Just as the pandemic was hitting mid-stride, AmyK International launched a series of short videos touting its Inner Circle Mastermind. The intimate group consisted of 11 participants who met monthly to present actionable ideas geared toward forwarding their companies sustainability and legacy. In a time when people wanted and needed to be seen, the brainchild behind the program, AmyK Hutchens, was seeking ways to bolster human interaction. People not only wanted to engage, but also learn ways to execute ideas to get through the pain. “Nobody wants to purchase another course, class, system, methodology, etc., but they absolutely want to buy results. The program was a way for people to focus on the transformation, not the vehicle. They wanted results—results in the form of relatable, short videos.”
“THE MARKETING PROCESS IS STILL ABOUT CONNECTION. STOP PITCHING AND START CONNECTING. WHERE CAN YOU BEST SERVE? HOW MIGHT YOU SERVE IN A WAY THAT’S SINCERELY GENEROUS?”
— AMYK HUTCHENS, FOUNDER, AMYK INTERNATIONAL
The Inner Circle Mastermind group was a triple shot of online training courses (two personalized training sessions per month), a live group coaching session free-for-all, and access to its marquee event—“The Power of Conversations” online program. The program was so impactful that one participant said it helped increase her company’s team sales by 25% during the pandemic. To add to her victory lap, she said she even received a promotion to the regional vice president based on the insights she absorbed during the sessions. By taking a chance on not only engaging people face to face, Hutchens’ strategy to provide a virtual forum that could enhance people’s mindsets and strategies was a win-win.
“Consumers are savvy,” Hutchens says. “They’re tired of gimmicks and noise. Authenticity is one of the last real differentiators, so it’s important that sales and marketing stop hyping and start connecting. The marketing process is still about connection. Stop pitching and start connecting. Where can you best serve? How might you serve in a way that’s sincerely generous? If you think that a million likes will grow your business, I can give you a million examples of why they won’t.” At the crux of her strategy was a call to stop leaning on a social world that can be too impersonal. “Stop focusing on likes, followers and views, and focus on serving people who have challenges you can solve,” she warns. “They’ll be your true followers.”
Getting in front of people who were hard to reach meant reassessing the way Hutchens was doing business. For a thought leader who conducted more than 75 in-person events per year, Hutchens’ playbook went virtual practically overnight, where she spent her time strategizing virtual keynotes from an at-home, professional studio. “To increase engagement in the virtual world, I had to change my delivery style. The number of visuals/slides I used more than tripled in a 60-minute time frame to sustain engagement. I had to incorporate audience engagement through chat boxes and other means.”
But there is a caveat, as there so often is. Throughout all the changes, AmyK International kept two very important components in its marketing strategy—drip campaigns and referrals. Every Wednesday, the AmyK team sent out content pieces like blogs, videos, and memes, a move that added real, tangible value on a weekly basis. In addition, because sharing experiences that are magical in nature, referrals continued to be a staple in its deliverables.
“IN THE END, IT IS ALL ABOUT SERVING THE CUSTOMER—HOW YOU CONNECT WITH THEM AND HELP THEM WIN WITH THEIR BUSINESS.”
— ZDENEK KRATKY, CMO, SIGURA
“Anything that’s not gimmicky, but legitimately has a purpose to a point you’re making, is important,” Hutchens says. “Phone and video are still the two primary ways to connect. In every training session, I remind our clients that no one wants to be invited to another boring meeting, but everyone wants to be invited to a robust, fun, and engaging conversation.”