The Marketing Mill is an Independent Marketing Firm owned by Tiffany Miller and is located in Nashville, Tennessee.
[Writers note: This is a must read for Independent Authors, Artist, and/or Musicians. Using a marketing service can save you energy, time, and in the long run money. Writing and Publishing is only the beginning, your potential audience/customers’ have no idea what merchandise you have out there or even know who you are, without marketing. A good marketing firm will make that happen.]
Owner: The Marketing Mill.
Q: First off Tiffany I would like to think you for taking time to do this interview as I know you’re busy, getting ready for the events coming up in spring. How long has the Marketing Mill be in business and how did you come up with the concept?
“Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions Joe. I started doing marketing and promoting for a friend’s business in the fall of 2013. After realizing that this is something I am really good at, he encouraged me to start my own business. I started The Marketing Mill in 2014 and the vision has grown from there.”
Q: What are the aspirations for your company, let’s say in the short-term of a year from now?
“A year from now I hope to still be working with amazing clients such as yourself, add a few clients to my clientele, and have my promotions/street team established and working with a few businesses here in Nashville.”
Q: To help those reading better understand you services, let’s use the job I hired you to do for me last October, A Book Release/Signing Party. The Marketing Mill Website lists three different services: Social Media Marketing, Promotional Models, and Event Planning/Hosting. To let others know what you get for the all three, explain what you did for me leading up to the event and at the event, along with the category each fell into.
“For your event, we used a full-scale approach. This is actually my favorite, and the most successful way to reach an audience.
(a) Social Media Marketing – We create, maintain, and manage all aspects of a company, or individual’s social media. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google +, YouTube, LinkedIn, Yelp, etc. For your book release, we concentrated primarily on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, targeting a specific audience for these posts. We created an event, posted about it on a regular basis, and shared it across all aspects of social media, frequently using the photos and graphics designed by the other members of your team.
(b) Promotional Models – For this event, we used the Promotional Models in two different ways: First we used them to pass out fliers at events and festivals around town. I really think this helped bring in the local audience to the physical book release party, and also brought some attention to Atomic Nashville where the party was hosted. I believe for this specific event we attended 4 different festivals, and some of them we attended multiple days. We handed out over 1,000 fliers.
We also used our Promotional Models to assist with the event. I purchased costumes that matched the characters of your book, Witch’s Dilemma, for the girls and myself to wear. I ran the wine tasting, and two other members of my team rotated out between greeting guest and passing out hors d’oeuvres. The girls and myself interacted with the customers, made sure they were entertained and had everything that the needed.
(c) Event Planning – We handle all aspects of event planning. I worked for a small law firm for 10 years where I frequently was responsible for planning large events such as anniversary parties, etc. For your event we made sure he had everything planned and running smoothly. We provided costumes for the Promotional Models, scheduled and coordinated the girls, planned the hors d’oeuvres, did the shopping and prepared the cheese plates. We also provided serving trays, ice buckets, decorations for the event, and worked with you and Atomic Nashville to make sure that they were presented in a way that satisfied everyone.”
Q: What is branding? Can and Individual be a brand? If so, what service would they need from the Marketing Mill to accomplish this?
“Branding is creating a specific image for a person or business, so yes, an individual can be a brand. The Marketing Mill can help with this. One of the features we have recently started offering to our clients is photo sessions. We are working with a local photographer to provide professional-style photographs to our clients. Of course, there is an additional charge for this service. These photos can be used throughout the web and social media to help someone develop their image or brand.
Of course it doesn’t end there: Your image is developed slowly through your posts, the events you host, every little detail and aspect of your web presence. That’s what we’re there for, to make sure you present the best image/brand of you and your company.”
Q: Can your services be personalized to fit the individual needs of the customer according to his or her profession?
“Of course! I always offer our initial consultation for free. During that consultation, I sit down with the representative from the organization, or individual, and get an idea of what they are looking for. Some people don’t need a full-scale marketing plan. Each company is different and I want our work to be an agreement that everyone is comfortable with.”
Q: I know your fees are based on the needs of the client and I can attest that they are very reasonable for what you get. When you and the client agree on services and fees, is there a contract involved?
“I generally do not ask for a contract. I do usually ask for a 3 month commitment to my services. It takes AT LEAST 3 months to get a marketing campaign up and running. I also ask that all monthly fees be paid at the beginning of the month prior to the services being performed. On larger events such as your book release, I am able to work out payment plans so the customer can see that we are doing the work and not going to run away with their money.”
Q: When time comes to pay up, what types of payments do you accept, and when is payment due?
“Currently we only accept cash and check. I am in the process of looking into other options such as PayPal and taking credit cards online.”
Q: I read a post the other day on The Marketing Mill’s Facebook page about a street team. What is a Street Team, how do they work and what service are they under?
“Our street team consist of our Promotional Models. They would be called a Street Team when they go out on the streets for a business or individual and interact with possible customers/clients to bring in business.”
Q: Besides working events and anything else listed above what other services are the Promotional Models available for?
“Our models are available for a wide range of activities. Many of the members of our team are actors, bartenders and servers, models, makeup artists, they are also available to perform activities such as handing out samples, giving presentations and distributing fliers at events such as conventions and concerts, and many other task. If in doubt, ask. We have a very talented team of girls.”
Q: I’m sure this would fall under Social Media Marketing but correct me if I’m wrong. The question is, can your services be retained on a monthly basis to handle one’s Facebook page, and other accounts such as Twitter, etc.? If so, what does that include? Use a Facebook page as an example.
“You are correct, it does fall under Social Media Marketing. I have a couple of clients that have me on a monthly retainer. I maintain not only their Facebook pages, but all of their social media. The job varies based on the type of business, but we will use a small business as an example. Most businesses want daily posts. If they sell merchandise, we create content and post information daily about their sales, specials, etc. If it is a bar or venue, we post the night’s entertainment, food/drink specials, and share this information across multiple aspects of social media to reach as many people in their target audience as possible. We also create and run any paid ads that they want created, tweaking them to make sure they are reaching their target audience. We create event invitations and promote them throughout social media. We always work closely with one member of the staff to make sure that we have the most accurate information on specials/sales.”
Q: At the top of The Marketing Mill website is tab labeled ‘Live Laugh Love Nashville.’ What is that all about?
“Live Laugh Love Nashville is kind of my baby. I created The Marketing Mill as a way to help small businesses grow. I love watching numbers go up and helping people reach their dream. Live Laugh Love Nashville is another way to do that. I currently do 2 featured posts per week. One is #MusicMonday that I believe you are going to start assisting with. In our #MusicMonday post we try to feature local, Nashville musicians that are up and coming. Nashville is not an easy place to get started, so anytime you can get your name out there and have your music heard it is beneficial. We try to give local musicians one more chance to do that. Our other featured piece is #FeatureFriday. Our Feature Friday piece features a different local business each week. There are so many new businesses coming to Nashville on a daily basis that it is nearly impossible to keep up. Our feature Friday piece gives our followers a chance to keep up with what is coming to town, and the businesses a chance to spread the word that they are here, hopefully bringing them new customers/clients. My goal is to be able to start a #WellnessWednesday post as well that will cater to the wellness aspect of the small business world, such as massage studios, doctors offices, hair and nail salons, gyms, yoga studios, etc. You can find the page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loveofnashville“
Q: To wrap up the business side of the interview, tell us why clients should choose The Marketing Mill for their marketing needs?
“As previously stated, I created The Marketing Mill as a way to help local businesses grow. It is not only my business, it is my passion. I love seeing local people succeed and watching something that I have a hand in grow. Our goal is to work with the business or individual to create multiple level marketing plan that is tailored specifically to their needs. We don’t do cookie cutter marketing.”
Q: O.k., Tiffany, time to let your hair down so we can find out about the woman behind the business. I read on the website you worked 6 years in customer service and most recently, you were a paralegal for 10 years. What other jobs have you had in the past. Hey, I once washed cars, and was a cook at the Waffle House, so don’t be shy.
“Well, Joe, I’m not THAT old. Let’s see, I worked retail for 7 years. 6 of that I worked as a customer service representative. For the 10 years before I started The Marketing Mill, I was a Paralegal/Legal Assistant and I drove for Uber for about a year. That pretty much sums up my career history. :-)”
Q: Were you born and raised in Nashville. If not where?
“I was born just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN and raised in Murfreesboro and Lascassas. My family has resided in Nashville for over 250 years.”
Q: What do you like best about owning your own company, and what gives you the most headaches about it.
“The best thing about owning my own company is the flexibility to be able to help my family when the need arises. If they need me to go to a doctor’s appointment with them, I am able to do that. The thing that gives me the most headaches is everyone realizes I have some flexibility. They don’t understand that I still have to have time to get things done.”
Q: I know you are a workaholic, but in your downtime what do you like to do?
“I don’t really take much downtime. When I do, I spend time with my grandparents and close friends, I LOVE to hike and canoe, and sometimes you just might hear me singing karaoke around town so be sure to cover your ears.”
Q: If you go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be?
“There are so many places I would love to see. This questions is somewhat impossible to answer. In the United States, I would love to go out West. I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon in person, so that is something I have always wanted to do. As far as worldwide, I’d have to say Ireland, Italy, and Egypt. I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids.”
Q: Are you a sports fan and if so what sport and who is your team?
“I am not a huge sports fan. If I had to choose though I would say hockey and, of course, I would have to go with the Nashville Predators.”
Q: What is your favorite food and beverage? In case you decided to take to me lunch after this, I’ll know whether to decline or accept.
“Food: Prime Rib or Wonton Soup.
Beverage: Coffee and Sweet Tea.”
Q: That brings us to question 20. Once again thank you for your time and I wish you and The Marketing Mill much success on all levels. With the strange winter we have been having in Nashville this year, what is your favorite season?
“I’m a Summer girl, so, many of my hobbies are outdoors and I absolutely LOVE water. If I can be on the river, in a pool, the ocean, or even have my feet in a creek, I’m happy.”
To see Tiffany and her team in action check out the photos from the Witch’s Dilemma Book Release/Signing party on 10-21-2016. This is the event I hired The Marketing Mill to handle.
The Marketing Mill
Connect with The Marketing Mill and TMM Promo Team on Social Media:
The Marketing Mill
TMM Promo Team
[Writers note. This interview was originally posted to Joseph Clay -Author The Official blog on February 22, 2017. Once IAA was formed the interview was transferred to this site on 3-20-2017.]