What Can You Expect

In this post I’ll discuss using passion in your marketing in two ways:

1) How you should let your own passion guide what you do. Be passionate, do excellent things.

2) How you should look for passionate people and work with them. Honor excellence in others. Collaborate to compete.

The Sigatoka Sand Dunes

Last year, when I visited Fiji, the highlight of my trip wasn’t lounging in a hammock on the beach sipping a Coke (although that was awesome too). The best part of Fiji was when I got to run up the face of a sand dune.

My family + cousins climbing the Sigatoka Sand Dunes

Tucked on the coast, a short ways off of the main highway, are the Sigatoka Sand Dunes. As we pulled up to the dunes, a tin shack stood next to the dirt road, and a lanky teenager collected our entrance fee: $5 for tourists, $2 for locals.

We parked at the base of a massive dune. As I kicked off my sandals and got ready to run up the face of the dune, I thought of all of the rugby players who had trained at this very spot, punishing themselves on brutal “Leg Days.”

Fijian Rugby Background

You see, Fijian rugby teams—from secondary schools to the Fijian National Team—have made regular training pilgrimages to the Sigatoka Dunes for decades. The most notable team to train there is the Fiji National 7’s team who won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2016.

Fiji National 7’s Rugby Team training at the Sigatoka Dunes  |  Photograph by Ben Ryan

This gold medal is not only Fiji’s first gold medal, it is the country’s only Olympic medal of any kind.

And, what’s more, the Fijian team didn’t just win, they destroyed their opponents, winning 43-7 in the final match (If you want to see that amazing match, watch it here on YouTube, it’s only 20 minutes).

Minting a New Seven Dollar Bill

As you can probably imagine, every single person in Fiji went absolutely nuts when they won the gold medal. I’ve got family there, and they told me how everything in the country was still during the game, and how the islands reverberated with celebration.

Yet, the celebrations didn’t stop there.

The Fijian government, in a gesture to honor the team and their accomplishment, minted a special edition 7’s seven dollar bill. Here’s a picture of the one that I got while I was there:

I love this. I love how passionate everyone in Fiji was about the success. I love how prominently they honored the team. And I love how willing they were to do something so official to show their pride.

Marketing Lesson 1: Let Your Passion Guide You

No matter what you are doing, you will be at your best when you are involved with something you are passionate about. So find ways to tap into that passion and spend your time nurturing it. Here are a couple of ideas of how you can do that:

Idea 1: Set out to practice a new skill, or perfect one that you love doing. Document the process and share your experience in the following ways.

  • Document the process with Instagram Stories
  • Write a blog post and share it via email
  • Announce the new blog post via a Facebook post, on Instagram, and with Instagram Stories
  • Cut a video for YouTube about the experience

Idea 2: Teach someone how to do what you are good at. Your skills are probably second nature, so step back and teach one of the steps that you go through.

  • Use Instagram Stories to run a poll and find out what people want to see
  • Document the process with Instagram Stories
  • Turn on Facebook Live/Instagram Live during a portion of the experience.
    • Try going live during your setup. Then mention that you’ll be sharing more of the experience on Instagram Stories—so that people have an incentive to follow you on both Facebook and Instagram.
  • Write a tutorial about the process and house it permanently on your website/blog. Announce the tutorial on Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and email.

Marketing Lesson 2: Find Passionate People

Sometimes I find myself in need of some motivation, in need of a spark to get myself going. When you find yourself in similarly brain-dead situations, look for someone passionate and work with them.

Collaboration is the most powerful way to motivate yourself, come up with new ideas, and inspire growth.

Also, looking outward is really healthy for those of us who are often forced to self-promote. If you run a blog, have a social following, or cultivate an email list then you know what I’m talking about. It can be exhausting and, sometimes, soul-draining to focus on yourself too often.

So look outward. Find someone who is passionate and talented, and simply focus on what they do. Honor them. Promote them. Learn from them. And do it without expecting anything in return.

Here are a couple of ideas of how to do this:

Idea 1: Find someone who is really good at what you love, and spend some time with them. Share your experience:

  • Introduce the person via Instagram Stories
  • Do a Facebook Live/Instagram Live video where you show ‘behind the scenes’ of the activity
  • Do a Facebook Live/Instagram Live where you do a quick interview of the person. Ask them both serious and silly questions.
  • After the experience, write a reflection about it as a blog post (“Three Amazing Life Lessons I Learned from ______”). Announce the new blog post on Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and email.
  • Hire a videographer to document the experience and post the video on YouTube. Share snippets from the video on Instagram.

Idea 2: Identify an inspiring person and interview them.

  • Share some re-posts from the person during the days leading up to the interview. Use the caption to explain why you love that person and their work.
  • Go live at some point. Sometimes going live before or after an interview can be a way to drum up interest. Sometimes going live during the interview is the better choice.
  • Transcribe the interview and post it as a blog post. Announce the new blog post on Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and email.
  • Take some behind-the-scenes photos and post them to Instagram and/or Instagram Stories.
  • Record the interview and post it to YouTube.

The Power of the Sand Dunes

As I started running up that sand dune, I couldn’t help but picture all of the rugby players who had ascended it before me. It felt like running the wrong way up an escalator, that no matter how hard I ran the top didn’t get any closer.

But I was determined to run all the way to the top, determined to tap into the mystique of the place, and get even a tiny bit of the power of training at the dunes. The passion of the Fijian Rugby team has definitely spilled over and inspired me. And my legs burned with the effort, so the next day I found a nice hammock and lounged, sipping a Coke and listening to the waves.