I love a success story – don’t you?
One such is the lovely Snowbizz – a family ski resort. Mum and daughter Wendy and Elodie came for 5 sessions with me – and as a result, completely transformed their marketing. Yay! I asked Wendy to write me a little bit about how the experience was for her, after our initial sessions. So most of this was written by Wendy – except for the questions! Below is Wendy’s wonderful Q+A interview:
For Keren – Thank you for inspiring us and showing us how to share the magic!
What made you decide to work with me?
We needed a Blog, but were clueless where to start. A trusted friend was having her website reinvented by you, and she invited me along to one of your presentations to meet, as she put it, the ‘Guru of Blogging’.
The moment I met you I knew you would click with Elodie. She’d come into the family business three years before, and had taken over recruitment and training from me. Naturally she also took on all the social media things too. She’s got the perfect dry sense of humour, but needed help to take this to a different level. I saw you as the big sister mentor figure.
How was business like before?
For 25 years it was brilliant. Our clients loved us and the word of mouth recommendations were just fantastic. We’re a small family ski business, tiny fish in a huge pond, but we had a very loyal following. Our repeat booking levels were quite legendary and the envy of many of our competitors.
But, dare I admit, we became a bit complacent and didn’t think that the massive changes going on around us had any relevance to Snowbizz. Our worst mistake was not to notice the impact email was having on our very personal service. The phone lines were becoming redundant. We still always sent friendly personal emails, but this wasn’t the same as the hours we used to spend talking on the phone to our regulars, about family life and skiing.
What are your long lasting “penny dropping moments”
The first session! We both came out and just went: ‘Wow!’ You had immediately understood us. We went and had a lovely lunch in Selfridges to celebrate.
Our biggest weakness was that we’d lost sight of our strengths! We’d been so used to our loyal guests doing the PR for us, that we had no idea how to talk about ourselves. You showed us how.
What was it like making the suggested changes?
Easy, because you de-bunked all the myths about social media and brought it to our level, and gave us so, so many new ideas and tools to promote them. We’re actually having a lot of fun with it.
That first session I only came along to say hello and support Elodie. Your team were very sweet, but must’ve wondered who this odd couple were that you’d taken on!
For me it felt like my first day back at college. With my daughter! Except when you started getting talking about Twitter and things I felt like I was back in kindergarten.
Then suddenly you were making us brainstorm the Blog and it all honestly started to feel very exciting and achievable.
We especially enjoy writing the Blog. It’s like being back on the phone again sharing all sorts of advice. We’ve run our own ski school for over twenty years, so can give lots of great tips about preparing children for their week’s skiing. The feedback has been amazing.
Did you experience anything from our sessions you didn’t expect?
Yes, definitely. You made us see Facebook in a different light. Our guests love it and use it more as a family forum sharing their own experiences. When new families have questions, Elodie just posts their query, and back come literally loads of honest answers. New guests seem really impressed by the warmth of the posts.
There are so many other things too, like mummy-bloggers discovering us. And the way you professionals unselfishly share your thoughts and ideas with each other and us.
How has your mindset changed?
You’ve given me the confidence to write! I could talk on the phone forever to a guest, and I loved becoming a bit of a skiing agony aunt. You have no idea how mums think they are the only ones who are nervous. So much so, we even started a special ski group for them, because they kept hiding themselves away, back in the beginner group again!
But I couldn’t find ‘my voice’ – I was trying to write like I was someone else.
But you dragged it out of me on our second session. I was scared to write because a journalist had once ridiculed a ski book, which I had contributed too. My worthy piece of advice had been based on all the well-meaning husbands and boyfriends who’d harangued their other halves every turn down the mountain with their ‘ski tips’. So I had written, ‘Forget about technique, relax and enjoy the scenery!’
Fast forward twenty years, and you made me realize that it I shouldn’t care a stuff about what one male journalist said, because I know what I’m saying makes sense.
What amazing things have happened as a result?
We were always a fantastic team – but you’ve made us stronger. Our booking levels are back to three years ago…..and fingers crossed are again looking like reverting back to the growth years.
We’re amazed at where some of the new bookings are coming from. It still comes down to word of mouth. How is it you put it? ‘We’ve rediscovered our magic!’ – and you’ve taught us how to share it?’
Would you recommend the same to others?
Absolutely! And have done. We’ve got quite a few young friends just starting out in their own businesses, and I’m always forwarding your newsletters and blog posts filled with all sorts of helpful advice.
The one-to-one sessions are brilliant value. It’s a bit like having a private ski lesson working on your strengths and weaknesses. And because it’s so intensive you take away so much, which in turn we’ve been able to share with our team.
What are the long term results?
We can sleep at night again. Knowing the magic was always there, just we’d forgotten how to portray it!
This is a total hand-on-heart appraisal of what the lovely Keren has done for Snowbizz.
We were quietly successful, then, out of the blue, we got a bit lost.
Keren got us back on track and made us believe in ourselves again.
Did you enjoy the interview? Here’s a little “behind the scenes”
Working with the lovely Wendy and Elodie was an amazing experience. They were really great “students” and absorbed the new habits and activities well.
Below is a little bit of behind the scenes of one of the exercise we did – identifying what makes Snowbizz special:
The next step was brainstorming headlines to help communicate those messages.
I also went all out (as they are important clients!) and took a Snowbizz ski holiday at Puy St Vincents – and wrote this blog post about it: