This week, I was asked why I do what I do. As I was answering, I realized that how I became a small business owner is a great example of why I work with small businesses!

For nine years, I worked as a marketer for both small and large companies in the architecture/engineering/construction industry. When the economy tanked, I lost my job. Since I’d been talking about starting my own business for years, I figured it was a good time to just do it.

My greatest work experiences had been with small businesses. I loved the passion and drive that small business owners had, and I loved the sense of community that builds among small business employees. But starting my own business was unlike anything I’d done before. I had no idea how one even went about starting a business. All I knew was that I wanted to help small businesses with their marketing.

I believe that small, local businesses are the most sustainable solutions to our challenged economy. I needed to figure out how I could use my own passion and skill to help. Most small businesses owners go into business because they either love what they do or because they’re awesome at it (or both!). That doesn’t mean they know how to market and sell their services. So, for me, this was a perfect fit: a group of people who have fire and passion about their business, who have a vested interest in succeeding, and who I could help get there.

I get that. I have that same fire myself. The marketing and social media services I provide are driven by my own passion and energy.

And that passion is vital to successful marketing.

For example, when I am teaching a client how to use social media, I always tell them to tap into their passion for what they do or what it offers. What are their clients excited about, and what do they want to discuss? Provide that to them in your social media marketing. The same thing is true of networking, giving presentations, writing white papers or articles, advertising, or creating marketing collateral.

And fire is contagious! If you are passionate about something, everyone you speak to will feel that. What’s more, if you tap into your clients’ passion and fire to meet their needs, you will increase the value you’re providing to them.

So what’s your fire? And your clients?