Day 3: Engagement Marketing – Case Study: MaysBook

by jalanda on May 23, 2012

engagement marketing case study

I went to the Spark & Hustle conference yesterday. It was so great. Full Review Tomm.

It was filled with lots of great speakers. One of the speakers talk touched my heart. It was as if God was like “Grrrrrl, you got it!”.

Yup apparent God is some black, hip, girl who can’t be bothered with spelling girl correctly:-)

So I’m on this journey of being myself and engaging more. Now that I know what I’m doing, I”m constantly stumbling across lots of entrepreneurs who say that being themselves has made all difference in their business.

Meet MayBooks

Enter Mays Book founder, Mica May. Mrs. May said, during her talk, that she was afraid to be herself and go against what she was suppose to be doing. “I was nervous to be myself. What if I alienate larger businesses. But that wasn’t working. Then I started to be me and stop making marketing that wasn’t me”. “I’m being me”. “My company is me”.

And thousands of dollars later, her business is successful with her just being herself.

Another key takeaway was from Mrs. May.

She is the creator of these amazingly simple, hip notebooks. A notebook is a notebook is a notebook. Wrong.

The way that Mrs. May describes her notebook in her company marketing is “Life is too short for ugly notebooks”. That doesn’t appeal to me, so clearly I’m not her target market. I’m not that fussy.

What got me was her paining the picture of why use a notebook. She said she was constantly writing things on little pieces of paper, Post-Its, etc. and they would be everywhere. She’d have nice notebooks but she’d be too nervous to write in them. They were just too nice to just write your notes in. So she’d just have pieces of paper everywhere.

Whoa that is me.

I have mounts of loose leaf paper EVERYWHERE. What’s worst is I have at least 10 fancy, leather, bound journals in my closet that are “too nice to use”. I can’t just write my daily to do, or my brainstorming in my “good notebooks”, that’d be a waste.

So now I have a big 5 subject notebook that instead of organizing me, confuses the hell out of me and the mounds of mounds of paper.

Enter Mrs. May novel, simple suggestion. She said that she loves to write little notes. So she pulls out her simple notebook and writes in it. After the notebook is filled she files it away, and starts a new one.

What? Novel. Yet so simple.

I’m now a uber fan of MaysBooks.

My only complain is the website ordering process is way overcomplicated.

I’m just a basic, busy girl. I don’t care to design the inner and outer book. Just give me a pink, yellow, or lime green book with dotted lines and I’m happy.

I wish she just had some simple, pre-assembled books for purchase. I just wanna click, buy, and go. Done. Too many choices paralyze me.

So Today’s Lesson: Everyone has a “come to Jesus” moment where they realize that just being themselves is the answer. So it’s ok if that wasn’t your original plan. Adapt and move forward and grow.

Update: After contemplating my tagline dilemma I came up with a more suitable tagline that addressed what the heck I’d be talking about. I’m loving engagement marketing as it resonates with my soul. And now that I’ve narrowed it down I just had to say for whom and Tada. My new tagline is “Engagement Marketing For Busy Entrepreneurs”. Guess what I’m talking about and to whom? Yea me.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tamara May 26, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience from Spark and Hustle. I was an original Spark and Hustler for the first event in Atlanta back in 2010 and it was great! I also attended last year here in Atlanta. Also thanks for sharing about MaysBooks! I am a notebook fanatic and her notebooks are awesome! I wish she had a retailer here in GA because I would so buy one this weekend! 🙂
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jalanda May 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Wow! I heard great things about the first event! You are going to love the event this year. No speaker disappointed. Notebooks Rule!


DrSusan May 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

This was the perfect post for a weary, rainy morning. I laughed and I learned – can’t get better than that. David Allen writes about having information in only one place and I’ve gotten good about using notebooks. I’d probably put a little tape on those PostIts Marcia uses, but otherwise, my system is similar to hers and has been working for many years.
Also love the clarity of the new tagline.
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jalanda May 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Ahh thanks Dr. Susan.

Barbara Cochran was the keynote speaker at Spark and Hustle. (Oh gosh, I feel like someone who just found Jesus. Every sentence now beings with at Spark and Hustle). Anyway, Barbara said one of the best things about being small was that she could act quickly vs her big corporate competitors who had to go through legal, marketing, and 3 months later produce action.

My tag line like life is a work in progress. But thanks for letting me you like it. That means alot.


Debra May 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

I am in agreement alignment with you on your path to be you more in your business. I’ve been writing with full vulnerability, for all the world to see. And, probably not coincidentally, my sales have increased!

Love your new tagline! It speaks to me too. 🙂
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Marcia Layton Turner May 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I love your insights, Jalanda, though I have to laugh a little. You see, I collect notebooks the way you collect little paper notes. And I make notes in my dozen different notebooks, which creates a whole new set of issues related to finding the darn notes after I’ve made them. So I’m trying a hybrid approach that I read about on Savor – writing reminders on sticky notes and then placing them in a notebook organized by project. This allows me to quickly jot down a thought and to file it in a single place, which I will be able to easily find later. So far it’s working pretty well and we’re on Day 14.


Donna Leyens May 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm

First of all, I love your tagline! I understand exactly what you do. 🙂 I also totally agree that your own true personality should come out in your marketing, especially if your business branding is about you. Don’t try to be the same as everyone else, because then you won’t stand out! As for the notebooks, I too am constantly writing on everything. In addition to sticky notes and scrap paper, I have a white board, and now a “Boogie Board” for “temporary notes.” I also have a number of fun, small notebooks, each for different purposes (blog ideas, books I want to read, people to stay in touch with, etc.). And I have some large notebooks as well. I will have to check out Mays Books. My daughter also loves notebooks – that might be just up her alley!


jalanda May 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I like that Boogie Board idea. So far my one Mays book has been working out. I’m truly in love. Your daughter may like it. They are very artistic in design.


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