Charlie Whyman, Curious Marketing – InnovaBuzz 297

Charlie Whyman

Charlie Whyman, The Curious Marketing Club

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Charlie Whyman. Charlie started her career by studying engineering however after chasing her curiosity she found herself drawn to marketing and business leadership.

Charlie believes in 3 things when it comes to marketing – Curiosity, Connection and Commitment and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. During her career working across multiple industries, she realised that too many people find marketing overwhelming, frustrating and that it usually ends up at the bottom of the ‘to do’ pile or the top of the ‘I’m avoiding list’.

Charlie’s now on a mission to help as many business owners, founders and one-person marketing teams as possible discover simple and effective ways to market their business that not only works for them but that’s enjoyable too. She believes that marketing needs to be authentic and ethical and that you are best placed to drive your own marketing. She doesn’t ‘do’ marketing for people but instead shows them what to do, how to do it, and also offers lots of support and guidance around how to get it done. She does this through training, coaching, and via her virtual club – The Curious Marketing Club. Charlie is also the host of The Curiosity Key podcast.

In our discussion, Charlie and I talked about:

  • Using curiosity as a marketing tool
  • Why market behaviour is an important thing to consider before you do any marketing
  • Why empathy and compassion are required now more than ever

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Ask your customers how they are. Unless you know how somebody is or what's going on in their world, you can't sell effectively to them and you shouldn't do either. @Charlie_Whyman on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with Charlie Whyman of The Curious Marketing Club

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • If you want to do best by your customers, you really need to understand where they are, what their needs are, and how they behave when trying to get what they need. The more you that you can understand these things, the more effective your marketing will be.
  • Think about what you can automate that could free up your time to start building relationships. Automation can save you time in marketing but you have to be careful not to compromise the importance of human to human interactions.
  • Ask your customers how they are. Unless you know how somebody is or what’s going on in their world, you can’t sell effectively to them and you shouldn’t be either. 
  • Just because you have a solution to someone’s problem doesn’t mean that the customer needs it there and then.
  • Listening is one of the most important skills that any business person needs.
  • Marketing runs through the entire business. The process doesn’t end when you get the sale. Marketing influences the sales process as well as the customer service process.
  • When you are able to sell more to your existing clients and make their experience better, you create an army of raving fans who will then act as advocates and referral partners for you. Increase the lifetime value of your customer base by doing the right thing for them.
  • LinkedIn gives you a database of your entire market right at your fingertips. 
  • The most effective way to start a conversation with a person who is an active LinkedIn user is to engage publicly with their content, and then, follow it up with a message of acknowledgment around the piece of content that they have shared on their profile.
  • Do not offer your products right away. Begin your conversation around mutual interests. Talk about something that’s relevant to them or something that they are likely to engage in a conversation with. 
  • The most important thing about sales and marketing is to be genuinely interested in your customer’s response. Don’t wait to have the opportunity to tell them all about you and what it is that you do. You have to actively listen to what they are saying and understand how they are behaving.
  • Empathy and compassion go a long way.
  • To identify your client, think about who do you most want to have a conversation with, where they hang out, and how do they behave when they are there. Figure out the type of content that your ideal client is likely to consume on these platforms. The more that you can understand who it is that you are targeting and how they are behaving, the better you can approach them.
  • LinkedIn is an accidental personal brand. You don’t know who’s watching or reading your stuff until you have those face to face conversations, and most of the time, a lot of the inbound inquiries you get are from people who are not actively engaging with your content. 
  • You need to have an integrated marketing approach. Keep in mind that the majority of your leads have already done their research before they contact you, so you need to be consistent. You need to be authentic while still marketing the things that your audience really cares about and wants to consume.
  • Listen to your market. You need to actively have conversations with the people you are targeting. Don’t be afraid to have these one to one conversations.
  • People are more willing to tell you what they don’t like than what they do like. When having a sales negotiation meeting, instead of asking someone what he wants, ask him what he doesn’t want. It will give you a really good understanding of where they are and a different perspective that can then help you with your sale.
  • There is no cookie-cutter method for marketing. It all depends on who you are targeting and how you want to do business. 
  • Learning through other people’s stories and experiences is an effective way of learning and understanding what could work for you.
  • Purpose has to come before and above profit. People have to come above everything else. If you care about your purpose and your people, profit will come, and it will come in abundance.
  • Look at the people you admire and how they are doing. Look at what works for them and ask yourself how it could work for you.
  • Keep being curious. Allow yourself that breathing space and time to ask yourself some really important open questions.
  • Business leaders who put purpose and people ahead of profit are in a more positive frame of mind than people who focus entirely on profit. 
  • Positive thoughts breathe positive actions and also open your eyes to new opportunities.
  • People are now watching very carefully at how businesses are behaving. If you are a business leader, now is the time to come out and talk about how you are leading through this situation, how your people are important to you, and where you see things going in the future.
  • Stop the blame culture. Nothing good comes out of blaming people. 
Purpose has to come before and above profit. People have to come above everything else. If you care about your purpose and your people, profit will come, and it will come in abundance. @Charlie_Whyman on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Charlie’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Be curious. Allow yourself time to be curious. Schedule it in your diary. 
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Work across different industries. The power of diverse thinking and diverse perspectives can help you develop an idea further. Surround yourself with different perspectives and other innovative people that don’t always work in your space.
  3. Favourite tool for innovationTrello
  4. Keep project/client on track – Accountability. Set out your intentions for the week on every Monday, check-in every Wednesday, and celebrate the good things that have happened every Friday. Rinse and repeat. If you can do that in a public space so that other people can see what those intentions are, you are far more likely to achieve it.
  5. Differentiate – Be yourself. Don’t be afraid of who you are. Just in that process of being yourself, you will stand out. 

To Be a Leader

Be more curious and allow yourself time to be curious about the things that you are interested in. Follow your curiosity because you will never know where it will lead you.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Charlie through her website and on LinkedIn

Suggested Guest

Charlie suggested I interview Rebecca Godfrey, author of the Leadership Vaccine and founder of Etheo. So Rebecca, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Charlie Whyman.


Cool things about Charlie

  • She’s a Level 2 Rowing Coach.
  • She’s a really big outdoors person. She loves hiking, traveling, and seeing the world.
  • She’s a volunteer mentor at Tech Manchester, a business mentor program for early-stage technology companies.
Be more curious and allow yourself time to be curious about the things that you are interested in. Follow your curiosity because you will never know where it will lead you. @Charlie_Whyman on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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