Meet the WE Magazine Woman in Business Devoreaux Walton, Personal Brand Consultant – Distinct Personal Branding
Tell us about your business.
Distinct Personal Branding is a creative consulting agency specializing in helping women entrepreneurs increase their exposure, credibility and revenue. Our clients are service-based entrepreneurs, thought leaders and influencers that monetize their expertise, time and skillset.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner means total and complete control to put in action the goals and vision that you create. As an employee, the level of control you have is night and day compared to how much control an entrepreneur enjoys. I embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship after hundreds of conversations with women from networking events that owned businesses and just didn’t know how to “get their name out there”. My corporate background is in marketing and branding, so essentially, I transitioned from building brands for products to building brands for people.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
The greatest influence in my business has been the modern buyer’s journey. Because of technology, the way people consider purchasing products and services is quite different than it was 10 years ago. Even still, it changes at a rapid pace every three to six months now, because the trends are changing in how we as consumers receive and process information. My business’ sole purpose is to help our clients connect with their audience in a meaningful way, so the way consumers interact and react with online and offline content intrigues and influences how we service our clients.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
My greatest professional accomplishment so far has been working with a client that was running for Texas State District Representative. In the fall before the election, we started working together. Six months later, our client won! We know that our work and effort paid off in a MAJOR way for our client and their family, and it was one of the greatest accomplishments because it affected not just our client but the entire district our client now represents.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
The best advice I received in business was to develop unwavering tenacity. Entrepreneurship is not easy. It can be lonely, it can be discouraging, it can be exhausting. But it is worth it. To work in your passion and fulfill the purpose on your heart and life is so fulfilling, that is priceless! And the level of impact we have as entrepreneurs, to our clients is tangible proof of the fruits of our labor. So, when the going gets tough, I remember the unwavering tenacity that I’ve had to develop (and continue to develop) to push through the days I just want to pull my hair out, give up, or shut down! Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster, but unwavering tenacity makes the ride much more enjoyable.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
The most effective marketing initiative for my business is word of mouth. We treat each client like royalty and work with them one-on-one to make sure they get the results to grow their business and expand their brand’s profile. Happy, satisfied clients tell their family and friends about us, our work and our services. It’s been the #1 way we’ve grown our business!
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
The one thing I’ve learned is to whiteboard, and to do it often. At least a few times a month, my team and I meet to creatively brainstorm, throwing out all our crazy, irrational ideas up on the board and we chat about it. Keeping the creative conversations flowing constantly motivates us to try new things and new approaches so we never get complacent. Innovation is important, especially in our line of work, where our clients are looking for the “extra edge” to differentiate themselves from competitors. Instead of innovation being a routine check-in, it’s become a part of our culture – and it’s served our business and our clients well.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
Brand24 is an incredible tool for social listening. Brand 24 is fantastic for monitoring not only your own brand and the conversations about it online, but the ability to look at competitors and other influencers in your industry is important to identify how you will pivot to compete with them or identify potential collaborators for projects or campaigns. Brand 24 was an awesome application that is simple and easy to use for information on-the-go. You can even look at the volume (how much people mention you) and sentiment (whether the communication is positive, neutral or negative). It is imperative that brands today stay in-the-know of the online market and what people are saying. Positive positioning is effectively achieved by managing the perceptions of your business in the marketplace. Brand 24 helps you to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening so you can target your marketing more efficiently and effectively.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
I just launched a free online masterclass, Five Secrets To Go From Anonymous To Authority, for women entrepreneurs. In my masterclass I talk about how women can establish themselves as the top authority in their industry. I share stories, strategies and actionable advice for women to be empowered and educated on how to build their brand! It’s available on my website atwww.distinctpersonalbranding.com
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I love going to the park with my Maltipoo daughter, Nyla. She and I particularly enjoy a dog park in Uptown, she has friends she likes to meet once a week for playdates! Dallas also has some great farmer’s markets, so on a typical Saturday morning, we go get some fresh produce and a few treats from a local farmer’s market. The fresh air and sunshine is my favorite way to relax because I always feel rejuvenated after connecting with the earth!
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
My biggest goal is to continue scaling up my business. I have some additional team members I plan on hiring full-time. I also look forward to expanding our client base to be more global. Primarily we’ve served women in North America and the United Kingdom. I’m excited to expand our reach to more English-speaking countries across the globe!
You want to write a book on ______________________
I am in the process now of finishing my book on personal branding. It will be published and launch in 2019. I’ve wanted to write a book for years, and finally committed to making it happen, so I began the writing process earlier this year. It’s funny because I consider myself a recovering perfectionist, so when I write, I just get all my thoughts down at once, then go back to edit and revise at another time. It’s a quicker process, because otherwise I’d be writing and editing each page at a time, and the book wouldn’t be published for another 5 years! Writing has been fun, I’ve been surprised how therapeutic it is. The book will be my perspective on personal branding, why it’s important, and how women can create and leverage their own for ultimate success.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
For any woman on the fence about starting a business, just do it. I speak to women all the time that are fearful of going for their dreams and passion, but if you never try, you will always wonder “what if”. Regret is a horrible, nagging feeling. Even if after you pursue something, it doesn’t turn out how you initially wanted or planned, you have the satisfaction of knowing you gave it your best shot.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
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