According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business fail in the first 18 months. Thankfully, I never heard that stat before launching my marketing firm over 10 years ago on March 1, 2008. I am the daughter of a successful business owner who unfortunately passed away before I ever started my company Purple Diamond. My Dad, who owned Baystate Systems and Forms Inc., never shared with me about the ups and downs of running his own business. He just made it look so easy and from my young eyes he was successful and loved by everyone who knew him. And, like most kids who idolized their Dads, I wanted to be “just like him”.
It might have been easier if I had launched my business straight out of college and before having a family, but I took the long road to get where I am today. I worked for years in the marketing and advertising field prior to being a marketing consultant. I began my career straight out of college designing the marketing materials and being the Public Relations person for a health clinic in Boston. Though my degree from Quinnipiac University was in Health Services Administration with a focus in Marketing, I left the field of healthcare to try my hand at promoting and marketing ion implantation equipment for Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc. My career in marketing was quite diversified, but when I found myself selling and writing TV Commercials I knew that I had a passion to help business owners share their story and build their brand identity. In addition to my experience in TV advertising, I also spent time working as an advertising executive for a local newspaper, radio station, and a digital marketing company that a sold Email Hosting Services, Web Design and SMS Text Messaging prior to the popularity of Twitter.
So why leave a successful career as a senior marketing executive to start my own firm? Life happened and so did melanoma! Fourteen years ago, a week after my husband Jay proposed (second marriage), they discovered a bad mole on my right foot. I was a divorced Mom with 2 children depending on me at the time and being sick was not something I was prepared to do. To make things even more stressful, the company I was at was being bought out and though we were told we had jobs it wasn’t the best time to take time off for health reasons. So, I worked from my bed and saw the power of the internet as I chased down leads online and continued to write TV commercials for my clients. It was scary and amazing at the same time. I saw just how strong I was and how wonderful and supportive my kids and my future husband Jay were. It was two years later that I launched Purple Diamond.
I’d like to tell you that launching Purple Diamond was simple. Write a Business Plan and boom, you are successful. But this is the real world and like most Business Plans they change and you have to adapt with the changes or fail. The business plan was for an Advertising Agency and not a Marketing Consulting and Coaching Firm which would later add Social Media Marketing Training. I had a strong background in TV and Radio Commercials, but a few months into my business the Stock Market crashed and many of the local businesses were struggling. Usually in a bad economy businesses advertise more, but not in 2008. The ones who were choosing to still do TV commercials were hiring big ad agencies in Boston and not taking a risk with a new company called Purple Diamond. So, nine months into my business I added Marketing Consulting / Coaching Services. I knew from TV that packages sold well so I created a subscription based monthly package that allowed new businesses to get the help they needed. I branded myself well by wearing my signature color PURPLE every day and creating a story and tagline around the name Purple Diamond. (The color PURPLE is the color of great wealth; royalty wore it. A DIAMOND is a stone of commitment, my commitment to you is that I will bring you great wealth….SUCCESS WEARS THE PURPLE DIAMOND!) I did numerous speaking engagements and served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Greater Beverly
Chamber of Commerce for 9 years, Co-Chair of the “Keep It Local Campaign” for 3 years, Board of Directors of the North Shore Business Forum for 5 years, member of the Economic Community Development Committee for the City of Beverly for 4 years, member of the Creative Economy, and the creator and administrator of the PURPLE DIAMOND SUCCESS NETWORK on Facebook and Linkedin. My company became very well known locally in the Beverly, MA area and on the North Shore. I was nominated for Small Business of the Year in 2012 and I won the Greater Beverly Chamber’s 2014 Sole Proprietor of the Year.
The company added Social Media Marketing Services in 2010 after my TV Advertising Client, Amesbury Sports Park, noticed that I was very active on Facebook and asked if I would manage their social page. As an early adopter to the power of social media marketing in the early 2000’s, I recognized the impact of social media when I helped to market my son’s heavy metal band on MySpace.com. I also launched my own blog before the term “blog” became well known on a site called Beliefnet.com in which I discovered the power of publishing blog articles and developing a following online. This experience led me to connecting with my Canadian husband Jay and I assisted a client based in California on a marketing project for China. With these experiences online with social media and my experience in marketing communication, I felt confident that I could help businesses engage with their potential clients by sharing their story online and train businesses on effective Social Media Marketing Strategies.
Purple Diamond has had the privilege of providing marketing consulting services, media buying, and social media marketing training for a long list of happy clients. To learn more about our services please give us a call at 978-927-0626 or email Charlene at Charlene@purplediamondmarketing.com
*Special Thanks go to my husband Jay, my children Ken and Nicole, my son-in-law Richie, my daughter-in-law Amy and my adorable granddaughter Ariana Jade. Building a successful business requires the support from the key people in your life and you are mine. I appreciate all the help you have given me and that each of you are proud to wear my signature color “PURPLE”.