The Journey Begins

Welcome to the first official post on this journey back to six figures. #BackToSix #LetsGo

Let me first start by saying this is the riskiest thing I’ve ever done. I consider myself to be an introvert with extrovert tendencies and tracking my efforts and the good, bad, and ugly of my results publicly, is terrifying.

At the same time I’m excited by the idea of people like you following along with me, taking action in your business and finding some success. So let’s get started!

About My Business

My official business is Simply Marketing Solutions, LLC located in Frisco, TX and I serve clients across the country. The Texas version of my business started in May 2018 and prior to that my business was Summer Alexander Research, Inc. located in Matteson, IL, and launched in July of 2011. I have been in business for over 9 years!

My core business services are speaking, training, and consulting for large organizations (think corporations, local governments, universities, & non-profit orgs). Additionally, I have a book, eCourses, and a YouTube channel geared toward small business owners, speakers, and authors.

My speaking and training services are centered around effectively marketing yourself and/or your business to your intended audience. For a company, this could mean I’m presenting my personal brand training to frontline employees to help them position themselves for leadership opportunities. For a business owner, I might be sharing how to use speaking as a strategy to grow your company. The consulting work I do is around helping organizations build an online and offline marketing plan to reach a specific target audience and increase sales revenue.

Presenting at The University of Illinois Center for Literacy

Here are a few of examples of revenue I’ve generated in the past to give you some context about my business operations.

  • Local government – a 5-month contract where I implemented a community-wide survey, interviewed government officials, business owners, and city staff to gauge the internal and external brand perception of the city of 19,000. With the data from the survey, we created a strategic marketing and branding plan. We also implemented several facets of the plan including updating the brand collateral and hosting community events. For this project, I hired a team of consultants to help me implement. Total fee: $75,000
  • Keynote presentation – a 60-minute presentation on how to grow your small business to six-figures for an annual women’s conference in Chicago. A quick note on this one, I was invited to speak for this same conference the year before and they could only pay me $400. However, my presentation ended up being ranked as the best presentation of the day in the after-event survey which allowed me to command a higher fee the following year. Total fee: $2500
  • eCourse – my Present for Profit course teaching small business owners to grow their small businesses using speaking as a core marketing strategy. I launched this course in 2018 and at the time of launch, I had 50 students enroll. Total fee: $497

So as you can see my services and fees vary depending on the type of project I’m working on.

The Game Plan

For the next 12 months (September 2020 – September 2021) I’m going to focus on the following key areas to grow my business.

Speaking – keynote presentations, 1/2 day training sessions, and multi-day training sessions (virtual for now and in person when the world is normal again).

Consulting – advising on strategies and developing a plan for organizations to use online and offline marketing to grow awareness of their brands and increase sales of their products and services.

eCourse sales – enrolling students in my current course and my upcoming mini-course for speakers, authors, and entrepreneurs.

Some of the ways I’ll jump start my marketing efforts include:

  • Restarting and growing my YouTube channel (currently 703 subscribers)
  • Reaching out to organizations where I’ve spoken in the past
  • Searching for ‘calls for speakers’ and submitting proposals to speak
  • Reaching out to my LinkedIn connections (currently 2,291 connections)
  • Completing my minority business certification (currently in the process with the DFW MSDC)
  • Joining local organizations for networking
  • Restarting my other social media profiles (Facebook has 10,356 subscribers, Instagram 2,126 followers and I’m not even fooling with Twitter lol)
  • Looking for organic media opportunities (in other words, I’m not paying for PR but I’ll look for guest blog, podcast, and social media feature opportunities)

*A small note about my social media – I pretty much abandoned all of my social media activities in early 2019 and as you know out of sight out of mind. It’s not that I don’t see the value in social media as a tool to reach your intended audience, it’s the overwhelming negativity thrust in your face day in and day out that I’ve struggled with over the years. I’ll be actively posting but from an engagement standpoint, it will be like starting over. Although I will acknowledge I have a head start because I do have some followers.

What You Can Expect from Me

I don’t have any hardcore rules in place for how I will navigate communicating this journey but there are a few guidelines I want to make sure you know about.

I’ll share with you the what, why, and how but I’ll never share the who. I’m not going to name clients but I will give you an idea of the size of the organization and the industry.

I’ll share my revenue. That means the gross and the net. I don’t think it would be genuine or fair to show you what I’m making but not how much I spent to make it. There will likely be some kind of end of the month report. (Please note you need to be subscribed to my email list to get the revenue updates).

Subscribe here.

I’ll share the resources I use. Whatever tools, tips, and resources I use in my marketing efforts will be shared with you. If there are affiliate links associated with anything I share I’ll communicate that to you, though you are under no obligation to click my link. Rest assured I will only share resources that I have personally used and benefited from using.

Our conversation will be two-way. As of today, I don’t have a clue if anyone will even care to follow me on this journey but my promise to you is that whether I have 1 or 1000 on the journey, I won’t ignore you. If you take the time to read and reply to my email messages, comment on my blog posts, and/or like and comment on my videos I will acknowledge you.

What I Expect from You

Action. Don’t sit back quietly and watch my journey. Become an active participant willing to try new things to grow your own business or brand.

Kindness. Protecting my peace is non-negotiable. I’m here for questions, constructive feedback, fresh ideas, love, and laughter. I will not stand for negativity, hate, or harsh judgments towards me or anyone in my community.

Alright I think that about covers it for now. I’ll be back next week same time, same place and I hope to see you here. Take a minute now to join the email list and subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to get notified of new content.

Let me know in the comments below what 1-2 activities you’ll be taking to grow your business and brand.

The Journey Begins!

Until next week… Business Blessings.

Summer Alexander
Summer Alexander

I am an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. I’m practical, honest, unapologetic, encouraging, hip-hop and funny as hell. I want to succeed so I can leave a legacy for my family and I want to see you succeed for the same reason. #LetsGo

If you missed the first post in this series you can read here.

4 Comments

  • Laura

    September 1, 2020 - 7:42 AM

    Summer, this is great. I admire your transparency. My two actions –
    1. hired a business coach that I start with TODAY! I’m committed to showing up for this investment and doing the work.;
    2. I’ve gotten some nice traction from LinkedIn, but I’m inconsistent. I will release my own content at least once a week, and aim to comment/share/engage daily during the workweek to build relationships.
    Let’s Go!

    • Summer Alexander

      September 1, 2020 - 4:47 PM

      Laura thank you for sharing! Hiring a coach is a power move and I’m excited to hear the results you achieve. I’m with you on the consistency with LinkedIn, I plan to ramp up my efforts as well.

  • Gwendolyn

    September 1, 2020 - 4:09 PM

    Summer I’m so excited for you and I will definitely be following along. My things…

    1. Hired a coach for the next 12 months who has built an agency like the one I desire to build. Hefty investment and now I keep wondering if I did the right thing lol because it’s alot lol. But I have made a commitment to do the work, can’t waste money.

    2. I have a small team and I’ve committed to really focusing on teambuilding so I’m doing trainings, monthly lunches and weekly checkins.

    3. I’m relaunching my podcast in 4th quarter as a way to increase visibility.

    • Summer Alexander

      September 2, 2020 - 7:27 PM

      Hi Gwen!

      I’m excited to have you along for the journey and look forward to hearing about the exciting things happening in your business as well.

      Hiring a coach is a power move. It’s an investment in your growth that in my experience is well worth it.

      Keep me posted on the relaunch of your podcast.

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