Each Friday meet a featured entrepreneur, all are trusted colleagues, most I am honored to call friends, the others I just stalked mercilessly until they said YES, and some are even current clients or graduated ones.....but I'll let them decide if they want to share that! You'll learn a thing or two and likely laugh a bit. They are all as candid in real life as they are here!
Describe yourself – I’m an old fish in the pond of branding having done this for 27 years. I’ve had a really fun swim having worked with some notable Fortune 500 brands such as RE/MAX, Pearle Vision, and Rollerblade. I’ve won awards and broken records which is part of my over-achiever disease; although, I try to embrace it since Achiever is my #1 Theme in Strengths Finder 2.0! I love what I do… helping entrepreneurs and small businesses up level in ways that maintain their relevancy and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. I consider myself an inner creative, outer strategist with possible superpowers and a definite point of view!
Describe your business – Re-Tool Marketing is a brand, marketing, and creative services agency that builds strong brands. Brands that get noticed. Through powerful strategy, identity, and
positioning. We look at businesses through a different lens – one that keenly identifies key differentiators and we bring them to life through every touch point. We connect dots, get your audience to “feel” your value, and help you convert more sales.
What are the stunning results clients/customers get when they hire and work with you?
The get noticed. In a big way. Once they are seen… really seen, and their attention is held for an extended period of time, my clients can work on the close and have some breathing room to do it! They also are understood. We determine differentiators and positioning that helps connect dots for their audiences and once an audience understands, a yes is much easier to get!
What’s the biggest challenge you ever faced in your business and how did you resolve it?
Getting out of the hand-to- mouth vicious cycle. It’s really hard to be a small shop and wear a lot of the hats yourself. I found myself pounding the pavement nurturing leads and once I sold a project, had to stop selling so I could deliver on the work. Once the project was done, the sales pipeline dried up and I had to start all over again. It was a tough grind. I was able to get to the other side once I had enough pieces of business in the pipeline to justify adding staff to wear some of those hats, which freed me up to stay in a business development and brand strategist role respectively. That takes time though. A lot of time.
What’s the one question you wish clients would ask you but they never do?
Here’s the thing, I know all the questions they should ask, so if they don’t, I bring it up for them to which they reply, “I had no idea!” What I wish were different was that they would HEAR me because I can’t tell you how many times clients have tried to do some of it on the cheap or not at all and come back to me months later and say, “I give. Let’s do this.” They could have saved a lot of money had they simply listened the first time, but it’s hard when you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it. Know what I mean?
Best time saving business tool you use?
I LOVE Canva and Haiku Deck. I use Canva for creative I need to do on the quick without waiting for my creative team to step in and I use Haiku Deck as a replacement for Power Point. It renders beautifully AND it’s super easy. Drag and drop is such a time saver.
Current book you are reading?
I’m currently reading Traction. I’ve read it before, but it’s one of those books that you need to highlight and write in and refer back to regularly. It’s a game changer for serious business owners.
What book do you recommend the most to other entrepreneurs?
That’s an easy one!! My all-time favorite book is Strengths Finder 2.0. Lots of people struggle with execution and implementation and feel they are stuck in quicksand when action is key. Knowing their top 5 strengths (or themes) helps them put tasks and skills in perspective. Then, they can confidently outsource their weaknesses and get rid of the “to do” pile that is mounting on their desks. Now that I wrote MOO-LAH- GY, I recommend it in tandem because prior to writing it, everyone asked me if there was a one-stop resource for all things branding and marketing. I couldn’t find one, so I wrote it for them. It’s a great primer to get entrepreneurs in an action mindset and a solid understanding of the power of brand in their business.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Ha! I love this question. I was given a profound piece of business advice from a business mentor of mine several years ago. He was trying to get me to see that I was playing too small. That I was concentrating on the low hanging fruit because it was there and I was working myself to death treading a bunch of water and not making any real money. He hit me over the head with this baseball bat: “Don’t be so busy skinning the squirrel that you miss the buffalo walking by.”
Website and Social Links
Website – www.retoolmarketing.com AND www.kellylucente.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Lucente.Kelly
Twitter - https://twitter.com/KellyLucente
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/kellylucente
Debbie Page Whitlock is a business coach and leading authority on cash flow for women entrepreneurs, and writes on all things related to creating sustainable, scalable and potentially salable businesses and other useful bits of business wisdom she’s acquired on her 20 year entrepreneurial odyssey.