Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

For our final episode of the year, I figured we would do a year in review here at Stratos and Marketing in the Wild. I’ve got some stats, I’ve got some stories, both personal and business, and I am excited to share them with you as we say goodbye to 2022, and hello 2023. Before I even start that, I just wanna talk about the fact that I was watching a show yesterday, and 1990 was the year that they were talking about being like, oh, they’re so old. I suddenly feel very old. So I’m sorry to my parents and everybody who I thought like the 70s and 80s were old, because now I am right there with you. Anyway, that’s a side note. I just wanted to take this time to talk a little bit about what’s been going on behind the scenes at Stratos, and share a few stories of really cool things that have happened.

One of the things that I love about the end of the year is being able to look back and say, wow, this is what worked really well and this is what did not work well. We’re gonna do that a little bit more in January, and I’m gonna talk about some of our marketing experiences or experiments. But in this podcast episode, I wanna talk a little bit about the work that we’ve done in 2022, and some really cool stories that we’ve been able to be a part of. So for stats, year in review, for those of you who know us closely or follow us closely, you know that we play in like four-ish buckets; the website bucket, the logo and design bucket, the social bucket, and the email bucket. So for websites and logos, sometimes I group these together. We got to be a part of creating 16 websites this year, which was awesome, and we were able to help three businesses create either a new rebrand, or help them create a new brand altogether. For social media, we got to be a part of 15 ad client stories, we wrote 3,066 social media posts this year, and we did four toolkits. Toolkits are a new offer. It’s for the diy-ers in the group, or the people who just want consistent branding. We love it. We launched those halfway through the year and we sold four of them. Lastly, we wrote 142 emails. 

That is a lot of content, and a lot of words that we got to be a part of. Also, a lot of businesses. I just sent out our Christmas gifts, and we got to send out 60 of them to 60 different clients, white label partners. I’m not telling you these numbers to boast, even though it is really cool that we’ve gotten to be a part of these stories. I’m telling you these numbers because for one, I think people always wonder how many people are there serving. I wonder that about other businesses. But it’s also been really sweet to be involved in our clients’ lives this year. And so, that’s where my next little piece on our year review comes in. I wanted to share some notable stories. We have been able to work with all different kinds of businesses. When people ask us what our niche is, very rarely do we have something that’s specific. The only niche that we really don’t work in is real estate, and that’s besides the point. However, this year, we got to be a part of some non-profit stories, some business consultant stories, businesses in general. So I wanted to share those with you. 

Again, not to say look how cool we are, but to just point out, look at the cool work that is being done in the world. Some of these stories are gonna be semi-anonymous, like the clients, we won’t disclose their names due to privacy issues. However, I wanted to share the concept of the story so that you can celebrate with the work that our clients have done this year. The first one is we’ve been working with a nonprofit. This one is not anonymous, CCPH, Community Campus Partnerships for Health. We’ve been working with them for four years. What I love about them is I’ve gotten to see them grow just as they’ve gotten to see my business grow. I started with them while I was a freelancer. This year, we got to help them celebrate their 25th anniversary. They got a new 25th anniversary logo, a really cool new landing page, and we’re getting to help them with all of these initiatives to celebrate both the health equity work that they’re doing, and then also the partners that they’re working with. It’s been awesome. 

Another person that we’ve been working with, she’s a client of ours and she works as a business consultant and a coach. We’ve been able to help her with her social media, and it’s gone so well that she was listed as a Who’s Who to Follow on LinkedIn. So again, cool, really exciting for us because we’re like, hey, social media does work. We scream it from the rooftops, but it’s cool to see it, but also really awesome because she’s been able to serve more businesses because of it. So we get to be a part of this trickle effect. 

The next one is a nonprofit in Chicago. They help first generation students get to college. It was so awesome. We got to be a part of the story of one of their students getting a full ride to a top 10 university. I am so excited for that student and for the organization as they continue to help other students. Finally, we got to help save a school. I wish we could make a full episode on it, but what I can tell you is that this was a rural school that was looking at having to close their doors, because they didn’t have enough teachers staffing it. We got to help place ads. And honestly, guys, just like with all of the other stories, Stratos is like one small part of these success stories, but we got to place ads for the school to get applicants on these teacher positions. The organization we worked with was able to advocate with the powers that be to get us some extra weeks, and in those extra weeks, we were able to get enough applicants that were qualified to apply to the school, and the school is still open. If this school had been closed, these kids would’ve been on the bus for two to four hours to get to the nearest school. So this one is one of my favorite stories that we were able to be a part of, because what a cool initiative that is gonna actually literally affect these kids’ lives. The more time that they can spend in school and at home, the more they’re gonna be able to learn, whereas all of that bus time was going to be useless time. So like I said, we got to be a small part of this. 

It’s been a centering focus for us this year, this idea of co-creation, we are co-creating with our clients. They have content, we’re bringing new lenses, new views to the content. We’re making the content accessible to their audience. Stratos is not single-handedly creating success for these people, but we get to be co-creators of this success in a way that’s trickling down into these communities. It trickled down into this rural community and these kids. Knowing that these kids are gonna have an education, we have no idea what’s next for them, but they’re getting a good education that is going to really trickle into future generations. We were able to help an organization who is helping first gen college students. How cool? That also is gonna trickle into their family culture and even into future neighborhoods, future livelihoods. We get to help our nonprofit CCPH, our friends there, really create health equity in the world. And so, it’s just been really a cool year because we can recognize, hey, we got to be co-creators and assist these organizations that were already doing good work. They were already doing good work, but we got to be a part of the amplification of said good work. 

I’d be remiss if I did not close with some personal stories. As you all know, if you’ve been around Stratos for two seconds, you know that we are a very tight knit group of people. Our employees, I can hands down say everybody loves each other. When one person needs it, everybody else steps in and rallies behind them and helps them do their work. Whatever it is. We have had hard things happen this year, and we have had awesome things happen, and I am proud to say that we are ending the year strong, with a team that is intact, and really, some of each other’s biggest champions. 

Some stories of Stratos, what’s been going on? I don’t have stories from everyone, so I’m just gonna do a survey of what’s been going on. We had one person, Savannah, move from Florida to Pennsylvania. She’s really excited because she got to be in the snowy winter. Most of the rest of us would rather be moving the other way, but you know what, to each their own. She also got to celebrate her child’s one-year birthday. I always wonder if it’s more of a celebration for the parents for making it there, or for the kid for accomplishing their first year. In this case, it’s a little bit of both. She also had a reel go viral. If you go over to Savannah’s page, you’ll see it. It was about her daughter picking her Harry Potter. It was like a sorting hat, Harry Potter house video, and it is the best. Speaking of babies, we also had four babies born in the span of, I believe, three months. If we all worked in the same place, I would make a joke about there’s something being in the water, but we do not work in the same space. I was out here in Salt Lake, our ads manager was in Texas, and we have somebody in Kentucky and somebody in North Carolina, but we have four sweet, sweet babies who’ve joined the team this year. We love them all, and they often crash our meetings, and we’re here for it. 

We also had somebody in our group, in our team, who purchased a new home. This is so exciting. They actually were able to purchase a new apartment, keeping the old apartment, and now we joke with her that she’s a landlord, aka slumlord. But that’s not true, she is very gracious. We’ve also had tons of trips. Trips to Paris, we had two people who went to Paris. We had somebody who spent a month or two in Greece, we’ve had random conferences, Nashville, Chicago, that we’ve gotten to be at. With the changes in travel restrictions, we have really taken advantage of that. So we are really, really excited to see what is coming up in 2023. I am sure that you might be as well. 2022 was a fun year, busy year, and a hard year in some ways. And so for some of us, we’re ready to put it behind us and move forward, but knowing that 2023 is gonna be really good. You’ll hear more from us on what’s coming down the pike, but you should know that we have some really cool things. 

If you’re a DIY-er in social media, stay tuned, because we have a really, really good product coming out. I’ll tell you a little bit about it. It’s kind of a secret-ish maybe, but here we go. We have a DIY or a done with you membership coming out. And so, you guys get to pick, do we want a DIY or social, or do you want a done with you? We’re trying to create something that is really, really quality, but also high-touch. That’s what we’ve been working on for the past two months, and we are excited to launch it in quarter one. So stay tuned. 2023 is going to be an awesome year. I can’t wait till this time next year when I get to look back and say, wow, look at how far we’ve come, look at all these cool things that have happened. I hope your new year is as wonderful as I imagine ours will be, and I hope that this year, whatever you set your mind to do when it comes to your business and your marketing, I wish you the utmost success. But even more than that, I wish you a success that trickles into other people’s lives, a success where you can co-create good things in both your life and in the life of those around you. I will see you on the flip side, everybody.

Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.