A first for The Women of American Manufacturing podcast— featuring one of our own! Kristen Sweeney and I have worked together for months, but only just realized that we share a love for practicing and teaching yoga. You can hear through your headphones in the first few moments of this episode the qualities that made her a captivating actor and yoga instructor, as she is articulate, thoughtful, and bright. Yes, smart, but I mean literally bright– you can actually feel how she lights up the spaces around her.
That’s one of the reasons why she has been able to make such an enormous impact for Paperless Parts’ Marketing Services customers. Her energy and intellect help custom parts manufacturers translate their immense technical expertise into effective marketing campaigns that increase their opportunities and ultimately, their revenue. Even the most experienced job shop marketer should tune into this episode to learn a few tips and tricks (like having your teenage son/daughter review your social media!).
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Why Kristen is a woman in American manufacturing worth knowing:
Kristen brings a unique set of skills to manufacturing and she is the first to tell you that she is a writer, not a machinist or a shop owner. She is also a true communicator, builder, and visionary who draws a clear connection between the work she helps shops execute and how it contributes directly to job creation and an improved US economy. This is what drives her to solve problems and innovate for her customers each day. As someone who is tasked with helping shops improve their existing marketing efforts, and often creating a program from the ground up, her discovery and writing process mirrors that of the many manufacturers she serves; it’s all about asking questions, paying painstaking attention to detail, and constantly improving your product.
A surprising thing that came out of the conversation:
Often, the quality of a shop’s product is not reflected in the quality of their marketing. A shop could produce the most sophisticated parts in the country, helping NASA launch ships into space, but their web presence could be….lacking. This chasm exists far and wide in American manufacturing today, and Kristen and the team are tackling it head-on.
Key Takeaway: A Small Investment Can Go A Long Way
Employees at manufacturers often take their own expertise for granted. If they are producing marketing content that is highly technical, they may not realize they’re probably appealing more to their peers than to their ideal customers. Bringing in a resource who can disentangle the expert from the knowledge and turn that into digestible, helpful content for a shop’s target audience can change an entire business’s reality and outcomes. A shop doesn’t need to hire an entire marketing department to make marketing dollars turn into new (and more) business.
Favorite Answer From Rapid Fire Questions:
Her recommended work from home hack/secret: a productivity and focus method called The Pomodoro Technique. I had never heard of it before Kristen mentioned it, but I’m officially addicted!
-Lindsey Athanasiou, VP of Strategic Relationships at Paperless Parts