Why Create Another Tulsa Agency?
Many of you may be asking, Kersten there are thousands of marketing consultants and agencies in the U.S. and around the world, why start another one? Even living in Tulsa, it seems the market is saturated. In my opinion, there are many saturated industries, but those that give optimal services and customer satisfaction are able to make a way in their market. Back in college we read the book, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, which is what I intend to do.
The Road to Speakeasy
Obtaining the Education
From a young age I knew that one day I would own my own company. Of course at the time I had no idea what type of business, but little did I know that helping out in my parents real estate business would train me the early lessons of marketing. It was the sparks of my marketing childhood that drove me to pursue studying business in college. After completing my marketing degree at Oral Roberts University, I figured I might as well continue on and get an MBA as well since the job market was very difficult then.
It was during my time working on my MBA that I transformed the theory I learned from my marketing degree into applicable knowledge that would be the building blocks of this business. Unfortunately, when I was in school there was little career placement or opportunities for employment. I had spent to many years in school to help businesses with marketing, so I refused to simply take a job to pay the bills. I began networking on LinkedIn and obtained internships that would lead me to learn the lessons that would push me to branch out on my own.
The Life of an Intern
While in my years of transition I had 3 internships and multiple part-time jobs to keep me afloat, as I learned the lessons I needed to learn in order to build this business. During my job hunting search I interviewed and networked with almost every medium/large marketing agency in Tulsa and interned for one for over 6 months.
This time showed me that many of the agencies were more out to get the large paycheck then really help their customer. Even their clients paid the extremely high prices simply because of the agency name, even if the work done was sub par. For many of these agencies the most important customer was the one that paid the highest price in their agency. This lesson has become a core in my business, no customer is greater than the other. Whether they have a small account or large with me, each is a priority.
Most of these places only served the large businesses, but for me I loved interacting with owners of small businesses and giving advice that would help them grow on a budget they could afford. Now don't get me wrong, I am here to support myself and family as well, but one can do that without taking advantage of people.
It seemed my life of the intern and part-time employee had ended last year when I landed a job doing marketing for a hotel in town. It seemed like the perfect job for me since I had a long history of open houses with my parents, so showing people around a hotel and explaining design and structural details came naturally. The honeymoon period for this position quickly ended and the job became unbearable as people quit and I assumed more responsibility with little hope of help from upper management. But for all of the frustration, this job is what led me to create this company. It taught me many lessons on how to treat employees and manage people properly. Someday Speakeasy will bring on employees and these lessons learned will come in handy.
In May of 2012 I had reached my breaking point of job frustration. Of course it was early in my career and I was unsure if i should stick it out or begin pursuing something else. The book The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin sealed the deal for me. This short book in essence made you ask yourself the question of is it worth sticking in a job if there is real opportunity to grow or are the possibilities of finding something better than being miserable. After spending time thinking and praying (yes I do that occasionally, I am an ORU grad), I gave my 2 weeks notice and began searching for a new job. After a few weeks of hunting, I was presented with 2 choices: take another job or create my own.
Working for the hotel presented me with networking opportunities and it was from them that I met one of my current mentors, Clay Clark. It was Clay who spoke to me directly and said,
Kersten, you have a little obligations right now as you ever will, so if you are going to start your own business, now is the BEST time.
With the encouragement of Clay and another mentor Bruce Riggs, I had the confidence to go out on my own and it was then that the spark of hope was ignited within me. For the first time in a long time I was excited for my future and for the opportunities of my career.....and thus the birth of Speakeasy.
The official creation of Speakeasy Market Strategies was in July 2013 and today I am continually working with new businesses and creating strategies to help them see success. The future holds great things in store for this company and I am excited to share all that is Speakeasy with you here.
I may not be able to take you out for that drink, but I am here to help get your marketing on the right track. If you are business owner that feels like they are struggling in today’s digital marketing, then look no further. We are here to help you be able to get back to what you do best and we can handle the rest.