I’ve always had a knack for finding problems I could solve, or maybe, they had a knack of finding me! This time the problem was presence.
Presence, and “the power of presence” was never a new concept to me. Presence provides visibility and reach, allows for customer service and competition, and establishes credibility.
My first experience with the importance of business presence came in 2009 when I was working at a luxury line dealership as the “Director of First Impressions,” otherwise known as the receptionist. Customer service was my job and satisfied customers was my mission. Everything was served up with southern charm and a warm smile. As the one person in the dealership who knew everything that was going on, I learned of trouble in branding the dealership locally, and online.
While the dealer group itself was well-known in the community, the brand I worked for wasn’t really well-known or respected among its competitors, largely because of lack of marketing and branding from its corporate sector. The internet department’s operation had been passed from one salesperson to another, each getting tired of its complexities. Through some behind the scenes improvements, management gave me the opportunity to take over the department.
In a year I built its online department from the ground up to include website management, social media, internet sales, and reputation management. This, along with working with the dealer group’s advertising agency and our Regional DOM (Director of Marketing) for the brand one-on-one put it among the top of the region’s competition. It was an eye-opening experience and a stepping stone into the expansion of BrandBeast. In the times we are in, a digital version of your brand is vital. I was able to make it happen.
So I assume if you have found yourself here and have stayed with me so far then you now know what is it but are questioning why it’s important. Simply put, you have to be present where your audience it. If you aren’t present, you don’t exist. And I want you to exist but not just that, I want you to be the local resource for whatever it is that you do for your community.
It’s not just about a physical presence anymore. Today’s market revolves around technology and a web presence is essential. But you can’t just rely on a social media presence if you expect growth in your market. Sure a Facebook page or Twitter account is great but these platforms really aren’t made to service your market, they’re made for connecting with them. A virtual presence, whether you have a physical location or not, is vital to bridging the gap between the two.
It’s no secret that social media and digital marketing trends are on the rise.
The question now is:
How can you minimize your costs while maximizing your presence?
What tools are available to you?
How can you use these powerful tools to connect with your customers and set the stage for new growth?
That’s why I’m here. Since BrandBeast’s inception, though initially under a different name, I’ve had the pleasure of working with wonderful clients in my hometown of Virginia Beach as well as serving clients in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and the surrounding Hampton Roads area. With the ultimate goal of creating valuable, lasting business relationships leading to more referrals and increased business opportunities, I take pride in putting my social media management, reputation management, brand building and, marketing skills to work for you whether individually or in a cooperative environment.
The truth is many aren’t taking advantage of presence focusing solely on a single platform, whether it be social media or some other new digital marketing trend, or even just resorting to only traditional marketing campaigns. Either they don’t understand how to leverage the tools or they simply don’t have the time to dedicate to making it work while trying to balance day-to-day operations. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. But, in this day and age where a comprehensive marketing plan is crucial to thriving and competing, it simply can’t be put on the back burner.
But my work didn’t end there.
See it’s not just about social media; it’s about building the winning combination of communications solutions to put your brand in front of people. Communication is everything. It’ll make or break a sale. It can deter or enhance a business relationship. It can win or lose a client. It. Is. Everything.
I help you find the answers to:
What communications problem are you trying to solve?
And how can the right combination of tools helps you reach your goal?
But BrandBeast isn’t just about business presence; it focuses on all presence. See, presence to me has always been about showing what you’re capable of and what your worth is, about knowing your value and believing you can make things happen, about realizing the power of one. And after years of assisting my clients with their business presence I found myself facing a different challenge: finding my own presence.
I spent years in the corporate world working on digital marketing, social, and new media initiatives for businesses I was hired to work for, going through the motions for the paycheck. I enjoyed building on my skills and experience and was getting paid. But it was getting to me. I just worked to pay the bills. I was becoming bored and burned out. It was no longer satisfying and I knew deep down inside that I as meant to do more. I contemplated whether I would go back to that life after the birth of my son and then began freelance work in the hopes of finding something that would create a spark, something that I would enjoy doing so it no longer felt like work. I hit the ground running and for a while it was doing really well.
Then the unimaginable happened and I lost my husband to suicide August of 2014. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through, and I almost died of lupus at sixteen so that’s saying something.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and this was no exception. I can think back now at all of the subtle signs that pointed to his suppressed depression although I still wouldn’t have imagined that he would’ve taken his own life. Not to say it was only his job that led to his death but I couldn’t help remembering how we’d argued on several occasions about his fear of change and how he suffered through a job he hated that was affecting his health in all facets. But he settled because he felt the paycheck wouldn’t be the same at any other job. I remember he once told me he wasn’t good at anything else, he had no other talent to offer the world. He was so wrong. And this got to me.
I dreaded the day I had to return to work after my husband’s death. Not only did I not want to go back but I knew I shouldn’t be going back. I could feel the hesitation. I went about the daily grind day in and day out for a year after his death and was so miserable that I knew I had to get out.
I had already begin work with BrandBeast prior to this moment but not to the capacity that I should’ve been. See, I was afraid of success. It’s got a name, Impostor Syndrome and I had the bug. I questioned everything.
“How could I possibly make it work?”
“How could I possibly think that this was a time for work when I had a grieving child to take care of?”
“How could I even think of immersing myself in entrepreneurship when I myself was still grieving?”
So I started jumping on the “When this, then that” bandwagon. You know the one …
“When he starts school then I’ll…”
“When I finish my degree, then I’ll…”
I was literally repelling the idea of taking my business to the next level and making it successful, from the inside. I was letting fear stop me from achieving my greatness, my power, and what I was meant to live out in this world. I was letting it stop me from living the life I was meant to live; I was letting it stop me from living.
And to be honest, I just wasn’t fully present. And if you’re not fully present, you just can’t succeed. Truth is, if you don’t buy what you sell no one else will.
Have you ever had to do something you didn’t believe in? Maybe you had to sell a product you didn’t fully find value in, or endorse someone or something you didn’t find worthy, or worked for a company that you found unscrupulous. Do you recall what that felt like?
The same can be said for selling yourself.
That’s what I was contending with. But you know what they say, “the road to success is paved with failure.”
So in 2015 I decided to take the leap and delve fully into BrandBeast by allowing my talents to benefit those serving others. I decided to focus my time and efforts to time-strapped solo-entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits that sought to solve their communications problems by learning and leveraging the new media, social media, and digital marketing tools available to them; as well as, enhancing their current traditional marketing initiatives to achieve the goals they desired for business growth and brand building.
It’s been stressful and challenging and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The journey here may have been a roller coaster ride of emotions but I truly feel like I am living out my purpose. And I am fully present.
I welcome you to explore BrandBeast and let me “Unleash the Power of Your Presence.”