It’s okay to dream BIG. I remember getting turned down for a high-level marketing promotion early in my career. It was my dream job. I could just imagine myself in my office in the city, spending my days taking calls from corporate clientele and managing large-scale marketing campaigns. I was crushed when I didn’t get the position. I could have thrown in the towel, but marketing has always been a passion for me, so I just remained focused on sharpening my skills and knowledge further.
I never would have guessed that within three years of opening my agency that I would be filling that role as an Interim Chief Marketing Officer for our agency clients. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged when you’re denied an opportunity. You just might create it for yourself.
As a part of my series called “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started My Consulting Business ”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jasmine Black.
Since 2005, Jasmine has worked with entrepreneurs and small business owners to help build, launch, and scale their brands. She combines the insights she gained over 15 years in the finance sector with her sales and marketing expertise and her own entrepreneurial endeavors into the plans, advice, and campaigns she prepares for her clients.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I realized at a young age that I had the ability to create streams of income by creating win-win solutions to problems. My introduction to this came at around 10 years old. I had gone out shopping with my dad and asked if I could get some stickers or a notebook. To my shock and horror, he asked me how I was going to pay for it.
I thought “I don’t have any money — I’m 10!” Being a solution-focused child, I decided that if there were things in life that I wanted, I needed to have the money to purchase them, and therefore I needed a job. Since I knew no one would hire a 10-year-old, I decided to start my own dog-walking business. I decided to pitch my new company to my neighbors and then I landed my first client. I joke that though I only made 10 dollars per week at the time, my profit margins were great.
I kept the side hustle spirit into my adult life and started a business planning service after college. After working with small and medium-sized businesses for over 15 years through business planning as well as my 9 to 5, I finally realized I was ready to work for myself full-time.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
Yes — Clubhouse happened! As a digital marketer, social media networks are always on my radar, and I can truly say that this platform is a game changer. Not only because audio-only is a relatively new medium for social media, but because of the culture of the platform itself. It’s a completely new way for content creators, brands, and subject matter experts to engage with their audiences. It’s also an amazing platform for me to globally build my online community, because I am able to reach U.S. and international audiences in real time.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m really grateful to my family. My parents have always been super supportive of anything that I wanted to do, especially my Dad. I was a little nervous when I told him back in 2019 that I had decided to leave corporate America to work in my own business full-time. I really expected some pushback or concern, but my Dad did not skip a beat. He told me that he knew that I could do it and that he was ready to support me. He also happened to be one of my first clients! And yes — even my Dad gets an invoice.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My family has a saying: “Querer es poder” which means, “Where there’s a will there’s a way”. That has been my family’s motto for generations, so it’s something that I was born with. It’s definitely guided me every day as it guides the rest of my family. That is also part of the basis for the name of my company, BrainChild. I chose the name BrainChild because I love the fact that you can create a profitable, sustainable business based on your own effort, ideas, or intellectual property. If you can think it, you can do it.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?
We help existing and aspiring business owners grow their brands through digital product and service delivery models. Online sales and marketing can be overwhelming whether you are a solopreneur or a small business owner. Our proprietary system helps business owners identify and prioritize the best use of their marketing efforts to increase the return on their investment. Once we have identified the best strategies and tactics to promote the growth for a company, we are able to either provide support and guidance for their in-house marketing teams or manage the campaigns for them if they prefer.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I think that what makes my company stand out is that we really tailor our plans to our clients’ individual goals. We’re very intentional about creating campaigns that align with our clients organizational goals and long-term vision. I’ll use an example one of our clients gave which is that she feels as though we helped her create a brand with a vision and purpose that is authentically hers while still providing our expertise and guidance in her plans.
When you first started the business, what drove you, what was your primary motivation?
Autonomy is the primary driver in almost everything that I do. I really like the freedom to be able to decide what I want to do and when. I knew that owning my own business was the only way to truly be able to control my time, my schedule, my finances and my life.
What drives you now? Is it the same? Did it change? Can you explain what you mean?
I’m really blessed to be able to work in a business that is fun and fulfilling on so many levels. I am a self-professed marketing nerd, so what I do never really feels like work. I have a business that is based on what I like to call my personal ‘Zone of Genius’. That, to me, is the intersection of your personal skills, expertise, and passions. Through my coaching programs I’m not only able to help business owners tap into their own zones of Genius on an individual level, but through my agency, I’m able to help bring their business dreams to life.
Small businesses really are the lifeblood of the economy and they have a huge economic impact on local communities. I really believe digital and online entrepreneurship are equalizers for wealth building. Online service delivery models allow you to bring your vision to market no matter your starting point and are amazing as a shortcut to entrepreneurship. To be able to, in a small way, have an impact on all of the communities that these small businesses will serve, is such an honor and it makes me love what I do even more.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, I am! The biggest is around my new love, the Clubhouse app. If I mentioned digital marketing as the great equalizer, add Clubhouse into the equation and you could take over the world. I think this platform is going to be instrumental in elevating entrepreneurs all over the world — especially those from marginalized and disadvantaged communities. The projects that we are working on will make it easier for entrepreneurs in these communities to create connections that will change their businesses and their lives. You can keep up to date on those projects here
In your specific industry what methods have you found to be most effective in order to find and attract the right customers? Can you share any stories or examples?
Being strategic and intentional — especially in the digital marketing space. In order to be strategic it’s really important to do your research to research the market to identify ways to present your product or service to your target market in ways that resonate with them. As an example, statistics show that around 51% of B2B buyers would be willing to share information about themselves or their businesses in order to register for an informational webinar. This is a strategy that we have leveraged for some of our clients in order to help them quickly identify people who were both interested in their product or their subject matter expertise and ready to take the next step.
Based on your experience, can you share a few strategies to give your customers the best possible user experience and customer service?
Reverse engineering is at the heart of everything we do. Whether you are an existing business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, we will start with a consultation to discuss your goals, budget, and timeline. From there, we will create a customized road map to help you get where you want to go.
In order to provide the best client experiences and outcomes, we only take on clients we feel like we can serve really well. We offer free consultations so that we can chat and see if we are a match. We really want our clients to enjoy working with us as much as we enjoy working with them.
Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started My Consulting Business”. Please share a story or an example for each.
A common mistake — both in marketing and entrepreneurship — is casting too broad a net. When you’re just building your book of business, it can be tempting to avoid being too specific in discussing what you do and who you serve, but in my experience, the opposite is true. There are likely people already looking for a product or service like the one you offer. Being really specific about these things helps these people find you. This is one of the keys in consistently attracting your target market to your brand.
Coaching is a Growth Hack
I have loved finding cheat codes since I was a kid — especially when I was trying to beat my brother in Contra. So much of launching and scaling a business is “on the job” training. Working with a great coach can give you access not only to their programs and methods, but also the ability to tap in to their experiences as well. The growth curve for entrepreneurs can be very steep, but a coach can definitely smooth it out for you.
Digital Products are where it’s at!
I’ve always been a fan of products based on an input of effort rather than income. As a new business owner, I prioritized products I could create through sweat equity. If only I had known sooner about e books! I create mine in one of my favorite graphic design programs — Canva. Even the free version of their program gives you the ability to quickly and easily put one together. The global e book market is expected to grow by around 5 billion dollars between now and 2026 though, so it’s not too late for everyone else!
It’s okay to dream BIG
I remember getting turned down for a high-level marketing promotion early in my career. It was my dream job. I could just imagine myself in my office in the city, spending my days taking calls from corporate clientele and managing large-scale marketing campaigns. I was crushed when I didn’t get the position. I could have thrown in the towel, but marketing has always been a passion for me, so I just remained focused on sharpening my skills and knowledge further.
I never would have guessed that within three years of opening my agency that I would be filling that role as an Interim Chief Marketing Officer for our agency clients.
Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged when you’re denied an opportunity. You just might create it for yourself.
You Need a Community
One of the biggest differences for me at first was the lack of coworkers. Working for yourself has its ups and downs just like working in a traditional setting, however, you no longer have coworkers to discuss ideas with, help you troubleshoot problems, or decompress with after a challenging day. Having a network of other “entrepreneur friends” and accountability partners has been another growth hack for my business and been crucial to maintaining my sanity.
Wonderful. We are nearly done. Here are the final “meaty” questions of our discussion. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’d like to encourage wealth building through digital entrepreneurship. It’s truly a game changer for aspiring business owners that don’t have a lot of capital to fund their business in the startup phase, which is a challenge that many entrepreneurs, and especially those in minority communities face.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Charlamagne da God. He’s a huge influence on young black men and women in the U.S. He held a great conversation on building generational wealth through entrepreneurship with Cheryl McKissack — a fifth generation owner of McKissack & McKissack — the oldest minority and woman-owned design and construction firm in the nation. She shared some amazing stories about the progress she and each generation before her had made in building their company throughout their 114+ year history. I would love for Charlamagne to host a conversation between the three of us to take a deeper look at how first generation entrepreneurs can build long standing companies.
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!