Some may say it’s a man’s world….
But I disagree.
I was born and raised in Wilmington, NC and I can tell you that this “small town” knows how to adapt to change. Wilmington is on the rise as a great place for female entrepreneurs.
The best part about being a woman and business owner in Wilmington is the incredible support system. Networking groups like PCYP and Boss Babes of ILM provide opportunities for us to meet other women in various fields. I cannot stress the importance of getting out there and meeting other strong, experienced, and confident women. It’s vital to have reminders that we are not alone.
WILMA is another exceptional organization that brings women together and gives them the tools to find encouragement. Let’s face it, as women we sometimes face more challenges in the business world than men do. What we don’t always realize is that it’s a woman’s world! We have power in numbers, ladies! We are strong, capable, and intelligent. Most importantly, we are invincible together as a team. We need to keep lifting each other up. If one woman wins, we all win.
As a female entrepreneur, I have faced many challenges and a whole lot of noise. There were times when I questioned whether or not this was the right path for me. However, that all changed when I found the right mentors and learned how to ask for help. I also decided to make a better effort to find more female clients. These things have given me the goals and support system that I needed. I hope to help and inspire women entrepreneurs the same way I have been helped and inspired.
So, don’t forget ladies: we run the world!
Martha-Anne Efird (Mae)
I always get asked the same question: “What is it that you do exactly?”. Marketing is a broad field with a variety of career paths. It’s no surprise that many people don’t know what marketing entails or what a marketing consultant does. Furthermore, a marketing consultant does not do just one thing, but many things. In short, marketing is the act of using different methods and mediums to brand or sell a product, person, or service to consumers.
As defined by Google, a consultant is “a person who provides expert advice professionally”. A Marketing Consultant is someone who is a marketing expert. However, marketing consultants usually have specific niches of marketing that are considered their specialty, for example: my niche is digital marketing, specifically social media marketing. I also specialized in marketing strategy. I use these two strengths to help small business owners with their digital marketing. Adding the to mix, I also have graphic design experience. This means I can create content for my clients as well.
So, what does this all mean? How can a marketing consultant help you and your business?
Here, are some of the benefits to hiring a marketing consultant:
1) Cost Effective
When people hear the word “consultant”, they assume that means expensive. In reality, it is exactly the opposite. Hiring a marketing consultant can be very inexpensive. Every consultant has their own way of doing thing,, but most consultants are paid on a monthly basis and work for each client between 10 and 40 hours per month. Yes, you read that correctly. Because a marketing consultant provides such specific services on an expert level, they do not need to be on a full-time schedule with you. Hiring a consultant is much more cost effective than hiring someone of full time with benefits. Don’t get me wrong, benefits and full-time work is great, but most small businesses and start-ups can’t afford this in the beginning. If you want to survive while building your business from the ground up, cost effectiveness is everything and using a consultant is the way to go.
2) Customized Strategy and Graphics
Hiring a marketing consultant like me, with a background in graphic design, means that all of your digital marketing content is customized and is exactly what you need. This helps the consultant create a marketing strategy that is specific to your business. A good marketing consultant does their research. They quickly learn about the your business’s industry, strengths, weaknesses, and competition. These all factor into what makes marketing your business more than just posting a picture on Facebook. This results in developing a strategic brand that generates revenue.
3) Goodbye Social Media Burden
Most of my clients have shared with me that they started looking for a marketing consultant when the burden of social media became too heavy for them to carry. In today’s culture, social media alone is a full time job. I have seen so many business owners burn out from having to keep up with it all AND run their business.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Snapchat, Mailchimp, Tumblr, Google, the list goes on, and on, and on….
Society has proclaimed that every business must be present on almost all of these mediums. That is just not a realistic expectation and yet, business owners stress themselves out from trying to make this happen. If this is you, stop doing this right now! Spreading yourself this thin is not only bad for you, but is bad for your business and your customers. A marketing consultant, like me, can handle all of your social media for you. We have the software and tools to create graphics and schedule daily posts for months in advance. You should be able to focus on the daily operations of your business.
Take the action you need to simplify your marketing and better your business. As a marketing consultant, my goal is always to make your life and your business better. Marketing is my passion, but so is helping others. So, contact me any time and let’s talk about what this marketing consultant can do for you.
Martha-Anne Efird (Mae)
First, I’ll start off by saying that there are certainly more than four reasons why a business can fail. Location, inventory control, finances, and many more elements of business can quickly turn sour. Some things are out of your control, but the things you can control contribute largely to the success of your business. These four parts of business can be the cause of a business’s downfall, but can also contribute to huge success, if executed correctly.
It may come as a shock to you that management is the number one reason for business failure. If you have ever worked in the service industry, this is no surprise at all. Many managers come and go, but a really great manager can be difficult to find. The biggest issue I have seen from managers throughout my career is negativity. This creates an extremely toxic environment. Toxicity can ruin a business for employers and customers. Trust me, it almost always trickles down from the top. Make sure you hire a management that you can trust to make you better and your business better.
Believe it or not, competition is actually a wonderful thing. It helps us strive to become better and to keep challenging ourselves. There is no time to settle with complacency, because there’s always another business owner who will reach for the stars. However, if you don’t pay attention to your competition, it can lead to your downfall. You have to make sure you are always striving to be different, unique, and most importantly better than your competitor. If you and your competitor are too much alike, the smallest change on their part can shut you down. For example, if two grocery stores are exactly the same, but one offers lower prices, that’s where all of your customers will go.
It’s a tale as old as time… so, be creative! Go places you’ve never gone before and grow your business into something you could have never dreamed of on your own.
#3 No strategic plan or direction
This is not only a crucial element of business, but in life also. Living in a moment is fun and all, but as a business owner it is your responsibility to look ahead. Do yourself a favor and take the time to write a 5 or even 2-year business plan. It doesn’t mean you are restricted to this plan for forever. It will change as your business changes. Having a strategy is what separates the good businesses from the great businesses.
#4 Lack of marketing efforts
If no one knows about your business or products, then no one is going to become your customer. It’s pretty simple, but I understand that marketing a business or product is no small task. Marketing can become expensive and useless if it does not regenerate revenue. This is why I coach my clients to only put energy into certain marketing platforms, not all. This goes back to reason #3, strategy. I work with my clients to develop a strategic marketing plan. Once you target the right audience with the right content on the right mediums, it’s almost formulaic success. The best part? I work with my clients to make it look organic and effortless. This is the type of marketing that is showing success in today’s world. As a marketing consultant, I can tell you that this is the most crucial part of taking your business to the next level.
If you feel like your business has plateaued or you find that you no longer have time, energy, or sanity to add on to your plate, contact me today through Simply Mae Marketing LLC.
There is no reason for you to fail when you have the help you need to succeed!
We live in a world where almost everything is accessible through one medium: the internet. The number of choices a consumer has to make before purchasing a product can sometimes be overwhelming. Something I always remind my clients is marketing is no longer about selling a product to the consumer. Marketing has transformed over time and is now about telling a story.
A great example of this is the popular show on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. The show features Marie, who goes into people’s homes and teaches them how to de-clutter and organize throughout their house. Believe it or not, there is a market for people like Marie who are hired to do this. What makes Marie special, and marketable, is the story that has been created around this service she provides to her clients. The show walks the viewers through “The Marie Kondo Method”. This method includes specific ways to fold clothing, organize dresser drawers, get rid of items in your home, etc. Another theme of the show is Marie’s idea behind “sparking joy”. Here, Marie shows her clients and viewers how to find joy in the curated items in your home and to thank the items that you no longer need.
Anyone can fold clothes, get rid of clutter, and organize various household items; however, the story incorporated into Marie Kondo has created a brand that makes her stand out. This, is what makes a business successful in today’s market and this is my specialty. As a marketing consultant, I genuinely enjoy finding what your story is. What makes you wake up every morning and run your business? What keeps your passionate? What drives you to succeed, no matter the obstacles? What makes you, you? What’s your story?
I want to hear your story!
Comment below with one thing that makes you and/or your business unique OR
Contact me today and let’s brainstorm how to tell your business's story
Growing up in Wilmington, NC is one of the best things to ever happen to me. I feel spoiled at times from being surrounded by the beautiful coast of North Carolina, the Cape Fear River, and year-round warm weather. This small town is growing larger as more people decide to move here, but Wilmington still manages to keep its hometown feel!
Having a small business in Wilmington has its pros and cons. Depending on your market, tourist season provides a bustling summer season for your business. However, the same success seen throughout the summer can result in a major winter slump for some. It’s important to be creative and find ways to keep your customer’s attention all year long.
Thanks to the “shop and eat local” movement, small businesses in Wilmington have a chance to thrive consistently. It takes some work, but targeting the right audiences makes all the difference, here. With help from a marketing consultant, like me, you can work smarter, not harder.
Now, is the time to succeed as a small business owner. Don’t be afraid of becoming too successful.
Carpe Diem! Seize the day!
You have what it takes to reach your small business goals. If you are waiting for the right time, it’s right now! If you’re looking for a sign, this is it!
Email me anytime to get started!
You wake up every morning and the first thing you do is check your phone for notifications. Text messages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Gmail, LinkedIn, Messenger. Maybe you check the weather app, your Fitbit data, etc. Then, you can start your day. You do the same thing at the end of your day too, right before struggling to fall asleep for the next hour or two.
You have to stay up to date and check your phone throughout the entire day.
Sometimes, you feel like it owns you. Sometimes, you’re exhausted from thinking about all of the updates, messages, and posts that are essential to keeping up with the world. Despite what the world may tell you, you do not have to live this way. There are ways to organize your media, so that you can focus on what matters most: your business.
As a marketing consultant, this is my mission. I have seen too many businesses fail from trying to keep up with the chaos of social media today. Many business owners get so caught up in social media, that they lose the identity of their business. At the end of the day, your customers don’t come to your business because of the pretty picture you posted on Facebook. They come to your business, because of all of the things that make it unique! In a society conquered by big business and international chains, consumers are looking for something new. They are looking for a more intimate experience. Small and local businesses aren’t just “trendy”, they are what consumers are looking for.
Today, consumers can buy the same item, product, or service from multiple locations. So, why should they purchase from your business? What makes you special? Narrowing this down is key to your success. My marketing strategy focuses on these elements. By defining the identity of your business and creating content that consistently shows what your business represents, we can make your business stand out among the rest.
In a world full of chaos, we crave simplicity. We search for the parts of this world that are genuine, clear, and concise. Together, we can make your business shine bright and cut through the overwhelming amount of content that’s out there.
It’s time to simplify things and get back to what matters most.
Email me anytime to get started!