The Nitty Gritty

  • Why speaker, author, and publicist Dana Kaye prefers intentional slow growth in business — and how she manages her company’s growth today
  • How growing too fast can negatively impact you, your clients, and your business — and, on the contrary, how growing more intentionally can change everything for the better
  • How Dana uses strategic partnerships to grow her business and serve her clients in an out-of-the-box way
  • How she collaborates with other service providers to serve clients in an organized and comprehensive way
  • Why she schedules in lunch dates in person (or on Zoom) every week — and the importance of sending out thank you notes

Dana Kaye does things differently. She won’t give you the same run-of-the-mill advice that other publicists will… and that not only helps her company grow, it also helps her clients reach new heights. In this episode of What Works, Dana describes how partnerships lead to smart and intentional growth. She also discusses how important networking and expressing gratitude is for small (and big) business.

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Using partnerships to grow your business

“The reason I was able to grow my PR company so quickly was because I was bringing something to the table that the publishers weren’t. I was implementing out of the box strategies to promote books where the publishers weren’t.” — Dana Kaye

Dana started her book PR business in 2009 at a time when “book sections were dying and newspapers were going under.” How do you help authors stand out when people seemingly aren’t buying books (or maybe not even reading) anymore? That’s precisely the question that Dana asked herself — and realized that the only way to make it work was by thinking outside of the box.

One of those ways was partnering with companies that shared something with her clients. For example, her first client Jamie Freveletti wrote international thrillers about an ultramarathon runner. “My first thought was to partner with a running company to sponsor her book trailer.”

And that’s exactly what happened — and more. Dana secured a partnership with specialty athletic wear company Sugoi. Not only did they sponsor the book trailer as hoped (they even sent Jamie some of their clothes to wear in it!), they went even further. They included the book in their newsletter and on their website and co-sponsored in-store book tour events.

Overall, it was a win-win for both Jaime and Sugoi: they both got in front of a new audience and grew brand awareness for their products. On top of it all? It was fun!

Curious if you should pursue a partnership? Dana created a sweet quiz you can use to vet any opportunity or idea.

Intentionally growing slow

“By slowing down and focusing on the types of clients that you want to work with on the projects and services you really want to offer, you’re going to offer a higher level of customer service, be overall better at your job, and I predict be happier and less stressed, which we all want.” — Dana Kaye

One of the loudest entrepreneurship stories you hear is on hustling and growing your business fast. “I see a lot of entrepreneurs jumping in and trying to scale really fast,” says Dana. “They see one thing that’s working and try to do it 10x that.”

“But more money, more problems,” she adds. “Are you really equipped to deal with those problems?” And the answer is usually no. That’s why Dana is a proponent for deliberately growing slowly.

“By growing slowly, you’re going to improve the clients’ experience, you’re going to hone your skills, you’re going to become an expert in a few things rather than a mediocre person in lots of different things.” Indeed.

Creating a system for networking

“Every week, I have a task that says write a thank you note to someone in my network who has either helped me through referring business, introducing me to somebody, elevating my platform, or someone who did me a favor. This is a really easy to way to make connections and stay current. Even though you may not get a response, you’re getting in front of them without being salesly or needy.” — Dana Kaye

Dana believes that we could all use a bit more gratitude in our lives. And one of the ways she infuses more of it into her business is by sending thank you notes. She uses Asana to schedule them in as well as other general networking things like weekly lunch dates. It’s such a simple system to implement that builds warmth and gratitude into your reputation.

Listen to this episode to hear more from Dana Kaye about using partnerships to grow your client-base and on growing your business slowly and intentionally.

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