Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our NEW Business Stratgety Books #FFSS VOL1 and #FFSS VOL2
As a 22-year-old struggling college student, Rochelle Graham-Campbell, now founder of million dollar beauty brand, Alikay Naturals, says she had one secret weapon: YouTube.
Rochelle paved the way as one of the first natural hair vloggers. After launching her channel back in 2008 – she would go on to amass an enormous following – currently over 100,000. At that point, she decided that it was time to turn her followers into dollars. Her brand, Alikay Naturals, is now one of the most sought after natural hair care brands with recent launches in Target, Walmart and CVS stores nationwide. In addition, the brand is sold in several independent retail locations across the globe including Jamaica, France and the United Kingdom.
Holding a firm passion to molding more self made multi-million dollar beauty brands in untapped markets, she is using her platform to educate 100 women through her newest venture.
I got a chance to chat with Rochelle as she provided tips for current and emerging entrepreneurs commemorating her 10 years in business; ranging from self-financing, effective branding, scaling and motherhood.
From blogger to brand: I was heading to law school and that was my plan after college. My life just happened to shift. One of the things that I look back on is how God has ordered my steps. I enjoy teaching people things that I know to help them avoid making the mistakes that I’ve made. My first 400 videos on YouTube, I did for free. This was way before YouTube was paying people for videos. I did it because I loved it. It was a passion of mine and I enjoyed it. It developed from me being a blogger to now creating solutions for my followers with products. I did it to help and to serve others. My life is living in service and that is how that transition happened for me. I still get to serve but now it’s on a different scale.
On building and managing your investment: You have to make sure that you’re very clear with what your goals are so that you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. Also, making sure that you’re doing the proper research no matter what you’re investing in. Keep in mind that there are going to be risks and everything isn’t for everyone. You want to learn to manage your expectations as well – specifically as it relates to financial investments – those things take time.
Finding your niche and expertise: Start with what you’re passionate about. It all starts with what you actually enjoy doing, what you’re good at and realizing that you won’t be able to service everyone. Sometimes when people hear the word ‘niche’ they think that it’s a bad thing, but, having a niche can really help you grow, especially if you’re in a space that a lot of people are not catering to. Start with what your passionate about. When you’re growing a brand or building a business you will find times where you are not always profitable especially in the beginning, so, when you genuinely love and enjoy what you do it makes it easier to push through.
Launching and scaling: One of the things I’m working on is launching my brand, Mobile University, because I want to teach people how to build the foundation for strong businesses. I think back in the day everyone focused on the hard work and building brick by brick, which isn’t always the fun stuff. Nowadays, people only like focusing on branding their business and the pretty aesthetics when in reality they haven’t done the behind the scenes work first. As far as scaling – understand that it is part of your growth. If you are not scaling then you’re suffocating. My business is currently in one of the biggest scaling phases that we’ve ever experienced especially coming up on 10 years. As a business owner, you have to clearly identify when you’re at that point and work quickly to make sure that you break through that ceiling or your business will suffocate and die.
Branding to your tribe of consumers: Your consumers will always be able to show you what they want. Once you are figuring out what your brand is and what your brand is going to incorporate – throw things out there that you think they may like and pay very close attention to what your tribe is reacting to. They will tell you by their reactions what they want to see more of! As business owners, it is our job is to pay attention to our tribe of consumers and react accordingly. If there is something that you really enjoy doing and your audience isn’t really into it then you may need to scale that back and focus on things that are actually giving you movement for your brand to propel forward.
Bootstrapping your business: My company is coming up on our ten-year anniversary in July and we are still a bootstrapped business! We started with a $100 investment and we have used that to continuously feed our company. To this day, we don’t have any investors, loans or credit cards. We are simply growing and running our business based on the revenue that we are generating. Now, when you are bootstrapping your business, I am not going to say that it’s going to be easy. You must be extremely cautious and you have to be more calculated than your competitors. As a bootstrapped business, from a financial standpoint, you may not be able to afford the same types of mistakes that they’ve made because they have an abundance of funding. You have to think more strategically. You have to make sure that every step and every dollar that you spend makes sense and has a return. The good part about bootstrapping – especially in the beginning – is that it proves to you that you have a business model that works. Therefore, whenever you do receive some sort of infusion of capital you know what to do with it. My company is coming up to the point that we’re now looking for financial investors because it will help us scale and get to the next level. It just has to be the right investment. That’s important.
The Balancing Act: Motherhood + Relationships I don’t like to refer to it as a “balance.” I like to call it an organized juggle. I think that balance gives the idea that it’s going to be perfect and level all of the time. Not all areas of your life are going to be level at all times. I try to always focus on giving at least two things my undivided attention and I just keep rotating. You keep everything flowing and everything gets attention – just in rotation. As a woman entrepreneur, one of the biggest lessons I had to learn was making up time with my children after being away. Whether it was a big launch, an event or if I was working a lot of hours – I always make sure to make up the time with my family. Just like I make up missed time with my kids, I try to do the same thing with myself and my husband. You have to be intentional with date nights, with getting the kids in bed on time, with taking trips together. It’s important to note that while we’re growing successful brands and businesses, the love from another human being that loves you just for who you are is priceless.
Curating branded experiences: It’s really easy to curate a brand via social media. It’s a lot harder to curate an experience. I’m really good at curating experiences in real life. Whether your customers are coming in contact with your products in a store or at an event or trade show, you should always want their interactions with your brand to be memorable. I want my brand to have a positive impact on people. So, now the next time they encounter my brand they’ll remember that positive feeling. It takes thought, planning and strategy. I think that this is something that a lot of brands miss because they don’t think about their brand presence offline.
April 13, 2019 at 10:42PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs