#WIB -Q&A With Verné Brand Founder And Owner Of Bluestone Digital

Verne Brand Founder And Owner Of Bluestone Digital
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1. Can you please tell us more about your business?

A. It is a Digital Marketing Agency with a twist, not just focusing purely on digital, but traditional marketing too. With over 17 years’ experience in digital marketing, we help businesses create their brand presence and achieve their goals. Our process is designed to empower your brand and outfit your business with the marketing tools needed to attract the right customers, at the right time, fulfilling their needs.

We make use of an analytical approach and Integrated marketing strategy development to help identify gaps, opportunities, and results in a comprehensive report that includes a project plan with timelines and cost analysis. Our individualised plans are made up of quality services that will help you get there quickly and smoothly. 

2. When, how and why did you start your business?

A. I started my business as early as October of last year. I have always wanted to do my own thing as I have the knowledge and the expertise to do so, but something was always standing in my way. Then in July 2019, I was retrenched from my company. After many months of looking for another job, I realized, I would need to act. Then I decided to do what I always wanted. I was also looking at purchasing a Marketing Business with clients to take on, but it was quite costly, so I decided to rather establish my own company as it has fewer costs, and I won’t have so many overheads. One has to take a chance in life otherwise you will never know if you can be successful or not. 

3. What is your role in the business?

A. I am the founder and owner; therefore, my role is to be the artist. Yes, I need to build the business, but my paintbrush is in my hands, and I would like to create a business that in fact is an artifact.  I would like to be seen as the creator of something fabulous.

4. Where did you study and what did you study?

A. I only started to study when I started in my role as a Marketing Assistant.  I was a secretary for many years, when I started at Barloworld, one of the Managers saw I had a flair for Marketing, and offered me a position as Marketing assistant where my journey started, and then I started to study further.  I completed my BBA in Marketing Management through the IMM GSM.  I then decided to specialize, and did my Search Engine Optimization Certification, and completed a Digital Marketing Diploma.

5. How did you finance your business?

A. With the funds, I received from my retrenchment package.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

A. At the moment it is preparing documents, finances and all the legal requirements needed to succeed. I do research, do advertising, monitor the advertising success, and then set up meetings and see clients in between.

7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?

A. Firstly I start the day with some exercise. This helps to manage stress and to keep me healthy. 

I make time for family and friends.  Occasionally I do work late, but it is not every day, and I make time for my Husband.  We have a routine, that every evening when he gets home, we make a cup of coffee, sit down and relax and chat. We then make dinner together and we chat and catch up on our day and news we have to share with each other.

It is also important to maintain a proper diet. I also take breaks in between, and just walk outside and enjoy the fresh air.

8. What drives you and inspires you?

A. I enjoy creating meaningful work. I like to help, and with me helping my clients reach their targets, gives me peace, and puts a smile on my face.

I enjoy challenges, and this is what I love about what I do. Every client is different. I like challenging myself and advancing. With me starting a new business, it has forced me to start to network, and this was very difficult for me in the beginning. Now I am been put out there, and I have to sell myself and what I do. I have always done this in a work environment, but those were with people I knew. Now I have to meet new people, and I enjoy every moment.

9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

A. Early morning. I function better in the morning. I am an early riser, and while lying in bed when everyone else is sleeping, listening to the birds outside, I start to think of ideas I couldn’t think of yesterday, then the lightbulb switches on.

10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?

A. I have joined two networking groups. One namely Future Females: They are a movement to inspire more female entrepreneurs, and better support their success. I also joined a group:  BNI – help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional referral marketing program that enables them to develop meaningful, long-term relationships with quality business professionals. 

Then I market online, using what I know best, Google Adwords, Social Media and I make use of all the relationships I have built throughout the years.  One’s contacts are Gold and need to be nurtured if you want to continue and grow.

11. What is next for your business?

A. I have in the planning phase of my cycle, then from Apr-Jun I will build, grow, achieve and employ.  Jul – Oct:  Nurture and re-evaluate. Then the remainder of the year, I will measure and re-evaluate my progress.

12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?

A. Take a chance and believe in yourself.  Sometimes things happen and it forces you to push you in the right direction. Network with other women business owners. Don’t let impostor syndrome stop you. Don’t be afraid of pursuing an unexpected path.

How to find Verné Brand

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/vern%C3%A9-brand-63140139/

Business:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/bluestone-digital/?viewAsMember=true

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Bluestonedigital/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Blog:  https://bikeorwife.com/

Website:  https://bluestonedigital.co.za

Email:  vbrand@bluestonedigital.co.za

Cell:  082 905 0367