Strategic marketing and branding are essential components of a successful business. Without these skills, it’s almost impossible to attract the attention or clientele you deserve, despite the quality of your goods or service. But just in case you haven’t mastered the art of converting Twitter users into loyal customers with just 140 characters, you can and should sign up for the 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit.
During this annual event, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the “Branding & Marketing Lab”—a workshop designed to help business owners learn how to target prospects in cost-effective ways and leverage media for increased influence, along with other branding techniques. Entrepreneurs will also learn how to effectively use online marketing tools and social media to drive sales and revenue.
This first-class session in marketing will be taught by Zakiya Larry, who specializes in elevating brands and their influence with media coaching, keynote speaking, and overall brand polishing. A highly sought-after media coach and award-winning PR executive, the self-described “Elevation Strategist” is also the CEO of Quest Media Training, a strategic communications firm that provides guidance in interview preparedness, strategic messaging, crisis communications, and public relations.
In the wake of the upcoming summit, Larry gave BLACK ENTERPRISE a preview of the tools and resources she plans to share during the Entrepreneur Summit’s “Branding & Marketing Lab.” The long-time Texas resident also talks about how and why Houston— the location for this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit—is America’s next great black business mecca.
What advice would you share with entrepreneurs, especially millennials, about marketing and branding themselves?
I always say, “Your brand is your promise.” First, decide what you are promising your audience. Then communicate your promise clearly and consistently on the strongest digital platforms for your following. Don’t create brand confusion by introducing your promise then randomly talking about a different side hustle or something that is inconsistent. Example: Promising uplifting content for millennials, then going on a rant about how you hate #fakefriends and constantly spilling or sipping #tea. Consistency, visual interest, and strategy are key for us millennials when branding in the digital age.
What are some of the tools, resources, and insights that you will share at the Entrepreneurs Summit?
I will share how to boost your business/brand’s influence for FREE, by mastering the media. I will also share how marketing and PR could help or hurt your brand, depending on how and when the two are used (and yes, they are VERY different).
Why has Houston been dubbed as America’s next great black business mecca?
Houston has an exciting mix of culture, innovation, flair, small businesses and major corporations. I also think the right environment for a black business mecca includes diversity in the industries that matter: from the senior staffs in education to leaders of city government. Houston fits this bill, too. Education creates the pipeline for strong business leaders, and black and brown guides are at the helm. Houston has also elected a black mayor who understands the business needs of people of color, but who clearly and passionately represents all Houstonians, creating an environment for everyone to win…the next black business mecca included.
REGISTER NOW to learn how to strategically and effectively market your company at the Entrepreneurs Summit, May 17–20 in Houston.
You can get a head start on what Larry will teach during her marketing lab session at the Entrepreneurs Summit by downloading this free gift: tip sheets to Be A Media Maven at www.ZakiyaLarry.com. You can also chat with Larry about media, elevating your brand, and even your mood, anytime @ZakiyaLarry on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Selena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of the award-winning talk show, Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear Hill and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @MsSelenaHill.