Following yesterday’s post from Tom Tumbusch on unexpected outcomes from guest blogging, here’s a post from Jody Shyllberg, CFC veteran and owner of JS Graphics, about another type of unexpected outcome from a 2.5-year old guest blog post!
The following spring, I received a phone call from Panera Bread corporate to say that they had come across the CF post. Panera was creating a new website – My Panera – which would include a collection of stories about the people who visit and work at Panera.
Could they use my story? Of course I said yes, and an interview with a writer and a photo session was set up at the Panera café. (I’ve art directed plenty of photo shoots in my time, but I’ve never been on the other side of the camera before – it felt weird!)
No one knew then exactly when the story would appear on the site, so I checked frequently for a few months, then sporadically for another few months. As time passed, I’d think of it occasionally and look, but…still no story. I figured they had lots more interesting stories to share and decided not to use mine after all.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was arranging to meet a colleague at a new Panera location. I visited Panera’s site to get directions to the store and, to my surprise, there was my networking story: More New Business Than You Thought Possible. (They didn’t use any of the photos taken, so I’m assuming I broke the camera…)
Now, I am hardly the only person who conducts business at Panera Bread, and I’m sure there are many business success stories to tell. But, because I shared my good networking karma story, it was the one that got noticed.
What success stories does your business have that could be shared with your clients and prospects to set you apart from everyone else? Don’t assume that no one is interested. Telling a story is the best way to make a meaningful connection, and you never know what will catch someone’s attention!
Not only did Jody send this story to the CF Blog as a follow up post, she also wrote about what happened in her email newsletter so everyone she knows will see it because, you just never know….
BTW: Jody will be at the Creative Freelancer Conference this June 21-22 in Boston. Won’t you join her and 600 other freelancers to share stories and learn from each other? Early bird deadline extended to April 30. Details here and register here.