Deedra Determan shifted her full-service marketing agency – D2 Branding – to focus on digital marketing… and she hasn’t looked back.
She says digital offers clear benefits for companies of every size, in every industry… even businesses that say that they’re not “set up” for digital.
The truth is, says Deedra, that your audience is online – constantly and in many different sites, apps, and services.
She works with her clients to find out where their prospects and customers hang out online and then creates a customized marketing plan to reach them there.
Of course, that’s just the start. We talk about what comes next, as well as…
- The #1 digital marketing tactic she recommends to every business
- An “old school” strategy she still relies on
- How much you should be spending on marketing
- The 5+ advantages of digital marketing has over traditional advertising
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Rick Hadrava: Hey everybody, this is Rick Hadrava and you are once again listening to an episode of the Over 50 Entrepreneur Podcast. As always, I really appreciate you tuning in and can’t wait to visit with our guest today. Her name is Deedra Determan and she is the founder of D2 Branding, a digital marketing firm that ignites brands, corporations, startups and personal brands so that they can increase their profits.
You know, Deedra started her career in television, spending 10 years at a local Fox affiliate, and later decided to get into consulting for TV stations across the country for Clear Channel, a TV. Very much looking forward to digging into that transition. She later became an entrepreneur launching a niche website for moms, and some of you listening today might be familiar with that website.
She grew that to over 100,000 moms visiting the site every month using the power of Facebook. After one year, Deedra sold that site to Griffin Communications. We’ll be talking about that for sure. So basically, D2 Branding was recognized as one of the best entrepreneurial companies in America by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360 ranking.
This is a premier study delivering the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America. Based on this study, Forged by Entrepreneur, D2 Branding is recognized as a well-rounded company that has mastered a balance of impact, innovation, growth, leadership and value. If you’ve ever wondered about marketing with your business, I think today’s guest is going to be able to share all sorts of great information. So let’s get started by welcoming Deedra Determan to our show. Deedra, thanks for being on the show.
Deedra Determan: Hello, thank you for having me, Rick. I’m excited to be here.
Rick: Well, I appreciate that. Well, listen, let’s start with where we are today. Tell us a little bit more about D2 Branding.
The Pivotal Shift to Digital
Deedra: So we are a digital marketing firm. You know, it’s funny, we started as a full-service agency about six years ago. And you know, with the changing times here we have in marketing the digital age, we really have now become a niche in digital marketing, because it’s such an important thing for businesses to get into and it’s the best lead generation out there to, you know, increase your profit right away.
Rick: And that’s an interesting comment. So you were a full-service agency and you went niche and you went into digital marketing. Why do you feel like that was a better place for you to be for people? And I understand lead generation. Curious as to what that reasoning was.
Deedra: Yeah, so I spent 10 years in television, as you stated earlier, and so I know the whole traditional media model, you know, radio, TV, print, outdoor. I used to buy media so I’m very familiar with, you know, the cost per acquisition and it is very high with traditional media. When we started kind of diving into digital marketing and seeing that you can get your cost per lead so much lower and your reach so much higher with fewer dollars, then it just made perfect sense. You know, why would you still be spending the money on radio, TV, print, outdoor when you can reach so many more people and be so highly-targeted through digital?
So you know, we still do website design, graphic design, video work, we do all kinds of things for clients, but we really specialize in the digital side. And you know, it’s been a very positive thing for our clients. You know, once they do digital, they don’t turn around and go back to their old ways because they, the ROI is there. And, you know, you can prove exactly what you spend, what you’re getting back. And it’s just a really great marketing tool for people today.
Rick: So safe to say that the mission is lead generation at a lower cost.
Deedra: Lead generation at a lower cost. So if you’re an ecommerce trying to sell something online, or you have a storefront, and just trying to get people through your door, digital allows you to target based on age, sex, income level, geographic area, likes, dislikes, you know, you can go after competitors pages, there’s all kinds of things you can do strategically online that you can’t do with traditional media.
And so getting down to that correct, you know, that right audience where you’re only delivering an ad to someone who is your exact target, and then once they come through and click on your ad, you know, we’ve created online sales funnel that we’ve gathered all their data. And you’ve seen this online and probably not realized that you’re shopping and you go to the cart, and you say, Oh, I think I’ll buy that later. And then that item follows you for six months. And you’re like, how did they know? How do they know, right? Like, Big Brother is watching.
Rick: Absolutely. I believe my phone can listen in and bring me those things. Yeah, it’s very interesting. So okay, so with mission, who’s your ideal client that you work with?
Deedra: You know, it’s funny, we work with clients in almost every industry, and people will say, Well, in my industry is not set up for digital. And that’s absolutely not true. Every industry is set up for digital because that’s where everybody is at. The numbers are there. Everyone is on, you know, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google.
I mean, that is where the audience is so you have to tailor to that. You know, so ideal client, gosh, I mean, for me, personally, I mean, I love working with I mean, I’ve got startups. I love people coming to me saying I have an idea. I don’t know what to do. How do I start and we do everything from the, you know, brand evaluation to strategic plan, creating all their assets, you know, coming up with the marketing, you know, to fortune 500 companies. It really, you know, it’s hard to say the ideal client. You know, I work with a lot of medical,
I work with a lot of attorneys. You know, we work with dentists, we work with, you know, just restaurants. I mean, there really isn’t anybody that the digital platform doesn’t work for. Now, not everyone has the same campaign and has the same use all the same mediums, but between Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, I mean, that really covers the marketing that you need to be doing.
Rick: I understand the fortune 500 and I understand established companies, but one of the things that I’ve wondered is, you talked about ROI. And if I’m a company doing a half million, million dollars, revenue, maybe I don’t have a big budget, you know, do I want to go spend, I don’t know, you know, 20,000 $30,000 on a digital media campaign for leads versus a little bit of old school, you know, networking and making calls and seeing people? Just wondering what your thoughts are on that, on my question.
The Old With the New
Deedra: Yeah, no, it’s a great question. And so this is, we, you know, I do a lot of business consulting as well. So I have clients where we do every facet of their business and really dive in. And I always tell people this, regardless of the industry you’re in, there’s three things you need to be doing in marketing.
Number one, search engine optimization. You need to come to the top of Google in your industry. 85% of people are googling before they do anything. They’re going to go, they’re going to do their research. There’s so much information at their fingertips today, right? They’re going to ask friends, they’re going to get on there and get as much information as they can and really make up their mind. And then they’re just seeing who am I going to work with? Who’s coming to the top of Google, right?
So someone googles website design tools, so website design, Oklahoma City, who comes to the top? The marketing companies that come to the top, they’re going to get called. Hundred percent they will get called. So search engine is so important in any industry. The second thing is digital marketing. So having Facebook ads, Instagram ads, you know, ads on YouTube and Google, those are so important. So if you’ve got the search, those are people that don’t know about you, but they’re already convinced they need your product or service, right?
I know I want to buy a car I but I don’t know exactly what. So I’m just going to go out there and Google the most economic, you know, safe car that’s out there. Who comes to the top of Google is going to get my attention, right? Digital, we’re going after people who maybe aren’t looking, but they fit our profile. They fit all the things that our ideal, likely buyer would be. So I’m going to put an ad in front of them and the ones that, you know, click, those are the ones that come through my funnel.
And I just keep marketing and remarketing and marketing to them. And research shows it takes about four to seven times to see an ad to convert. So I can’t just deliver one time. I’ve got to keep constantly being in front of them with messages. So those are the two. And then the third thing, and it will never go away, is old school sales. Take up the phone, get in front of people. I tell people that all the time. Digital is not your end all be all answer. It’s great for lead generation, but guess what, you still have to pick a spot on the other end when that lead comes through, right? You still are going to have to convert.
And so sales is never going to go away. And I’m a huge proponent of, you know, getting out there creating relationships, you know, creating partnerships with people that you can work together and both grow your businesses. You’re going after the same niche but you’re not competitors. You know, things like that will catapult your business. So if you had those three things going, those are the people that double and triple their revenue. You had, you come to the top of Google, you have a digital plan getting your ideal likely buyer, and you’re still out there doing sales.
Rick: I love that. I think, I hope our audience is listening and took those notes on those three key areas, SEO, digital marketing, and old school sales. You know, it’s funny to me because today we take for granted that you have to have a website, right? And like, I think you’re kind of going towards the whole point of look, having digital is replacing or has the same emphasis as having that website. It’s going to become the norm. And if you don’t have it, you know, people aren’t going to shop you.
Deedra: Right. So true. Very true.
Rick: Well, I recently saw something that you posted, putting you on the spot here Deedra, but I found it interesting and I want to talk about it, explore it a little bit. According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year. If you aren’t using video in your marketing, you’re likely missing out on connecting with a lot of potential customers.
And, you know, it’s something that I’ve been, I’ve had a number of people make the comment to me lately that, hey, you’ve got to do some video. You’ve got to start doing this. And it’s something that I agree, I understand. But it’s hard to do, right? As an entrepreneur small business owner. So curious, how would you approach that?
Deedra: So video is so important. I mean, I tell people every day and if people are intimidated by it because as soon as the camera gets rolling, they shut up and they freeze up and they don’t know what to say. But today, people are not expecting the high-end professional videos that they did in the past.
You know, you have HDTV and you’ve got to have this high definition video to run on TV. People don’t expect that on social media. Now is high-end production a thing of the past? No, it’s a beautiful thing. But not everybody can afford that, right? We do a lot of high-end production for clients that come in and we do a brand story and it’s great. But I have people, startups will come and I’ll say, you know what, you have a phone, right? You can do video on that phone.
Do video, do video with your phone. People, you’re being real, you’re getting out there. You’re talking about, you know, tips in your industry that people need to hear. You’re educating them, you’re, you know, there’s all kinds of things you can do. And literally, if you have a cell phone, all you need to do is turn it on. And you see that, you see YouTube, ask all the young kids. They all follow YouTube stars. Like my son, I’m like, What are you watching? Is that a TV show? Is that a Netflix?
He’s like a YouTuber. You know, that’s what they, that’s their culture. They watch these YouTubers who are just kids that are maybe are a good skateboarder or they’re, you know, they have some type of niche, or maybe it’s fashion and they just turn the camera on and start talking in real life and show things that they love. And that is the world we live in today. You don’t need necessarily that high-end production to get, you know, people following you with video. If you know something, you have something of value to offer people, start putting videos out there, you will get a following.
Rick: I love the advice. And now you’re putting me under the gun so
Deedra: You can do it.
Rick: Well, I was sitting here thinking, you know, you’re talking about YouTube, but I saw that one of the fastest-growing apps out there is Tik Tok, which is all video. And, you know, what’s interesting is most people think, and I have teenagers, most people think it’s just kids dancing around. But I’m seeing comedians on there, business content being put out there. So to your point, if you want to grow your business and awareness than video, I think it is not going away. It’s actually going to be amplified as we move forward.
Deedra: Yes, and I have a great example for you. So say you’re going to do a Facebook ad. You’re going to Facebook, Instagram, you want to put an ad out there. If you have video, your cost per lead can be as low as one cent. I have several video campaigns running right now that are literally running for one cent per view. You’re not going to get that anywhere. Whereas static ads, so you know, a graphic that you’re running, you know, $1 is a really, really good cost per view. So somebody coming in at a dollar is great. So think of one cent versus $1 and the amount of people that you’re reaching, you know, at that cost. And so even Facebook, Instagram, you know, they reward you for video. You put video out there, they make your cost per view very, very low compared to if you did a static ad. So it works very well on any platform.
Rick: Absolutely. Well, I mean, that’s pure leverage. The difference between $1 and a penny multiplied several times. That’s epic. Well, I appreciate that. I think we’ve given the audience a good idea of what D2 Branding does and what’s there. I want to change our questioning in a little bit and I want to go back. Can you tell us a little bit about the website that you launched for moms and what was the genesis of that for you?
Deedra: Yes. So in 2008, I launched 918moms.com. So I was a young mom, I worked at Clear Channel TV, you know, at the local Fox affiliate for 10 years, and was out there looking and, you know, wanted to know, it was getting the time that I needed to start looking for daycares. And I wanted to find birthday party places and, you know, really just a place where I could talk to other moms and this was before Facebook blew up. Facebook was more, you know, still kind of in the college mode where college students are using it, but not real mainstream.
And so we, you know, I started looking around like, gosh, there’s not a website out there that just has all the information for Tulsa moms. You know, I want to find all the places, I want to you get reviews from other moms on where’s the best place to shop for this or that or what are the best schools. And so I just thought I’m gonna create that. I am a mom, it’s something that I want to, that I’m interested in myself. And I know in advertising the advertising model is, you know, everything from TV was moving, starting to move online. So TV was certainly a dip.
And this is the very beginning of it and people are going online more, so I thought if I can create a platform for women 25 to 54, specifically moms, a niche, and go after that niche, grow as a free site, you could come on free, it’s free content and grow a community, then I know I can get advertisers that are wanting to reach that niche. And the number one advertising niches women 25 to 54. So it fit into like everything I knew. I knew the advertising model. I am a mom, I actually want this information and all my friends asked around, they did too.
So, you know, the funny thing is I got voted at Clear Channel at our Christmas party most likely to call tech support because I hated technology. I mean, I would be on my computer and go on calling tech support what I don’t know what’s going on with this. something’s up with my computer. And they would come over and laugh and say, You know, you need to turn it on, you know, or something really simple. Not, maybe not that extreme, but definitely something really simple. And so I thought, you know, that they, that that was the joke. Well, I didn’t know how to put a website together.
I was a TV person, but I didn’t know the ins and outs of that. So I literally drew it out on a piece of paper of what I wanted it to look like, handed it to a kid, you know, from TU that was just graduating and said, you know, hey, I don’t have a ton of money but I have a great idea. Can you put a website together for me that’s not so expensive? And then there came me with 918moms.com. I knew how to market, I knew I could get eyeballs there and I knew I could sell advertising if I just had a platform.
Rick: Fascinating. So I’m going to ask you, you said you knew how to market. What did you do to get the traction to get the eyeballs on the website?
Deedra’s $0 Website Launch
Deedra: So let me just give you a quick little preface of what’s going on my life at the time. So I’m working for Clear Channel, I’m consulting all around the country, I’m traveling, I’m making really good money. You know, the most money I’ve ever made at that point. I think I actually surpassed my husband at that point, it was kinda like a proud, you know, moment. I’m like, yes, I’m doing it. And we’re building our dream home. So we’re building a home out in Jenks. You know, it’s obviously requiring both incomes, right?
And suddenly, I’m thinking, I’m going to go build, like, I’m gonna build a website, right? I’m gonna, I’m going to go become an entrepreneur. And my husband looked at me like, I’m crazy. We’re right in the middle of this build. And our loan is based on two incomes coming in and mine was the majority of it. And he’s like, you can’t. And I said, No, no, I’m going to. I said, don’t worry, I’m not going to take any money out of savings. I’m not going to touch, you know, our income that we have coming. I’ve saved up money, and I’m going to launch this.
And so I launched with spending zero money on marketing, which is crazy. I’m a marketer. But I said, I’m just gonna, I’m gonna hustle. I know a lot of people, I’m going to do events around town. I’m going to tell everyone I know. I knew media, of course, and so I went to radio station Mix 96 in Tulsa, and I said, Hey, I can, I want to host a radio show for you. I will be the host of the Mixmom Squad and I will come on every Monday and do an hour show and you guys don’t have to worry about that hour for content. I’ll do all the prep work, I’ll do the homework.
You know, they, you know, I know media. So I know what to do. And I’ll bring guests on and I’ll do everything and you guys get a free hour. You don’t have to pay a DJ, you don’t pay anybody. And they’re kind of looking at me and I said and you can sell the advertising. You sell the ads on that show. You’ll make money and guess what, I get a full hour of advertising for free basically, because I’m talking about my site the entire time. So I do that, then I go to a television station.
Actually did Channel Eight at the time, and I said, you know, I can come on every week. I’ll be a guest. I’ll talk about things to do around town for moms and things you can do free and, you know, all this stuff for young moms. And they said, Okay, that sounds great, you know? And then I went to Oklahoma magazine, and I said, I will write articles for you every month. We will come up with articles that are fun things that mom could do. You don’t have to pay a writer. It’ll be free. It’s just my time. But guess what, I get a full-page ad, right?
In return. So we, I say we because I had a partner that work with me at the TV station. We both broke away to do this fight together. Melanie Henry, who is a dear friend of mine today, and we said we’re going to do all this hustling and all this stuff for free for stations because, and the media, because we know they’re short on people and they’re always looking for good articles and good content to put out there. And that’s our advertising. And in a year we had 100,000 moms coming to the website every month, and we did not spend one dime. Now I will say Facebook, this is right when Facebook was ramping up, so it was like the perfect storm.
I couldn’t launch this website today without money. It was just perfect timing because you did not have to spend money on Facebook to get eyeballs. It was not a paid model yet. So moms are just starting to gather and come on Facebook. So we blew our Facebook up just really quickly. I mean, we had a hundred thousand people, you know? And so it just was the power, I think, of hustle and knowing the media about, you know, having that media background and then just a perfect storm of when Facebook really was kind of becoming that mainstream for moms and it was still free.
Rick: Okay, so this was back in 2008, correct? So, okay, at what point did you sell the company to Griffin Communications
Deedra: A year later.
Rick: So 12 months later. And okay, so what’s the story there,
Deedra: So Griffin, kind of funny because I worked at Fox so that was a competitor. My partner was Channel Eight. So this was kind of out of the blue. Griffin, I hadn’t done anything with Griffin at this point. And but huge respect for them. I mean, they’re an amazing media company and amazing, you know, David Griffin is just a philanthropist and just the greatest guy.
So they call me it’s funny and see Forrester over there who ended up being my boss and he’s just a great guy, called me said, you know, I’m watching you, I’m watching this website and you’re everywhere. You know, how are you doing this? I mean, how are you growing this website? And I was like, Well, I’m basically I’m hustling. I’m just not spending any money. You know, I’m out there and, and he said, Well, he said, we’re either gonna we’re getting into niches, we’re gonna launch a moms website, we’re gonna launch a sports website.
He said, so we can either compete against you or we can buy you. You know, it’s your choice. And I kind of chuckled and we kept the conversation going for the next month or so. And, you know, I thought all the things I’m dealing with right now that are a struggle to me, I mean, we had advertisers calling, I couldn’t even call back. People are blowing my phone up and I’m like, I can’t even get to them. There’s only one of me. I’m doing the sales and marketing.
And Melanie, my partner, is doing all the writing and the content. And, you know, we’re just, we went from, oh, we’re gonna have this little fight at home where we can, you know, go to all our kids events, and I work at home and take it easy to oh my gosh, we’re working 12, 14 hour days because we’re blowing up. You know, it’s a blessing and a curse at the same time. So we said, okay, I’m thinking, here’s this media company that I have huge respect for, I mean, always being their competitor. I mean, they’re just top-notch, great people.
They do it right. You know, they’re coming in and they want to buy, well, they have a whole sales staff, right? They have probably 15 people per market, Oklahoma City and Tulsa at the time that could sell my stuff. And I’m like, there’s one of me, they already know sales, they can package TV together and bring my little website and with it. This is beautiful, right? If the price is right and we can work out a deal that works, I think this is everything I need. I don’t know accounting. I’m terrible at accounting.
And I’m like, I need somebody to do my invoicing. I’m staying up till midnight trying to invoice the people and figure it out like on Excel and it’s terrible. And you know, all those things, problem things would just go away. This is a full functioning corporation that’s been around for 20 something years, you know? And so that was kind of, that’s kind of how that came about. We started in conversation and met with them and we knew media, we had a media background, and we knew their world, and it just worked out really great.
Rick: That’s awesome because really, you were approached, you weren’t searching, which I don’t think most businesses after 12 months would be searching anyway. But, you know, in the work that we do, we do some of the work for businesses thinking about selling and the data tells us that almost maybe a little more than 73% of business owners that sell actually regretted after a year and it is seriously, and part of that isn’t it, part of it’s financial because the terms didn’t work out their way.
But the other part of that is because they didn’t give thought to what that next chapter was going to look like for them. But I think I heard you say that you continued to work with Griffin Communications. How long did you work with them after they acquired your company before you left?
Deedra: So we had a two-year contract. So and that was smart on their part because, you know, buying outright and us going away, we were the business, right? So taking us away, I mean, I was the content for all these people. We were the moms, we were the face. And so they, we worked for them. They gave us a really great deal. \
They let us kind of come and go as we please because we were used to working at home. They really treated us right. So, you know, integrating into that I will say there’s good and bad. I chuckled when you said people regret because definitely from an accounting standpoint from having like HR, having all those infrastructure things that a small business does not have was great.
You know, I had a boss I could bounce ideas off of that I never had before who is a seasoned veteran in media. So there was some really great things but there was definitely days that I regretted it. And, you know, it’s only because it’s your baby. When you’re working on your baby it’s your life and it was my name and my reputation and everything so I was going to do anything and everything to make this succeed. There was no way this was not going to succeed.
So I had all these TV people looking at me going you’re leaving that, you know, fat salary for some startup mom thing? Like what? I mean people thought I was crazy. And, you know, I was like, I really think this is the future. I think this is gonna work. And so I already put my name out there and I’m, you know, maybe I have a little ego and a little pride and all that but I was like, there’s no way I’m letting this fail. So when you think about you transferred over, now it’s suddenly a corporation. You know, have you worked in a corporation?
You know, you worked in the corporate world, it’s totally different. The speed at which they do things is totally different. I would make a decision that day, boom, we return and we were going to do it. We were going to partner with this person we knew. They have to have a committee of 25 people that have to review it and think about it and have a meeting and then talk about it and then maybe think over the weekend, and they get back together next week. And then they’re, it just drove me nuts, right?
Rick: Yeah. The meeting to have to meet.
Deedra: Oh, the meeting of the meeting, and it’s nothing against them. They’re a very well-run organization. It’s just I went from the world of me deciding, you know, my partner and I talking to now we have all these people deciding things and things move so slow compared to what we did. And, you know, the salespeople going out, they didn’t care nearly as much as I did, right?
They already had the top TV stations in the market. They don’t need, they didn’t need me, right? They were already selling already making money. My site was little small change to them. So it shifted the dynamic and I saw some accounts get lost. I saw opportunities not happen because I was more of a consulting role not doing. So there was a lot of difficult moments.
It was definitely, it definitely taught me that I will never go back to corporate America. I am meant to be a person working for myself and having control over, you know, what I do. I mean, if you want to raise as an entrepreneur, you go work harder. Go get another account, go show more, and you get your own raise. In corporate America, I’m sitting around for my review to maybe get 3% if I’m the top top top. I mean, you know? So there’s
Rick: You have no control over the outcome.
Deedra: No control over anything.
Rick: So, you know, some of the work we do in our workshops, you know, one of the things we talked about is looking at the company through the eyes of an acquirer, not because you necessarily want to sell, but companies that the owner is not the center of are both better for the value of a business, but they’re better for a business owner from a freedom standpoint, right?
Because if you are the one dealing directly with the customers, and you’re out there, providing those products and services, you’re the bottleneck. And, you know, and I think in a situation like this, you were fairly still new. And I could go into this about regrets and everything, but really, this gave you, was this the transition then, to D2 Branding? This was the next chapter for you?
What’s Next for D2 Branding
Deedra: It was. And so and I’m forever grateful for that because I saw that side, and they treat us very, very well. And then, you know, our chapters up and we’re leaving, and I’m like, What am I going to do now? It is a very weird feeling to, because I was like, gosh, I don’t want to, I know I could get a job doing something but I don’t know if I want to do that.
So I spent about, you know, probably 30 days going to 1000 lunches and coffees and dinners and this and that, because everyone wanted to pick my brain and everybody wanted to just, gosh, if I could just sit down and buy you coffee, I have an idea. And how did you do what you did? And I thought, you know what, I’m giving that valuable information. I lived this. So I did corporate America, I became an entrepreneur, I built a business in a year, I sold it, I learned a lot in that timeframe of what to do and what not to do.
You know, I think this can become a business. And so I started, you know, I was like, I’m gonna come with a consulting firm and start consulting clients. And, you know, it’s tough to take that transition, because I went from, you know, it was always a friend of a friend, or, you know, and everybody wanted to talk to me, so it’s tough to be like, Oh, I charge for that now. You know, Oh, no, I just want to buy you coffee. But then you spend your whole life going to coffee with people never making $1 and that’s not good for anybody, right?
Rick: That transitions into a question I want to ask you because obviously, you’ve got the entrepreneurial gene in you. And one thing I know about people that come out of corporate and do this business owner thing, this entrepreneurial thing, is usually they kick themselves laughing, saying, I should have done this way earlier. But I want to on this topic that you’re, you know, people wanting information for free and your time, right? So why do you believe that some business owners achieve this freedom as entrepreneurs while others struggle or get frustrated and burnout?
Deedra: Well, I think definitely if you have not learned the power of delegation in your business, you’re probably doing what I did the first time working 14 hour days. I didn’t have anybody to delegate to because we had not built out the structure and, you know, hired and all that. We were so new at it, but you know, time freedom to me at this point in my life is the most important thing. You know, obviously financial freedom time, freedom were kind of have two goals.
And financial freedom gives you time freedom, but time is so important. And so, you know, I laugh because I’ll get, you know, 10 LinkedIn messages a day of somebody wants to pick my brain or wants to go to lunch and they want to buy me lunch. And I don’t have time for lunch and I don’t have time, right? I’m still a mom, I have teenagers, I’m you know, these last few years I really want to spend all my energy with them.
So I’m very guarded and my time from, you know, the time I get in the office usually seven, 7:30, you know, until four, four o’clock, 4:30 when I leave and start doing kid stuff, I’m just extremely guarded. So I think the difference there, the people that don’t have the time freedom and because they’re not delegating properly, they don’t have the systems and processes in place. You know, you should not be, as the owner, the one working you know, in your business and doing everything. Everything should not rely on you. This is a work in progress for me all the time.
I have several areas of my business that are just humming along smooth. They don’t need me at all. But the sales part. that’s my baby that I love that I’m good at. It’s really tough to give that up. Because I’m like, No, if I would have talked to him it would have sold, right? But just what you’re, and that’s very small thinking but that is a tough thing. So to me, you should have time freedom because you should be delegating and have those systems and processes in place where you can step away from the business and go on vacation for a month and everything, you know, runs beautifully.
Rick: It’s funny because those are the two themes that we hear from business owners all the time is, you know, we talk about the fact that most business owners have one of four goals, and that is to either sell a business one day, they want to scale that business. Maybe they want to transition to key employees or family members. Or maybe they just want to run that business as the CEO for the long run, right?
Like there’s no end in mind for them. But inside of that, what we really, when we dig deeper with business owners, every time it comes back to I want freedom. And that freedom is translated into financial, in time, and a lot of time that the time’s for freedom to go do family things and vacations, but a lot of times, it’s bigger things. Like they’re thinking ahead of, hey, if I only had the time and so, you know, you fall into what we talk about is, you know, figuring out where it is you’d like to play.
And then that delegation and automation and saying no to things. You can’t say yes to coffee all the time if it’s competing with the focus areas that need your time and attention. Well, listen, what with your experience in your journey, our audience, I hope, there’s a lot of good stuff here today so I hope they’re getting something good out of this. But with your experience, what advice would you give to a business owner today that, you know, to help them along their entrepreneurial journey?
Adjust Your Business Strategy With the Changing Times
Deedra: I love that question because I feel like I’m learning every day as well, but what I always tell my clients is you have to constantly be evolving. Your market is changing, the industry is changing, nothing is staying the same. If you’re the business that stays the same and you’re doing the same thing that you did five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and there’s a lot of them out there that are doing that, it does not work, right? You have to evolve.
And just like I said, when I started, I, everything was traditional media, right? I’m at a traditional agency. We’re doing all the things, radio, TV, print, outdoor, and suddenly I’m watching the market evolve and I’m seeing the cost. And I wasn’t familiar with the digital side. It’s not something that I knew either. I grew up in traditional media. So I said, Okay, I have to learn them. We’re going to learn from the best internet marketers in the country. I’m going to hire the staff that knows this better than me and they laughed at me.
They all know it way better than me, right? And so we’re going to become the best and that, you know, really dive into that. Well, it’s risky. It’s risky at the time because it’s new. And it’s like, do we know if this is the right thing? And trust me, we tried a million things that didn’t work. But there’s three or four that have worked out beautifully. And that’s why you have to just constantly be going up to bat, going up to bat.
You can’t just sit and be stagnant. And so, you know, reading is so important. So I’m constantly reading and looking at the trades and seeing what people are doing and digitally and you know, where the market is going. That’s what you have to be doing. And so I think that’s probably my number one piece of advice is to adapt. You know, don’t be doing the same things that you did, you know, 10, 15 years ago. It just, it does not work anymore and there are better efficient ways. So constantly be hungry for looking for that better, efficient way.
Rick: I love it. That’s really good advice. Hope our audience took the time to listen and write some of this down. So we’re coming to the end of the show. Deedra, if somebody wants to get in touch with you, if they want to learn more about D2 Branding because you know, they’re, maybe they’re focused on their pipeline and how do I get the best bang for my buck? How does somebody reach out? How does somebody get in contact with you?
Deedra: So you can always go to D2branding.com, our website. We have all of our services on there, we have our process on there. Case studies from different clients and testimonials and things like that. And then, you know, follow us on social media. So D2 Branding on Facebook, D2 Branding on Twitter, on Instagram and then LinkedIn. And we do have a D2 Branding page. I’m more active on my just personal Deedra Determan. I put a lot of great business posts out there and advice and videos and things like that. You know, I love talking to entrepreneurs and sharing my story and listening and learning, you know, from theirs as well.
Rick: Fantastic. Well, guys, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Like Deedra said, check her out on social media, on the website. You can go to our website as well for show notes and more information on how to get in contact with Deedra and D2 Branding at www.epicsbiz.com. Email me with any comments, suggestions. We’d love to hear your feedback. Rick@epicsbiz.com. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Guys we’ve come to the end of the show. I appreciate you tuning in and listening once again. And until next time remember, we’re only getting started.