Interview Series – Angelique & Friends Marketing Communications
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 19, 2011
Angelique is one of my Twitter friends, and a very accomplished businesswoman. She’s hesitant about using her last name but it’s on her website so if you need to know what it is head over there. She offers marketing, writing and social media consulting to many businesses, as well as hosts workshops.
1. What is your business?
I’m a marketing communications consultant. My company is Angelique & Friends Marketing Communications (A.F.MarCom). I write and edit books, manuals and web copy, teach business owners how to use social media, and provide web development services. I also publish a weekly newsletter with advice aimed at social media beginners.
My Twitter account: @afmarcom (http://twitter.com/afmarcom)
The A.F.MarCom Facebook page: http://facebook.com/afmarcom
2. What made you decide to go into this business?
I’ve been a professional writer and editor for over twenty years. I also owned an entertainment agency for over ten years, and in order to be successful, I had to learn new communications and promotions tools as soon as they came out. I was one of the first entertainment agencies on the Internet, and I ran some of the first email discussion groups. I learned each social network as they were invented. In 2008 I had open-heart surgery, and while I was recovering I couldn’t run my agency. Some of my friends and family took advantage of my sabbatical to ask me to teach them how to use social media for their businesses. I also spent my recovery time learning basic web design and writing guest articles for blogs. A new business was born!
3. What types of challenges have you had along the way?
People have no trouble believing that they have failed at “do it yourself” accounting, tax preparation and legal documents, but they are astounded when you suggest that they have failed at “do it yourself” business writing and web design. Similarly, they have no trouble believing that they should take a class about public speaking, but they have trouble believing that they should take a class about public writing, e.g., how to write LinkedIn posts, or how to participate in an online business discussion forum. I not only have to convince people that I’m an expert in my field and a good teacher, but also that they need my services in the first place!
4. Have the positives outweighed the negatives, and if so, how?
I really can’t think of any negatives about my business, except for minor annoyances.
5. What would you recommend for anyone looking to go into business for themselves?
DON’T BE UNDERCAPITALIZED!!! My entertainment agency was able to take off while other agencies faltered because I had enough money to behind it. It didn’t take much money to start my current business, but a business ALWAYS takes some investment. At every single networking event — and I attend a lot of them! — I meet people who haven’t budgeted for the most fundamental of marketing and marketing communications needs, like basic research about their customers and a solid, professional website.