Want to discover how shifting your business priorities can make a huge difference?
To learn how focusing on purpose and people leads to powerful marketing, I interview Dale Partridge.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode I interview Dale Partridge, the founder of Sevenly (a company that couples t-shirts and causes) and a start-up expert. He blogs over at TheDailyPositive.com, founded StartupCamp.com and he has a podcast by the same name. Dale’s latest book is People Over Profit: Break the System, Live With Purpose, Be More Successful.
In this episode we’ll explore how Dale combines purpose and social to create success.
You’ll discover the business system you need to break in order to be more successful, as well as social media tips to drive traffic for your business.
Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Scroll to the end of the article for links to important resources mentioned in this episode.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
Dale always thought he was going to be a professional baseball player. When he broke his arm the summer between high school and college, his dreams fell apart.
As a baseball pitcher, Dale felt pitchers know how to lead the team, so he decided to create a business. Dale started a fitness company, which grew rapidly but was unsatisfying. So he sold the business. After that he worked in the stock market for a while, before raising money and opening a rock-climbing gym. Dale thought things were going well until he got pulled into the yoga room by one of his business partners and was fired from his own company for being a “horrible leader.”
Dale changed. He explains how for a few years he went on a frenzy starting companies before hitting a wall. Dale realized chasing profits wasn’t putting meaning in his soul. He wanted to figure out how to blend purpose and profit, and this was the beginning of Sevenly. He was 25.
“I said, ‘let’s create a company where every week, we partner with a new charity,'” Dale recalls. “We would create products like shirts and hats and beanies and jackets, and any time somebody bought one of our products, we would give $7 to the charity that week. So if we sold 1,000 products, we’d give that charity $7,000.”
Sevenly sold 800 products the first week. A few months later, they grew to 10 employees, then 20 employees, and two years later, 45 employees. Sevenly launched on June 13, 2013.
Dale explains that seeing money not as the primary goal, but as a byproduct of helping a million people, was the shift. He got lost in something that was so much fun and literally changing the world. Sevenly has raised $4.2 million in $7 donations.
Listen to the show to learn about the “aha” moment that set Dale on this path.
The system businesses need to break
Dale explains the cycle of companies. They often start with a cycle of honesty and move into an era of efficiency. When companies get big, they go from people over profit to people and profit, and become addicted to more. They start confusing being bigger with being better, he adds.
What often comes after the efficient era is what Dale calls the deceptive era. This is when businesspeople start to lose their soul and forget why they started the company. At that point they either go out of business, or those who stick around enter the final apologetic era. That’s where they earn back consumers’ trust, and go back into the honest cycle.
For example, Domino’s Pizza was one of the worst companies in the world in the 1990s. They released a documentary called The Pizza Turnaround in 2010 to expose themselves as an awful company. This was an effort to apologize to customers, regain trust and go back into an honest era of their business.
To break the cycle, Dale says, you need to understand where you and your company are. The ideal is to stay in the honest era forever. Companies like Whole Foods, In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A, Patagonia and REI, Dale believes, have been able to stand strong with integrity for years and years.
It’s empathetic marketing.
“Our customers are not parts of our machine, they are not the fuel behind our machine, they are people. Speak to people how they need to hear it, not how you want to say it,” Dale says. “Also remember we as marketers are translators of information… In people over profit marketing, it’s honest marketing. It’s telling the truth clearly.”
Listen to the show to hear more about empathetic and emotional marketing.
Dale’s thoughts on blogs
There are two types of businesses in the world, Dale explains. There are content businesses (National Geographic, Kinfolk magazine, Relevant magazine, the Huffington Post) and product businesses (Patagonia, TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker). Then there’s a hybrid, which is a product-content company, like HYPEBEAST (a streetwear blog that’s also a streetwear store) and Jack Threads (men’s store), which is owned by Thrillist (the largest men’s blog).
Dale wonders why Patagonia or TOMS Shoes don’t produce content and why National Geographic doesn’t create a real cool outdoor gear supply.
At Sevenly, Dale found selling products through email especially difficult because he didn’t have any content to push beside it. They had 400,000 people on the email list, and each week they were pushing products to the list. But most people don’t buy products every single week.
When you shift into a content marketing strategy, you give your customers a reason to open up those emails, follow you again and pay attention to your brand. It’s a way to keep customers engaged. Now, the email blasts have content like “5 Charities That Will Pay You to Travel,” which keeps the company in the feed and people close to the brand.
After Dale sold his stock in Sevenly, he entered the content space with a blog about his life and the things that truly matter: relationships and struggles and leadership. He launched The Daily Positive in October 2013, and published about 252 articles in 2014, which he says was way too many. Now he tries to publish an article every week or two. Dale writes all of his blog posts, which run about 400-800 words.
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The Daily Positive was platform-building, and then he transitioned to launch StartupCamp, where he helps entrepreneurs and marketers.
Dale shares how he earned $50,000 in a peak month on his blog through multiple channels: his one-day online Blog Camp event, AdSense and affiliates.
Listen to the show to hear the story that inspired Dale’s The Daily Positive blog.
How Dale drives traffic through Pinterest and Instagram
Dale started marketing on Pinterest because women are on the Internet more than men, and they are more likely to share. To see the pins for Dale’s articles, go to Pinterest.com/DalePartridge and then to the board called Inspiring Words. The pins are 500 pixels wide x 1000 pixels tall, and have large titles with authentic photos. They speak to the things that really matter in life and in business, Dale says.
In addition to sharing his own images, Dale curates content from wedding décor to men’s fashionable shoes to really cool furniture that he found on other websites that no one else knew about. Off of that account, Dale started a repinning cycle for creating new accounts to grow his Pinterest following. Dale and his wife both have accounts of over 700,000 followers, in addition to other accounts.
Of the 800,000 visitors Dale gets on his blog each month, 42% are from Pinterest. The cool thing about Pinterest, Dale says, is it’s not a spike like on Twitter or Facebook. He says he could go away for five months and his blog would still get that much traffic, because he has 500 pins for articles on Pinterest, some of which have 75,000 repins.
Dale uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and email to connect with his audience. But he has the most fun with Pinterest and Instagram.
On Instagram, even with only a link in his profile, he’s managed to drive 2,000 visitors from some of his accounts on the platform. He has one Instagram account, called Quotestagrammr, that has 515,000 followers. He posts quotes to it three times a day. Dale’s Solid Quotes and The Daily Positive Instagram accounts have more than 100,000 followers each.
Dale grows one big Instagram account for marketing, and then builds other accounts off of it. To build, Dale explains, you can either buy an account (if you have some cash and your acquisition has a large following), or you can find big accounts and pay for shout-outs. What Dale does is after building one big account, he does shout-outs among all of his accounts three times a day on four different accounts. Dale likes that you can build multiple platforms on different topics, and then cross-promote.
“There’s a lot of possibilities on Instagram and Pinterest to play in that space,” Dale says. “It’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s an everyday battle to learn what’s next.”
Listen to the show to hear final thoughts from Dale on people over profit.
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For example, we used Legend to animate the text on this image for Social Media Marketing Society.
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Legend is a fun iOS app that’s $1.99 in the iTunes store.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how the Legend app works for you.
Listen to the show!
Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:
- Connect with Dale on his website.
- Read People Over Profit: Break the System, Live With Purpose, Be More Successful and get Dale’s $300 coaching kit for free.
- Learn more about Sevenly, StartupCamp.com and the StartupCamp podcast.
- Follow Dale on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
- Check out Veronica Partridge’s Pinterest account, as well as Dale’s other Instagram accounts: Quotestagrammr, Solid Quotes and The Daily Positive.
- Explore Domino’s Pizza and check out The Pizza Turnaround.
- Learn more about content businesses National Geographic, Kinfolk magazine, Relevant magazine and the Huffington Post).
- Explore product businesses (Patagonia, TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker).
- Look at hybrid companies HYPEBEAST, Jack Threads and Thrillist.
- Check out Legend.
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What do you think? What are your thoughts on focusing on people over profit? Please leave your comments below.