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Rebecca Dutcher, President, RED66 Marketing LLC

Rebecca Dutcher has spent over 15 years working in both the client and agency sides of marketing and advertising. It was in her work at some of the leading brand strategy, web development, and SEO firms in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she honed her skills. After relocating to Terre Haute in early 2016, she was encouraged by a mentor to launch her own marketing firm – so she did. RED66 Marketing is a full-service marketing firm, created to work with organizations to help them better utilize marketing strategies, communication plans and digital efforts to improve their bottom line.

More about Rebecca:

1. What is the mission of RED66 Marketing?

The mission for RED66 Marketing is to work with organizations to help them solve business problems with marketing. We also provide a lot of education to our clients to help them understand the what and why of marketing today.

2. How did you choose the name of your company?

The name took months to find, and I had a list of options about 3 pages long, and a good investment in domain purchases too. Then one night it kind of came to me as I was falling asleep:

RED66 Marketing was born from the strong color red, and our founder's fiery red hair. We could have gone with Ginger but it isn’t the same. 66 comes from her first number when she was the only girl to play football when she was 8 years old. Yep, breaking the barriers at a young age.

3. What services does RED 66 Marketing provide?

RED66 Marketing provides a full suite of marketing services. We focus on a web-first approach, with a strong hub for all marketing and communications efforts. A website is the front door for any business today, especially startups. They provide proof you exist, and also start to build the brand.

We develop marketing plans with tactics can be implemented between our team and our clients. More importantly, we focus on a few select channels that will provide the best ROI, because in the marketing world you can always do more. The challenge is to not try to do everything or it will get diluted. This work includes deliverables like:

- Website design & development - Search Engine Marketing (organic and Pay Per Click) - Content marketing (blogs, email marketing, articles) - Social media marketing: we run about 3 channels for each of our clients - Graphic design (print ads, vehicle graphics, billboards, blog images, annual reports, logo & identity development) - Marketing strategy development & implementation - Video & photography: we work with partners for photo or video shoots. I don’t personally do the work, but we contract with other professionals and oversee everything to ensure goals are met, script creation, shooting, editing and distribution when complete

4. What is one mistake you often see entrepreneurs make with their marketing strategy?

We see a few common marketing mistakes by entrepreneurs. There is always a little bit of trying to do too much too soon and being in every channel via social media.

I was just talking with someone in our coworking space who wanted to do an all-out “social media attack” to generate awareness for his new business – he was talking Twitter, AdWords, Facebook, you name it. I told him to slow his roll and think about where his audience is, and what it might take to get one or two good clients. The nature of his business is detailed consulting – so with a good website, a couple of great blogs that address is target audience’s major concerns, and some good work on LinkedIn he could totally generate some solid leads.

You don’t have to be everywhere at once. The biggest mistake is trying to be in too many places – when a good website with information, details and content that you can share in one or two channels will give you a solid foundation. Then, you build on it and add content, and share in the RIGHT channels – including email, word of mouth, and print, etc.

5. When you're a founder, budgets are tight, but you can't afford to make a marketing mistake. How do you determine if/when to work with a marketing specialist like you?

I believe firmly in you get what you pay for. Websites aren’t as expensive as they once were, and it seems like everyone is starting a digital marketing company. The tools are not expensive – but having someone who can help you create a strategy is a good investment.

You can then get more junior people or even (paid) interns who are more comfortable with technology – but still need guidance in what to do and why.

6. Can you give us a checklist of the first 10 things founders needs to think about in regard to marketing her new product/service?

Think about – and write down:

1. Who are you as a brand/product or service

2. Who your target audience is and what solutions you deliver

3. Why your solutions matter

4. Where your audience is online or off – which social channels are they in,

5. How do they think of or search for my product or service – We call this TLC – Think Like a Customer

6. Have a website – even if it is basic – to show you exist, provide background information, some company information and give people a way to contact you

7. Understand the competition that is out there – not just locally but what is available online. Do not overwhelm yourself with what others are doing, use this information to differentiate yourself and be well informed as you go to market.

8. Create a marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be some elaborate strategy document with every tactic known to man or woman. You do need to know how you will measure your success – it could be an increase in website traffic, social media followers, email subscribers, purchases, leads, donations – etc. All of these become part of your funnel – but focus on what will drive leads and revenue first and spend time there. You can always add more later

9. Create a content calendar. Have a plan for what you’ll create and when. You can use national “day of” highlights, seasonality, industry trends, and community events to connect prospects to what you do or offer.

10. Be Consistent. One thing I see many startups (and business of every size) do is start out really motivated to update their website, be active on social media and a few months into it, they fizzle out. Marketing for most of us is a marathon, it’s not a one hit wonder or an unforgettable Super Bowl ad. It’s not even a viral video. It’s keeping your site, your content and your communications fresh and in front of your prospects. This doesn’t have to be daily – but you should dedicate some time each week to reviewing what’s worked, what hasn’t and doing one more thing that week.

- We use a lot of scheduling tools for social media. And, personally, I set aside about 1.5 to 2 hours every Friday morning at a local coffee shop to work on my blog and my marketing.

7. What does being a “woman founder” mean to you?

Well, going back to when I was younger and being the first girl on an all-boys football team I have always been one to go for it. Being a woman founder to me means empowering other women in business and their personal lives.

I had a tremendous support system growing up with my family, and some great mentors in college and my first few jobs. Not everyone has that. That support has helped me get where I am today, and I never take no for an answer.

I will always make time to mentor, support and help other women in my network and I strive to be an example for them in all aspects of business and life.

8. What advice do you have for other women thinking about starting up a business?

My advice is to spend time understanding the market where you want to be. Also, connect with other business owners – ask them questions, get to know more about their challenges, struggles, etc. And, if you have an opportunity to

- Know your strengths AND your weaknesses. I get the marketing part of the business since that is what I do – but the parts of registering my business, accounting systems, setting up a separate bank account, taxes and separating business and personal were all things I knew very little about. Spend a little time there to educate yourself – you don’t have to know how to do it, but you do need to understand it to protect yourself and your business.

- I spent time with the local Small Business Development Center to ask for input. You don’t know what you don’t know, so I ask others what advice they would give to someone starting a business.

- Today, there are many startups who begin with a side hustle – so you can test the waters before you leave your day job, or just work on getting things in order before you’re ready to take that step.

Pay attention to the signs from others too. I had a few clients ask when I was going to start my own business, which is flattering and scary!

And, have a good support system or go-to motivation for when you feel like you can’t do it. I went through months of “did I do the right thing?” and Oh No, what have I done?! So, I had a book that I read/listened too whenever I needed that bump in confidence, which is You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. Highly recommend it!

9. How have The Startup Ladies helped you grow?

The Startup Ladies event was one of the first networking events I attended when we moved to Terre Haute. I met other women who either started their own business or were thinking about it. That was more than two years ago, and I still have great connections and friends from that first meeting.

I have attended Startup Study Halls both in the Fishers area and in Terre Haute, which have helped me expand my network and build awareness for my company. More importantly, I’ve met some awesome entrepreneurs, and connected with other great resources. These events are inspiration and fun! Hearing the stories of other entrepreneurs and successful business owners always triggers something I can apply to my own business.

And honestly, this organization gives me support and inspiration all the time. It’s not always through direct interaction, but the content shared via social media, emails and website stories are all things that resonate with me. The information shared is educational, informational and motivational – knowing there is a tribe of other women business owners at every level and we’re connected through the Startup Ladies is empowering.

Connect: LinkedIn: @rebeccadutcher

Twitter: @rcdutcher

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