We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Porter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by the businesses, non-profit leaders, and owners who have kept working since March of last year. Restaurant owners who invested in branding and marketing despite sales being two-thirds of what they were the previous year keep me inspired. I’m in awe of the franchisees that did not renew their franchise agreements and instead launched their own brands. School superintendents who did more student home visits than ever before and kept their students at grade level are my heroes. Manufacturers who opened, funded and staffed classrooms in their facilities so their team’s children could do online learning while their parents worked are amazing. Organizations that jumped into – and not away from – their members, providing revenue-earning and networking opportunities in ways they never have before are true innovators.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets us apart goes back to our company name — Front Porch Marketing.
Some people tell us it is unusual. But to us, it’s not unusual at all. It harkens back to the good ol’ days when problems were discussed openly and honestly, right on the front porch. A little bit of camaraderie, shared values and mutual respect goes a long way in creative problem-solving.
Straight talk, aligned values, true partnerships and ongoing dialogue are the values that set Front Porch Marketing apart.
We partner with non-profits, start-ups, franchisees and SMBs to rock their topline revenue by providing strategic marketing, branding, advertising, and marketing communication programs. They think of us as an extension of their marketing department. Everything they do, we do. Sometimes we become their marketing department. From website maintenance and special events to advertising campaigns, social media, digital strategy and more – we’re in sync.
We love our clients, of course, but we can only make a difference in their business if they let us. Our best clients are passionate and excited about their work and are open to new ideas to leap ahead. They dive into the strategy debate with us and get their hands dirty. And like us, they never rest to move their business forward.
My career has been filled with so many wonderful highlights, but there have also been moments that have forced me to learn about myself and my capabilities. I spent 17 years working for other companies before starting my own business, Front Porch Marketing. To make the leap, it took some encouragement from my mentors and tremendous support from my family. It has been one of the best decisions I ever made. Every day I surround myself with a fabulous team and fantastic clients that love to build ideas with us, and then step back and trust us to deftly execute the strategies with elevated thinking.
I’m surrounded by smart people. I am continuously learning from my team and clients. Our mission is also one of service, service to ourselves, the team, our families, our clients and the communities in which we live and work.
Here are some things that help guide me in my personal life and in my work that I also share with my team and others:
1. Practice self-care. I think it is important for every business owner and leader to take care of themselves first so there is enough fuel in the tank to take care of ours. This is something with which I struggle, and I do wish I would have learned much earlier.
2. Find the joy. No matter how bad a situation can be, there is always something happy hovering around it. Find it. Celebrate it.
3. Be the light. Offer kindness and encouragement to everyone. We need more light in our world today.
4. Trust your gut. If you have a strong emotional intelligence, acknowledge it. It is a thing. Intuition and instinct are carefully honed over a lifetime and are some of your most valuable tools of discernment.
5. Let others be themselves and you do you. I surround myself with people who think differently than I do. It makes me smarter. It makes my team and our work better. Embrace diverse ways of thinking and rock on.
6. Don’t be the biggest barrier to your own success. Get out of your own way and get stuff done. If you can’t seem to get something done or solve a problem, delegate it to the smart people around you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My home and the beach are my habitats. But, I love high tea at Chocolate Angel in Richardson or Plano. I’m also a big fan of Tex-Mex food, so Rafa’s or Fernando’s would be a must. Long walks in my neighborhood or biking on our new neighborhood bike trail is always a great time. Heritage Homestead is fantastic for a slice of local history. The Dallas Museum of Art is a favorite. A walk through Southern Methodist University campus is always a fun time down memory lane. Go Ponies! Dessert at JD’s Chippery. And last but not least, we would end the day at Mustang Donuts (the best place for donuts).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutouts go to my family who put up with my sometimes 14-hour days and working weekends, my team who has tirelessly kept going and has never shined brighter and our clients for whom we are forever grateful. The Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business national program, the local business program at Dallas College, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce – all deserve credit as well as they continue to do so much for small business owners.