When Cheryl Walters was laid off from her corporate marketing gig last February, she was a victim of the same mindset she describes as the most common misconception about her field: thinking it’s not important.
Marketers, Walters says, are often first to be cut in rounds of layoffs. Yet, “You don’t need to do big branding campaigns like [Procter & Gamble] to be effective. You do need to do something,” she says. After the layoff, she launched her own marketing firm, CheronaWorks
, to address the marketing needs of smaller companies in a variety of industries.
She specializes in budget-conscious work; many of her clients are just starting out, like Walters herself, or don’t have a marketing staff. “I respect that clients don’t want to spend a lot of money,” she says. “I make sure I don’t give them any costs they can’t handle, and I’ll be honest if they do something and I think it’s a bad investment; I’ll tell them not to waste their money.”
CheronaWorks offers marketing services from direct response mailings to websites and email campaigns. Like so many startups, Walters is currently finding new clients through referrals and, of course, marketing herself. She says she uses social media to connect with local companies with marketing needs – and frustrations.
“When I’ve had to do marketing to drum up business, I’ve had luck with social media. I look for people who are looking for help or seem frustrated or are just blatantly posting that they need something,” she says.
Walters says her most common requests are designing logos and websites for new businesses or those “ready to move beyond their WordPress site.”
By Robin Donovan