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Meet Mary Martin of Lift Communications in North Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Martin.

Mary, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Throughout high school and college, I dreamed about starting my own magazine. The intersection of storytelling and design was captivating and so, I pursued a degree in journalism but interned on a graphic design team. Those design skills proved helpful when I graduated just as our country was heading into recession. Newspapers and magazines were certainly not hiring, so I took my graphic design skills to the architecture and construction industry, designing marketing proposals and client presentations. Along the way, I kept volunteering out of a love for people and a desire to make things more beautiful. Wherever I could lend my skills and time I did – art galleries, kids’ church, medical clinics in Haiti, and a crisis pregnancy center. But more and more I noticed how many of the causes I loved didn’t have access to high-quality design and marketing. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I left my fast-paced construction marketing job and went to work full time for a national education nonprofit as their marketing manager. Once I transitioned to the nonprofit sector, I knew that was where I wanted to stay. In all of the hustle and bustle of fundraising and donors and messaging, people came first and I loved it.

Just after my oldest child turned one, our little family moved to Dallas so my husband could take a big step in his architecture career. I had told myself that I would stay home, not work, and focus on mom life. But I pretty quickly realized that I missed the impact – work I had been doing and started asking around about places I could get involved. Touch A Life was that place – a small nonprofit doing big work with human trafficking survivors in Ghana that needed some social media help. A few hours of writing Facebook posts from home had me feeling like myself again, and that one organization led to a lot more. As is the case when your work is online for all to see, I had people asking me if I could help the nonprofit they loved to communicate their mission better through digital media. My answer was always yes (anyone else an Enneagram 3?) and I started building a network of amazing organizations.

In 2017, when my second child was two, I launched Lift Communications, a consulting firm focused on helping small nonprofits who don’t have the capacity to hire a full-time marketing team but need someone to come alongside their efforts and provide the strategy and best practices for great digital communication. I work mostly from my home, spending time with family and working the odd hours for a small business owner and nonprofit supporter.

Also in 2017, I helped to gather a team and start Dallas Doing Good, a website full of stories about people in our city who are volunteering and making a difference in unique ways. Dallas Doing Good has been a fun and rewarding way to keep my journalism skills fresh, all while giving me an excuse to get the most interesting people in Dallas to tell me their life stories.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The combination of working mom, business owner, and nonprofit cheerleader is certainly not easy, but it has been worth the effort. One of the biggest challenges was keeping up with client work after the birth of my second child. I didn’t have anyone in my life who had modeled how to take a maternity leave when you are self-employed. So, even with help from my incredible husband, as well as my mom, I was working harder instead of smarter and went through a period of postpartum anxiety. I definitely underestimated the power of sleep deprivation, and I am still learning how to rest well while building a business and helping the causes that mean so much to me.

Lift Communications – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The tagline for Lift Communications is “Support for Sharing Good.” Working with small nonprofits, I keep my services very flexible and I focus on solving any problems that get in the way of clear communication. Sometimes that looks like training a volunteer to create a content calendar, and other times it looks like creating event graphics for a fundraising event. I also love connecting nonprofits with other creative professionals and finding the tools and resources that are going to make it easier to communicate with donors. Whatever is needed, no matter the budget, I am always ready to find a solution.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success looks like the people around me being fully loved and fully known. Supporting nonprofits is simply an extension of that. For someone to feel loved, they need to have all of their immediate needs met. So many organizations in our city are meeting those needs and making space for people to grow, feel love, and then continue the cycle by giving back.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nancy Borowick

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