Sonya Schweitzer is a marketing strategist and coach for established businesses who love what they do but feel they’re not reaching their customers as well as they should. She helps them find clarity and direction for their marketing efforts so they have the confidence to take their business to the next level.
Sonya is a 20-year marketing veteran who has the depth of knowledge and skill to develop a winning marketing strategy to take your business to the next level.
She has a proven track record of success having led marketing strategies for a range of businesses from startups to Fortune 500’s.
Sonya is Marketing Strategist & Coach at The Intentional Marketer – a marketing consulting and strategy firm for businesses that are ready to level up their marketing.
Female Entrepreneur Q & A
What made you decide to start your business and become a female entrepreneur?
I had been working in a corporate role for 20+ years. In mid 2017, my husband and I (along with our pups) decided to hit the road to live full time in an RV while we explore the country. He could work remotely for his company, but my role as the Marketing Director managing a team of 18 people at a University, couldn’t be done remotely.
I knew I needed to find a new path, and working for myself helped me achieve my goals of flexibility in my schedule (to enjoy the places we were visiting), working with the people I wanted to work with, and being able to help more people vs. just one company.
What was the process of turning your idea into reality?
I first floated the idea with a few online and offline friends to see if I was on point I knew I could help people with their marketing, but I wanted to make sure I was working with the right people. People who needed my help, but who I also wanted to work with!
So the process went like this:
Step #1: What do I want to do? What am I passionate about, and what brings me joy? In my case it was marketing strategy – developing plans and strategies for businesses ready to uplevel.
Step #2: Who do I like working with? In my case: Established businesses who love what they do, but feel they’re not reaching the potential they want or need in their business. I help them find clarity and direction in their marketing efforts to give them the confidence to take their business to the next level.)
We call this ‘niching’. Picking the ‘niche’ that you want to focus on (because trying to sell your services or product to everyone is expensive and really really hard!) This doesn’t mean you won’t work with people outside your niche, but it will give your marketing efforts a lot more focus if you niche.
Step #3: Setting up my branding (website, logo, messaging) was next. I did this with my own knowledge, and some research while investing in a couple of professionals (designers) to assist. The first impression you give of your business is important. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but you should look legitimate and professional.
My brand is an ever evolving work in progress. It changes over time as I continue to grow and build my business. I look at what is working, what isn’t and then make the changes to always improve.
Step #4: Start getting out there – getting in to Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, telling friends and family what I was doing.
What ways have you marketed your business and which has worked the best for you?
As a marketer, you’d hope I’d know it all. But things change all the time! Facebook algorithms change, rules change in groups and new networking platforms popup all the time. So adapting is key – trying out different methods, and then pushing deeper on ones that are working. It is my job to test, research, and try to be on top of the latest trends so I can help my clients.
Here are a couple of things I’m doing currently:
I work hard to be of service in groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Alignable. What does “being of service” mean? It means spending time helping people who have a problem that you might be experienced in (and to do with your line of business). It’s not about pitching your business, but building a reputation for being an expert “go-to” person in that group that can help with (in my case) marketing. I have booked clients through this method.
I also try to go above and beyond in how I service people who have signed up for my content (freebies, opt ins, blog posts, etc.) I work on creating highly valuable guides, posts and workbooks to share with people who are following me. If you work with me, I want you to leave feeling like you have won the jackpot!
I work hard to nurture the relationships I have in my network. I want to help people – so I spend time giving advice and ‘free stuff’. With no expectation for anything in return.
So ultimately, there isn’t one thing that has worked best for me. But these things collectively have really worked well for me (not to say this mix works for everyone, because it won’t. Each business is different and will need to see what works best for them and what they feel comfortable doing.)
- Website with great free content (some free to access, some opt in)
- The right messaging (website, emails etc.) selling the benefits of my services for clients. (This is super important!)
- Facebook business page – to give legitimacy to my business, share content that will be of benefit to my followers, and do “lives” (although I’m still working on being more frequent with my “lives”)
- Being of service in Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups and Alignable
- Instagram, Twitter – to share blog posts, tips, etc.
- Pinterest – to drive traffic to your website (and it WILL!)
- Email marketing to nurture relationships (not sell!)
- Collaborations with like-minded and complimentary entrepreneurs
What’s the one thing you wished you knew at the beginning of your journey?
I took the leap into entrepreneurship with a certain amount of confidence. But I’ve been used to having a team to work with me to accomplish our goals. This time it is all me. Solo.
It took me quite a while to work out that I work better when I have a team to work with – whether that is someone I pay, or people I depend on to hold me accountable and guide me and support me on my journey.
So I hired a business coach (for accountability and focus), and a Virtual Assistant (I coach her in return for her helping me manage some of my social media).
I also have a small group of women who I met through our mutual business coach. We meet “virtually” every week or so to help each other with different aspects of our business.
What’s your daily workday like?
I have learnt the best way to manage my scattered brain is to try to stick to a schedule. I’ve blocked off time for each task I need to focus on each day. I give myself that time to focus on each task, and then move on – even if I’m not quite done. I’m a bit of a work in progress though and sometimes cheat on my schedule, but I’m ok with that. No sense in beating myself up over it!
Have you got a favorite quote or mantra that keeps you going?
For years I’ve used this mantra with my team and my clients –
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
This helps us really drill down in to overcoming risk aversion – if you did this… what is the worst that can happen?
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk…” (Mark Zuckerburg)
If you could offer one piece of advice to the ladies out there thinking of starting or just starting their entrepreneurial journey what would it be?
Most people will say “just do it”, but my advice is to make sure you’re in a financial position to be able to support yourself while your business is growing. Despite all the Facebook ads that say you can earn thousands of dollars in just a few weeks doing XYZ, the reality is that it takes a TON of work and dedication, and you will not likely see a decent paycheck for a while. So, build up your savings, or don’t quit your job until you are in a safe place to be able to dive in to your business without putting yourself out on the street.
If you could have the help of anyone who would it be?
A health coach and a VA! Health Coach: because I am terrible at finding the time (and motivation) for exercise! I have a VA helping me with some of my social media tasks – which is a HUGE time saver!
What’s the ultimate goal for yourself and your business?
Ultimately, I’d like to be able to strike a really nice work/life balance, while earning enough to retire my husband. He works too much, so I’d like him to be able to have the flexibility in his work schedule to really explore the places we’re traveling to.
In addition, I want to help other people become truly successful in their businesses while creating a brand and reputation that is highly respected and sought after. I’ve achieved this in my former corporate life, and I would love to repeat that in my own business.
Thank you so much Sonya for taking the time to do this interview with Anne Louise Magazine. Do you have any additional questions for Sonya? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to find out more or get in touch with Sonya?
To get in touch or find out more about the amazing services Sonya offers, pop along to www.theintentionalmarketer.com
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