By: Shenice Sanders, NDG Intern
We have all heard the question a hundred times at networking events, “what do you do?” Sometimes the answer can change your destiny.
When someone asked the familiar question to Tarsha Polk, she replied marketing, and they responded, “Oh yea I know you, you are ‘the marketing lady.’” Polk realized then people only remember her brand and not her name, from that point on she adopted the creative moniker The Marketing Lady for her business.
For over ten years Polk’s marketing savvy has assisted small business owners looking to market their products or services. In addition to public speaking, Polk has served as a coach and personal brand strategist.
“I develop marketing strategies, branding ideas for social media, and email, etc. I help my clients choose their target market. When you are new to owning your own business, it is best to focus on one target audience even though you want to appeal to everyone. You have a greater chance of succeeding by appealing to a certain group,” shared Polk.
What makes a good businesswoman? Is it her knowledge and understanding of a business, or is it her drive and determination to make her business successful by any means possible. Polk has all those characteristics and more.
Polk’s career started when she “fired her boss,” or as others might say, when she quit her day job in corporate America. She took the plunge, because she did not want anyone in control of her destiny or life. So, Polk stepped out on faith and took a different approach when it came to her career. First, she started networking and then was encouraged to start her own marketing business. Now with this thought in mind, Polk continued to network but this time she was promoting her business, not looking for her next job.
Polk travels all around the country and speaks to small business owners and corporate leaders. She present programs on personal branding, marketing strategy, entrepreneurship and goal setting. Polk gives her audience many ideas to use as they begin to effectively build a platform and marketing strategy for their business. She also provides strategic tips on successfully growing their business while remaining “current” in the marketplace.
“What I enjoy about public speaking is inspiring people to take action. Encouraging people to take action in their business and know that with the right plan you can succeed. I love helping people accomplish their goals and telling people about my story, so they can see and hear for themselves that it is possible and it can happen to you. I enjoy seeing the impact of what my message can do for a single audience,” Polk shared.
“Being in this business for ten years you learn so much that you feel you have to share with others to inform them on tricks of the trade,” Polk said.
While Polk enjoys being in control of her own destiny, she is the first to acknowledge being an entrepreneur is not a cakewalk. You have to work hard for everything. If you only work 80 percent, then you only bring home 80 percent. Therefore Polk lives by this statement, “your net worth is rooted in your network.” She feels blessed to have built a broad network, which allows her to speak to different markets.
In the beginning Polk acquired clients by networking, but over time and with the growth of her business and reputation, clients were obtained through references, public speaking, social media and having strong relationships with people.
Polk has made quite a name for herself here in the Dallas area and beyond. Her roster of clients include the City of Dallas and Dallas Housing Authority. One of her premier clients was the National Football League for Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
Once the client signs a contract, Polk than schedules a one on one to discuss the client’s key objectives so she can map out their marketing game plan. One of the biggest misconceptions she has noticed is that a lot of her clients want to appeal to everyone.
“Everyone wants their product, or even themselves for that matter, to appeal to everyone and it just doesn’t work like that. Yes will majority of people be interested in your product and buy it, of course they will, but you will spend a lot of time and money trying to appeal to everyone instead of focusing on a market segment and understanding that segment. You will yield greater returns” stated Polk.
Polk’s business is recognized locally and statewide as a minority owned business. She enjoys being a minority owned because one of the advantages is, government agencies set aside a percentage of their budgetary spending for purchases from women or minority owned businesses. Polk received her certification from the, The North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency and the Minority Supplier Development Council.
Polk is not alarmed by the possibility of women owned businesses losing ground as certification programs move from women owned businesses to small businesses.
“The government can see how fast minority owned businesses are growing, and in most cases growing faster than businesses owned by men, I am not concern nor worried,” stated Polk.
As she celebrates ten years as a business owner, Polk’s future is bright. She is now looking forward to expanding her business, “I have made quit a name for myself here in Dallas and I am ready to branch out and expand into more of a national presence,” Polk shared. She looks forward to seeing what God has in store for her.
The advice Polk would give to a budding entrepreneur is, “really develop a support system, talk to as many people in your industry to see what it is really like and what it takes to be successful, find a mentor, coach or trainer to help guide you.”
Polk is very passionate about what she does, and loves helping people reach their goal. “Some people have a goal but don’t know where to start, that’s where I come in to give them that push that drive and advice to help them succeed,” Polk stated.
As the great Estee Lauder would say “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it but working for it.”
To get more information on The Marketing Lady visit Polk’s website at: http://themarketinglady.com/.