What you’ll learn in this episode:
About Evon Rosen
Evon is a strategic and creative marketing professional specializing in financial and legal services, healthcare, and real estate. Her highly-creative and fresh ideas help develop brands, increase market share, facilitate client retention, and improve processes. Evon has held executive marketing positions at both public and privately held companies that include City National Bank, First Federal Bank of California, Celtic Capital Corporation and the Peak Corporate Network.
Evon is the first two-time recipient of the Commercial Finance Association’s Essay Award and has had numerous articles and white papers published. She was a featured speaker at L.A. Direct Marketing Day, and received the U.S. Festival Association Award for Creative Excellence. She received both her undergraduate degree and California Teaching Credential from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
About Lori Berson
For over 20 years Lori has developed break-through strategies effectively integrating marketing automation, demand generation, sales enablement, branding, interactive media, advertising, email, social media, print, outdoor, video, events, and promotions, for many of the country’s leading marketers, including Anthem, Charles Schwab, Disney, Dole, Lexus, Seinfeld, and Coldwell Banker. Her remarkable business acumen, creative talents, and knowledge of emerging technologies have contributed to the success of these organizations and more.
Lori began her career at a variety of advertising agencies, including Diener, Hauser, Bates, Needham, Harper and Steers, and Asher/Gould. She established the in-house creative department (servicing the automotive industry) at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Lori then went on to create advertising for the major studios (Paramount, Disney, Fox, and Warner Brothers), entertainment public relations firms, and celebrity management companies, at The Hollywood Reporter, and designed for Seinfeld, Lilo and Stitch, Oprah, The Wheel of Fortune, Entertainment Tonight, The Disney Channel, Cheers, Family Ties, Fantasy Island, Beethoven, Charlton Heston, Shirley Jones, and Martin Sheen.
As a member of the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Art Center College of Design (her alma maters), Lori teaches Advertising Concepts, Design, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video Marketing, Landing Page Design, and How to Manage a Photo Shoot.
Lori Berson LinkedIn: Lori Berson
BersonDeanStevens LinkedIn: BersonDeanStevens
Evon Rosen LinkedIn: Evon Rosen
The pandemic may have left many small businesses with limited marketing support and budgets, but that doesn’t mean marketing is out of reach. That’s what marketing experts Evon Rosen and Lori Berson wanted to prove with their new book, “Ready-Made Marketing For Business Owners, Business Professionals and Independent Contractors.” The book features hundreds of templates and technology recommendations that professionals with little time and budget can easily leverage for immediate results. Evon and Lori joined the Law Firm Marketing Catalyst Podcast to talk about their motivations to write “Ready-Made Marketing”; how to use the book effectively; and why even professionals with no marketing experience should learn how to market their businesses. Read the episode transcript here.
Sharon: Welcome to the Law Firm Marketing Catalyst Podcast. Today, we’re talking with Evon Rosen and Lori Berson, coauthors of the recent book, “Ready-Made Marketing For Business Owners, Business Professionals and Independent Contractors.” They are marketing experts and have worked with businesses in a range of industries, including law, and have helped their clients grow their brands, increase market share, facilitate client retention and, most importantly, increase profits. Today, we’re going to hear more about their book and how it can help all of us be better marketers. Evon and Lori, welcome to the program.
Evon: Thank you, Sharon. It’s so nice to be here.
Sharon: So glad to have both of you. First of all, I want to know how you ended up where you are. Evon, why don’t you go first? What was your career path? How did you end up working in marketing for a variety of different industries and professions?
Evon: My career in marketing has been focused on business development. I’ve been helping companies and business professionals in financial and legal services, as you said, as well as healthcare and real estate to develop and enhance their brands, grow market share and increase profits. I started in marketing research, and I moved into product management along the way. Then for 20 years, I helped senior and executive-level positions in both public and private firms. One of my longest stints was with City National Bank, where I created the brand positioning “The Way Up.” The bank is still using that today, I’m happy to say.
Sharon: Did you develop that?
Sharon: Oh, wow!
Evon: It started off with a blue ladder. It’s now a white ladder, but it’s “The Way Up” campaign they’ve been using for many, many years.
Sharon: Yes, for a long time. I forgot that’s where we first met. I totally forgot about that.
Evon: Yeah, that is where we first met. I think you introduced me to Lori at that time. That’s how Lori and I met.
Sharon: I first want to ask you, Evon, what did you study? What would you recommend that people study? Lori, the same question when we get to your background. What would you recommend people study for marketing?
Evon: It’s interesting; I studied sociology and I got a teaching credential, both from UCLA. I think what was so great about both of those areas in terms of marketing is that sociology is all about people and all about behavior, and that’s basically what marketing is about too. Teaching helped me focus on being up in front of a group, being able to write business plans and marketing plans and things like that. It all works to help in marketing.
Sharon: Lori, what was your path?
Lori: I actually started my marketing career over 23 years ago. I’ve been creating revenue-generating strategies in branding, demand generation, advertising, interactive media, email, social media, print, outdoor—a myriad of things, including sales and marketing automation, for many of the country’s industry leaders in consumer package goods, financial and professional services. Some of those companies include Anthem, Charles Schwab, Dole Food Company, Fisher Investments. That was in addition to working for entertainment clients like Seinfeld. I did it for many, many years. Actually, I started in entertainment.
I’ve also had the pleasure of teaching advertising and marketing at UCLA, and email marketing and video marketing at Art Center College of Design, which are my two alma maters. To answer your question about what I studied, I started studying in the design area, graphic design. From there, it morphed into more of the marketing side. A lot of it comes from not only from the college education, but from when I was very young and did internships, and from taking online courses throughout the years and then teaching. Like Evon said, that teaches you a lot as well. I’d also say what’s really important these days is to continue learning and to stay up to date, especially with the rapid change of what’s going on with new technologies. Now it’s NFTs and crypto and Web 3. There are so many exciting things happening that it’s important to stay up to date continually and to keep learning.
Sharon: I didn’t know there was a Web 3.
Lori: We’re in Web 2 now, but Web 3 is the metaverse.
Sharon: Oh, O.K. Lori, you have your own company; it’s Berson Dean Stevens, correct?
Sharon: Evon, you’re independent, and you also work with Lori a lot. You both started in traditional marketing. How did you segue into marketing automation and video? How does one do that?
Lori: That is a great question, Sharon. I remember about seven or eight years ago—I always like to keep up with technology. That’s part of what we offer in the book, a lot of technology resources, which we’ll get into. But as I was looking at things, I thought, “O.K., what seems to be the trend? What is important to learn going forward?” So, I dove in around 2013, 2014 and started learning. I got together with one of the first animation software companies and learned as I did it and got clients involved. It was all very new, and we all jumped in and learned as we did it.
Sharon: There’s so much to learn. Evon, you were going to add?
Evon: It’s kind of the same for me. When I was with many companies in a senior position, I had a staff. I had a lot of people working for me that had a lot of the tools and knowledge that I didn’t, so we would all jump in and do things together. As Lori said, marketing evolved, and we had to evolve with it.
Sharon: There’s so much to learn when you say to keep up with what’s going on.
Lori: It’s overwhelming.
Sharon: Yeah, it is overwhelming. That’s a word for it. Evon, you and Lori wrote the book. What was your impetus? To me, there are a million and one books on marketing and how to market, and there are a million and one podcasts. What was your impetus for writing the book?
Evon: The original idea came out of Covid, because during the worst of the pandemic, as you know, firms were forced into doing new ways of business. Everybody started working remotely. In-person meetings were no longer an option. It was unfamiliar territory for everyone, and a primary concern for both firms and their clients was financial. Cost-cutting led to layoffs and people quitting, which left many professional firms and professionals with no internal marketing support and no budget to hire external expertise. Lori and I had seen so many people struggling with how to reenergize their businesses and jumpstart sales, so we wanted to make marketing accessible and help people bounce back from Covid setbacks.
You’re right, Sharon, there are a million and one marketing books out there. Most of them deal with developing business or marketing plans, or they’re specific to using social media as a marketing tool, or they speak to building brands. They’re planning oriented. We wanted to write something that was action oriented, which is exactly what “Ready-Made Marketing” is. It provides the words and the tools to enable business professionals to start marketing themselves immediately. It addresses an unmet need that the business community has, and I’m happy to say it’s resonating.
Sharon: It’s quite a successful book, and it’s a very hands-on book.
Sharon: Lori, tell us how the book was constructed. How did you write this book? What was in mind when you wrote it?
Lori: “Ready-Made Marketing” was constructed in two sections. The first part includes over 70 customizable email and video templates and scripts that can be used in a variety of business situations. It also includes step-by-step instructions and screenshots for using proven and effective marketing tactics like LinkedIn, podcasts, webinars, video and text messaging, just to name a few. The second section of the book is where we’ve included over 400 technology resources that are free or affordably priced. This was key because we wanted it to be not only simple, but cost-effective for people to be able to use. All of the technology resources have been vetted, and we have the top two in each category, which are our recommended options.
The bottom line is that we wrote the book to be handy and easy to use, with everything laid out so you could quickly get to what you need, when you need it. It starts with a chart that is entitled “How to Use this Book.” If you want to write a sales email, you go to the customizable templates. If you want to host a webinar, there are ideas to develop content and step-by-step instructions for production. Basically, the book takes the guesswork out of marketing.
Sharon: It’s a very up-to-date book.
Sharon: It sounds very different from so many marketing books with everything you’re talking about, the video and podcasting and all of that. You don’t find that in many traditional marketing books. When you say you’ve vetted the resources, how did you vet them?
Evon: I’ve researched and used all of the resources with clients. Both Evon and I have used all of the resources, whether it’s both of us or one of us separately, with clients.
Sharon: So, they’re tried and true.
Sharon: That’s great. Evon, it seems that the teacher always learns something from the student. Tell me what you learned from writing this book about marketing, things you didn’t think of before.
Evon: It’s interesting because I was thinking about that, and I think the difference is no other books are like “Ready-Made Marketing.” You can hit the ground running with this book, and that was our goal: to use marketing to help people generate sales as fast as possible. That can be done. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be a time suck. It can be done relatively easily. Not everything, but there are things you can do to jumpstart your business, and that was great for people to see.
What I learned is not so much about the book or marketing itself, but the impact the book has had. When I hear from business professionals and read the amazing reviews on Amazon, it’s heartwarming to see how appreciative people are. They have something that’s really made a difference in bouncing back from the pandemic and beyond. Even if a business didn’t take a big hit, they love the fact that they can do so much marketing themselves without spending a lot of money. In fact, the book has a testimonial from an attorney who says it’s a game changer. That’s amazing to hear.
Sharon: It sounds very gratifying. Do you think the book would have had the same impact if we weren’t coming out of the pandemic?
Evon: I’m not sure the book would have been written had there not been a pandemic.
Sharon: O.K., that’s a good point.
Evon: We’re hired for our marketing expertise. Marketing is a lot more than what’s in the book, but the book is a wonderful place for people who need to do some marketing who don’t have a budget, who don’t have a lot of time, but still need to get sales and have their brands out there. That’s what this book does. We were happy to make it something that people can use themselves.
Sharon: Lori, what do you think you learned from writing the book?
Lori: I learned that I didn’t realize the need out there. From talking to other business owners and even from some of the testimonials and reviews that Evon mentioned, a lot of people don’t know where to go to find information on how to market themselves. They don’t have the time. It feels very onerous to a lot of businesspeople and professionals. They’re focusing on their business, so they don’t have time to get into the growth of it as much as they should. They’re going along with a certain amount of clientele, but we all need to grow business to stay alive. I was quite amazed at the response to the book and to the tools that we presented, how people have said it’s made their lives so much easier. We knew there was need, but we never realized how much of a need and how broad-based it is.
Sharon: It seems there’d be such a demand for something like this. This is for both Evon and Lori. Do you think people were skeptical when you said this book is going to be a hands-on, how-to book? Do you think people said, “Yeah, tell me about it”?
Lori: I’ll take that to start. I think people were confused a little bit, because typically what they see is the strategy and planning, which doesn’t get to what they need as quickly as possible. Granted, strategy and planning are important. But I think it’s so new and so different from what they’ve seen from other books that it was a little bit confusing. Then, once they got into it, they thought, “My god, this is so easy. It’s super simple.”
Evon: I didn’t think that people were particularly skeptical. I think what’s interesting is that many people don’t really understand what marketing is or what they can do themselves. I think when they started looking at the book and saw what was in there, it was more of a revelation, like, “Oh, my gosh, I can do this, and it’s right there. This is what marketing is. That’s great.”
Sharon: Looking through reviews on Amazon—it is on Amazon, and the reviews are glowing. Something interesting to me is that it’s on Kindle also. There’s a Kindle version, which I was surprised to see. Is that something you thought about or planned for when you were writing this?
Evon: We did. We wanted to do the different versions, the Kindle version, the hardcover, the paperback. We wanted to make it accessible to anybody’s needs. However they access it, we want them to have it.
Sharon: It’s widely available, it seems. Lori, who was your target market for the book as you were writing it?
Lori: The target market is business professionals and their firms, other small businesses, independent contractors, people with limited or no marketing expertise and those with no marketing staff or, as Evon mentioned earlier, those with limited or no marketing budget, which we find is a majority of the small businesses out there.
Also, we found out that people who have some marketing experience are especially appreciative because of the distillation of those 400 technology resources in the book. Working with other marketing professionals, I found that they may know a couple of the really well-known technology resources, but many times those can be super expensive. One of our primary focuses was to get stuff as much for free as possible in addition to really inexpensive technology resources, something like $5 a month and at most $15 a month, to give them some of those automation capabilities to help them save time and focus more on their business. Basically, “Ready-Made Marketing” is perfect for anyone looking to start or enhance their marketing, whether they have no experience or they do have some but need extra resources.
Sharon: I was thinking about the fact that in marketing today, even more than 20 years ago, you have to be an expert in a certain area. What you wrote is more broad-based as opposed to, “I’m a web developer” or “I’m an SEO expert” or “I do videos.” Do you think people embrace that, or did they say, “I got to find somebody else,” meaning, “I’ve got to find an SEO person for my SEO”?
Lori: I think it’s a little bit of both. In this particular case, because we’re focusing on people that don’t have expertise, we wanted to give them tools to be able to do some of the basic stuff themselves. There’s always going to be a need to hire because you’re right; everything is very specialized. There are agencies that just work on each of those sections. They’re going to want to eventually hire those people once they get the budget and once they get to that level. But as a starting point, this gives them some basic things and demystifies a lot of it so they can decide, based on what we give them, “O.K., I want to focus on SEO. Maybe I’ll go hire an SEO agency,” or “Webinars are going to generate a lot of leads. I’ve got the tools to be able to do that on my own for very low cost. Once I get to a certain level, then I can bring in some of the specialists with more expertise.”
Sharon: It sounds like a great resource. Evon, if I’m an independent lawyer alone in my office and I don’t have a marketing staff or a marketing professional to advise me, how should I use this book? I envision tearing it apart and copying the templates. How would you say we should use it?
Evon: The book is truly a desktop resource. We have it organized by marketing tactic. There’s a section on email communications, on using video, on podcasts and panels, on webinars. Within the email section, for example, there are templates for emails in a variety of situations. We have cold communications, which you would send to someone you don’t know, a prospect. There are follow-up emails to send after a meeting or sales call, emails to reengage with people you haven’t heard from recently. When situations arise, you just refer to the book and use whatever you need. The technology is there to help bring some of those tactics to life. As Lori said, the book takes the guesswork out of marketing.
To go back for a minute on what you were asking about the research of it all, we wanted this book to be something of a starting point for people who don’t know much about marketing or don’t have a budget for marketing. Marketing is about getting the right message to the right people, and there are a number of ways to do that. This book deals with the basics. If you start with the basics, you can build from there.
Sharon: Was the catalyst for the book that you were both talking with clients, and you just looked at each other and said, “These people don’t have a clue”? Not to knock anybody, but if you spent your career studying finance or healthcare or law, then you didn’t study marketing. Was that the impetus? Was it like, “We’ve got to show people how to do this. You can do it if you apply yourself”?
Evon: I think for me, I felt so badly that people were coming back into a world of business and they really didn’t know how to start with marketing. They didn’t have an internal staff anymore; they didn’t have money to ask anybody. They were floundering. We found that out within our client base and outside. For me, it was the pandemic that got it going. It’s not that they didn’t know what to do generally; it’s just that they didn’t know what to do in this new world.
Lori: To add to that, Sharon, Evon and I also had interactions with clients who hired us to revitalize their website and their branding and everything else. They really wanted to get into automation and help their sales team, but they were restricted by budget. I encountered several clients like that. That was another reason for the book, too: to help people who didn’t have the time to even bring on staff or to hire an agency. They knew they needed it; they just didn’t have the tools. We thought, “O.K., between Covid and these other people who weren’t hurt by Covid but do need these extra services, how can we help?”
Sharon: Did you think about putting in a section about marketing via Zoom? Let’s say we backtrack or there’s another outbreak of a different kind of strain. Is there something about marketing via Zoom in there?
Lori: Absolutely. We have a section called “Video Messaging” that talks about sales calls. I’ll let Evon talk about some of the scripts with that, but it not only covers how to connect with people via Zoom or Webex or whatever else, but also how to connect via LinkedIn and audio and video message via those channels.
Evon: And we have screenshots for the how-tos. We show them how to do it. We write the scripts for them, and we show them step by step how they incorporate the technology to do these things. The book is really do-it-yourself. It literally provides thousands of dollars of marketing expertise for less than the cost of a week at Starbucks or, more relatable, it’s less than half a tank of gas.
Lori: Or a quarter-tank nowadays.
Evon: It’s all there.
Sharon: Are the templates fill in the blank?
Evon: Yes, they’re based around various scenarios. They all have a subject line to deal with the issues they’re trying to address. Then it gives you the template itself and what you should say with blanks to fill in certain things about you or the situation. It’s very easy.
Sharon: It sounds like a great resource, whether you’re a marketer within a marketing department or on your own.
Evon: A lot of people look at a page and don’t know where to start. They want to write something, and they can’t do it; they don’t do it; they don’t know how to do it. With the book, the words are right there.
Sharon: That’s a good point, when you’re looking at a blank computer screen and you don’t know what to do.
Evon: Right, right.
Sharon: I want to mention again that the book is “Ready-Made Marketing.” It’s for business owners and independent professionals of any stripe. Tell me if I’m leaving something out. It’s a do-it-yourself book. It’s on Amazon in a variety of formats. It’s gotten fabulous reviews, so please take a look at it. Evon and Lori, thank you so much for being here today and telling us about this book.
Lori: Sharon, thank you.
Evon: It’s been our pleasure, Sharon. Thank you so much for having us.
Lori: Yes, thank you, Sharon. It’s been great. We appreciate it.
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