Why I Started Fashionably Frank Marketing
I'm going to be honest: When I started this business, I never imagined the amount of need that would be there for all of the small businesses and nonprofits I work with. I knew the digital strategy and presence was lacking for those in my area (and beyond), and that people didn't have access to easy tips and tricks that would catapult their brands, but I had no idea to what extent.
I started my journey as a 13 year old, sitting in my bedroom with not much to do. I had been struggling from severe anxiety disorders and a variety of experiences with bullying in the public school system. I left my middle school to homeschool in the 7th grade and did so through 9th.
Through these years, I self-taught social media, blogging and some basic marketing principles, although I will admit that I blogged about what I ate for lunch (we all did back then!). I was part of Generation MySpace - we grew up forced to learn HTML coding in order to customize our profiles and make special designs and effects. The generations after us don't need to nowadays.
Because I had to learn photo editing, SEO basics, video compilation and musicality, quality writing and so much more just to exist on the Internet and share my story, this was a passion of mine from a young age. Then I went to college. I discovered my love for psychology, specifically social and positive psych. Social psychology is all about how we influence others, and in other words how we sell to them. Reciprocity is alive and well, y'all.
Learning about how the human mind reacts and processes information, in addition to my sociology studies of how we work in society as groups, ignited a fire that never stopped burning.
Later, I took some business management and leadership courses, meanwhile working a thankless job with an awful boss who emotionally scarred all her workers, allowing me to define what I believed to be true about what was bad leadership vs. good leadership, in addition to the leader I hoped to be one day. I realized that counseling and psychology wasn't the perfect fit for my individual strengths, but wondered how I would help people if I wasn't going to be a therapist.
How would I channel my love for humans and our gentle spirits if I couldn't coach someone out of anxiety, heartbreak and all around struggle? By helping entrepreneurs and business owners flourish and tell their stories authentically to an audience that cares... DUH!
But the "DUH!" moment didn't come that quickly. It took two, two-quarter internships before I finally realized what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I started interning at our local tourism bureau and children's museum, two nonprofits I felt passionate about helping. While I gained the PR basics and marketing theory throughout these internships, I greatly helped these organizations bring their social media presence into the 21st century. It was as if I were part of the team and made connections for life. These experiences truly shaped me.
During a college business class, it was a requirement that I connect with someone in my ideal niche who was doing what I would want to do someday. Along came Jennifer, one of the mentors who would later change my life in a huge way. I found Jen on Twitter. She seemed like she had a successful marketing agency, but also a great sense of humor and infectious authenticity.
I requested that I email Jen to ask her a few questions about how she got started in her field and as a female business owner. I drooled over the details I learned from her and soaked it all in! I shared my specialties with her and within 17 email exchanges, she hired me as her subcontractor to help her clients with community outreach duties and copywriting.
Talk about fate.
I had no idea that day when I direct messaged Jennifer on Twitter that she would add me to her team, let alone respond to my inquiry. She was a true cheerleader of mine and always coached me to be better and do better. We made an incredible team until life took us in two different directions and we decided it would be in both of our best interests to split apart for now. She got an amazing job opportunity and my business quickly expanded in my town and elsewhere.
For the past 11 years, I've been self-teaching, studying and perfecting my craft of digital marketing and brand expression. I consider myself a lifelong learner and can't wait to keep discovering. Thanks to some marvelous mentors and opportunities along the way, I now find myself in this position, writing to you, so excited for what lies ahead and how our paths may intertwine. I am so darn passionate about helping small business owners and creatives pave the way to their own success and find a lifestyle they are excited to get up every morning for.
So tell me: what is your origin story? How did you get started in your field? I'd love to hear your journey in the comments below!