Social Media Leader, Dre Brown, Helping Business and Organization Build Their Digital Presence Though Storytelling
Today we’d like to introduce you to Dre Brown.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is De’Andre (Dre). I earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minor in marketing, and a master’s degree in homeland security. I’ve been practicing Marketing and Communications for seven years and have had the opportunity to lead work in industries like health care, nonprofits, the local and federal government, and consulting.
I’m the Social Media Manager for the University of Maryland Medical System and the owner of The Brown-Smith Agency, a marketing and communications agency with a mission to help small and medium-sized businesses reach their customers on every interaction. I started my agency in June 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 virus outbreak while ending my employment at another organization.
I fashion myself to be a storyteller. Storytelling is the blueprint of all communications, and it’s good storytelling that allows a story to be picked up by the media, gets people talking about a campaign, or makes something go viral on social media. Storytelling is ingrained in my agency, and we approach every project with the mindset that there’s a story to be told.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
When I started my business, I secured my first couple of clients through social media. I quickly realized that I needed to engage in business development to keep the momentum going, which came quickly to me, considering it was a significant responsibility in my previous role. I quickly learned that business development comes easy when working for an organization that isn’t new to the market. I spent many hours developing quotes and proposals for prospects who never signed or didn’t have the budget to fund the project. After experiencing a repeat of the same thing, I considered giving up. However, I don’t believe in failure, so I had no choice but to keep going, and eventually, I found my moment.
The second challenge is it’s hard to be everything to everyone. When starting my agency, I wanted to provide a full-service experience, and I’ve done a fantastic job thus far; however, being a solo entrepreneur makes it hard. Also, considering the market is saturated, it’s crucial to provide a service that everyone else isn’t already doing; otherwise, it makes the competition much stiffer.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I specialize in helping individuals and businesses tell their stories authentically across social media to reach their target audience and convince them to take action, such as buying a product, using a service, or answering a questionnaire. Many people think you post something to social media, and it will sell. However, that’s far from the truth. You risk being ignored if your audience knows nothing about you or your product.
The difference between working with me over competitors is I can see the complete picture of someone’s brand. While my company solely provides social media, I can look at your marketing plans and strategy and develop a social media strategy that will help further your existing goals. I also believe in storytelling, so everything needs to connect, otherwise, I’m doing a disservice to my clients. Finally, it’s not about just the now. I look at the bigger picture and see how we can tell your story in a way that has longevity and will carry you beyond the now.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
The best advice for readers who desire success is to figure out what you’re good at and turn that into your passion. I remember when I started my business, I wanted to help everyone. However, over the first year, I noticed that I was stretched thin, trying to be everything to everyone. This required me to do some soul-searching to understand what I am good at, and once I had it, I began transitioning my services. Figuring out what you’re good at will help save you time and point you toward success.
My second advice is to be careful who you take advice from. When you’re starting, it feels like everyone wants to help you and provide advice on your business. However, all help isn’t good help. If something goes against your business plan, think twice and evaluate if that advice will help or hinder your business. There’s nothing like making a wrong decision and starting over again.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
To me, success means living in my purpose and doing what I love. It means being able to uplift our youth for them to see a positive role model they can turn to and rely on. I want them to see that I came from nothing and worked hard to get to where I am, and they can do the same.
What’s next for you?
At the start of 2023, I will launch the next part of my business, focusing on helping C-suite executives build their online presence primarily through social media. Now, more than ever, it’s important for c-suite executives to be online and have a voice. The saying people connect with people and not organizations is true. Therefore, it goes back to humanizing the brand and giving it a face.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
People can connect with me by visiting my website at www.thebrownsmithagency.com, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach me on Facebook and Instagram at @thebrownsmithagency.