Katrina Jefferson is a business owner and consultant who has worked with brands of all sizes, including big names such as Toys R Us, Red Bull, and Sears. Katrina will be discussing those experiences and how she builds success for businesses of all sizes at our upcoming SEJ Summit in Santa Monica on February 24th. The conference ticket cost is being covered by our sponsor, Searchmetrics.
Searchmetrics delivers enterprise SEO and content marketing analysis, recommendations, forecasting and reporting for companies that want potential customers to find them faster.
Want to attend? We still have a few spots open – so if you are in the LA area and want to learn from Katrina (and other speakers like Neil Patel, Stephan Spencer, and more), sign up for an invite now. If you aren’t in the LA area, check out where else the SEJ Summit will be this year, including Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and Dallas.
Without further adieu, here’s Katrina and my interview about brands, building a business, and more:
You have worked for a lot of big brands. How did you get involved with these organizations?
Networking. I’ve learned it really is all about who you know. In Los Angeles, there are a ton of industry based events that are both local and large-scale, which I attend frequently. I meet and connect with people who are both in my industry and outside of my industry to broaden my network.
Another great way I have met others has been being a part of several different organizations. It’s not only a great way to connect with others, but also to give back.
How have your failures and experiences helped you progress in your career?
Failures have helped me improve my game. Period! It sucks to go through it. For me it meant someone letting me go for no reason other than I wasn’t “communicating” enough with my boss. The company that let me go made a really strong point to let me know that it WASN’T my work ethic or my work specifically.
What this taught me was two-fold:
- Don’t rely on others to communicate for you. Providing multiple forms of communication (in meetings, during breaks with colleagues at work, and in person). Go to the person you are providing the information to and KEEP GOING TO THEM (if this is their work style) until they get it. Although they may SAY they want you to work independently….it doesn’t matter. Keep communicating no matter what.
- Be willing to adjust to the style of the company completely and fully. This means learning as much as you can about the company and the culture before you say yes to the business. I now interview the client as much as they interview me to ensure the match is clarified up front and that the styles work in sync.
How is marketing and branding for big brands different from small businesses?
It’s not. However, the amount of services provided and time spent boils down to budget. I’m pretty fair, as being a business owner of a WMBE (Women And Minority Business Enterprise) small business, I get managing your budget. Also, I like to help big brands just as much as smaller ones.
Big or small, we give 150% and maximize our marketing strategies in the best way possible to achieve optimal results with any budget.
What is something the big brands do right that small businesses could also do on their own?
Use the right tools to help measure and track your marketing progress. There are inexpensive tools out there to help track progress and measure results. I know it sounds simplistic, but you will be shocked at how many small brands do not do this effectively. Depending on what you need (an event, digital marketing and advertising, social media, content), there are ways to measure all of it.
What’s one aspect of being your own boss that you love?
The flexibility. It’s SO important to have work life balance and ironically, most of the clients I’ve had felt the same (e.g. Red Bull Media House). I work just as hard, if not harder, because I’m entrusted to deliver results! I always put myself in my client’s shoes and this makes me and my team want to do even better.
How do you think women’s definition of success as a business owner has changed since you started your own company?
It’s only been almost two years since I’ve officially gone out on my own. When I started my company, the ladies I knew who had also gone out on their own were perceived as risk takers. Today, in just a short time, I’ve seen amazing differences. More women see other women they admire starting and running full businesses, which ignites them to want to go out on their own as well. There are also tons of organizations to help propel younger middle school and high school girls to greatness, which is assisting with this movement as well.
Of course, the most popular segment of women that I’m seeing start and run great companies now are millennials.
BONUS QUESTION: What was the last great book you read?
I agree, #GIRLBOSS is an awesome book. Thanks, Katrina, for the interview!
Want to attend the SEJ Summit next week? We still have a few spots open – so if you are in the LA area and want to learn from Katrina (and other speakers like Neil Patel, Stephan Spencer, and more), sign up for an invite now. If you aren’t in the LA area, check out where else the SEJ Summit will be this year, including Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and Dallas.
Featured Image: KieferPix via Shutterstock