Our Featured Woman in Business is Laurel Mintz, Founder & CEO of Elevate My Brand (founded in 2009)
Tell us about your business …
Elevate My Brand is a digital and experiential agency here in the Los Angeles area. We exercise a unique offline and online marketing methodology that provides innovative, creative solutions for new, emerging brands and well-established companies. We specialize in helping both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) clients gain the attention and exposure they deserve within their niche markets, regardless of their size or stage of operational growth. We work with brands as big as Facebook, Zendesk, and Sprinkler on the large tech side. We’re also heavily in CPG. and then we also work with startups so, we kind of run the whole gamut and have been running the agency successfully for the last 10 years.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
To me, being a business owner means hustling with heart. I fell into entrepreneurship when I had to run our family business right out of school. My father had become ill and I had to make sure that our family could survive. I was 26 and had a team of 60 and ran two 20,000-square-foot custom retail shops. It was definitely a trial by fire, but I learned about buying, merchandising, marketing, sales, advertising … you name it. I even baked cookies in store for big events.
When my dad recovered and I was able to step away, I was asked to consult for other retailers I had developed relationships within the time I ran the showrooms. In 2007, I partnered up with a friend in San Francisco who ran a venture fund and we worked to put together projects for our clients and get them off the ground. It was really exciting.
A few years later, I was asked to be a founding member of the Los Angeles Consulting Group (LACG). That was a great partnership, but the firm was focused on financial services, so I exited and started Elevate My Brand. At that point, I realized what I was good at and, more importantly, what I wanted to do and for what kind of clientele. And I never looked back.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I met my husband right around when I started my company and he has been instrumental in everything from our branding to our website and has great insights into how to successfully run a business. He’s been doing it for 22 years so I trust him implicitly and he gives great advice.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I think it’s no small feat to have successfully run an agency for over 10 years. Most businesses fail within the first year so I’m proud of our longevity. I’m also extremely proud to have created jobs, and always try to hire competent diverse candidates. It’s important to us that we are making a difference in the larger community not just making money.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
The best advice I have received and also that I give on a daily basis is that everyone and I mean everyone is faking it! I don’t care how successful someone projects themselves to be, everyone is working as hard as they can every day to survive and thrive, so don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do and don’t let anyone intimidate you.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
We do a ton of speaking from the stage. I really love getting in front of an audience because then I can showcase our expertise and our quirky agency personality. It’s a great way to find people and companies that connect with your ethos and are therefore typically a great client fit. We also walk our own talk in almost every other area of marketing. We do a ton of social, content marketing and advertising so we are always on top of trends. We don’t do things for our clients that we wouldn’t do for ourselves.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Kindness goes a long way. In running a business, there will always be issues, roadblocks and things that are uncomfortable. If you approach all of those situations with kindness, humor and an attitude focused on a solution, you will go a lot farther.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
How much space do we have! Yikes there are just so many in every category. I would say in no particular order: Having a great attorney, a CMS system that is super functional, a time tracking software like Harvest, a sales funnel tracker like Pipeline, project management software like Brightpod, Mailchimp, Slack, and of course the entire Google suite.
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)?
We will be celebrating 11 years in February which is a huge milestone internally at the agency. We are also currently going out for funding which is a really scary and exciting upcoming project we are taking on to scale the agency.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I am a workout fiend. I love hot spin, yoga, boxing, you name it. I am also a pretty good cook and a really great diner. Food is life. I adore my family including my 2 adorable fur babies and we travel extensively. I’m so lucky to have such a rich and well-rounded life because I planned it that way. I always say you create a life by design.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
I want to figure out what’s next for the agency after 10 years. It’s a huge and daunting undertaking, but I’m excited about continuing the journey.
You want to write a book on … life hacks.
I tend to be the person that others come to to figure things out and I test a lot of new technologies. I know a lot about cooking hacks, sleeping hacks, fitness hacks, etc. I think it would make a pretty interesting read.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Here is the link to our 9 easy steps to marketing so people can sign up and learn more about how to elevate their own brands. https://www.elevatemybrand.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)?
Follow us on our social channels!
EMB facebook – @ElevateMyBrand
My Personal Instagram – @laurelmintz
EMB website – https://www.elevatemybrand.