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5 Obstacles I’ve Overcome in the 5 Years I’ve been in Business

Cindy Rowe Marketing Celebrates 5 Years
Hey. I’m back.
Thought I would continue my sharing this week with 5 obstacles I’ve overcome in the 5 years since launching my business.
This post is vulnerable and personal–so please be kind when reading, commenting or reacting.
1. Shortly after starting my business, my marriage ended. Divorce sucks. But it’s scary to consider living alone on a small income of a newly started consulting business. It was a humbling experience. I secretly got a part-time job so I could firmly grasp my new reality and figure shit out. I had that job for a year when I decided it was time to fly. Once I left, my business blossomed. It was incredible.
2. I had a client drop me. It was early on in my business and I took it incredibly personal. I thought we were on target to meeting (even exceeding) their goals, but they thought otherwise. I felt like everyone knew I just got fired from a client. I felt like I had to justify everything. I almost considered refunding them the money they paid me. I needed this experience to grow from. Clear expectations from both parties is crucial. And I realized that sometimes, people don’t mesh–and that’s okay.
3. At the end of 2018, I was in a terrible car accident. After weeks of going undiagnosed, I learned that I suffered a brain injury. This was a critical time in my business cycle where I typically secure clients for the upcoming year and I couldn’t even function. I was alone. I was scared. I was honest with my clients and told them I would do my best, but understood if they needed to move on. I wasn’t sure when I would be back to “normal”. Not one of my current clients dropped me. That’s when I realized that I built my company with integrity. My clients wanted ME to get better. I was so grateful for their understanding.
4. COVID happened. I know we all have felt the pains of this pandemic that never seems to end. But I had to pivot (like everyone else) and I had to reassure my clients that they still needed me and their marketing efforts. It was a busy time. It was stressful. But, my business made it through successfully.
5. FINALLY–Not thinking I’m good enough–I still battle with this. There are 20-somethings out there that OWN it better than I ever will and I have 20+ years of experience under my belt. Even after all of that, I still occasionally doubt my abilities. Not something I am proud to admit, but it’s the reality I face. I continue my education, read blogs, attend conferences, etc…all of these allow me to stay on top of trends and keep things fresh but man, those feelings still creep up from time to time.
Wow–that was more difficult that I thought it was going to be. Hopefully you can relate on some level. Thanks for reading and supporting me! Cheers!

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5 Things I’ve Learned in Business Over the Past 5 Years

Cindy Rowe celebrates 5 years in business

Sharing a little bit more about me and my business today…here are 5 things I’ve learned over the past 5 years running a business.
1. It takes Time–yikes…it takes time to build a business from scratch. I knew this, but damn, it can really take a really long time! I didn’t think I would have instant success, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. It also took me a few years to figure out work/life balance. Thank God I did–my life feels more complete since I’ve tackled that demon of owning a small business.
2. Not everyone wants you to succeed--it’s true. And that painful truth hurts, especially when they are close to you. But it’s usually a sign of weakness from them, not from you. The best advice I can give, is succeed anyway.
3. There’s enough business for everyone–I feel this in my soul. I know that I am not a good fit for everyone. I know that there are other talented consultants out there. And I am 100% OK with that reality. I stay in my own lane and focus on providing to my clients and it serves me well. I cheer on others, I encourage others and I’ve recommended others. There’s enough for everyone–it’s time we all got along!!
4. I hate accounting. I said what I said. I’m not good at it. I despise it. I know it’s important but I’d rather not deal with it.
5. The rewards are plentiful! Man, working for myself has amazing rewards, but the best one by far is seeing a client succeed. I love knowing that I can make a small impact on their business when I work with them. Endless smiles…
Thanks for catching up with me this week! I have more planned for next week–see you then!

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My 5 BIG WINS in 5 Years of Business

Cindy Rowe Marketing Celebrates 5 Big WinsHi. It’s me, Cindy.
During this celebratory month, I thought it would be fun to reflect back over the past 5 years and share a few things about me and my business. This week–I will start by sharing my 5 biggest WINS! (these aren’t in any special order–just shooting from the hip!)
1. Starting! Yep–If I didn’t start, I wouldn’t be here 5 years later. It’s crazy, but it true. Starting is the biggest step. Belief that I could run a business and make it successful–I didn’t cave into FEAR!
2. Networking! I remember meeting John Broda at a Networking event. He introduced me to others and a great business friendship formed. I always saw John as a connector–he is good at getting the right people in front of each other. John was also my first non-friend client–he took a leap and trusted me! I will never forget that.
3. Office Space! Moving out of the house and coffee shops into my own space was so liberating! My dreams/vision for my business was never to have an agency or large office–but a quiet place to work and be organized–I WANTED THAT!!! I love having a place to go, surrounded by other entrepreneurs and business people, Irontek is the perfect place for me!
4. Referrals! Yes–the heartbeat of my business! When I have people recommend me to their friends, it is truly the greatest compliment. It also raises the bar for me–I don’t want to let the client down or the friend that referred me. These recommendations are such a blessing and I never take them for granted.
5. Conferences! I set a goal in 2019 to host educational events. That goal was met and then some! I hosted my own Social Media Conference with a goal of 20-30 people–I blew it out of the park with over 50 in attendance. After that conference, I went on and hosted 4 more! This was a pivotal experience for my business. I loved every second of it. Look for more educational opportunities coming soon!
Looking back over the past 5 years is fun! Stay tuned for more!!

Hooray for 5 Years!!

celebrating 5 years in businessTODAY IS A MAJOR MILESTONE FOR ME!!!
Today I celebrate 5 years in business!

Has it been easy? HELL NO.
Has it been worth it? HELL YES!

I wasn’t ready to start when I did–but I took the leap anyways. I wasn’t sure where I’d end up or how long I’d succeed, but I knew it was worth trying. I wasn’t aware of the hurdles I’d have to jump and situations I’d endure, but I started anyways.

I had many people not believe in my dreams or my vision, yet I kept moving forward. I had people tell me where they thought my business should go, but that was their vision, not mine. I had people laugh at me and couldn’t believe I walked away from an almost 6-figure career for this. I had people whisper behind my back and tell untrue stories about my experience or my abilities. I had people cheer me on and encourage me. I had referrals from people that only knew of me through social media. I had repeat business. I had many mistakes and failures. And I have had lots of successes and wins.
I’ve been nervous about where my next client is coming from and wondering how I can manage all of my workload.

I’ve met amazing business owners. I’ve had incredible clients. I’ve built great business friendships.
My passion has been helping others. In the corporate world, I felt like that part of my life was missing. So when I built my company, my number one focus was going to be helping small businesses. I built my business with honesty and integrity. And holy shit–I made it to the 5 year mark!

Thank you for your love and support over the past 5 years–I look forward to the exciting future ahead!!
All month long I will be celebrating–so grab your glass and join me!!

Marketing After Covid-19

Business as usual has changed and will keep changing. The way your business responds will determine if you’ll move forward or get stuck. The way a business utilizes its marketing will be a tell tale sign on how they will recover or keep up after Covid-19.

This is the time to get strategic and leverage your business and resources to nurture leads and increase revenue. The marketing that emerges after Covid-19 will be a product of shifts in the industry as well as a changed consumer. It needs to be more personal and more digital—filling every screen/device of your life.

Here are some of the strategies your small business should consider:

  1. ENGAGE – Focus on boosting lifetime value and the customer experience as well as delivering a purpose driven and meaningful brand. People buy from people—people want to be engaged, not sold to.
  2. EMPATHY – Show genuine empathy, promote engagement that will unravel the shifting attitudes and consumer behaviors. Understand your customers changing needs. Don’t think like a business owner or marketer, think like the customer.
  3. BE AUTHENTIC – Give back—provide as much value to customer and communities—this will help drive a long term customer loyalty. Bring back the human touch even though we are in the digital age. Make everything about people. Consumers want to know where their money is going and that those companies are doing the right thing.
  4. RETHINK – Covid-19 will leave lasting changes to the consumer landscape. Businesses can’t pick up where they left off—everything is still evolving. Businesses need to monitor their communication and messaging. Businesses need to be agile enough to pivot quickly. Product offerings need to be relevant. Find technologies that can help save money, reassess the ones you actually need and which ones can help transform your business.
  5. COMMUNITY – Community is king. Engage with your audience that already exists. Spend more time having conversations that posting content by participating in your community.

Considering the strategies listed above, here is a roadmap to put them into place in your business to help catapult your success.

  1. INBOUND MARKETING – This task is more important than ever. It helps businesses to build relationships online and is simply the best way to convert leads into loyal customers. With lead nurturing through inbound marketing you need to listen to the needs of your audience and provide information that helps solve their problems. Examples: Blogs, social media posts, ebooks, videos, webinars.
  2. LEAD GENERATION – Priorities of consumers have shifted and your marketing strategies should reflect that. Using quality content to create powerful online connections is key—humanizing your brand and speaking to customers concerns will nurture an ongoing conversation. Quarantine has taught us that online conversations can be just as meaningful as face-to-face. Brands have a wealth of resources and opportunities to connect with their communities. Online consumption is at an all-time high and its not likely to change. Businesses need to double down on engagement efforts and revisit your approach to organic traffic. The easiest/fastest way to boost organic traffic is to provide relevant content. Trying to sell your old offerings to the customers you had is a recipe for disaster. Instead create/deliver/communicate new offerings—starting with the consumers needs/hopes and desires.
  3. RUN A SWOTStrengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats – take a hard look at internal strengths and weaknesses while you scan the new world for opportunities and threats. Crossing your internal strengths and external opportunities could produce key leverage points. Crossing internal weaknesses with external threats could highlight business issues. Start by understanding the changes in the world and then figure out how you can best adapt. What trends are you seeing that can help transform your business?

At the end of the day, when things return to “normal”, the big key for businesses is to have a start-up mindset. Be quick to change. And if we learned anything from this Covid-19 crisis, it’s to make everything about the people. When you put people first and focus on the community you have already created, you will see things turn around.

Holiday Marketing Tips You NEED This Season


The holiday season is upon us. If your company sells goods or services to consumers, you need to have a Holiday Marketing Plan in place. Needs some direction? Here’s a few tips:

  1. Show Gratitude for Current Customers – we all know that people have PLENTY of options when it comes to where they purchase their gifts. Give your current customers a reason to choose you. Send them a private invitation or a thank-you card with a discount to use during the holiday buying season. Keep your business top-of-mind.
  2. Offer a FREE GIFT – Everyone likes something for free…that’s why providing a free product or purchase gift is such a compelling holiday marketing strategy. Highlight special offers, savings, and free promotions whenever possible to amplify your sales during this time of year.
  3. Use Email Marketing – Throughout the holiday season, businesses send shoppers a variety of offers. Which is one reason consumers frequently check their email during the holiday shopping season. Send out emails that highlight your promotions, sales, or seasonal product line.
  4. Use Hashtags – With hashtags, you can spread the word about your sales and promotions. You can also encourage user-generated content by creating a hashtag for shoppers to use when posting a photo or status that features your product. The right hashtags can help you reach new shoppers who are looking for the perfect gift this holiday season too. What do your consumers seem to want most for the holidays this year? Use hashtags on your Twitter, Instagram, and various other social media profiles to create more buzz for your business.
  5. Embrace Video – According to 90 percent of users, video also helps them make a purchase decision, which tremendously benefits your company. Adding a video to your website, emails, or social media page can help you share your company’s message in a way that invites users to learn more about your brand. Videos are user-friendly too, plus make it easy for viewers to learn more about your products and their uses.

With a bit of planning, your team can develop a one-of-a-kind holiday marketing strategy that drives your seasonal sales upward. From offering personalized experiences to sharing gratitude, your company has a variety of options when it comes to promoting your business this season.

Don’t have time to lead a holiday marketing campaign? Give me a call, I’d love to help!


All the best,