A conversation with Lisa Landry, Savvy Workshop
For anyone who has met Lisa you know about her genuine enthusiasm for her work, her clients and for connecting people. Her energy is infectious, which makes it no surprise that she loves to sing—and we know music makes the world go ‘round. We sat down with Lisa recently to learn what brought her to start her own business and what inspires her about the work she does so that we can come away with a little extra skip in our step.
Lisa has been involved with NHBSR since 2005—first as an attendee at conferences, meetings and socials and later as an NHBSR ambassador. It was as an ambassador that she learned more about the breadth and scope of the NHBSR mission, which ultimately led to her getting more deeply involved. Today we call her a close friend and are grateful to have her as a major collaborator and supporter of our outreach and communications. But let’s step back and look at how she came to be where she is today.
As with many people, the decision to make a change in work often has a lot to do with the desire for a lifestyle change. In Lisa’s case she had worked for a major firm for almost 10 years, working with major corporations on their branding and managing their collateral materials on press. This involved lots of travel and time on airplanes, which was fun until her first son was born in 1997. Wanting to be present for her young son she tried working at home part time, while still trying to balance the traveling required for her job. She found it really hard to not be home at the end of the day when work called her away. One time in particular stands out in her mind—she was in Cincinnati for a press check which went late, resulting in her missing her plane by 5 minutes. And as luck would have it that was the last flight for the night. We know that life’s difficult moments often give us clarity as was the case for Lisa. She was determined to make a change and a very international one that would support a lifestyle that supported better work/life balance.
Lisa didn’t want to give up on her career, but she wanted to figure out how she could do it differently and on her own terms. She wanted to continue to work, contribute to her clients and community, and stay relevant while also being present for her family. She had a great line—“If you don’t stay in it, you don’t grow with it.” So she set off….
In 1998 Lisa started her first business, which focused on print and brand management, which was where the focus was at that time. She recognized that in order to be home more she needed to find clients that were in her own backyard. There weren’t many Fortune 500 companies in her neighborhood so she really had to think about how her services could be relevant to small and medium size businesses. She shifted her focus in how she talked about her core competencies so that they could translate to what smaller companies needed. It’s hard to imagine Lisa ever being a wallflower, but she describes herself as one when she went to her first Greater Manchester Chamber event since she knew hardly anyone at that point. She had a big network in her industry, but not in her backyard. Like with most networks, it all starts with making one new acquaintance and then a second…and from there the community grows. From wallflower to social butterfly!
Lisa discovered that she really enjoyed working with business owners, entrepreneurs and smaller marketing teams. While these businesses couldn’t afford to hire her full time she found there was an opportunity to add value to their work as an outside consultant, as a marketing or strategy person. This meant she had the chance to work with a wide array of industries – from health care to financial services and everything in between. The research aspect of her work is clearly the fascinating part. Like donning a costume to get into character, Lisa puts herself in her clients’ shoes whenever she writes or designs for them. Having a thorough understanding of who they are, what they do, who they serve, why their product / service is important, how they are different, and why their product matters to those they serve is essential. Only then can she really start digging in.
While printing was a core competency early on, the digital world took off which motivated Lisa to a shift her business model to respond to these new emerging tools in the marketplace—websites, social media and content creation. While larger companies had whole departments that focused on marketing and communications, smaller companies didn’t. Lisa found that there was a real need for helping smaller companies in this rapidly changing world. And thus, Savvy Workshop, a multi-channel marketing company, was born.
It is clear from speaking with Lisa and seeing her in action that she loves connecting people and businesses. She has a lot of tools in her tool belt and gets excited about helping businesses solve challenges, however big or small. She brings an objective eye to situations that need a fresh perspective with the goal of bringing out the best in her clients. Savvy Workshop is very B2B focused—with LinkedIn being a significant tool. Lisa has helped NHBSR a great deal on LinkedIn, so we have seen her magic first hand. Last October, Savvy Workshop became a Hubspot partner. This has been a great addition to their toolbox, now having a platform that takes advantage of all social media avenues and allows for efficient and effective InBound Marketing Campaign Management.
When asked what she would like NHBSR members to know about her and Savvy Workshop, Lisa shares—she is a teacher at heart and loves opportunities to share what she knows. You can see this through conversation or workshops that she holds. She also loves event-based marketing. These type of events involve the whole tool kit—starting with a vision and from there creating all of the components that lead to the event itself. NHBSR certainly saw this when we worked together on the Just One Thing / Sustainability Slam last fall (don’t forget to mark your calendar for the 2nd annual Sustainability Slam on October 20th). Creating relationships is paramount to who she is—those where there is a true partnership. She is creative, a true partner, loyal, and committed to clients’ success. Networking face to face is where these relationships start, but where Lisa wields her wand is helping these conversations stay alive after this and staying top of mind.
We hope that you’ll stop by the Savvy Workshop exhibitor table at the Spring Conference and meet her colleague Chelsea. Unfortunately, Lisa won't be there for you to ask about how the recent Barry Manilow concert was. Some of us are just a little bit envious that she saw this late ‘70s/early ‘80s icon. After all, he “writes the songs that make the whole world sing” and we can bet that Lisa was singing along! We read about Bob Dylan stopping Barry at a party back in 1988, hugging him and saying, "Don't stop what you're doing, man. We're all inspired by you.” We hope that Lisa won’t stop doing what she’s doing, because we at NHBSR are inspired by what she does!