This interview is with Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls.
Mavens & Moguls is a global network of seasoned branding and marketing experts who do anything a marketing department, ad agency, PR shop, or market research firm does, including online marketing services and social media strategy. We work on both a project and a retainer basis and are based in Cambridge, MA, but have resources around the country and overseas as well.
I did not plan on starting a company. I always wanted to go work for a large multi-national business and be a Fortune 500 CEO. When I was a student, I looked at leaders like Meg Whitman & Ursula Burns as my role models. I started my career on Wall Street in the 80s and had a successful career in Corporate America at companies like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola and worked at three different startups as the head of marketing. I became an entrepreneur and leaped right after 9/11 when the company I worked for cut their marketing. I had nothing to lose.
We help solve our client’s toughest marketing challenges. Our fundamental elevator pitch is… “Are you looking to find more customers and accelerate your sales cycle?” We love helping organizations find the right words and pictures to elevate their profile and build awareness to get their story out there both online and offline in compelling ways like a virtual marketing department that acts as an extension of your team. The goal is to connect and start a conversation to see if we can help them solve a problem.
That leads me to my tagline “Because Marketing Matters” so that if we own the real estate in our clients’ brains for all things marketing, they will think of us first when they need help. They know it matters to us. We used to be the client earlier in our careers, so our heads and our hearts are more aligned with theirs than a traditional agency or PR consulting firm. We spend their money the way we would have when we sat on their side of the table. We bring real-life experience to every project. Unlike traditional firms, everyone on the team has decades of experience.
I am a big fan of Content Marketing and Thought Leadership, which are great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile, and attract more clients/customers. Activities like speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute to increasing your awareness with potential customers, and making your credibility with a broader community.
Instead of trying to start your blog or newsletter, try regularly contributing to existing well-trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of like-minded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.
Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up. When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers, and contacts. Don’t let social media drive you crazy. You do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose, pick one or two that are authentic to you.
It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built. Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through. Everyone is not going to like you or hire you, but for the ones who would be an excellent fit for you, make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help, they think of you first. Start small and build as you go.
For me, I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global affairs too. The same advice goes for writing, start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences. People need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too. It adds credibility and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with that know people in common.
LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex; it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy. You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms, but make sure you are active on the ones where you are. If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to find you, then you do not need to make them a priority. For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.
I do not set revenue targets and have grown opportunistically for the past 18 years. We are on track for another great year, and I am excited about all the work in our pipeline. As our base has grown over the years, our rate has slowed, but it was much easier to quadruple, triple and double when we were first starting as a small business.
If you are an entrepreneur and have a story you would like to share, then please feel free to email us, and we would love to interview you!