Success Stories

Jean Craig Long

Seasoned Non-Profit Executive Increases Her Confidence and Doubles Her Business

Note: Portions of this Case Study are available in audio format.

Jean Craig LongThe Client: Jean Craig Long is a non-profit development consultant who has spent more than two decades helping non-profit organizations that struggle to raise money consistently. Jean first heard Lisa Nirell speak during an Action Plan Marketing-sponsored event, and was impressed with Lisa’s business background and her confidence. Within two weeks, Lisa and Jean scheduled an exploratory conversation.

The Situation: This was Jean’s first experience as an entrepreneur and she was quickly realizing that focused marketing and planning were taking a back seat. “It was hard to talk about myself. I left marketing until the end of the day and by then, my creativity was zapped.” Jean had clients, but wanted “ideal clients” – those that stimulated her and rewarded her handsomely for her expertise. “I felt like I had to take everyone, that I might not be good enough, or might not have the answers,” says Jean.

“Lisa doesn’t do failure. She doesn’t hear it. The focus shifted from what I thought I did not know to what I know really well. She sees potential.”
Jean Craig Long

The Process: Lisa and Jean had an introductory telephone meeting to find out if it would be productive for them to work together. “Lisa said, ‘by the end of this conversation I promise that I’ll have given you one new insight’,” says Jean. “She asked me questions that I’d never asked myself, and at the end of the hour I felt different. I felt hopeful. I thought, ‘my heart is singing and I have to work with this person’.”

Jean joined Lisa’s EnergizeMarketing Action Group to gain confidence and get the support she needed to prioritize her marketing and business activities. “It changed the way I think about myself in business down to the cellular level,” says Jean.

Fairly early on in the group process, Jean was putting together an invitation for a seminar she was leading. At Lisa’s urging, she shared it with the members of her group. “The next thing I know, here come these e-mails with feedback. I knew I’d have to open myself up to input from people and try new things. I incorporated their suggested changes into the brochure and BOOM! The seminar was sold out. I now have paying clients that came out of that workshop.”

One of the most valuable aspects of being in the EnergizeMarketing Action Group for Jean was the honesty of the group. “They don’t spare your feelings. It’s very objective information,” says Jean. “All of the group members are seasoned professionals with similar challenges.”

“Sitting here in the fourth quarter with the income I have — I’m really grateful. The group helped me develop things I never would have thought of on my own.”
Jean Craig Long

The Results: Jean committed herself to the Action Group process. She read all of the recommended books, created an audio logo, wrote an executive summary to highlight her business, and developed a website. “I have a waiting list from people who went to my website and came to that workshop,” says Jean. Within two and a half months of joining the EnergizeMarketing Action Group, Jean doubled her income.

Becoming clear on how best to market her services is one of the significant benefits Jean achieved as a result of being in the EnergizeMarketing Action Group. “In order to do my marketing well by my own standards, I have to do it in a way that is authentic. I’m in this for the long haul. Whatever I say has to be true,” says Jean. She’s found that marketing became much easier once she has a series of specific marketing strategies to use and steps to follow, both of which she learned in the group.

Jean reports that her consulting firm has evolved from a blueprint into a viable business. She now has the confidence to do what she needs to do to grow and sustain her business. “I can do what’s in my heart. It’s a life purpose and it’s enormously fulfilling,” says Jean. She’s also learned that she can say no to clients who are not a good match.

Jean Craig Long on what it’s like to work with Lisa: “Lisa’s standards are as high as mine are. Everything she asks us to do, she’s doing herself. These are not just empty recommendations. She’s warm and friendly, but she’ll tell you if you’re doing something that’s getting in your way.”

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