Where it all started for us
Me and Gus were on the prowl to start our own business. We both wanted to be entrepreneurs for so long! So, seeking an opportunity, Gus met with someone who was opening a business and it quickly led into a conversation about digital marketing. He ran with the conversation and come home and pitched and idea to me. “Why don’t we start a social media marketing company.” Looking at him with a tilted head, “huh?” He jumped into a story about the conversation he had that day and by the end of the night NeuEra was born. By the following week we signed that business on as our first client, a restaurant!
How we started it
We started our brand in our 1,000 Sq Ft apartment Downtown Grand Rapids, probably combined between our little desk and couch. Our team stayed just the two of us for about the first year and 3 months (we’re 1.6yrs into this now lol). Just now. Are we starting to onboard new members. We are excited to grow.
My personal experience that helped shape the business was my internship for a startup company, Yoga For You. A lot of the knowledge learned and tools exposed to me were implemented into our startup and are still being used today. Mailchimp and Canva being two huge ones! Gus’s personal experience that helped shape the business is his knowledge of the restaurant industry. Knowing how to interact with everyone involved and how to present the food has really elevated our content. He also had been a huge fan of Gary Vee and has been inspired by him for years, so when it came down to marketing, he already had a base understanding from all those years of learning subconsciously.
It hasn’t been all peaches and rainbows though. There has been struggle ‘s. One huge one we had to overcome in order to get where we are now, was a lack of technology for the industry we work in. It also seems like we are never fully optimized to meet all of our needs and our clients and have to outsource talent and equipment. Hopefully that’s a sign we’re growing! We have rented equipment though and collaborated with other small media brands to meet the needs of our clients, always adapting!
Our first customer was Taco Jalisco and we helped by creating a digital world and implementing their brand online. We created a website, Facebook page, Instagram, established google and apple pages and maps, started an Email list and did their email marketing, photography, event planning, ad management, donation events, literally anything... you name it digitally, we did it for them.
Even though our business is mostly digital, the real business is the connection to people. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned throughout this journey. We are in the business of bringing people together online though common interest! We’re building something big, so I had to learn to stop looking for "the end" and start looking for what's next? What's my next goal and how do I get there? Truly, I've learned that entrepreneurship is a lifestyle and you are always networking and growing you and your brand and finding the next way to try and level up.
To go back in time and slap myself a little...NAH. But if I could go back in time and give myself 10 seconds of advice when I first started...I would just say to lean into the business more. To not be afraid of how to handle growth or how to do the next thing. We always figure it out, we always adapt, and we have continuously come out stronger and better equipped in the end, so I would shake her a little and say "stop being scared and give this your all, lean all in.
If there is one thing, I hope I overhear someone in the store say about our brand to describe it, it’d be refreshing. I think this is centered around one of my favorite compliments of how “clean” and fresh our website looks. I love the idea of being refreshing to potential clients from what they usually see in a digital marketing brand. Three words I would describe our brand as though... Digital PR, social media marketing, content creation.
Our brand has evolved a ton from when we first started! From having ocean waves on our website, the first week to having an executed brand across platforms took a S*** ton of work! Like...we had 40 colors across our Instagram page and no identity for min trying to figure out what our colors and style was. Even though we could do it for others, it was so much harder when it feels like you're branding you and your skills (rather someone else’s lol). We are much more confident now and have such an establishment across platforms. Still room for a lot of growth through and we are always looking and trying for it!
When it came to defining our brand, one way was to think of our company is as a person. So, let's get to know what we came up with for NeuEra! She would listen to upbeat smooth music, maybe something you find in a coffee house or long car ride. She would shop at stores like Best Buy, Apple, Tj Maxx and HomeGoods or any place with awesome props for photos and content creation! The outfits worn would really scream marketer with a good mix between bright and bold colors and playing favorably to seasonal colors, being in MI in all.
What if we picked a fiction character? Judy the bunny from Zootopia really embodies our brand because she is persistent with her career goals and continues to fight for what she wants. she can even see past the bad parts of not doing what she loves to get to the success and potential she knows she can.
Putting our brand into ice cream terminology? We’d be vanilla chocolate chip. The vanilla represents structure and the chocolate chips represent creativity. Our favorite blend!
There are so many fun ways to get to know your brand and help you understand who you are yourself!
Finding our Audiences
It’s very important to imagine who your ideal customer is! Knowing who you want to work with to help grow your brand can shape what your brand becomes. Okay, so let’s imagine NeuEras ideal audience! They would most likely be in a coffee shop wearing jeans, a nice shirt or blouse some sneakers or boots and a great smile.
When they’re online they are mostly hanging out on Facebook and Instagram, but their personal accounts, not their business accounts. The decision makers of the businesses are our targets.
Both my audience and I have in common that neither of us are blessed with enough time to continuously post and manage our social medias fully, to the extent we want, for our businesses. We understand the effort and time consumption of managing a business in person and online can be too much sometimes. They probably bi**h to their friends and partner about how much work they have on top of the time they have to spend on social media for their business or the business they manage.
A huge problem I know I could solve for them is getting back their time from social media management/digital management so they can put it back into the growth of what they do best for their business
I want my audience to feel supported, knowledgeable, and like they have someone to lean on for digital advice when they see our content. A struggle they are still dealing with that I have overcome is preplanning, managing and being consistent with content. Also, modifying across platforms to get the best results.
I know for a fact, that something we have in common...is that one of our pet peeves is bad quality content or overly aggressive content in our feed.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know NeuEra!