The EVA Spotlight Series continues, and this month we’re featuring Margaret Brown of SocializeLA.com. Margaret and I have been talking for a couple months now, and her passion for what she does is contagious. She truly loves her work and has a genuine “do for others” approach in life and business. SocializeLA.com knows their stuff when it comes to helping companies get noticed and promote their brand through digital marketing.
Margaret Brown is the founder and chief digital strategist of SocializeLA.com, a full-service digital marketing agency. Margaret helps companies build digital brands, maximize social media and develop profitable social business plans. She is so passionate about social business that she wrote the book: The #Social Business Plan, a comprehensive guide to achieving a profitable online presence. Today, SocializeLA.com has experienced explosive growth while helping clients achieve success. She travels around the country and offers comprehensive online training helping professionals get noticed. Margaret and her team prove that “There’s Value in Getting Noticed.” – Margaret Brown
What or who inspired you to start your business?
I wasn’t able to ‘spread my wings’ at the last company I worked for – one day while walking down Park Avenue in New York I told myself ‘you should start your own business.’
What problem do you solve?
We make it possible for established small to medium sized businesses to have a well rounded and vibrant online presence without hiring in house.
Who is your ideal client?
Established small to medium sized businesses.
What do you attribute to the success of your business?
A life long example in the leading ladies of my life, my grandma, mom, aunt (who is only 6 years older than I), and my two sisters – we are each others wind beneath our wings. And of course my Uncle J, and the rest of my family and BFF’s. I thank God for the amazing people in my life. There is NOTHING we can’t achieve or overcome. You fall you get back up. You win? Now you help someone else up. In more recent years I’m thankful for my husband who came into my life a year after I started my company. He’s been a tremendous encourager and sounding board. His support has been instrumental. I also am thankful for the IEWBC (Inland Empire Women’s Business Center) for their services and support for helping me in the very early days of my company. My business coach, Nicole Kinney, introduced me to the world of entrepreneurship – I’m forever grateful for her. LASTLY, but not least – NAWBO (The National Association of Women Business Owners). I joined in 2010 and I was still a very new business owner. The friendships, lessons, and experiences I have gained from this organization has been a huge game changer for my company. 65% of my clients have a NAWBO fingerprint. I’m grateful for the amazing women and sponsors for their dedication to NAWBO.
What’s your favorite aspect of your business?
The finished product. I love seeing the reactions from our clients who are so happy to see their email blast, social media posts, or website complete. These are marketing items that most of them have agonized over, and finally they are getting done in an awesome way!
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently? If so, why?
Not really? I mean I didn’t over spend in the beginning. I’ve grown the company in at a very slow pace, self funded. I truly have no regrets. Okay, one thing – I’d be more organized as it relates to my bookkeeping and contracts. I highly recommend to anyone reading this, take charge of your books and contracts. It takes a little time up front, but you’ll create a system that will help you in the long run.
What’s your best piece of business advice?
Don’t compare yourself to ANYONE. Market yourself genuinely and do a great job at what you do and your reputation will speak for itself. I am in a highly competitive industry, yet I still grow every year. I don’t see the competition as competition – I know that people will do business with the company who is right for them. I keep my hand on the plow and I keep moving. Don’t give up if at first you don’t see activity or sale (for those of you just starting). KEEP GOING. Seek free resources to help you start. Don’t get stuck on buying program after training program. Start where you are.
What is the main takeaway that you want people to know about you or your business from this interview?
In my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine that I’d own my own company, looking at teenager me. I listened to my heart and I went for it. It’s been the hardest and most amazing adventure. I never stopped even when the NO’s got louder. I reshaped my pitch and my brand until it was likable and people started taking note. My WHY is my family. I do what I do so I can have freedom. My WHY has actually grown, my team and their family are now part of my WHY. More than ever I’m putting my best foot forward to bring new opportunities for not only myself, but for anyone who chooses to stay connected with me (friends, colleagues, partners, team members, community, and of course clients).
Quotes that inspire you:
“Be Wildly Excited About The Possibilities.” – #Social Business Plan
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” -N. Gingrich