A CASE STORY ABOUT A DELIGHTFUL MASTER SOMMELIER WHO DEVELOPED HER PERSONAL BRAND SO SHE CAN HELP MORE PEOPLE DISCOVER NEW WINES

Since the Court of Master Sommeliers’ first test, administered in the United Kingdom in 1969, only 273 professionals have earned the title Master Sommelier.  Within that title…

LAURA WILLIAMSON IS ONE OF JUST 35 female Master Sommeliers in the world.

Laura Williamson

It's Hard to Describe Perfection.

I’ve been trying to write the words to describe Laura Williamson, Master Sommelier, and frankly, it’s hard to describe perfection. That’s what Laura is. Perfection. From her standards, to senses, to style, and mindset, Laura exudes grace, elegance, beauty, and passion – perfectly. She tells stories that paint striking images with descriptions you can taste. You’ll dream of taking trips to Europe to drink the most divine Old World wines with her, which, in fact, you can totally do!

Needless to say, I was thrilled when Laura chose me to help develop her brand and vision.

Where We Began

I have to say some of my favorite people to work with are visionaries who have very few limitations on how “Z” is accomplished.  Meaning if A = Current State and Z = Desired State the “B to Y” bits are open for creativity and superpower autistic puzzle solving kind of stuff.  

Laura knew what she wanted and understanding who she is as a person allowed me to create an outcome that checked all of her marks.

Laura Williamson

Did you know that there are more than 10,000 different varieties of grapes? Laura does.

But better yet, he has successfully built programs where martial arts schools feel the most pain, Enrollment and Retention. When we officially began working together, Chris was ready to package his systems into products and sell them to martial arts school owners. He also wanted to develop a mastermind to serve this audience too.

After having the pleasure of knowing and working with Laura for the past few years, I can tell you that it takes an exceptional person to become a Master Sommelier.  If you aren’t familiar with the title, a Master Sommelier is a highly skilled and accredited professional in the wine industry. They possess an incomparable depth of knowledge about various types of wines, their origins, and how they pair with different foods, along with superior tasting abilities. This title is achieved after extensive study, training, and passing a series of rigorous exams.

“Master Sommelier” is not a title you achieve once and call it done and move on. Laura lives it, breathes it, loves it, and has dedicated her life to sharing her knowledge and passion with people who love wine too.

What makes Laura’s story especially impressive is that she grew up in a dry county – in the middle of a small Arkansas town.  She discovered her affinity for wine while she was an au pair for a family in France.  She recounts this delightful story of the parties the family would host and how their cellar was a world of wonder. How passionate conversations were lifted with the sip from each glass. By the way, Laura’s slight southern lilt can be heard once in a while, if you have the opportunity to spend an evening drinking glasses of wine specially curated for your tastebuds with her.

Laura’s biggest challenge was that her expertise was usually only shared with industry associates or the affluent while opening $2,500 bottles of 30-year-old wine in Michelin Star Restaurants. While she certainly wasn’t complaining about the opportunity to taste these bottles, her circle of sharing didn’t run bigger than the areas she was physically in. I understood that frustration and wanted to help her create something that would allow her influence to break not just the physical boundaries, but the financial ones as well, making wine more accessible to everyone.

Having been lucky enough to taste wine with Laura in both social and business settings, I’ve been surprised that many of her favorite bottles aren’t expensive. They aren’t necessarily well-known, either.  Even more exciting, she usually finds these undiscovered gems in vintages and scoops them up before they go mainstream.  It’s fun to watch her face light up as she opens up a bottle (like it’s this big secret) and talks about all the reasons it’s brilliant. When she cooks for a specific bottle of wine (all organic, healthy, and delicious), it’s even more glorious.

Laura also has a very simple method for tasting. Nothing complex. Matter of fact, the practice becomes repetitive, and when you do it enough, you begin to pick up on the flavors and nuances without having to think about what you’re supposed to be looking for.  Laura’s strategy allows you to understand the complexities of wine tasting in a non-complex way.

Like any smart entrepreneur, Laura also wanted to create an additional income stream, one that would open up to higher ticket offers, like group trips to taste Old World wines, private dinners, or even private bespoke trips. I think the biggest surprise for me was that Laura wanted to build something now for later.    I don’t know why it’s a surprise now that I think about it, she has methods for success in everything she does.  She wanted the assets prepared for her to begin marketing and selling when she was ready to consistently work on her brand.

Essentially, we needed to create a path for accessibility, bridging the gap between the Michelin Star Professionalism of a Master Sommelier and the soul of this amazing, generous, southern charmer. Something that would allow her to build relationships and a community and encourage wine drinking everywhere. That’s a fun job, huh?

I began thinking through what is absolutely magical about attending a tasting with Laura. 

Hands down, it’s her ability to share her knowledge through captivating storytelling. What leads her stories to the end-all-be-all all impact is the use of all of our senses as we see, smell, swirl and sip the wine she’s telling the stories about.

Our solution needed to be fun, interactive, useful, experiential, and affordable for every budget.

Perfect!  🙂

MMS3D-Spread

We Focused on the Grapes.

My Master Somm is a membership platform that will provide subscribers access to Tasting Training with Laura Williamson in both Red and White wines. Also included are Laura’s Wine Discovery Kits – wine tasting parties waiting to happen.

Each kit introduces you to a new wine. Laura shares the grape, the region, the history, and delightful stories to match. She includes pairing menus, recipes, tasting and rating cards, and recommendations. All you need to do is choose to enjoy the kit alone or invite some friends to come over for this unique tasting and pairing party in a box.

Laura also includes her Restaurant Guide with her list of restaurants that she recommends for different cities around the world.  If that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, Laura will have a monthly live tasting with members of her community.

The beauty of this program is that by focusing on the grape and not the maker, we’ve opened doors wide for any brand at any price point to be used in the discovery and experience for any wine lover.

For product delivery our tech stack is just one: Kajabi. We developed Laura’s membership site with Audio Files, Downloads, Videos, and built all of her Discovery Kits into white and red wines, forecasting the need to perhaps add in blush and bubbly in the future.

LauraWilliamsonBrands
LauraWilliamsonBrands
MyMasterSommLogo

Stylized typography and an icon is what we chose when building Laura’s visual identity.  We wanted an icon that could be used on merchandise easily and typography that could stand alone should Laura want to use her logo in a way that was less iconic and more “Master Sommelier-ish.”  For complimentary colors we pulled from these beautiful jewel tones that look amazing with burgundy or aubergine and added that perfect color yellow.

When we crafted My Master Somm’s visual identity we knew we wanted to use the same typography and treatment so that the two logos could work simultaneously and even use the icons interchangeably should we want or need to in the future.  The My Master Somm brand effectively acts as the public facing personal brand with monetization strategies worked in.  Laura Williamson’s (name) brand remains positioned for specific Master Sommelier opportunities.

When it comes to brand, while you don’t have the ability to force someone to think or feel a certain way about you (yet), you do have the power to position yourself so that others perceive you the way you want to be perceived.  There’s no better way to do that than with photos and videos. 

Through hair, makeup, style, photography, videography, studio rental and more, we made sure that Laura’s days with us were productive in nailing messaging, product creation and also building a bank of video and photo assets that she can begin marketing with whenever she’s ready.  

The key to making everything work is having a system in place that drives it.  Choosing Kajabi as our tech solution meant that Laura’s entire product, website, sales pages and funnels, email marketing and more is located within one platform.  It makes integration incredibly easy.  To see Laura’s website, sales page, opt-ins and offerings in action visit her site.

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