Intro by Skip Cohen

Get yourself signed up if you’re not a regular recipient of Bev Walden’s Tuesday Tidbits. With every email blast, she’s sharing great content and ideas to help you focus on how you run your business.

Today’s post is perfect for a Throwback Thursday pitch. While it’s based on something Bev wrote over ten years ago, it’s the perfect reminder that, unlike a carton of milk, good marketing has no expiration date.

We live in a time of incredible analysis and hundreds of tools you can use to measure response time, demographics, speed of response, sell-through, and the list goes on and on. But what always amazes me is how the simplicity of good basic marketing escapes so many of you.

For example, too many of you are worried about finding NEW customers. While expanding your database is important, in the process, you’ve done nothing with your previous clients. Furthermore, you’ve done nothing to keep the relationships with these people alive and well. You’re chasing newbies and ignoring your best supporters.

I love this list of Bev’s because it’s taken me right back to basics. Without a great foundation to build your business, the “house” you’re building will collapse!


Unpacking from our move to a new house has uncovered many forgotten treasures. Recently, I found some of my journals from over a decade ago. This page is from one of them. 

“The 7 Immutable WALDEN Laws of Marketing”

I was struck by how much these statements are still true when it comes to marketing. Delivery avenues have changed immensely, but these principles have remained solid.

  1. Be persistent. We learned this principle of marketing from our English bulldog named Alexander Nikon Rockefeller Walden…aka Rock. He LOVED water bottles to chew up, flatten and conquer. He would do anything, wait any amount of time to get one and he took every opportunity to grab one if left unattended. This simple trait taught us so much about being persistent and never giving up. Here he is doing the bulldog stare as he waits for a water bottle!
  • Design Fluency. Yes, yes, and yes! We have many more tools to do our own graphic design today, but many of us should not:-) If you don’t understand design and color principles, hire it out. 
  • Make it about others. We found this out when we started the campaign we called Images That Speak and then, Your Life, Our Art, where we asked our clients about their stories…the why of getting their portrait done. Then, when we did exhibits (which was our principal way of marketing a decade ago), we printed their stories and put them with the portraits hanging in the exhibit. Our business took off when we changed our focus to the client and away from us.
  • Market the result. How does your art make people feel when they look at your work? Market that instead of finishes, substrates, or any other “factual” items. Clients want to feel…touch their hearts with your marketing.
  • The “E” Factor or the Emotional Factor has guided us for decades in how we market. We add emotion into every marketing piece as well as every step along the way when a client does business with us. From the initial contact, the planning session, the session itself, the selection appointment, and the delivery, we use emotion. Emotion is a powerful element.

“Studies show that people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make decisions. Emotional responses to marketing actually influence a person’s intent and decision to buy more than the content of an ad or marketing material.

Out of 1,400 successful advertising campaigns, those with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content.

Emotional marketing helps people decide with their hearts, which actually has more influence on buying than their minds.”

6.  Careful wording. We choose our wording very carefully, using words that reinforce our “luxury” products and business. You won’t hear us say shoot, picture, snap, pic, etc. Instead, we say portrait or image and call our work art pieces. Becoming aware is your first step.

7. Impact, Initial and Final. There is so much competition for a prospect’s attention; you need to break through with “impactful” marketing. The 6 steps above all help create impact. You have only 6 seconds to make an impression. Use it well.

I hope these 7 points will help you as you market.