1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Leslie Heindel. I’m a 5th generation New Orleanian and have been a REALTOR since 2014. My niche market is single women, but I help all kinds of folks. I am super passionate about shopping locally and I’m very community focused.
2. What was your inspiration behind the 365 New Orleans campaign? Why the emphasis on artists?
I thought it would be a great way to highlight small businesses, artists, and non-profits in New Orleans and the metro area. I wanted people to know it was completely free and there were no gimmicks – because we had pushback when we started. People wanted to know what the catch was. Artists are self-employed and they are their own business. We have so many amazing artists in New Orleans that the project could have just been about them. However, not enough of them get exposure or know how to market themselves well. I say this as an opportunity to give them a shout-out.
3. How many days have you completed so far, and what are a couple favorite people/places?
Today (6/17) we are at Day 331. Oh god, so many of them are my favorites. Angela Grillo who is a dream reader was pretty amazing. I ended up hiring her and just think she’s supremely talented. Desmond Melancon is an artist who does hand beading. His work is so intricate and phenomenal. Mose, Mary, and Me makes pop-culture candles. I own so many of them and was excited to meet the creator. oh! And NOLA Sips. I saw a woman selling adult-beverages that looked like grown up Capri Suns outside of the Beyonce concert. I KNEW I had to track her down – and I did!
4. What’s the biggest surprise since you started?
The reception it’s received. Many of the featured people have told me they have gotten new clients and that was all I ever hoped for. Also, while I hoped it went well, I had so many supporters trying to help me get to the finish line.
5. How do you measure the ROI of your efforts?
There is no ROI because that’s not what this is about. While I have picked up some business from it – not everything is about making money. This was never about that. 365 New Orleans is about promoting our small businesses and shining the light on them – not me. I’ve paid a social media manager, I am throwing a party for all the participants. This is a project strictly coming from the heart.
6. What your advice to other agents/brokers considering taking this approach?
HAVE A GAME PLAN. This is a massive undertaking. Lots of people start and never finish. If you don’t think you have enough people and places for 365 days – then do it another way. Do one a week then! If I could turn back time, I would have had a month worth of interviews before starting. I only had 7 interviews completed when I launched. It was a huge gamble, but it paid off.
If you don’t have the time to post everyday, get a social media manager. It was the best money I ever spent.