Marketing is more than knowing how to run a Facebook ad campaign or conduct SEO research. It’s a set of skills and a way of thinking that, when taken holistically, can add incredible – even business-changing – insight to an organization, no matter how small.
If you’re on the outside of the marketing world looking in, and considering if this is a potential start-up career for you, you’re probably curious as to what a marketer does on a day to day basis.
Leanna DeBellevue is not only a global marketing consultant she is a speaker, social media strategist and co-author of an Amazon International
She has helped clients in over 19 countries generate millions of dollars in sales using social media to connect and engage with their target market. The companies she has worked with range from global conglomerates, to real estate moguls, to individual business owners looking to reach new untapped markets. Leanna has spoken in front of thousands of Entrepreneurs, business leaders and decision makers in over 13 countries from topics ranging from overcoming success blockers, to implementing social media strategies, and business growth hacks. She has written for Huffington Post and heard on Iheartradio podcasts, Real Estate podcasts, Health Coach Academy podcasts, among several others.
In your own words, what do you do?
Simply put we are a bridge. We act as a bridge between our client’s products or services, and their target audience. So many talented business owners have solutions for their client’s pain points but aren’t sure how to effectively communicate with their target market. There is usually a disconnect. On one side is a person with an amazing solution for a problem and on the other side is the person trying to find the answer that keeps them up at night. Both sides are looking for each other but neither knows how to get together. We bridge that gap. We figure out how to amplify the message in a way that is authentic to the business but speaks to the customer so that they can connect and build brand loyalty.
Who are your clients, Which markets do you operate in? How would you describe them?
We are fortunate enough to work with clients in over 19 counties, from one-man shops to multi-billion dollar conglomerates. We operate in a variety of markets, but our sweet spots are the small to medium business space. It is where the impact is felt most, and where we enjoy playing. Brining in 1M in revenue from a campaign for a huge corporation is great but to them, it is just another number on their P&L report. However, is not nearly as rewarding as hearing the excitement from a small business owner that finally met their quarterly sales goals simply by working with our team. I would describe most of our clients as established, goal-oriented companies that know where they have been and know where they want to go. They are comfortable outsourcing aspects of their business and are not afraid to invest in their business to get t the next level. They are clear on who they want to work with and with the benefits their product or service can bring to their market.
How did you start and what have you learned most from entrepreneurship?
I fell into marketing but once I got my feet wet in it I knew I had to jump all in! That was in 2011 and I have not looked back since. I knew that I had a gift of creating content that resonated with customers and helped businesses grow in ways they had only dreamed of before, and it has been an honor to be able to help businesses in over 19 countries since we first opened our doors.
What I learned most about entrepreneurship was that to succeed you have to have the courage to fail first. I now speak to groups all over the world about having that courage to fail so that you can ultimately make forward progress. Everyone shares their stories of success but not too many people share their struggles along the way, and techniques and tips they use to keep themselves motivated, focused and on track. I am trying to use authenticity and vulnerability to help others know that we all experience peaks and valleys.
In your opinion, what are the most valuable skills a marketer in your role can have?
The most valuable skill a marketer can have is learning to listen. I am sure that is not the answer most would expect but it is the only tool that you must have to succeed. You have to listen to what the client is looking for but most importantly you have to listen to what your audience is telling you. If you listen people will tell you how they want to be “sold to”, they will tell you what information they find valuable, and they will tell you how they want to connect. All the answers are right in front of us, we just have to learn to listen effectively. Listen, not to respond, but to help and I can guarantee you will find success in the online marketing space.
Describe one of the most successful projects or campaigns you’ve worked on. Why was it successful?
An international client was looking to break into the US market, and we launched a successful campaign that reached numbers so high that we had to pull the ad work early simply to allow them to keep up. Our cost per client acquisition was a fraction of our projected amount and the number of responses we received was almost quadruple what we anticipated. They, in turn, referred us several other companies that we worked with both inside and outside of the United States and we received similar results with almost all of them.
What 5 steps would you advise and give our ladies who start their own business?
First, get clear on what it is you want to do. Once you have a general idea of what you want to do, get specific, they say the riches are in the niches and they are correct!
The more focused you can be the more direct your message can be and the quicker your ideal customer will find you.
Third, find some accountability. That can be a fellow entrepreneur, an online mentor, a group in the same field that offers encouragement or even a business coach. Whatever you do, make sure you have someone to bounce ideas off of that have been where you are now.
Forth, take time daily for your mindset work. Set intentions, check in with your goals, are you on track, and make sure that you are filling up your cup. Business ownership is not for the faint of heart and if you don’t take care of yourself you will burn out.
Lastly, follow your intuition on the core principles of your business. You will find hundreds of gurus who say you have to do things a specific way to succeed, but they are speaking from a generalized perspective that appeals to the masses. Please follow your intuition and inner voice when making large decisions about your business. At the end of the day, you will be the one taking the heat, or success for your business, make sure it is in alignment with your vision.
What is the one advice that has impacted you the most?
The best advice I have ever received came a few months ago, I was told to look for reasons why something is happening FOR you, instead of why something is happening TO you. This changed my mindset to look for solutions, and the silver lining even in the hardest of times. Often when we are in the midst of a trial it is hard to see the underlying lesson but if you look you can often find the next step to success hidden within the challenge.
What has been your key (or keys) to success?
Showing up, even when I didn’t want to! Most people would never believe it but I am in introvert. I would prefer to hide behind the computer screen and work my magic quietly and well within my comfort zone. But success is always outside of that zone so I have to learn to show up for the experiences that are going to lead me outside of my introvert world and connect with others. These connections are the drivers behind my growth, both personally and professionally. Never let fear prevent you from doing what you know you need to do. Be afraid, but do it anyway!
Do you believe in destiny or do you think you can control your fate?
Great question! I believe that one’s destiny is determined by your mindset, your alignment with your gifts and keeping your eyes open for that next right step. It is not just one or the other I think it is a combination of factors that drive one’s future. A person can control certain aspects of life, but there is also a component of magic that one can never anticipate or control.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
This is the one question I was hoping you would not ask but decided it is probably the most important question to answer. It’s easy to talk about the success, and scary to talk about the failures but it is the only way to help others avoid the pitfalls I have made. I failed hard in 2018, I had been running a majority of the operations myself, with the help of a few subcontractors through the years and I was tired. I needed a break, and everyone recommended hiring a second in command. It sounded like the solution I was looking for, so I hired on a Senior VP that looked amazing on paper. I handed over a lot of the reigns and took a much-needed deep breath a few steps away from the business.
What I didn’t know in the beginning was that she did not have the company’s best interest at heart. She paired us with a subcontractor for ad work that produced subpar if not fraudulent results for a few of our clients. The results looked good on paper but did not result in sales for our customers. It was not until our reputation was put on the line that I was made aware of the things going on. As the business owner, I had to face the clients directly and take full responsibility for what was happening. It was hard. I felt betrayed and I wanted to give up. I learned it is okay to delegate responsibilities, but you cannot have blind trust. There must be checks and balances in each system. There has to be accountability set up along the way not simply at the end where the results can be skewed. I am not glad this happened by any means, but I am happy that it allowed us to take a look at what we missed originally and put safeguards in place so that it would never happen again.