If you ever wanted to eavesdrop on a biz bestie coffee chat, this is the episode for you. Chanel Sonego is a marketing strategist and the powerhouse founder of LEVEL (formerly Dames Collective), a nationwide networking group for this generation’s leaders. When she’s not connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs or hanging out with her pup in San Diego, I can almost guarantee she’s sipping on a spicy margarita on the rocks with salt!
Chanel and I met when our businesses were just babies and that quickly evolved into the amazing friendship we have today. I’m so excited for you to hear this conversation.
The Good: I’m feeling really confident about the Template Shop now that several people have bought website templates! I’m getting great feedback and it’s making me appreciate the value I’m delivering. Even though a template buyer isn’t working with me 1:1, they’re still getting a top quality product.
The Bad: I can’t believe we’re still in quarantine! It’s a struggle.
The Woo-Woo: I’m continuing to work on manifesting new clients to correspond with the goals I set for each month. This morning, I imagined myself signing new contracts, sending out invoices, and handwriting notes to my new clients, while celebrating my biggest month in my business.
Don’t forget to share with me your good, bad, and woo-woo so I can celebrate your good, support you in your bad, and probably try your woo-woo!
Chanel is widely known for being the curator and founder of LEVEL and I loved hearing the breakdown of how she structures each chapter. Each city has up to 70 members and two chapter leaders: one leader focusing on programming, venue procurement, and partnerships, and the other on social media, promotions, and member management.
Together, they coordinate two events per month: a Morning Mindfuel, and an After Hours, designed for the 9-5 side hustler or business owner who craves a relaxed, evening social hour with other entrepreneurs.
If you don’t give team members defined roles, chaos can ensue, as I experienced in my previous agency job.
A couple of months ago, Chanel decided to put effort behind her personal brand – and she started by treating herself like a client. She knew what she loved and wanted to talk about, and was ready to be candid with her audience.
By pouring more energy into her personal brand, it helped uplevel her marketing business and LEVEL. People felt more connected to her, and they could put a face to the brand. And in doing this, it inspired the idea for Chanel Sips, the name of her to-be-launched podcast.
Are you writing this one down?
Your brand is your legacy. Both my business and Chanel’s businesses have pivoted since we first met. We’ve changed the names of our businesses – mine from my name to Current Design Studio, Chanel’s from Dames Collective to LEVEL.
When you really focus on your brand, it will allow for your business to pivot and make that change, because it’s evolving with you as a person, as a business owner.
Chanel advises if you’re just starting out, only have one Instagram account under your name and focus on your “fave 5.” The “fave 5” is the five multifaceted topics or categories that define your brand and the content you share on social media and your blog. One of those categories should always be the service you offer.
Creating content can be a lot simpler than you might realize. When it comes to marketing, the #1 thing to remember is consistency! Whether you can commit to posting three social media posts per week or five, just do it and stick to it.
Chanel keeps a running Notes list in her phone with each of the five categories she covers in her content marketing strategy, and if she sees or hears something inspirational that fits into one of those areas, she captures it for later to post about. This way if she’s ever stuck or dealing with writer’s block, she has a list she can pull from for fresh ideas.
If your marketing efforts aren’t leading to a high-converting website, why bother? Chanel uses her website to highlight her credibility, which leads to building a know, like, trust factor with potential new clients.
Her top tip is to have a simple, but clear call to action that showcases your expertise, professionalism, and legitimacy, and don’t shy away from sharing your pricing!
You don’t want to waste your time on a discovery call with someone who can’t afford your services.
Don’t let your personal insecurities and fears keep someone from getting to know the real you.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK CHANEL:
“You’re literally doing the world a disservice by not putting yourself out there. There’s somebody for everybody. Just freaking do it.”
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