Success Stories

Relationship Marketing Weekly: Holiday Lighting Edition

This week’s show we feature Steve Jadczak. Steve is owner of Light Up My Holiday, find out how by implementing relationship marketing into his business, it has made him the premier lighting company in Orange County.

Kody Bateman: This is Kody Bateman. Welcome to another version of our Relationship Marketing Weekly show. I’m very excited to have a special guest with us today. You could see he’s in a unique setting, sunny Southern California.

We have with us today owner of Light Up My Holiday. Please welcome to our show, Mr. Steve Jadczak. Steve, welcome to our show today.

Steve Jadczak: Thank you so much for having me Kody. I really appreciate it.

Kody Bateman: Well, I will tell you, I’m really excited to have you with us today. We actually were recently at a book tour down in San Diego and we did a training on our relationship marketing system down there and you got up as a volunteer and you shared with our audience several things that you do with our system. I was so impressed. I was just so impressed with some of the things that you do.

Again you’re in the lighting company, the holiday lighting company. I think the name of your company says it all, Light Up My Holiday. Can you just tell us a little bit about first of all where you’re sitting? I mean this is kind of cool. Normally people are in an office or something. Tell us a little bit about where you’re at right now.

Steve Jadczak: Sure. So I watched the Relationship Marketing Weekly, several of your podcasts, if you will. I noticed the different background is an office building or someone’s home. I think there was one guy shooting from a bucket truck up in the air. So I wanted to be a little unique as well.

This is one of our customers. You can see back here it’s a nice, large home here in Southern California at 10,000 square feet. This is the type of home that we usually decorate.

Kody Bateman: So this is one of your customers. You will probably be putting lights on that home sometime between now and Christmastime I guess.

Steve Jadczak: Yeah, this is actually the backyard. So we do the front and the entryway. This is a house. So maybe in November. But we start hanging Christmas lights here in two weeks.

Kody Bateman: So you’re a young guy and you’ve been doing this for quite a while. So you got a pretty unique story of how you started your company. Can you just tell us a little bit about your background and how you got this whole thing going?

Steve Jadczak: Yeah, absolutely. So when I was 10 years old, my parents asked if I want to decorate the front of the house for Christmas with the lights. My mom would do the Christmas tree and she sent me outside to do the front.

So I did it the first year and it turned out pretty good. So she asked if I wanted to do it again the second year. This time I went across the street and drew up a sketch of the house and remembered what we did the previous year and built upon that. It looked really nice the second year. Neighbors saw me doing that and asked if I could do something similar for them. I was maybe 12 years old at that point.

Kody Bateman: Wow.

Steve Jadczak: And just kind of took off. By the time I was 15, I had 45 customers in the neighborhood. In high school, doing lights after school on weekends and here we are today fulltime doing shopping centers, city halls and these giant mansions.

Kody Bateman: That is amazing. So how many years in business?

Steve Jadczak: In business technically five years. But consecutively, I’ve been doing this for other people for 20.

Kody Bateman: Incredible. So you got a ton of experience, started when you were very young. You have that entrepreneurial spirit, which is super cool. Well, you do a lot of things very uniquely. You have a lot of repeat customers and a lot of referral business. I know that you’re a big advocate of BNI, Business Network International. Tell us a little bit about what you do at BNI and how it helps your business.

Steve Jadczak: So I joined BNI about a year ago and I saw the value in having several people in the room do different things. So I saw it as – my customers have homes and they need – when I go into their home to meet with them, to learn about how I could help them, they usually voice a concern about – you know, for example, I need this thing painted or my gardener, I would like to switch gardeners. So I always said, “Well, I don’t do that.”

Now with the value of being in a BNI chapter and access to the entire network of all cities and all chapters, I say, “Oh, yeah. I know someone who does that,” and I go look in the chapter roster and find someone locally. So I have the answer for everything. I don’t necessarily have to do it.

Kody Bateman: So it’s a great way for you to not only receive referrals but to give referrals and that’s what BNI is all about, is show up to be of service to other people and that’s what we’re about too here at SendOutCards. We have the premier relationship marketing system and we try to teach people that concept, the concept of you just want to put yourself out there and give of yourself to others and let reciprocity take care of itself.

Now you do a lot of unique things. So you go to BNI. You do some referral swapping at BNI. You use our system where you send out a real tangible greeting card, sometimes gifts, and you do it in some pretty unique ways.

In fact you have a – you told me before the show, you actually have an example of a card that you recently sent out and by the way, you actually have not been using SendOutCards that long. How long has it been?

Steve Jadczak: I started in August of last year and I have to be honest, I was only sending maybe one card a month, maybe two cards a month and when the unlimited plan came out, the subscription-based $95 a month, I was notified of that and immediately saw the potential and within the first 30 days, I was sending 400 cards a month, individual unique card sends, not in a group. So kind of overnight I became what you guys call a level four card sender.

Kody Bateman: Yeah, we certainly provided an opportunity for you to do that. Let’s talk about that for a second. Now that you are – just so our listeners understand, level four is when it – it takes four levels to create a habit at something.

So when you say level four card sender, it means you are a habitual card sender now. You send cards to basically everybody. So what is the advantage of a heartfelt card send is where you put a unique message on the inside of a card. You’re doing a lot of those now. What’s the advantage of that? Because a lot of people will say, “Well, it just takes too much time for me to write in a personal message. I need something more automated.”

Steve Jadczak: Sure.

Kody Bateman: Why should they pay attention to writing a heartfelt message?

Steve Jadczak: Well, you really talked about two things there. The first I want to touch on is it doesn’t take a lot of time. I always send a card from my phone and so if I meet someone in public and I get their business card or if I find them on Facebook and I look up where they live based on their business, I can go on my phone, open the app, drop a picture to the front, drop a picture to the inside and write a note, hit “send”.

For me it’s less than a minute and a half I would say and just because I send out so many, I’ve gotten pretty fast at it. So it doesn’t take a lot of time.

The second part you said was sending a unique message. I was sending like a “Nice to meet you!” card. I would meet someone. I would send them a card and I would put in the same message in every card and someone responded and they said they got my automated card. So I thought, “Well, gee, I must be doing this wrong.”

So, now every single time, I start with a blank slate and I write a message specifically for them. So they know I wrote it. I read it again and I said to myself, “At the end when they read this, will they know it’s for them? Will they smile or will they throw this away?” and as long as the two – you know, the two parameters were they will smile and they will keep it, then I send the card.

Kody Bateman: Wow, that’s incredible. So a valuable lesson learned. We teach – in our relationship marketing system, there are three different types of card sends. There’s what we call the “heartfelt card send” which is what you just talked about, a unique message in every card. Then we have what we call a group card send where you send a message to a group of people and our system allows you to do that, so you can send holiday cards or invitations or whatever.

Then we have what we call a scheduled card send where you could – you schedule cards out in advance and the system will automatically drip those cards onto your customers over time. So a lot of our clients will do multiple drip campaigns, those kinds of things.

When we were in San Diego, you got up and showed – you showed some group sends that you had actually done in our system. I would like you to share that with our group and how powerful that was for you.

Steve Jadczak: Sure. So I signed up for the – I forgot what it’s called but the biggest package where you get the unlimited card sends and then 100 group sends a month. So I’m always thinking about, “How can I send those 100 group sends?”

There’s about 1500 people in my contact manager now. So obviously, I don’t want to send it to all of them. So I have to pick 100 and have it be specific. So last month, what I did, since it was the end of summer, was I decided to send a group send to all of my Christmas lighting customers who bought with us last year, to remind them that Christmas is coming and that we are eager to help them.

So I designed this card here. On the front would be a picture of a really nice project to get their attention. So this is a client sample. This is a home we did and then on the inside is another really nice project to make them go, “Wow, I want that for my property.” Then there’s a note here. It’s not custom. Everyone gets the same note. That’s why it’s a group send. But it does kind of speak to them because it says, “Thank you for your interest in our business. You probably don’t want to think about Christmas lights now in the summertime. But we are planning, setting up our VIP client schedule for the upcoming season. We really hope to have the opportunity to serve you. Give us a call to get confirmed,” and my contact information.

So it’s not the heartfelt card because it doesn’t really speak to them specifically. But of course on the back, I always put my unique – this is called “card backing”. It has got my face on it and then the company business name. At first I was putting the logo. But I found out when you put your face, they go, “Oh, yeah. I know that guy,” and then they call.

Kody Bateman: Yeah, absolutely.

Steve Jadczak: But I sent to 100 people and maybe 20 responded and I’ve already booked a couple of jobs. But it’s a little bit early. So I haven’t called them yet.

Kody Bateman: Really what – the second week of September. You’re already booking jobs for the holidays as a result of that. I think the key – part of the key to what you’re saying, this is part of what we try to talk to businesses about is it’s a combination of things. You’re doing heartfelt card sends and you’re doing group sends. You’re doing a combination of things and that’s the making of a very strong relationship marketing program is that when you do both.

The group card sends alone can be beneficial. But when you couple it with the heartfelt card sends that you talked about, that’s when kind of real magic takes place for you and what not. Now you did something unique with this group send because the first one you showed us, it went out to about 100 people, which – these are past clients that you had actually done work for before. But you did another group send and I’m real interested in having our viewers listen to this – the other group send you did. Can you share that with us?

Steve Jadczak: So a couple of days later, my group sends repopulated. So I got another hundred and I’m always thinking about, “What am I going to do with these group sends?” So I thought let’s send the exact same card to all those customers who called us last year, got a quote, but for some reason or another, decided not to book our services.

So I sent the same exact card to all those people and that was a little bit different. On the inside it didn’t say that we had the opportunity to serve you last year. But it just says, “Thank you for your past interest. We would really like the opportunity this year to serve you. Please give us a call as we do book up quickly. You are considered one of our VIP clients,” and I sent all of those cards out and I have yet to get anyone to call back. This is just an experiment. But I’m going to call all of them on the phone to ask if they got it and if they’re interested, instead of just mass emailing everybody. No one checks their emails anymore these days.

Kody Bateman: Well again, like you say, it’s early and some of the things have come on. Just to kind of share what some of our other customers do in addition to that. So here you have an activity where you sent out these group sends, one to past clients and one to people you’ve bid jobs for before. One of the things – we have what we call lifestyle celebration where people will take a look at their customer base or just a list of people and kind of watch them a little bit on Facebook and look for opportunities to celebrate that are on that list.

That’s where your heartfelt cards then come back in again where you could kind of – you know, if you see something, you could just send a nice celebration card to that person, celebrating their life. Not asking for any business or anything. We find a lot of clients doing that. I notice you’re nodding your head. So you probably have some experience with that.

Steve Jadczak: I do that more than anything else.

Kody Bateman: Yeah. Just share that with us.

Steve Jadczak: So just something that happened yesterday. If I meet someone and I add them on Facebook or they’re already my Facebook friend, when I scroll through Facebook in the morning or whenever I have some downtime, instead of just scrolling, I’m actually looking for pictures.

So if I see someone’s daughter just won a soccer tournament, I will take some of those pictures, screenshot them on my phone and send them a card that says, “Wow, that’s awesome! Congratulations!” That’s it. Nothing else. Nothing about me. Nothing about my business and the purpose of that is I’m trying to get them to keep it and to put it on a mantel place or whatever they want to do with it and not throw it away. I their face is on it or their child’s face is on it and it just talks about them, then they will keep this thing and someone will come by and say visit them and they will go, “What’s that?” Oh, it’s this really cool card I got. They might talk about me. They might not. But I don’t really care. I just want to do that for them and it’s really fun just to see how many of these I could send out every day. That’s probably why I send the 400 a month.

Kody Bateman: Well, that’s great and again, it’s a combination of those two things. Group sends are great but when you couple a group send with heartfelt cards that go out to celebrate people, that’s just another opportunity for you to create top of mind awareness with those people. You know, pretty soon over time, you’re going to be known as the card guy. That’s the card guy. That’s the guy that does the lighting and sends all the cards and that’s when your referral business really explodes.

Now like you said, you’ve been doing this since we came out with our new program. So probably consistently – I don’t know what – last 90 to 100 days or so. What kind of referral business have you generated since you really started doing the heartfelt group sends?

Steve Jadczak: Well, I’m not doing any heartfelt group sends.

Kody Bateman: Oh, heartfelt sends and group sends.

Steve Jadczak: Oh, I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly where new business has come from. But I will tell you what has been working is when I go meet a customer to give them a proposal, I take a picture of the property such as like that and then as I walk away and go to my car, I will send them a picture of the front of their property, the inside of their property and then a note that says, “Really looking forward to helping you. Your place is going to look awesome when we are finished. There’s nothing I love more than designing and installing a beautiful lighting display for you. See you soon.”

I send them that card with a box of brownies every single time I give a proposal. So say this is to a commercial property, an office building and there are 10 managers in that building. They have called and said, “Your card was awesome. Your brownies were amazing,” and they passed the card to everyone in the office.

Kody Bateman: Wow.

Steve Jadczak: So I get calls and emails weekly from people that are officemates of the people that I send proposals to because of the card.

Kody Bateman: You know, it’s interesting. I’m glad you shared that story because it’s interesting. We call that “thanking people through the process” and in my book The Power of Human Connection, I talk a lot about thanking through the process. So what that means is, is a lot of people – and you would be surprised by this because we’ve done all kinds of studies to show most people don’t – well, first of all, most people don’t send thank-you cards at all. I mean it’s crazy. Like over 90 percent of businesspeople, salespeople never even send a thank-you card, period, which is insane.

But even those that do, typically only send a thank-you card after you’ve done business with somebody. I think you hit something right on the head. The key is to actually think through the process. So you don’t – what you just shared, you haven’t done business for those people yet at all. You may not do business with them. You may not win the bid. But you still send a card and a box of brownies. You probably invested – well, you’re on the unlimited program. So I don’t know. But with the box of brownies, you invested 5, 6, 7 bucks every time you do that.

But you’ve already seen the value of doing that. So it completely sets yourself apart from anybody else that’s out there. So just the power of stuff, thanking through the process.

Kody Bateman: Well, two things that I want to share with you on that. So first, when I meet them, I send them a card. You know, the “Nice to meet you! Looking forward to working with you,” with the brownies. Then when we begin the job, I send a picture of us actually doing the work and saying, “Here we are on top of your roof,” and they get it a couple of days later after the work is already done.

Then when it’s all done, we take a picture of the whole project and say, “It was an awesome time working with you. This looks amazing. I hope to do it again soon.” So they get one, two, three, three to four cards just for one project.

Kody Bateman: Wow, that’s incredible. That is absolutely incredible and again staying top of mind with people. First of all, you have the unique opportunity. You can take a picture of when you’re on top of somebody’s house. You can see a different angle of their property and I tell you, that really gets people’s attention. When you send a mail to somebody, if you have a picture of them or a picture of their property, especially a picture of their property from a unique viewpoint, let me tell you, that gets their attention. So great example, great, incredible things that you do. Appreciate you sharing some of that stuff with us.

I like to close every one of these shows with just final words of wisdom from our guests. Anything that you would like to share with our audience today, just things to focus on perhaps or any other ideas or stories you might have that you would like to tell. For the next couple of minutes, let’s close up with that. Go ahead.

Steve Jadczak: There are so many stories. It’s really hard to pick one. But I will share that what has happened from sending the cards, especially the heartfelt ones with the picture of their project or their property, especially before we do the work, during the proposal phase, when we show up, they do the – job card.

So what this does is it turns it from a business to business relationship to friend to friend. The value is just exponential for what this costs. There’s nothing else out there that does this. I didn’t even know this was around until I started doing this a couple of months ago. I almost treat it like my secret weapon.

Kody Bateman: Yeah, absolutely. You hit something right on the head. We had a little reception issue as you were telling that story. You cut out a little bit. But just if I could try to recap.

Steve Jadczak: Do you want me to move? I can move closer to the Wi-Fi.

Kody Bateman: Yeah, I think you’re OK. I think you’re OK. So just to kind of recap, there comes a point when you do some follow-up with business and your clients turn into friends because what you appreciate appreciates. You just send out kindness to people, show people that you care about them and before you know it, they actually turn into friends who actually care about you and they refer you business and you become closer to them on a personal level.

So we appreciate you sharing all of your incredible stories with us today. So there you have it everybody. This is Steve Jadczak with Light Up My Holiday. So if you’re in Southern California, look him up man. Anywhere in Orange County or down in San Diego, Light Up My Holiday. He’s the guy that you want to be putting lights on your facility. You do commercial work as well, right? So you do residential and commercial work.

Yeah. Again, we’re having a little reception there. But anyway, just all of you, Light Up My Holiday. He’s the guy. For those of you who would like to know how Steve does some of these things, get back with the person that shared this show with you today. I’m sure they can share with you our systems and how they work. Listen, it’s real simple. We just want to help people be nice to each other and we want you – help you do that in your business. The nicer you are to people, the more you follow up with people, share appreciation, the nicer they will be back to you and you generate referral business. It’s relationship marketing at its very best.

Steve Jadczak is an incredible example of this and Steve, I would love to have you back on the show here in a year or so from now because you bring incredible stories with you brother. So I appreciate all that you do and we will see everybody next week on another version of Relationship Marketing Weekly. Take care now.


To secure your best year yet, you may consider using a service like SendOutCards. In just minutes, you can create a custom card, add a personal message and picture, and do it all right from your mobile device!  You can even include one of their many gift selections like their amazing brownies, their new premium line of chocolates, you can even include a Starbucks card!

If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate a Relationship Marketing Strategy in your business, feel free to call or text me at {LEAD_OWNER_PHONE|}I will answer all your questions and help you build relationships, increase referrals, and make an amazing impression on all your clients, friends and family!

Hi, Thanks for stopping by my blog! To get the latest updates on Appreciation Pal enter your email below:
To Top