Yolanda Fintschenko is a technical marketing specialist who recently started a technical marketing company, Common SciSense. Yolanda (Yoli to her friends) has a Ph.D. in bioanalytical chemistry and an impressive resume in microfluidics and technical marketing.
Yoli generously agreed to answer a few questions about her inspiration, her creative process, what she’s learned while creating her company’s website, and more.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Yoli as much as I have!
What are you working on now?
I am working on a couple of projects that I love. One is helping a scientist who is a consultant create a product-based business. This involves mainly coaching her on a market-based discovery approach and helping her connect that to her talents, skills and interests. She’s made enormous progress and has gone from the idea generation stage to developing a product based company with two product lines, one of which is the subject of an SBIR proposal she is writing this fall.
The second project is helping an appointment reminder software service communicate directly with their different segments of users. This is an exciting project to me because the company is aggressively pursuing growth among clients who come from a wide variety of industries from hair salons to tax attorneys. It’s fascinating to learn what links and separates these customers as we develop market strategies and communications.
What big idea inspires and drives what you do?
Ironically, the big idea that inspires and drives what I do is the conviction that small changes have a bigger impact than big changes. I look for the small ideas, the small pivots, the small adjustments. My favorite question to pose to myself and others is “What is the next smallest step?” I apply this to the work that I do. I am filled with awe at what my clients have accomplished on their own. I firmly believe that the discipline of the small is what can help their big ideas and big ambitions take shape.
What does your day-to-day creative routine look like?
I read and listen a lot. I am an information junkie. It begins with general information, like current events, then I move to the latest in science and technology. Finally, I monitor my own industry sites like Copyblogger to help me improve my own writing and marketing. When I am specifically working on a marketing project, I read as much as I can about the customer, the customer’s industry, and about their ideal customer or customers, research online a bit about them (trade organizations, their industry’s media), and try and imagine the customer and the voice that resonates. I also like to talk to both my client and their customers simply to elicit their perspectives so I can listen. Then I look at what I consider to be an ideal example or best case of what I think I should produce and see what I can learn or imitate. From there, I know I make a lot of changes as the project requirements never match the ideal case. I feel like this is where my creativity comes into play – working with all this information and inspiration in the boundaries of the project and the environment.
Your work includes technical subject matter and creative strategy and communications. How do you balance the technical with the creative?
Personally, I don’t distinguish between technical subject matter and creative strategy and communications. In my mind there is no separation. Technical information and work are an expression of creativity that uses a different palette than an artist. However, when I help my clients, the creative expression is the challenge of picking the technical portion of my client’s product or service that is important to the customer’s problem or perspective. Sometimes the technical details of the product itself are irrelevant to the customer, and other times they are very important. It depends on the product, industry, and my client’s customers. The balance comes from putting myself in the place of my client’s customer and working from there.
You recently released your company’s website and other marketing materials for your new business. What have you learned about these projects that would be helpful for other new business owners?
I learned it was very important to have four elements fueling these projects: 1) Deadlines, 2) A creative partner, 3) External inspiration, and 4) Information. I can’t think of a single thing I accomplished without these four elements.
Your new website is evolving, where would you love for it to go from here?
I would love to use it more to create a conversation with my clients and potential clients. I’d like the conversation to be one of mutual inspiration – I inspire them in a way that helps them achieve their goals, and their inspiration fuels both my creativity and product/service development.
Thank you Yoli for taking time to answer my questions!
To learn more about Yoli and her technical marketing business, please visit her website, Common SciSense.