A Conversation With Cheryl Contee Of Do Big Things


Hey, everyone. Welcome to how I built this resilience edition on these episodes were talking with entrepreneurs and other business leaders about how they're meeting today's challenges with new strategies and ideas, and today we're GonNa hear from Cheryl Conte founder and CEO of do big things. Cheryl was part of the how I built this summit both in twenty eighteen and twenty nineteen, her digital agency do big things helps organizations like Google, the N. W., C., p. and Oetzi with creative strategy website, development, campaign content, and much more. Tell us a little bit more about two big things. Tell us about your company. Sure absolutely. So do make things as a digital agency as you mentioned that specializes in working with the world's leading causes, campaigns, candidates, corporations with mission driven initiatives to the narrative and new tack for the new. Era in which we all are living in today where working really hard on the election. But also on the pandemic we've been working on eviction prevention campaigns were likely to start working on. A, campaign targeted at misinformation around vaccines were out. You're really trying hard to help people in a tough time. And sort of give me a sense of how you work with companies like campaigns, of course, and serve creative marketing strategic advice things like that. Sure people come to us for a lot of different reasons right know we are a digital full service agency whether you need strategy you need research online influencers and who to target wear for what whether you WANNA run ads for persuasion or for acquisition were building APPs We build websites, It just depends on you need to do something online to reach someone usually not to sell anything we're not selling things widgets to face cars were helping to promote. Positive ideas that created social change. So I know Sheryl before you launch two big things. You actually created another business attentive dhadly attentively, which was a social marketing software business and one of the first tech startups with the black female founder and then was acquired by Nasdaq company. Can you just kind of walk us through the journey of that business and how was acquired and then how you decided to start do big things? Well, that's a long story of. How I started attentively basically, we saw a gap in the market and I think especially in this time for those people, maybe you have lost your job or your job is changing, you know look at the gaps around you and see if you're able to provide a solution to that problem. That's what we did. We saw in the corporate marketing segment that there were a lot of people using social listening influence or engagement and marketing automation in various. Sophisticated ways online that nonprofits didn't have access to or a lot of different reasons price. The tools weren't really tailored to the way that they talk about their audiences. So that's why we created a ton of lead to meet that need fill that gap and you know we had competition of course, and we were very visible also as an all female team with a black female co-founder easy to get funding. We had to work really hard and I experienced. Real discrimination despite running at the same time another digital agency that had pulled in millions of dollars in revenue. You know we were still seen as risky, which to me seemed very, very strange. Long Story Short we grew over time we became the dominant player in our market and we were an impact startup that then became acquired by an impact corporation laugh bod, which is one of the leading purveyors of nonprofits software right? So it's possible to do good. By doing good and that's what we do here. Do big things and what we did at attentively I know that you've got a blog and you write for different publications a lot about increasing diversity and entrepreneurship. Can you talk a little about some of the ways that you are trying to push this idea out into the world? Absolutely well, when you look at the field right now, they're still this socialization in our country and our world a an entrepreneur looks like Mark Zuckerberg and no disrespect to mark. But you know he's not the only person who's got great ideas entrepreneurs in common every shade, every size, every color, and that's the thing that I think we need to work hard especially now as our economy is rebooting to work on. So I wrote a book Mechanical Bull. How you can achieve startup success. It's the story of my journey, but there's also a lot of friends of mine who are investors who are founders themselves. It's their stories as well of you know, what did it take to get through every part of the startup cycle which is tough. I named it mechanical bowl in part because it's a wild rye have startup no question. Especially, if you're a woman when Women Rides Mechanical Bowl people have a different. Response to that. Then a man, you know when a man rides with mechanical boulder looking at a strength strategy has stamina when a woman is writing a mechanical bowl. You know they're watching Gigli parts right and they're not really on the same amount of effort may be more effort that it takes for a woman that same strength strategy and Stamina. So you know I did it the tough way. Okay. Like being in the tech world as a black woman not easy at all absolutely dancing backwards in heels you wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review's called advice on launching a tech startup when you're not a white man and it's a really terrific article. One of the things you talked about was that when founders of color are pitching, the sees their pitching ideas that may help their communities out but may not solve problems or impact the lives of the rich. White men who they're pitching. So what advice do you have for up and coming founders and founders of color to kind of demonstrate that they're big ideas are worth it are worth backing even if the potential funders you might not be directly impacted by that product or service. I do hope that people check out that article as we worked really closely with Harvard. Business Review on it, and it has a lot of practical tips in that I. Think people from US right now. But at least what worked for me was data data, data data, right and showing look you might not get this totally a problem that I'm solving for you wealthy white male investor. But there's a lot of people for whom this is an issue and here's how much money we can make. We can do a lot of good some investors really care about that especially right now but also you know this is a pathway. To making a lot of money in creating a successful business that builds

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