Small Business on the Rise: About 90 Marketing

It is safe to say that LaShonda Brown’s lucky number is 90. Her marketing company, About 90 Marketing, has enjoyed tremendous growth and success in its first year of operation and shows no signs of slowing down.

Brown launched About 90 on Periscope, a live video streaming app, when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2016. “It was an incredible experience because I immediately got in the truck to drive to Pennsylvania to be with family after the broadcast,” Brown recalls. “While I was away, I received a new client every day during vacation because of the livestream. This ignited my curiosity with using livestreaming, and it remains my number one marketing tool to this day.”

Before opening About 90, Brown worked in video production. “After creating hundreds of videos I realized a common problem in our system,” she says. “Our clients would receive beautiful videos, but they were not knowledgeable in distribution. So our videos would sit hidden away on their websites and tucked away on social media. I thought, ‘What would happen if I took care of pushing the video out to their audience?’ I tested this theory on a client, and the results absolutely blew me away. Thousands of views, comments and shares over a very short span of time and the only difference was I posted it for them.”

The number 90 plays a central role in Brown’s business model: her clients receive 90-minute consultations called “Brand Boosts” and 90-day action plans during which About 90 creates and implements a business strategy tailored to the company at hand. “For 90-day blocks of time, clients pay me to serve as their Chief Marketing Officer,” Brown says. “During that time I develop my 90-day strategies that my team helps execute which typically include web design, social media management, blogging, ad management and photography.”

Brown believes that About 90’s success derives largely from its ability to both build and execute effective business strategies. “There are so many business owners who are overwhelmed by the options,” she notes. “They can execute a strategy, but they can’t build one. There are two kinds of people in the world: people who build strategies and people who execute. It’s rare to find both qualities in the same person or the same company. The fact that we design, build and maintain strategies is what makes us special.” With international clients from as far away as Chiang Mai, Thailand, About 90 proves that small businesses can make a global impact.

Although About 90 excels online, it also boasts a strong local presence due to its About 90 Meetup events. “The About 90 Meetups sprang from a desire to mobilize female entrepreneurs in my backyard,” Brown says. “I had done that virtually through leadership in the PeriGirls, which is the largest community of women supporting women on Periscope (over 10k members worldwide), but I hadn’t done that in real life. I created the About 90 Meetups as a way to drive traffic to businesses owned by women and allow women in business to meet each other. I structure the meetups so they involve a time of meet and greet, one minute elevator pitches from the attendees and a marketing moment. I want to include an educational component so no matter what I know women walk away with value.”

With more meetups scheduled, a new partnership with educational technology company Teachable to develop its first online course, and both digital and print educational materials in the works, About 90 has a big year ahead. Brown plans to enjoy the journey, challenges and all. “The best thing about working for a small business is you get to reap the rewards of your hard work,” she says. “The highs are yours and the lows are yours, but at the end of the day it belongs to you and that’s a beautiful thing. I also get to work beside my husband every day and a ‘normal’ job would not afford me that option. He’s my best friend, so that’s a huge plus in my book.”

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By Emily Hedrick