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Unleashing Business in Creativity | MMCB Episode 3 w/Feleceia Wilson
Episode 322nd January 2024 • Minding My Creative Business Podcast • Ron "Ironic" Lee Jr. and ShySpeaks
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In this episode of the "Mind My Creative Business" podcast, Feleceia Wilson, a successful creative entrepreneur, shares her journey and valuable insights for budding entrepreneurs in the creative industry. She discusses her transition from studying musical theater to founding her own boutique communications agency. Her experiences provide crucial advice and inspiration to fellow creatives. Here are the key takeaways:

Introduction and Background

  • Feleceia Benton shares her journey from studying musical theater to founding her boutique communications agency.
  • She emphasizes the importance of mentorship and guidance from experienced individuals.

Starting the Entrepreneurial Journey

  • Feleceia highlights the role of necessity in her journey, as she needed to provide for herself and her child.
  • She started as a volunteer, offering her skills and gaining valuable experience.

Navigating the Transition

  • Feleceia discusses the pivotal moment when she realized the importance of combining her creative talents with a business-oriented mindset.
  • She emphasizes the significance of continually learning and evolving in one's entrepreneurial journey.

Building a Communications Agency

  • Feleceia explains the transition from solopreneurship to building a team.
  • She provides insights into restructuring contracts to ensure profitability and sustainability.
  • The importance of factoring in all expenses, including equipment, licensing, and workspace, is emphasized.

Customizing Services for Clients

  • Feleceia describes her agency's approach to tailoring services to each client's specific needs.
  • She advises creatives to align clients' needs with their existing processes and skills to ensure a successful partnership.

Measuring Success

  • Feleceia outlines various methods to measure the effectiveness of creative work, including gathering client feedback, analyzing analytics, and monitoring revenue.
  • She emphasizes the importance of regular evaluation and not being afraid to look at the data.

Parting Thoughts and Mantra

  • Feleceia shares parting thoughts and expresses her willingness to return for future episodes.
  • The podcast ends with a mantra: "All it takes is intention, consistency, and laser focus to mind my creative business."

Feleceia Benton's journey from a creative background to establishing a thriving communications agency serves as an inspiration for those looking to combine their creative talents with entrepreneurial endeavors. Her insights into contract structuring, client customization, and effective measurement of success provide valuable guidance for creative entrepreneurs. The episode concludes with an empowering mantra for all creatives to embrace in their journey to success.

Welcome to the "Mind My Creative Business" podcast, where creativity meets entrepreneurship in a symphony of success! 🎭🚀 In this episode, we're diving into the riveting journey of Feleceia Benton, a trailblazing creative entrepreneur who has not only harnessed her artistic talents but also transformed them into a thriving boutique communications agency. As an expert in this niche, I believe that sharing her story is invaluable for budding entrepreneurs in the creative industry.

Creator Bio: Feleceia Benton Feleceia Benton is a dynamic entrepreneur, artist, and visionary. Her journey is a testament to the power of creativity combined with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. With a background in musical theater, she defied convention by founding her own boutique communications agency, where she seamlessly blends artistry with business acumen. Her experiences provide crucial advice and inspiration to fellow creatives on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Check out Feleceia's work and connect with her here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Nurturing Creative Roots: Feleceia Benton's journey from musical theater to entrepreneurship underscores the importance of staying true to your creative passions while seeking opportunities for growth.
  • The Mentorship Magic: Feleceia emphasizes the role of mentors in her journey. Their guidance and wisdom can be a compass, pointing aspiring creatives in the right direction.
  • Evolution and Learning: Feleceia's story showcases the necessity of evolving as an entrepreneur. Continual learning and adaptation are key to staying relevant in the dynamic world of creative entrepreneurship.

Feleceia's Entrepreneurial Steps:

1. Starting the Entrepreneurial Journey:

  • Feleceia's path to entrepreneurship began out of necessity, driven by the need to provide for herself and her child.
  • She started by volunteering her skills, gaining valuable experience, and building her portfolio.

2. Navigating the Transition:

  • Feleceia had a pivotal moment when she realized the importance of combining her creative talents with a business-oriented mindset.
  • She highlights the significance of continuous learning and adaptation as an entrepreneur.

3. Building a Communications Agency:

  • Feleceia shares insights into transitioning from solopreneurship to building a team for her communications agency.
  • She stresses the importance of restructuring contracts to ensure profitability and long-term sustainability.
  • Feleceia also underscores the need to factor in all expenses, including equipment, licensing, and workspace, in the entrepreneurial journey.

4. Customizing Services for Clients:

  • Feleceia's agency thrives by customizing services to meet the unique needs of each client, showcasing the importance of adaptability in creative entrepreneurship.

As someone deeply immersed in the world of creativity and entrepreneurship, my personal advice is to stay true to your artistic vision while also nurturing your business acumen. Learn from mentors and continuously seek opportunities for growth and adaptation. Feleceia Benton's journey is a beacon of inspiration, illustrating that the fusion of creativity and entrepreneurship can lead to remarkable success.

Timestamped Overview:

00:02:00 Husband has 15k degrees, I got 2.

00:05:58 Smart people helped me recognize similarities.

00:10:17 Questioning if graphics and flyers work; team expands.

00:12:54 Hindsight 2020, volunteering led to paid opportunities.

00:15:38 Importance of research and specializing in contracting.

00:19:53 Broadway route offers better life opportunities

00:21:56 Believer in timing, answers exist around you.

00:28:00 Strategic communications company helps tell your story.

00:31:09 Our company has three types of clients. The first type comes to us to manage their events and branding. The second type hires us as their marketing team. The third type needs help with their business strategy.

00:33:56 Quick growth, solo to small team.

00:38:56 Consider platforms, costs, and ownership for pricing.

00:43:19 Listening, understanding, and aligning with client needs.

00:46:36 Evaluate feedback, analyze analytics, track finances.

00:49:04 Verify, analyze, and improve social media performance.

Transcripts

ShySpeaks:

Hey what's up everybody? Welcome to the mind

ShySpeaks:

my creative business podcast. I am your host shot speaks.

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: And I am your host, Ron ironic Lee and this is

ShySpeaks:

the number one podcast for creative printers to gain

ShySpeaks:

strategy, structure and self development.

ShySpeaks:

Yeah, I should do a clap sign right there like that.

ShySpeaks:

Listen, let's clap it up for that. I'm so excited because we

ShySpeaks:

actually have a guest in the building. As you can see, we

ShySpeaks:

have the ce o of Zoe communications agency. Miss

ShySpeaks:

Felicia?

Feleceia Benton:

Well, if my husband was listening, and he

Feleceia Benton:

will be listening, he would say my name is Mrs. Felicia Wilson.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Misses Oh

ShySpeaks:

forget it. Please say to please say to Mrs. This side

ShySpeaks:

note, I've been known her for many years before she was

ShySpeaks:

married. So this is how I've mixed it up. So

Feleceia Benton:

you get presidential pardon? Shy? No

Feleceia Benton:

worries. Presidential pardon?

ShySpeaks:

Yes. Legacy. You know, her and her husband. I

ShySpeaks:

know them both. So sorry. Yeah.

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah, we got way way super back.

ShySpeaks:

Super back. So yeah. Okay. Okay. Okay. So Miss Wilson

ShySpeaks:

misses.

Feleceia Benton:

Doing all right, you're gonna go with it.

ShySpeaks:

I said that. I'm working on it. I said that you

ShySpeaks:

were you have this agencies only communications agency. But one

ShySpeaks:

thing I do want to give them is some credentials that you have

ShySpeaks:

you have a bachelor's in PR and advertising and musical theater.

ShySpeaks:

Yeah. Can we talk about athletes? Can we please talk

ShySpeaks:

about that? Well,

Feleceia Benton:

I feel like if you didn't know my husband, and

Feleceia Benton:

you know, he has like 15,000 degrees. And so I feel like my

Feleceia Benton:

two are kind of humble. By comparison, I did both of mine.

Feleceia Benton:

At the same time, I did a BS and a BFA, just simultaneously, not

Feleceia Benton:

because like I'm so clever, but because I knew I wanted to go to

Feleceia Benton:

school to do musical theater. And my dad said, that's cool.

Feleceia Benton:

But do something else as well, like you can do it. But I want

Feleceia Benton:

you to do something else also. And so I learned about this

Feleceia Benton:

opportunity to get two degrees at the same time if I took a

Feleceia Benton:

victory lap. So that's what I did. It wasn't because I went in

Feleceia Benton:

with great intent. It's not because I went in knowing

Feleceia Benton:

exactly what I wanted to do. The cards just kind of fell in the

Feleceia Benton:

right place. And I had that little, that little noise in my

Feleceia Benton:

ear from my daddy's and do use something else to go.

ShySpeaks:

Okay, but doing something else they had they

ShySpeaks:

have all kinds of other degrees. You could adopt biology, you

ShySpeaks:

could, Medic. So what made you pick PR and advertising?

Feleceia Benton:

I think I was taking a class, you know, those

Feleceia Benton:

classes that you take as exploration classes, I landed

Feleceia Benton:

myself in one of those exploratory classes. And then

Feleceia Benton:

just shout, it sounded interesting. I have a knack for

Feleceia Benton:

it. And I have professors who encouraged me in it. My mom is a

Feleceia Benton:

nurse. And so I grew up not loving science. So I knew that

Feleceia Benton:

wasn't it. And I knew that math really wasn't it either. I had

Feleceia Benton:

to get a tutor when I was like a junior or senior in college for

Feleceia Benton:

a statistics class. And my tutor was like a freshman. So those

Feleceia Benton:

are not my jam. Numbers in that way are not my jam science, not

Feleceia Benton:

my bam, so I just kind of landed here.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: No, okay with it, because those are vastly

Feleceia Benton:

different. Right? You said, musical theater. And that's what

Feleceia Benton:

you initially was like, Okay, I'm going to hear from musical

Feleceia Benton:

theater. Right? This is what I'm, I want my degree in this.

Feleceia Benton:

You said your dad was whispered in the air. Like, that's cool.

Feleceia Benton:

But so that but you stumbled across this PR piece, but those

Feleceia Benton:

are vastly different. And I hear you saying that you okay, there.

Feleceia Benton:

You had you took some classes of some professors and things like

Feleceia Benton:

that. But I'm trying I'm trying to put that puzzle together,

Feleceia Benton:

like kind of put it together. Yeah. And it's

ShySpeaks:

kind of like, is it vastly different when you think

ShySpeaks:

about it, because technically, to be into the theater is to be

ShySpeaks:

into money into literature is to be writing. So at some point

ShySpeaks:

when you say you had a knack for it is the neck. That was a knack

ShySpeaks:

for because of the communications piece, the

ShySpeaks:

writing piece, the literature, was there some type of like what

ShySpeaks:

How did you know you had a knack for it?

Feleceia Benton:

I think I have a knack for words and a story.

Feleceia Benton:

There are those two worlds living or those two things live

Feleceia Benton:

in both worlds. So I still exist in all those spaces. I'm

Feleceia Benton:

directing a show right now. I'm at a theater here in Dallas. And

Feleceia Benton:

I just did I do briefs every week for teens to create

Feleceia Benton:

commercials as well. So words and story exists in both. So,

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: so what I hear you saying is they're together,

Feleceia Benton:

right? There were some transferable skills, right?

Feleceia Benton:

Okay, I have this love and his passion and desire for not just

Feleceia Benton:

theater, but musical theater show, right? Storytelling, or

Feleceia Benton:

whatever is involved with that. But when my daddy told me, I

Feleceia Benton:

needed something else, I was able to find something that

Feleceia Benton:

still utilize my skill set that I had based on this other

Feleceia Benton:

passion that I have.

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah. And that's exactly what I'm saying.

Feleceia Benton:

It took really smart people around me to put that together.

Feleceia Benton:

For me at the time, I did not have the words the access to

Feleceia Benton:

words or the experience to put together what the similarities

Feleceia Benton:

were. What I had were professors who said, Come and see who said,

Feleceia Benton:

explore this, dig into it, I'll show you how to do these things.

Feleceia Benton:

And eventually, long into my career, I realized that there

Feleceia Benton:

was a collision point. There are some some incredible

Feleceia Benton:

similarities between being like a stage performer and a

Feleceia Benton:

storyteller as well as a comms expert or comms, whatever, not

Feleceia Benton:

an expert. Tom's professional. Let's call it that.

ShySpeaks:

Inside No, ladies and gentlemen, this is how you stay

ShySpeaks:

humble you, those of you who are calling yourself experts, yet

ShySpeaks:

she says just professional, just specialist yet she has an

ShySpeaks:

agency. The agency piece, okay. So, okay, so along the way, you

ShySpeaks:

are you you have these people that are telling you that okay,

ShySpeaks:

this is what you listen to this, you have this, your brain works

ShySpeaks:

this way. Right, the transferable skills. Okay, so at

ShySpeaks:

some point, when did you like start being paid for it for for

ShySpeaks:

the communication side? Let's start there. Yeah,

Feleceia Benton:

I love that you guys say transferable skills,

Feleceia Benton:

like it's a normal thing that you talked about? Like that a

Feleceia Benton:

lot. I didn't start a business on purpose. Like that didn't, I

Feleceia Benton:

became an entrepreneur. But I think a little before it was

Feleceia Benton:

like a cool thing to say that you were an entrepreneur. So my

Feleceia Benton:

company, I started it in 2012 row. Does that right? That feels

Feleceia Benton:

right, so like 11 years ago, and I started because I couldn't

Feleceia Benton:

find a job. I very clearly after four months of being unemployed,

Feleceia Benton:

heard the good Lord, say, Use what you have in your hands. At

Feleceia Benton:

the time, what I knew how to do was graphic design. So I knew

Feleceia Benton:

how to, like provide a tangible product. Thankfully, I kind of

Feleceia Benton:

been out here in the streets doing some other stuff for some

Feleceia Benton:

people. And so I had access to friends who worked for some

Feleceia Benton:

cities. So I've reached out to my friends who worked with these

Feleceia Benton:

cities, I knew that their graphics were lacking. And I

Feleceia Benton:

said, Hey, can I start making stuff for you? And they said,

Feleceia Benton:

Yes, they had budget for it. And so they could pay me I've done a

Feleceia Benton:

little bit of research to figure out like, what are people

Feleceia Benton:

charging for this kind of thing. And so for a little a long time,

Feleceia Benton:

not for a long time for a little bit. zoic comm was just

Feleceia Benton:

graphics, it was just like, postcards, social media, posts,

Feleceia Benton:

newsletters, things of that nature. And like, I think

Feleceia Benton:

2012 2013 We're on like one or two social media platform forums

Feleceia Benton:

at that time. Like we're not all over the place. It was just a

Feleceia Benton:

couple. So that's how I got started. Okay,

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: how long so? You said you were unemployed? Yeah,

Feleceia Benton:

couldn't find a job. And I was a mom, I was a

Feleceia Benton:

single mom.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Wow. So in doing that, he was like, Okay, once

Feleceia Benton:

again, I'm going because I'm big on I'm big on skills, right?

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah, you had this skill set? Yeah, listen, I can do this. And

Feleceia Benton:

I'm noticing that there is a gap, but there's something

Feleceia Benton:

lacking in the the cities that have you know, once again,

Feleceia Benton:

cities, they always need grants for stuff, whether it's

Feleceia Benton:

brochures, this kind of communications, right. So it's

Feleceia Benton:

like, I can create something for you provide you a product or a

Feleceia Benton:

service. And that's kind of how it started. Yeah.

Feleceia Benton:

100% That's how it started.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Okay, okay. How does it go from? I'm just doing

Feleceia Benton:

graphics to once again so we can, yeah, I there were and I

Feleceia Benton:

might get ahead of myself shot I know, we got to spread. But you

Feleceia Benton:

know, sometimes I gotta go off because I'm just trying to kind

Feleceia Benton:

of put the pieces together.

ShySpeaks:

That's true. That's true.

Feleceia Benton:

Okay, I'm really curious of your thought.

Feleceia Benton:

I'll give you a little bit of an answer. I won't stay on it long.

Feleceia Benton:

I'll throw it back to Shai. I asked myself a question. I was

Feleceia Benton:

bothered that I did not know if the graphics that I was making

Feleceia Benton:

were working. So at the time, like I didn't know a whole lot

Feleceia Benton:

about, like, click through rates, like, all that stuff

Feleceia Benton:

wasn't a part of my thinking. I was just making stuff. But I

Feleceia Benton:

just started to wonder, like, are these working? If we give

Feleceia Benton:

this flyer if they pass this flyer out to people in the city?

Feleceia Benton:

Are people going to want to come? If they see the flyer? Or

Feleceia Benton:

if they see it on social media? Are they going to want to come

Feleceia Benton:

and they see it on social media are the flyers working? And so

Feleceia Benton:

then I started going into this deep dive about like, what

Feleceia Benton:

strategy that like how to start making strategies. So our team

Feleceia Benton:

expanded by a little bit, there were a few folks who were like,

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah, I'll come alongside of you. I figured that at the time,

Feleceia Benton:

graphics weren't enough. So I had a guy who did photography

Feleceia Benton:

and videography. I brought on another graphic designer. And we

Feleceia Benton:

and I had another friend who was broke with me for a while, I

Feleceia Benton:

will never forget her. She went in deep for a bit. It was rapid.

Feleceia Benton:

But she had some background in advertising and account

Feleceia Benton:

management. So we kind of just locked arms and started trying

Feleceia Benton:

to answer that question, like, how do we make sure that the

Feleceia Benton:

stuff that we're making is working for people? So the next

Feleceia Benton:

evolution of it was just a question? Okay.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: But I love it, though. So that because I'm very

Feleceia Benton:

big on intentionality. So you so you approached it with a level

Feleceia Benton:

of intention? Yeah, this question, whereas like, Okay,

Feleceia Benton:

I'm doing this. And I know, I know, I'm good at it. But just

Feleceia Benton:

because I know I'm good at it. Is it working? Yeah. And as a

Feleceia Benton:

result of you asking, is it working? Then you started to dig

Feleceia Benton:

delve deeper into that? And like, Okay, I want to figure out

Feleceia Benton:

if it's working. So what do I need to figure that out? That's,

Feleceia Benton:

I love it. I love it.

ShySpeaks:

It sounds it sounds like you're laughing like,

ShySpeaks:

because it sounds real regular. But it's kind of like, people do

ShySpeaks:

things without ever asking themselves. Is it? Yeah, sure.

ShySpeaks:

Right, which is how you started doing graphics. And because they

ShySpeaks:

were just making graphics to promote whatever they're

ShySpeaks:

promoting, to make announcements about wherever they're making

ShySpeaks:

announcements about, but they may not have been, you said they

ShySpeaks:

were kind of lacking in some ways. I'm not sure if it was

ShySpeaks:

statically, or just feeling like you feel pulled into it or

ShySpeaks:

whatever, wherever you feel like there was some room for

ShySpeaks:

improvement. They were doing it that way, right. And so long as

ShySpeaks:

these could be improved, and they were improved. That's a

ShySpeaks:

different. That's,

Feleceia Benton:

I gotta say, like, you know, hindsight, 2020,

Feleceia Benton:

I'm looking back, Sam. And God really set that up for me,

Feleceia Benton:

because I was not smart enough to know what I was doing at the

Feleceia Benton:

time I happened to so the people that I worked for that were

Feleceia Benton:

paying me contractually to do this work. I had relationship

Feleceia Benton:

with them because I'd been a volunteer. So I've sat on like

Feleceia Benton:

boards and I've been a part I was like the young person in the

Feleceia Benton:

community who got voluntold to be a part of the Chamber of

Feleceia Benton:

Commerce to be a part of this these Commission's that I didn't

Feleceia Benton:

know anything about. But I loved being a volunteer. So I've been

Feleceia Benton:

volunteering my services first. So they knew that the things

Feleceia Benton:

that I was that I did for them that were fruity, they knew that

Feleceia Benton:

they were good. So when I then started asking them to pay for

Feleceia Benton:

the same services, they were happy to do so because I'd

Feleceia Benton:

offered them for free for so long. And then my name started

Feleceia Benton:

getting tossed around the community for you know, you can

Feleceia Benton:

trust with each year to do ABCD EFG.

ShySpeaks:

Wow. So, Ron, are you over here? Oh, now

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: it's so much in what and I think a lot of times

ShySpeaks:

us creatives, we miss out on that right? You said okay, I was

ShySpeaks:

voluntary first. Like I was in I was in these environments. I was

ShySpeaks:

in the rooms free of charge. Yeah. There once again, I was

ShySpeaks:

there just to offer you know, my my my thoughts and my ideations

ShySpeaks:

or whatever the case may be, I was just there, but me being in

ShySpeaks:

these rooms, I saw a need that they had and because not only

ShySpeaks:

was I in this room, but I was in these rooms with integrity. So

ShySpeaks:

my name carry some weight. Knowing that Felicia, she does

ShySpeaks:

good work, she good people. And then when you started to now

ShySpeaks:

present them with the opportunity to fund you know,

ShySpeaks:

saying the services that you have, they were willing to do it

ShySpeaks:

because of who you were prior phases.

Feleceia Benton:

Lower. Yeah, there is a passage of scripture

Feleceia Benton:

that I live by and it is a good name is better to be had and

Feleceia Benton:

great well, they were better than silver and gold. So there

Feleceia Benton:

are opportunities that I will not take or that I will, like

Feleceia Benton:

pull back from our even take the l like, I will take the L to

Feleceia Benton:

keep my name. As long as like I walk away with my name, it might

Feleceia Benton:

take a hit, you know, it might take some bumps and bruises.

Feleceia Benton:

It's not going to be unscathed. But I want to try to maintain as

Feleceia Benton:

much as my name and my integrity as possible. So yeah, name is

Feleceia Benton:

really important to

ShySpeaks:

me. All right, another thing that you said was

ShySpeaks:

important that we went by earlier, you said that you was

ShySpeaks:

wondering what was in your hand? So he's like, Okay, I have

ShySpeaks:

what's in my hand? And where's the need? Where have I been

ShySpeaks:

offering free samples? Where can I offer him? Right? But you said

ShySpeaks:

that you had done some research on the going price for like

ShySpeaks:

graphic designers in that space. So you went, we went straight

ShySpeaks:

into, you know, the people who are contracting, so you went

ShySpeaks:

straight into like, contracting, right? Which is different,

ShySpeaks:

because like, there are some people who start offering a

ShySpeaks:

service, and they kind of do it on the individual basis. They're

ShySpeaks:

working with, like, people who do, you know, like, hey, a $50

ShySpeaks:

flyer and a $25. Logo. And so you said you were doing

ShySpeaks:

graphics? But you were kind of doing like, graphic spreads or

ShySpeaks:

something? Because yeah, not right. So tell us about that.

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah, I would just try to figure out and still

Feleceia Benton:

to this day, I'm usually trying to figure out what the client

Feleceia Benton:

needs, because they normally don't know. So they I would

Feleceia Benton:

listen to, like, what it is they were trying to accomplish and

Feleceia Benton:

say, Okay, I can I think you need ABCDEFG. And that will cost

Feleceia Benton:

about this much. And of course, like I'm thinking like, I gotta

Feleceia Benton:

make as much money as possible, because I got to pay my rent.

Feleceia Benton:

All I have to pay my bills, and I have a child. So I'm thinking

Feleceia Benton:

about, like, how much can I put inside of this thing? So it

Feleceia Benton:

feels more like a package than it think feels like a like a one

Feleceia Benton:

off? You know? Package?

ShySpeaks:

Okay, yeah, go here. I know, you kind of thought

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: I was gonna question. So I want to I want to

ShySpeaks:

kind of rewind this a little bit, right? Because I do not

ShySpeaks:

want to miss the fact that once again, you went to school for

ShySpeaks:

musical theater. Sure. So you came out with a degree in that.

ShySpeaks:

But you also came out with a degree and PR and advertising?

ShySpeaks:

Yeah. So when you decide, okay, I'm unemployed, and I am. I got

ShySpeaks:

I got bills to pay, I got a baby, I got bills to pay, I got

ShySpeaks:

bills to pay. So let me utilize the skill set. Did that other

ShySpeaks:

side of you that musical theater side? Was that site laying

ShySpeaks:

dormant? Or? No? Okay. Was it laying dormant? And if so, how

ShySpeaks:

did you deal with that, because I'm dealing with a lot of

ShySpeaks:

creatives. If we're not expressing ourselves creatively,

ShySpeaks:

the way that we want to create, then we feel some kind of way.

ShySpeaks:

And we have some challenges, some system struggles there. So

Feleceia Benton:

my drive was just coming from a different

Feleceia Benton:

place. So I didn't feel compelled to push myself into

Feleceia Benton:

musical theater. Thankfully, the opportunities have just

Feleceia Benton:

consistently come for the past. I graduated in 2006. So, you

Feleceia Benton:

know, 14 or so? Oh, 1717. Yeah, my oldest nephew, my youngest

Feleceia Benton:

nephew is 17. And I graduated the year that he that he was

Feleceia Benton:

born. So yeah, for like the last 17 years, the opportunities have

Feleceia Benton:

just they come pretty consistently. So my motivation

Feleceia Benton:

was not like my creativity. I gotta get out here and express

Feleceia Benton:

myself, because that isn't very, my motivation was my child. So

Feleceia Benton:

like, it was, I was, I've always been blessed to do the things

Feleceia Benton:

that I love to do. But I was passionate about making sure

Feleceia Benton:

that my child was taken care of. Yeah, so that's

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: why you got you had you had a very, very strong

Feleceia Benton:

why. Yeah.

ShySpeaks:

Why did you just know that? Had you pursue musical

ShySpeaks:

theater that it would not have paid the same as 100% Okay, or,

ShySpeaks:

yeah, just 100 Yeah, I get to it as quicker like because you knew

ShySpeaks:

you know, graphics I can get to this quick. I've already been

ShySpeaks:

volunteering here. Was it a matter of speed? Or was it a

ShySpeaks:

matter of like, it just won't pay? I probably won't make as

ShySpeaks:

much doing both.

Feleceia Benton:

I have a lot of friends so I would go the

Feleceia Benton:

Broadway route. I'm gonna musical theater performers. So

Feleceia Benton:

our are high as Broadway. There are a lot of musical theater

Feleceia Benton:

thankfully, opportunities now in film, but the trajectory has

Feleceia Benton:

been for most musical theater performances Broadway, that life

Feleceia Benton:

is tough, brutal, fulfilling for many life. I started believing

Feleceia Benton:

like when I was in my early 30s, that if I stayed in Dallas, I

Feleceia Benton:

could probably, like, get my fix, get paid well, because of

Feleceia Benton:

theater performance here professionally still get paid

Feleceia Benton:

pretty well. I don't think it's enough for the kind of life that

Feleceia Benton:

I want to live to be able to do that exclusively. And by kind of

Feleceia Benton:

life I want to live I don't just mean financially, but like in

Feleceia Benton:

Dallas, we rehearse at nighttime. So it means that I

Feleceia Benton:

would be away from my kid and means that I would have to like,

Feleceia Benton:

change how my day was structured. And so it was just

Feleceia Benton:

like, which kind of like what I like to have. And so like you

Feleceia Benton:

just like you weigh it up, and you count the cost. And you

Feleceia Benton:

determine which one is the better buy. All right. And I

Feleceia Benton:

know

ShySpeaks:

the reason why I run why you ask that is because we

ShySpeaks:

always figure out when people are multi. Multinational. You

ShySpeaks:

Yeah, multicast. So how do you? How did you decide which one to

ShySpeaks:

pursue? Like, at the time you were hungry? And you had you had

ShySpeaks:

a strong why, but it's like, I could easily just go hard after

ShySpeaks:

this. Yeah, you know, or I can focus on this. So sometimes it's

ShySpeaks:

like a matter of, it's not that like, Hey, I'm deciding, I'm not

ShySpeaks:

going to focus on theater, it's, I'm deciding to focus on the one

ShySpeaks:

that's given me, I'm having in the vehicle that's going to give

ShySpeaks:

me there faster, right? One that's going to, so not

ShySpeaks:

necessarily that you lost focus on it, but it's like, the energy

ShySpeaks:

that I'm putting inside of it, like, Yeah, I'm gonna put more

ShySpeaks:

energy here than

Feleceia Benton:

some of that. I, and I've been a big believer

Feleceia Benton:

of two things. One, I'm, I'm a big believer in timing. So in

Feleceia Benton:

my, the more I've matured, the more I've kind of learned how to

Feleceia Benton:

just rest in timing. If I don't, I try not to like force things

Feleceia Benton:

to happen. If it doesn't seem like they're supposed to happen.

Feleceia Benton:

I don't force it to. But I will continue to, like, ask the

Feleceia Benton:

questions and unpack it until I land at a resolve. So I'm a big

Feleceia Benton:

believer in timing. And I'm also a big believer that the answers

Feleceia Benton:

usually exist around you somewhere. So like, if you have

Feleceia Benton:

to jump way over there. Now, you kind of have to, like look

Feleceia Benton:

around you at the time, see what's going on. And like

Feleceia Benton:

calculate, consider counted up and figure out what happens. Now

Feleceia Benton:

I say that because shy, I that's all I was doing. It wasn't that

Feleceia Benton:

I was like, Oh, I think this is gonna get me there faster. It's

Feleceia Benton:

that I've done the things that made spiritual and mental sense

Feleceia Benton:

at the same time. So for me to make jumps into like, going hard

Feleceia Benton:

in the paint in the Broadway, like, there's never been a time

Feleceia Benton:

that that made sense. There's never been a time that like, I

Feleceia Benton:

had the right deck of cards, the timing was work, it's just never

Feleceia Benton:

been that way. And I just have never, I've never been the kind

Feleceia Benton:

of person that's like, I know what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna

Feleceia Benton:

consider everything going on around me, and I'm gonna go do

Feleceia Benton:

something polar. I know that. That's not my MO. So maybe I'm

Feleceia Benton:

calculated, I don't know, know, that

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: level of self awareness that I think is key in

Feleceia Benton:

creative partnership, right? Just I think in life in general,

Feleceia Benton:

but especially if you are creative, and you're going to

Feleceia Benton:

take on an endeavor of creating a business. So the fact that you

Feleceia Benton:

have that, and you were able to get to this point, I think is

Feleceia Benton:

phenomenal. But I know we got you know, yeah.

ShySpeaks:

And that was gonna say and on top of that, like you

ShySpeaks:

Okay, so you didn't say I'm abandoning this because you said

ShySpeaks:

earlier that you still do it and you understood that hey, going

ShySpeaks:

to New York's Broadway or going international right like that

ShySpeaks:

probably was out of the scope for what I have right now. But

ShySpeaks:

if I stay in Dallas, which is a pretty large market, I can still

ShySpeaks:

make some funds here but I'm going to put my energy here

ShySpeaks:

because this energy is going to give me this lifestyle so the

ShySpeaks:

fact that you just chose where to place your energy based on

ShySpeaks:

what you were trying to get out. I also want to bring up

ShySpeaks:

something you said earlier you said his word like all over the

ShySpeaks:

place like like it could kind of seem like for people who are

ShySpeaks:

multi talented that they're all over the place sure. But then I

ShySpeaks:

like maybe it's the rapper and me No, it is as good as literacy

ShySpeaks:

to me this is I like how all over the place. It's kind of

ShySpeaks:

seemed like a bad thing. Like you're all over the place with

ShySpeaks:

all these different talents. But when it comes to what You do,

ShySpeaks:

right, which is we're gonna get into that here in a second.

ShySpeaks:

After we take this quick, quick, quick, very quick break to pay

ShySpeaks:

the wheels. We're gonna talk about how you do PR and

ShySpeaks:

marketing and you help people with find a niche. But then

ShySpeaks:

eventually you help them to be all over the place, which is

ShySpeaks:

surely President marketing. Right. So we'll get into that

ShySpeaks:

here in a second. But for you guys, don't you want to say

ShySpeaks:

about that? No, I

Feleceia Benton:

just want to say okay, sounds like fun. Yeah.

Feleceia Benton:

Okay. Yeah, fun. So

ShySpeaks:

alright, so we get ready to pay these wheels. Give

ShySpeaks:

me one second.

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: What's the irony is because

ShySpeaks:

it's us in different color clothing. I mean, listen,

ShySpeaks:

we've been doing a lot of talk. And we want to make sure that

ShySpeaks:

you have an opportunity to make a statement as well, because

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: we've seen people make statements with

ShySpeaks:

their athletic apparel. We've even seen people make statements

ShySpeaks:

as entrepreneurs. But one thing I haven't seen is somebody make

ShySpeaks:

a statement as a creative entrepreneur. So none is we have

ShySpeaks:

given you an opportunity to make a statement as a creative

ShySpeaks:

entrepreneur.

ShySpeaks:

Oh, okay. Okay. So if they want to make sure that

ShySpeaks:

they're rocking that creative printer gear, where can they go

ShySpeaks:

get that? You

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: can go get that gear from? What's the irony.com?

ShySpeaks:

Oh, you love it? The shoulder? Whoa, oh, my gosh. So

ShySpeaks:

okay. I said that we were gonna be talking about how you are,

ShySpeaks:

you have a communications agency, and you have a boutique

ShySpeaks:

communications agency, and you actually help people to ensure

ShySpeaks:

find their story and then put the words to communicate what

ShySpeaks:

their story is. So they can sell whatever they're selling, or

ShySpeaks:

serve whoever they're trying to serve. Right. So I'm sure that's

ShySpeaks:

how they go. So this part is for people who are interested in

ShySpeaks:

having an agency this themselves and they're going to take their

ShySpeaks:

PR side their word side, their love for graphics, their love

ShySpeaks:

for videography. How do you turn this into an agency? So I want

ShySpeaks:

to talk about that? Okay, so let me let you put it in your words.

ShySpeaks:

That's how I said it. But how would you say what you do at

ShySpeaks:

your agency? What do you guys do for people?

Feleceia Benton:

I mean, I think you did a pretty good job. Try.

Feleceia Benton:

Well done. It's like you've been hanging out with me for a day or

Feleceia Benton:

two. So slightly

ShySpeaks:

been hanging out with you for some years, but the way

ShySpeaks:

we take we help people find their story, you fine.

ShySpeaks:

communicate that. Okay. Yeah. So you started off using video

ShySpeaks:

graphics, but then it has expanded. So tell us how could

ShySpeaks:

you say you feel you want to change strategy and graphics and

ShySpeaks:

more?

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah, so we call ourselves a full service

Feleceia Benton:

strategic communications company. And we call ourselves

Feleceia Benton:

strategic communications as a differentiator between like an

Feleceia Benton:

advertising agency or a marketing company. So both

Feleceia Benton:

advertising and marketing, those kinds of agencies operate very

Feleceia Benton:

differently. So strategic comms really does begin with, similar

Feleceia Benton:

to the other ones, but it begins with like, who are you? Why are

Feleceia Benton:

you here? Who are you serving and why. And we dive deep into

Feleceia Benton:

that work. And then we also serve as kind of a different

Feleceia Benton:

kind of client. So a lot of the like bigger advertising agencies

Feleceia Benton:

and marketing companies, some of the folks that we serve as can't

Feleceia Benton:

necessarily afford those big agencies. Those are fantastic.

Feleceia Benton:

If you can afford it, they're great. But if not, the idea of

Feleceia Benton:

trying to understand who you are, why you exist, and finding

Feleceia Benton:

the words to tell that story can be costly. It can be time

Feleceia Benton:

consuming. And like if you don't have a guy to walk you through

Feleceia Benton:

it, you'll end up spending a lot of money in a lot of different

Feleceia Benton:

places without really landing on on success. So we're a strategic

Feleceia Benton:

communications company. We've got all the tools in our toolkit

Feleceia Benton:

when you need them to help you tell your story. So that's,

Feleceia Benton:

that's a little bit of of who we are what we do. Our company is

Feleceia Benton:

named after Zoey, the little girl I was talking about

Feleceia Benton:

earlier, who's not so little anymore. She's, she'll be 14 in

Feleceia Benton:

September. It's bananas. She's 14, but our company was named

Feleceia Benton:

after her because so he was born with Down syndrome. Um, so if

Feleceia Benton:

you know anything about people with Down syndrome, and you know

Feleceia Benton:

that many folks with Down Syndrome have some challenges

Feleceia Benton:

with communication. So Zoe has helped us to learn how to be

Feleceia Benton:

really good listeners. And she's helped us to learn that

Feleceia Benton:

Everybody doesn't communicate the same way. And sometimes

Feleceia Benton:

people need a little help to understand what it is that

Feleceia Benton:

you're trying to say, even as a human or a business owner. So

Feleceia Benton:

she's kind of the foundation of the way that we think about an

Feleceia Benton:

approach strategic communications. Oh, I love it. I

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: love it. Because it's its purpose as well, right?

Feleceia Benton:

You've you've taken this, the skill set the talent that you

Feleceia Benton:

have, right, the formal education that you have. Now you

Feleceia Benton:

have this strong why, but then you were able to merge it in

Feleceia Benton:

purpose. And now you're just doing the same thing. Yeah.

ShySpeaks:

Okay, so that's so you realize that everybody won't

ShySpeaks:

get it with just a graphic like, just need to get it in other

ShySpeaks:

ways. So you talked about earlier, you want to bring

ShySpeaks:

somebody onto the team, right, which now you have a team. So

ShySpeaks:

you have you guys are trying to come up with strategies? What

ShySpeaks:

are some of the strategies that you're doing aside from, hey,

ShySpeaks:

we'll make this graphic to communicate this thing? What is

ShySpeaks:

that?

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah, so we have like, the strategy that we

Feleceia Benton:

have for our company. And then we have a strategy that we have

Feleceia Benton:

that we deploy for various clients. So at this point, we

Feleceia Benton:

have a little bit of a reputation for the kinds of work

Feleceia Benton:

that we do, thank the Lord. So folks usually come to us for one

Feleceia Benton:

of three things. One, they come to us because they have an event

Feleceia Benton:

and they needed to run well look good, be sharp, be branded well,

Feleceia Benton:

and then they need the visit the brand of the visit, to match the

Feleceia Benton:

reflection of their brand itself. Um, so people coming to

Feleceia Benton:

us to manage that kind of I'm glad y'all shake your head is

Feleceia Benton:

like, Yeah, I know what you're talking about. Yeah, so they'll

Feleceia Benton:

come to us for that. Some folks come to us, because they need us

Feleceia Benton:

to be like their marketing company, their marketing team.

Feleceia Benton:

So there are several folks that we work for that we manage all

Feleceia Benton:

of their stuff, if they need PR, if they need social graphics,

Feleceia Benton:

whatever the case might be, we're with them, like we're part

Feleceia Benton:

of their team. And they treat us as such. And then the last kind

Feleceia Benton:

of client is probably my favorite client client is the

Feleceia Benton:

one where we dive deep, and we get all up in the business.

Feleceia Benton:

They've been like saying words, they've been doing stuff out

Feleceia Benton:

here in the streets, and like it's not working. They either

Feleceia Benton:

have confusion on their teams, or they're like putting stuff

Feleceia Benton:

out in the world. And like it's not working people are not

Feleceia Benton:

coming to their whatever, or buying their stuff. So we do a

Feleceia Benton:

deep dive into the words that they're using as well as their

Feleceia Benton:

organizational structure. And we see where the mismatches are.

Feleceia Benton:

And sometimes that process takes us like six weeks, sometimes it

Feleceia Benton:

takes us six months. So those are my favorite kinds of

Feleceia Benton:

clients. So for each of those kinds of clients, we have we

Feleceia Benton:

deployed different strategies for each. But those are really

Feleceia Benton:

kind of the buckets that we stay within. I don't know if I

Feleceia Benton:

answered your question.

ShySpeaks:

No, no, that's great. That's, I mean, okay, it does,

ShySpeaks:

it does answer the question. All right. Yes, yes. I'm gonna ask

ShySpeaks:

you a more specific question. So at some point, you first

ShySpeaks:

started, you had this, you then you had this other person that's

ShySpeaks:

kind of help you work on the strategy, I'm pretty sure. Three

ShySpeaks:

different buckets you just described, like, this person

ShySpeaks:

needs this, we need to make sure that they don't just have a

ShySpeaks:

graphic for the event. Okay, here, here's the thing that

ShySpeaks:

comes to the event, but they need other all in. So So you

ShySpeaks:

have this. Okay, so yeah, this person. So at what point do you

ShySpeaks:

go from making like, hundreds of dollars to 1000s of dollars?

ShySpeaks:

Right? What like, so you started in 2012? So but like, what did

ShySpeaks:

it take, like 2000, like three years before you start having

ShySpeaks:

other people that you're working with? Or was it like quicker?

ShySpeaks:

Like,

Feleceia Benton:

it was pretty quick? Yeah, I didn't mean for

Feleceia Benton:

it to be quick. I had a season where I fired everybody. So

Feleceia Benton:

like, I haven't always just had everybody there was a season

Feleceia Benton:

where I was like, I cannot do this. And everybody was gone.

Feleceia Benton:

And I solo produced that thing for like, two years. So I jumped

Feleceia Benton:

in. So entrepreneurs you can have whatever season you need.

Feleceia Benton:

Permission to have whatever season you need. So jumped in,

Feleceia Benton:

it was me for a little bit started recognizing these

Feleceia Benton:

different needs, had a team could afford a team and the team

Feleceia Benton:

was there to support the different efforts that we saw

Feleceia Benton:

existed at the time. So I was probably 2013 2014 like a year

Feleceia Benton:

or two in where I started to collect some additional folks to

Feleceia Benton:

work alongside. There was one other person who was full time

Feleceia Benton:

with me, one person who was contracted to people who were

Feleceia Benton:

contracted and another person who interned so we were like a

Feleceia Benton:

team of four

ShySpeaks:

or five. Okay, so, four or five. So at this point,

ShySpeaks:

are you in like, this is to you started it two or three years

ShySpeaks:

later, you got an employee contractors and some other. So

ShySpeaks:

are you like still in like, a five figure range in that couple

ShySpeaks:

of years? Or did it like explode? And it's like, oh,

ShySpeaks:

we're in a six figure range as a company, like, Yeah. Were you

ShySpeaks:

still like in like, because you know, contracts could be like

ShySpeaks:

5010 1000 5010 and 20,000 for, you know, different cities or,

ShySpeaks:

you know, so where are you figure wise and these couple of

ShySpeaks:

years?

Feleceia Benton:

Yeah, the first few years, I was tapping on six,

Feleceia Benton:

like, it was right there at the door. That's where you were

Feleceia Benton:

scrappy. We were super, super scrappy when we start it. And

Feleceia Benton:

then when I realized what kind of load we needed to carry, we

Feleceia Benton:

changed the way that we structured our contracts. I

Feleceia Benton:

didn't realize it at first, like, just remembering our

Feleceia Benton:

context here. I started on accident. I did not start, but I

Feleceia Benton:

shall make a business plan and know exactly what I will do

Feleceia Benton:

tomorrow. I didn't do that. You know, I didn't do that until

Feleceia Benton:

much later on. So it took a few years. But yeah, we started

Feleceia Benton:

tapping into six figures, like four years in. Okay,

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: so you just said something you said, the way we

Feleceia Benton:

structured our contracts, once we restructured our contract, we

Feleceia Benton:

were at a place where we were not going to tap in on it. But

Feleceia Benton:

once we restructured something as simple as restructuring your

Feleceia Benton:

contracts, puts you over the hump. I need you I need you to

Feleceia Benton:

elaborate on that just because once again, sometimes we think

Feleceia Benton:

we need these huge quantum leaps. And a lot of times, it's

Feleceia Benton:

just something simple as restructuring of a contract. So

Feleceia Benton:

yeah,

Feleceia Benton:

well, this so that it's different. For every

Feleceia Benton:

scenario, I'll tell you about our specific one. There were a

Feleceia Benton:

few things that I realized when I looked at our contracts, there

Feleceia Benton:

were a lot of things that I was not factoring in to the bottom

Feleceia Benton:

line, like I was not factoring in use of equipment, I wasn't

Feleceia Benton:

factoring in purchasing the photos and the videos, I wasn't

Feleceia Benton:

factoring that in, I would factor in the hard costs to get

Feleceia Benton:

it done, I wouldn't factor in licensing. So there were a lot

Feleceia Benton:

of things that like just these little tiny things. I was

Feleceia Benton:

initially structuring contracts, like I was the only person who

Feleceia Benton:

was working, I wasn't taking the different costs, or the

Feleceia Benton:

different people who were involved into account. So every,

Feleceia Benton:

if you're working in advertising or comms or as a graphic

Feleceia Benton:

designer, there are a lot of costs to take into account, if

Feleceia Benton:

you're going to find yourself profitable. I wasn't even really

Feleceia Benton:

thinking about how to factor in profit into my bottom line.

Feleceia Benton:

Because I was just trying to cover the costs. So every

Feleceia Benton:

everybody needs a formula, you got to figure out like, what is

Feleceia Benton:

your formula, if I want to go from being just a single

Feleceia Benton:

solopreneur, even a creative printer to structuring myself

Feleceia Benton:

more like an agency, every agency needs a formula, you got

Feleceia Benton:

to have a formula for your bottom, you got to have a

Feleceia Benton:

formula for how you're gonna make money that have a formula

Feleceia Benton:

for your contracts. So yeah, that's the short answer. I don't

Feleceia Benton:

think I was short.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: No, that's perfect. That's perfect.

ShySpeaks:

No, that's good. Okay. So when you say, Okay,

ShySpeaks:

some of the expenses, because we wanted to think people need to

ShySpeaks:

know about that, like how to, when you say licensing, are you

ShySpeaks:

talking about like, you know, give us give us some specifics?

ShySpeaks:

What are some of the expenses that someone needs to consider

ShySpeaks:

when they're having when they have a communications agency

ShySpeaks:

that, yeah, you may not realize, hey, this person asked me to do

ShySpeaks:

this. I think that it's gonna take me this much time, and I'm

ShySpeaks:

just gonna charge them this. There are some other thing, what

ShySpeaks:

are the some of those things that they may be missing? Yeah,

Feleceia Benton:

the first thing to take into account are all the

Feleceia Benton:

platforms you're using to make it happen. So are you using

Feleceia Benton:

Illustrator or using like the Adobe Creative Suite? Are you

Feleceia Benton:

using Canva? Are you using HoneyBook? Like, what are all of

Feleceia Benton:

these things that you're using in order to make this thing

Feleceia Benton:

happen? Are you paying rent somewhere? Like, are you paying

Feleceia Benton:

using an oil corner of your home as an office and you're using

Feleceia Benton:

that for X amount of time? Well, that's use of your space that's

Feleceia Benton:

using your electricity that's use of like your resources. So

Feleceia Benton:

you have all of these other costs that are factored into

Feleceia Benton:

ultimately getting this thing done. But when I say like,

Feleceia Benton:

agencies ask people to help them figure out the formula for their

Feleceia Benton:

agency, because it can start to get really complicated. So if if

Feleceia Benton:

I were you, I would at least start by factoring in cost that

Feleceia Benton:

you understand. So look at all of these places that you might

Feleceia Benton:

be utilizing to make the graphic happen, or make the photo happen

Feleceia Benton:

or make the video happen and figure out how much you pay it

Feleceia Benton:

on that every single month. You can add it as a service Speed,

Feleceia Benton:

you can integrate, you can slightly notch up the amount

Feleceia Benton:

that you're using in your hourly fee. There are a lot of ways

Feleceia Benton:

that you can structure that inside of your contract. So

Feleceia Benton:

that's one thing to think about. And if you are making a graphic

Feleceia Benton:

or if you're making, if you're shooting a photo or a video,

Feleceia Benton:

does the client own that outright? Or is that going to be

Feleceia Benton:

licensed out to them? Are you going to be the owner of it, and

Feleceia Benton:

then they're able to use it for X amount of time or a certain

Feleceia Benton:

fee? So lots of lots of things to explore when you're thinking

Feleceia Benton:

about how much to charge?

ShySpeaks:

Got you. Got you go Yeah, right. You got

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: me because I think that's I think that's key

ShySpeaks:

when when it comes to photographers and videographers

ShySpeaks:

specifically, like, I don't know if they know it. I know the

ShySpeaks:

clients don't know that whoever clicks that shutter. Is the

ShySpeaks:

owner footage? That's yeah. Yeah. So to be able, I can say

ShySpeaks:

to have that in the contract to where they know. And once again,

ShySpeaks:

that might be something to where, okay, are you leasing it?

ShySpeaks:

If you're leasing it, then this, this, this, this, this fee, if

ShySpeaks:

you're if I'm giving you ownership of it, then it's this

ShySpeaks:

fee, but that comes with a cost as opposed to just okay, you

ShySpeaks:

hired me to come in? I charge $250 an hour? And then I'm

ShySpeaks:

giving you everything on my SD card. Yeah, nah, you missing out

ShySpeaks:

on a lot

Feleceia Benton:

of internet. Yeah, you can also agree to a

Feleceia Benton:

certain number of photos. So whenever whenever we ask

Feleceia Benton:

photographers to come to us, if we want to own it outright,

Feleceia Benton:

we'll say, sometimes we work for photographers, when they don't

Feleceia Benton:

know how to work for themselves. So we'll say we only want 25

Feleceia Benton:

photos, even if you shoot for, you know, eight hours will pay

Feleceia Benton:

you hourly. And then we only expect X amount of photos, we

Feleceia Benton:

want to own them outright. And this is what will pay for that.

Feleceia Benton:

So if you don't if you don't have a plan for your work, your

Feleceia Benton:

client will have a plan or your work. And they don't know what

Feleceia Benton:

they don't know, or they do. And they'll negotiate without, with

Feleceia Benton:

more knowledge than you. Yeah. Wow.

ShySpeaks:

So when it comes to communication, there are so many

ShySpeaks:

different variables, like, you know, there's visuals, so

ShySpeaks:

there's photography, that's videography, and both of those

ShySpeaks:

have their own world. And then there is the graphic and like

ShySpeaks:

the design aesthetic, and then there is the copywriting, right.

ShySpeaks:

And so who's writing the copy that goes on, say graphic, or

ShySpeaks:

says website or on the bottom of the video, or et cetera, et

ShySpeaks:

cetera. So there are so many different pieces. And I know

ShySpeaks:

that you are a boutique, so to speak, is strategic agency. So

ShySpeaks:

you kind of work with people, you have these two clients that

ShySpeaks:

are like the same. And then this third piece where it's like,

ShySpeaks:

you're really tailoring everything for them. So how do

ShySpeaks:

you come up with a process? Like what's your process of coming up

ShySpeaks:

with a process? To like, make it where you have a so it's not

ShySpeaks:

like so all over the place? Like, I'm working with a client?

ShySpeaks:

Where do I start? I have where, and I have to get them

ShySpeaks:

somewhere? So how do you come? What's your process of coming up

ShySpeaks:

with a process when working with people on a custom level? Well,

ShySpeaks:

I've

Feleceia Benton:

been doing this for a couple of days. A lot of

Feleceia Benton:

the process has come with experience. It comes with a

Feleceia Benton:

heavy listening air. So I know what our team can provide. I

Feleceia Benton:

know what our services are, I know what we do well. So my

Feleceia Benton:

intention while I'm listening to a client is to figure out how do

Feleceia Benton:

they fit well within our structure? Like how do they fit

Feleceia Benton:

well within the things that we are existing process? If I throw

Feleceia Benton:

our team a curveball, and say we got this client that is left of

Feleceia Benton:

center, but what we traditionally do after factor

Feleceia Benton:

that factor that into our costs, because it's going to affect how

Feleceia Benton:

I paid them or if we're going to have to bring somebody else on

Feleceia Benton:

for it. So I'm trying to figure out the simplest way to answer

Feleceia Benton:

your question. I guess, ultimately, when I've done it

Feleceia Benton:

long enough to know how to listen to I listen, really, I

Feleceia Benton:

try to listen really well to what their needs are. And three,

Feleceia Benton:

I am not going to create a process that is going that is

Feleceia Benton:

against the way that our team operates. So it's not going to

Feleceia Benton:

be something totally different. If it is completely different

Feleceia Benton:

than I asked him to go somewhere else. Or I will say we can do

Feleceia Benton:

these things for you. But this isn't this we cannot do. So we

Feleceia Benton:

we avoid doing the things that are outside of our realm of

Feleceia Benton:

knowledge.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: I love it. I love it. Listen, I can I can go

Feleceia Benton:

on and we're glad to have you back because there's so much

Feleceia Benton:

more I want to know. But this has been a phenomenal interview.

Feleceia Benton:

I'm hoping that our Our audience has gained some value from

Feleceia Benton:

listening to you speak about just your journey starting off

Feleceia Benton:

once again, like, Okay, I started off here, right, I was

Feleceia Benton:

going to school for musical theater, my dad was spinning my

Feleceia Benton:

head, you're gonna need some a little more than that. We did, I

Feleceia Benton:

listened. But then there were other people in my ear. That way

Feleceia Benton:

I kind of helped guide me because once again, I only knew

Feleceia Benton:

what I knew. And they could see some other things in me that I

Feleceia Benton:

couldn't see. So just the importance of having that

Feleceia Benton:

coaching and mentorship and things like that, and then just

Feleceia Benton:

having a I had a necessity. So I had a certain skill set that I

Feleceia Benton:

that I had, and I needed to, you know, be able to provide for

Feleceia Benton:

myself for my child. So I put that I put that skill to work,

Feleceia Benton:

but even started off as a volunteer. So just this whole,

Feleceia Benton:

this whole journey. Right. And so now you are, you have this

Feleceia Benton:

phenomenal communications company. Yeah, I have more I

Feleceia Benton:

have a man that is that the time has gotten away from I have more

Feleceia Benton:

questions.

ShySpeaks:

We're getting ready to wrap it up. But let's give

ShySpeaks:

them some bonus. Even my own real quick. Okay. So basically,

ShySpeaks:

you said earlier, you came up with this whole idea of

ShySpeaks:

strategy? How do you like like being like, how do I know if

ShySpeaks:

what I'm doing is working? Right? Why are you trying to do

ShySpeaks:

a communications agency in any type of marketing, whatever,

ShySpeaks:

rattle off a list of tools, or sites or wherever they can go to

ShySpeaks:

actually track the effectiveness of what you're doing? Yeah,

Feleceia Benton:

if you are a well, any kind of brand, can ask

Feleceia Benton:

their people, they can ask their customers. So if you are an

Feleceia Benton:

artist, if you are a photographer, if you are,

Feleceia Benton:

whatever, ask the people around you, as the people who are

Feleceia Benton:

buying the services, is the stuff that I'm doing doesn't

Feleceia Benton:

benefit you. So get feedback from your customers. That'll be

Feleceia Benton:

thing number one. If you are in comps, you need to look at your

Feleceia Benton:

analytics, you need to look at the backside of your website,

Feleceia Benton:

you need to look at metal platforms, yes, and see what the

Feleceia Benton:

numbers say. And then the final thing I would do is look at your

Feleceia Benton:

bank account, evaluate the numbers, what are they doing,

Feleceia Benton:

and I would track I would literally write down the things

Feleceia Benton:

that I'm doing month over month, I keep a million notes inside of

Feleceia Benton:

my notes on my phone. As I'm like thinking of ideas in the

Feleceia Benton:

middle of the night, my bank account will reflect whether the

Feleceia Benton:

things that I'm putting out here in the streets are actually

Feleceia Benton:

making me money or not. So like it's all of it is actually quite

Feleceia Benton:

simple. It's a matter of evaluation, paying attention to

Feleceia Benton:

the things are going on around you and not being afraid to

Feleceia Benton:

look.

ShySpeaks:

Okay, I'm gonna let you off the hook with that. I'm

ShySpeaks:

gonna let you go. That was a good answer for how to know your

ShySpeaks:

business is working. I was saying how they can know if what

ShySpeaks:

they're doing the work they're doing is working like yeah,

Feleceia Benton:

that's relative. Like, it depends on

Feleceia Benton:

what kind of work they're doing.

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: I like the fact that she said definitely serving

Feleceia Benton:

and asking your client to they know so yeah, definitely survey

Feleceia Benton:

and you got to pull your clients and see. So I like that.

Feleceia Benton:

Y'all, I'm you. I'm assuming y'all are both

Feleceia Benton:

musicians. Yeah. I mean, I know about Sharon, I don't know. I

Feleceia Benton:

see the records back there on the wall. I'm assuming I'd

Feleceia Benton:

Ronald Lee Jr.: be able to dabble in music production a

Feleceia Benton:

little bit. You know?

Feleceia Benton:

What you guys, y'all look at them Spotify

Feleceia Benton:

numbers right now when you like post something, and you can

Feleceia Benton:

click on insights to see if people are engaging or not.

Feleceia Benton:

Sometimes we have like a fear of looking like we're just afraid

Feleceia Benton:

to look at the places that we already know. So I know it feels

Feleceia Benton:

like an easy answer. But it's true.

ShySpeaks:

No, it is true. No, you said that what you say what

ShySpeaks:

you ask for feedback. And also check those analytics and meta.

ShySpeaks:

You know, that's Google, Facebook, Instagram, all those

ShySpeaks:

things. And once you start checking analytics, you'll just

ShySpeaks:

start checking the analytics. Yeah, most important one was the

ShySpeaks:

numbers don't lie check the check the bank account check the

ShySpeaks:

revenue. Okay, I just wanted to give people a little some extra

ShySpeaks:

before we get out of here. I want to say thank you so much

ShySpeaks:

for hopping on with us. unpacking your story and sharing

ShySpeaks:

your tips and tools for other people who are looking to have

ShySpeaks:

agencies and how to like navigate the multitalented world

ShySpeaks:

Ronald Lee Jr.: Yeah, you got it right you guys don't know this.

ShySpeaks:

This was great. I said we're gonna have to have you back

ShySpeaks:

again cannot cannot cannot please actually, I'm getting you

ShySpeaks:

here as it's recorded. So, you know said kick. Can we can we

ShySpeaks:

can we trust that you're going to come come back in and have

ShySpeaks:

another episode with the future.

Feleceia Benton:

In the words of my daddy, Lord willing and the

Feleceia Benton:

creek don't rise.

ShySpeaks:

All right, and then I actually want to thank those of

ShySpeaks:

you who are tuning into this watching who stayed around all

ShySpeaks:

the way to this point, thank you so much for tuning in to the

ShySpeaks:

mind and my creative business podcast. We really, really truly

ShySpeaks:

appreciate it. One of the things I like to say before we get out

ShySpeaks:

of the podcast is a mantra for us to quote and so here's what I

ShySpeaks:

want you to do. I want you to repeat after me I want you to

ShySpeaks:

say this out loud. All it takes on it takes all it takes is

ShySpeaks:

intention, intention, consistency, consistency, and

ShySpeaks:

laser focus and focus. So my my creative business alrighty then

ShySpeaks:

thank you guys so much for, you know, for saying that with us

ShySpeaks:

and we look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

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