Today we’d like to introduce you to Deonnah Carolus.
Deonnah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I always knew I would own a business, I just didn’t know how it would happen or when.
My story starts when I was in the process of getting my business marketing degree from Metro State in Denver.
My goal was to start a yoga clothing company. During my 3rd year, the yoga clothing industry took a turn and became so saturated that entry into this market was nearly impossible (you know when you can buy yoga pants at Walmart for $5, your shot at owning a market share is pretty abysmal). That’s when an opportunity for me to take an internship at an agency landed in my lap, so I took it.
It was a paid internship drafting white papers and creating marketing materials for high-level CEO’s, and coding was the main driver for creating these online pieces of content. I had never coded a day in my life, but day 1, I sat down, opened Dreamweaver and started to learn. I took to it rather quickly and LOVED it. That’s when I knew that marketing communications was my new direction.
After my internship was over, I took another with a local agency, now called Social Speak. The internship opportunity quickly turned into a freelance job and the rest is history. I ended up working as a freelancer for the next four years then I decided to turn my experience into a bigger opportunity by opening my own agency.
I opened Summit Web Marketing in March of 2017 after a short stint with a partner in another business that didn’t end up working out, and have been in business ever since. Summit Web Marketing continues to grow at home and globally. I have recruited some of the top marketers in the country to grow my business and have remote teams from the Philippines to all across the United States. We are currently shifting our model into the e-commerce space, building and running shops on Shopify, and running ads through Facebook as well as Messenger to help online store owners scale up and tap into bigger markets.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It never is, but the bumps in the road and side routes make for some valuable lessons.
I guess I struggled most on picking a niche. If I had niched down more quickly, I would have scaled my business faster. I used to believe that digital marketing could help any business in any vertical at any level, and it can, but only if it’s done in a way that models that business. Now that I know what my core services are, who my ideal client is and how I can best serve them, my processes and systems are much more streamlined, and I have been able to see growth and be more effective with delivering results. The riches are truly in the niches as they say.
I would also add that I struggled with the perceived value of what I offer at the beginning which in turn, affected my self-confidence. The reason I think this happened is that a lot of business owners don’t see or totally understand how social media can work for them. They question it and hesitate to invest in something that does not yield immediate results. It takes work, dedication, and grit to make the needle move with digital marketing and when someone questions your ability, either because they have been burned in the past by another agency (which happens all too often) or because they just don’t see the value it can really make you question what you’re doing. I think that’s true with anything. What I found to help me combat this over time was to trust what I know, and keep delivering results over an over again. I’m definitely happy that stage of uncertainty is over but I think it helped push me to consistently be better at what I do.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Summit Web Marketing – what should we know?
We are a boutique social media agency that helps business owners and entrepreneurs with their online marketing strategies and tactics. We specialize in Facebook ads, Messenger marketing, and website optimization for the most part. We help with launching new products, reaching new or existing target markets, generate leads for local businesses and combine all that with rich media content to deliver the ultimate user experience. We work with start-ups, local and national brands, drop-ship companies and health and wellness industries.
We are very passionate about helping the small business owner or entrepreneur that has dreams of starting a business but doesn’t know where to start. We help them get clear about where they are, where they want to go, and then work with them on their brand, website and media strategy to get them going.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I have a few but I would say the number one characteristic to my success is trust. Being transparent, communicating openly, and being personable with my clients has created a lot of trust between us, and that’s not always easy in business. The trust I build with my clients allows me to be more creative and try new tactics to move the needle for them. It also allows them to open up to their own ideas and share their creativity with me. This level of communication (I have found) creates an immersive experience for both of us, and often times we end up learning new things about their business to grow it together.
- Website: https://www.summitwebmarketing.net/
- Phone: 7203719509
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/summitwebmarketing/
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCslJNszm5NE_RHkGwa2kmyg?view_as=subscriber