just phrased it as you know, not pretending she didn’t know what was going on. has she done some flashback photos of past events? Absolutely. But the fact is, she has also done posts that address the current situation. And rather than presenting them in a hopeless manner, she presented them in a hopeful manner. And got in there the fact that she has been in close communication with her clients and she said so grateful to them. And the fact that she hasn’t been losing clients is a huge feather in her cap because that’s incredible. How do you swing that? Yeah. And she’s gotten new clients. She’s had new people sign up for events in 2021, which is mind blowing. It’s it’s it. You know what, it isn’t mind blowing, because people are doing it. And that’s, I mean, I talk to people all the time, and I’m gonna say that almost 50% of the people that I talked to say, yeah, no one’s buying. I can’t ask people I’m like, What are you talking about? Yeah, people life is going on. Business is going on. People can’t afford not to be doing this stuff. And it’s your job to be telling them that you have no it’s your job to be telling them you can’t afford not to do this, you know, think that my business would be in the toilet because I work with small businesses and a lot of them even the ones that have been able to be open were very scared. I have gotten more leads and more high quality clients than ever before my businesses has my business has skyrocketed during this. The reason my business has skyrocketed during this is because first of all the people who are self electing to speak to me are the people who are in it to win it. People who are…
Karen Yankovich 27:05
I was just gonna say that they’re the people you want to work with.
Christine Gritmon 27:08
Yeah, the peoplw who are on the fence and who I’m going to have to drag kicking and screaming to do the slightest thing with their marketing are not the people who are getting in touch the people who are getting in touch with the people who went, Okay, I’ve been putting this off, now’s the time, if I’m going to save this business, now is the time and they’re in it to win it. And they’re doing so much more with what I teach them. There’s so much happier with me because people who don’t want to do the work, they get frustrated.
Karen Yankovich 27:34
They find, they’re always finding reasons that it’s not working, not looking for reasons that it is working.
Christine Gritmon 27:38
Yes. And these are people who are ready to take action. They’re ready to save their businesses. They’re there the mom lifting up a car because their toddler is under it, right? They’re discovering the strength that they didn’t know that they had because they’re being pushed. And it’s been really incredible because these people have opted not to be fear based and not to be based in all the Reasons why they’re not doing it, they’ve realized that they need to leave that on the curb, they are done with that they’re ready to take action ready to move forward. It’s literally changing my business. I’m actually, I’m actually adjusting my ideal client avatar right now and launching new programs in the spring simply be I mean in the fall, simply because, you know, I’m seeing how much more satisfying is on both ends. Yeah, for me to be doing this work with these people who are really going to see the results and I love that they’re self self identifying. Similarly, I’ve always been big on networking events. I’ve always gone to networking events. I’ve always, you know, tried to follow up online and keep those relationships going. Online networking events have been killer for me in a good way because the people who show up are the people who are showing up. Yeah, people who are hiding under the covers and hoping this all goes away.
Karen Yankovich 28:59
Wake me up when it’s over.
Christine Gritmon 29:00
Theyr’re not the people who are bothering to go to networking events, the people who are doing it now or not the people who have nothing else to do. They are the people who are working on their business actively right now hopefully they’re working in their business as well. But they, they’re, they’re on it. So I have to say, I’ve been doing, I’ve been having to sort of watch my energy management when it comes to which events I do and don’t go to. But another thing that’s been doing really well is a lot of people have mixed feelings about speaking for free at events, especially if you’ve been a paid speaker. But I’ve discovered that high quality virtual events that attract a more active crowd that attract the people who are not just the low hanging fruit, the ones that require you to register and all of these things. They have been getting me so many clients. I have made a ton of money from free events during this simply because the people who are showing up the people who are opting in the people who are registered During are the people who are ready to take action and that’s one of the actions that they’re taking.
Karen Yankovich 30:05
So cool so it really I mean it really I think it had I mean if we can be looking for the silver lining in this whole pandemic situation it is that people are realizing that the things that you and I have been saying for the last couple of years are actually coming to be and people that were a little bit hesitant about all this virtual work from home can’t tell people are doing stuff are starting to see that it really does work because here’s the thing. I mean, I do miss going to networking events in person I do miss hugging people and meeting up with people but I can certainly go to more events virtually then I kind of have to get my car and drive there. Right exactly what allows me like I have I have a client who is in the Bergen County area, which is kind of where you and I met in that area. And I gave her the names of like three organizations and she’s really smart woman business owner. I’m like you need to start going all these she could never have done that in person if you know and fit it in her business. I was able to get her dice. And these are really good ones start going to their virtual events because it only takes an hour of her time. Instead of half a day of her time to do a breakfast.
Christine Gritmon 31:09
You bring up another really beautiful point that I would like to point out for businesses that have previously been location bound. So you think that stores brick and mortar businesses, things like that you think of well, they have to have a local audience, they have to stick to what’s local, and in some cases they do. But a lot of these businesses that have expanded to online stuff and especially service providers like us, who are able to work with people online already, no matter where they are, you can really dig into untapped opportunities. I if I had to stick to what was right near me, which I did for a little while in my business and it took me a while to learn this lesson. That’s not necessarily where the people who I need to be working with are. Yeah, I have no clients right now in Rockland County. Not a one really I have a lot of highs has been I’ve clients in Westchester, I’ve several clients higher up the Hudson Simply because there are some business networking groups that I’ve been a part of in those areas where I couldn’t always make it to the meeting, I have a family, I have kids, you know, I couldn’t necessarily drive an hour north, or drive down to the city. And you know, make it to that event because that’s a huge investment of not only time, but also energy. And also those networking events typically took place during family time, whereas a lot of the organizations that previously had evening events are having their zooms during the day right now. Right. So I have been able to put myself in person on video on the zoom calls in front of so many more people in different areas who may not have been able to be face to face with before, and those people are turning out to be my clients. So I think that some while I am certainly going to still show up in person networking events once they’re back, I’m going to first of all this is showing me some places that are worth the drive. Mm hmm. But it’s also It’s also showing me some of the valuable members of my network. Some of these people who I got in touch with, through virtual events during this time, who I maybe wouldn’t be going to those events in real life. Now those people are in my network, which means that without having to drive to where they are, I still have access to people who are where they are, who are part of their business community simply because that’s what a network is a network is. You’re not just connected to that person. you’re connected to everyone they’re connected with as well. So I am making serious inroads in places I’ve never last night I spoke for a business group, where most of the members were in Florida. People are already signing up to talk about working together.
Karen Yankovich 33:41
Oh, my gosh, that’s so great. That’s so great. And that’s what I think people are starting to see that the geographic boundaries are less important. Absolutely. Yeah. So you know, there’s one other thing that I want to just mention, when you talk about these things, one of the things that I did pretty quickly when this whole pandemic thing started happening. Because as you know, I work with people on their LinkedIn profiles among, you know, on LinkedIn strategy. I was like, if you need start using the word virtual in your profile, you know, and I’m like every, you know, even if you’re a coach, so by nature of what you do, it tends to be virtual. People are going to LinkedIn now and they’re looking for a virtual bookkeeper, even though most bookkeepers are virtual, right, and my clients are getting found that way. I had a guy that does event planning, and he does virtual event planning. He does virtual events all the time. And we wrote his profile like and we just really leaned into the word virtual and virtual events. And he had two headhunters reached out to him within the first couple weeks his profile went live with corporations looking for a virtual event director, you know, because we use the word virtual like, you know, so you have to notice we have to remember that we just have to be literal, right? Like we’ve been doing this forever and you know, you You are a coach or bookkeeper or whatever, and chances are you don’t see your clients in person a lot. But now we have to be really specific with describing ourselves that way, and that’s who’s getting the business. So it really, it is interesting. It’s actually been a lot of fun to watch the shift and just watch the people shine that are really leaning into it. And I love watching you shine. I love that this has really been great for you, Christine.
Christine Gritmon 35:13
Thank you so much. Yeah, it really has and you know, I had a bit of survivor’s guilt about that at first. Well, at first first I did kind of hide beneath the covers, my March numbers are abysmal, and then they shot right up ever since. But, you know, once I once I got the hang of it, I felt a weird survivor’s guilt because so many people in so many industries are not doing well, the economy. We’re gonna have economic ramifications of this time period four years, is decimating local small business communities, which is where my heart is. So my heart was hurting for these people. And I felt a weird guilt over the fact that my business was skyrocketing. My husband’s job remained unchanged. So we still had that income unaffected. I felt weird. And I’ve gotten through it because I’ve discovered another really nice thing I had planned to do this. And now I’m here, which is, I always said, I would like to be at a point where I have enough money coming in, that I can afford to give more away. Oh my gosh. And that has been incredible. That has been incredible. I’ve had people I have enough leads coming my way now who are qualified, who are really signing up with me that when someone contacts me now who’s a small business, and I know very quickly that they can’t afford me. You know what, I’m laying out the basics of a marketing strategy for them on that info call. Because Yeah, it costs me nothing to help them. If they take my advice, and it works for them. Guess what, they’re going to make more money, and they’re going to be grateful to me, and maybe they will come to me in the future because that’s another thing after four years in business, I’m seeing that cycle of people I talked to a couple years ago, who didn’t opt in. I’ve stayed separated Have them I have remained an active cheerleader of their stuff online, even though they said no to me. And they’re coming at me now.
Karen Yankovich 37:07
Because, Christine, don’t you don’t you you don’t you also see, hopefully you see this now if not, I’m going to shove it in your front of your face that read the fact that you are being successful means that you are helping people that we’re not necessarily going to be successful through this be successful. Your business is not like selfish, I’m successful and nobody else’s successful business. If you’re successful, then the small business community around you is more successful. And that is important. So you are providing a service that they wouldn’t have if you get if you were still buried under the covers.
Christine Gritmon 37:38
But I like to think I certainly like to think in that in that way. But it’s also allowing me to branch out more and to explore things that I may not have taken a chance on otherwise that are enabling me to help more people. I kind of had to have my feet under me and make sure I had that income coming in before I could explore all these other things that may or may not work.
Karen Yankovich 37:58
So if people want to know more about you and what you do and how you do it and learn more about you, how can they do that?
Christine Gritmon 38:03
I am absurdly easy to find I am the only Christine Gritmon there is. It’s Gritmon m-o-n. And that’s great. My maiden name I shared with several other people. So it’s very nice that I’m the only Christine Gritmon. And one really, really a good way to get in touch with me is to go to gritman.com/connect, because not only will you get links to all of my online presence, but you can also provide me links to yours and I can go follow you and support you there as well.
Karen Yankovich 38:32
Well, and you should totally do that because we talked earlier about wanting to talk about this and then we didn’t so really quickly before we wrap this up. You know, one of the things Christine mentioned earlier that she you know, use the hash tag more than anyone else and that is a strategy that I use as well in that and especially now when most of what we do is virtual right, Christine? It doesn’t matter what conference you’re at. I know what conference you’re at. I can practically map your I don’t need like find my friends. on my phone to know where you are, because I follow you on Twitter. And if you’re at a conference, you are tweeting the Ever Living hell out of it. But here’s the thing that is not only so good for the conference, it’s so good for you. And I do the same thing. Because if I’m at a conference, and I’ll go to my conferences as you do, but if I’m at a conference, if I there’s a speaker that I really like, I you can be sure that I am taking a picture of that speaker and I’m tweeting about what they do because I want them. I want to bring my name in front of them, right. So it’s not just about supporting the conference and supporting them. It’s about it’s about it. It’s Win Win, right? Because now I’m introducing them to App I’m just sitting in the audience watching the conference. They don’t know who I am. Right. But if we’re, if we’re sharing it, that’s and that’s the social part of social media, right, that a lot of people forget. I went to a conference recently and I had my CFO was with me, and I said to her, why aren’t you tweeting this and she’s like, what I go you have more Twitter followers than 95% of the people in Wrong. She’s like I do. I’m like you do. And she started tweeting, and then she left that conference with two clients. Yep. That has absolutely how it goes. Yep. And I’m like, tweet, I’m like, I’m sitting there tweeting the heck out of it. And I’m like, why aren’t you tweeting anything? Like, what should I be? I should be too. And I was doing like, I’ve done that too many of my friends at conferences, I’m poking them going start tweeting this conference.
Christine Gritmon 40:20
And you know what, even though we can’t go to events, you can still do that. First of all, as virtual events, virtual summits, I live tweeted the heck out of my friend Andrew and Pete’s atomic con conference at the end of April. And that was great. And now I’m in regular contact with all of those speakers with all with people who followed me because they bring them value from that event. And just today, today, a virtual conference that I’m a part of my session got released. So my session was live this morning. And I had so many people reaching out to me and telling me that they appreciate my session, and I’m engaging like crazy with all of those posts, people who tagged me in their Instagram stuff As I shared that to my story, I made sure that I am not just letting those opportunities pass by I’m taking full advantage of those opportunities of these online and virtual events. My friend Chris is doing a completely brilliant thing. He is reading business books during this kind of downtime. And he’s tweeting key things he’s learning as he reads and is cool, brilliant. And of course, he’s tagging the author in them. So now he’s connected to these authors.
Karen Yankovich 41:28
Christine Gritmon 41:29
It’s just such a good thing to do. I have some new followers, who decided to become super fans very quickly, which is very cool. And they’re going back through the backlog of my videos, I have videos on watching back to like 16 that still have useful things. In fact, I’m about to hire somebody to help me repurpose some of that material that is still valid. And so that’s gonna be coming out in the fall but she is going back she is looking at my old videos and she is tweeting key in she’s live tweeting my videos.
Karen Yankovich 42:00
That’s amazing. That’s amazing. So you guys should go to gritman.com/connect, follow Christine everywhere, and do what she does. Not kidding.
Christine Gritmon 42:09
Do what I do.
Karen Yankovich 42:10
Do what Christine does.
Christine Gritmon 42:12
What I do is I get out there I show up.
Karen Yankovich 42:15
Yes, yeah, because that’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. Well, Christine, thank you so much for being here today. It was great to do this. It was great to have you on the show. We’ve known each other forever. And I’m so glad we finally were able to do this forever for years feels like forever and social media. It really is. But I’m glad you are. So thanks for doing this. And I I’m so glad to hear that you are supporting people to not just survive, but thrive through this crazy world we live in right now. So thanks for all you do. And thanks for being here with us today.
Christine Gritmon 42:45
Thanks for allowing me to show up on your show, Karen.
Karen Yankovich 42:48
Thank you so much for listening in today. Hope you enjoyed Christine as much as I enjoy Christine. You definitely are going to enjoy being following her on social media because she does some really fun thing. She creates her own gift And I’m like oh my gosh all this cool stuff so I’m like a Christine wannabe sometimes when it when I see her so I’m like, oh my gosh how did she do that? I need to do that. So you want to definitely follow Christine across all social media and stay connected to her because she’s doing some really cool things. And you know that I’m here to support you as well The best way to get some support from me around LinkedIn if you haven’t already check out the masterclass you can check it out at karenyankovich.com/masterclass where we teach all things LinkedIn, it’s really we’re really diving deep this summer into teaching you how to connect while we’re living in this disconnected world. So the Masterclass is actually called Connecting While Disconnected. So we’d love to invite you to check that out. And if you’re ready for more, go to karenyankovich.com/book, and let’s make some time to chat. I look forward to seeing you next week on another episode of the Good Girls Get Rich Podcast.