De’Laija has been described as a well-rounded, charismatic leader. It is her storytelling talent and ability to connect with audiences that helped her start Sunflower Media, her full-service marketing agency. She takes the technical and creative aspects of marketing communications and combines them to create content that is just as interesting for your eyes and brain. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in organizational leadership, and she sheds light on how the invaluable talent each person brings to your organization can positively impact your mission.
As a long-term marketing professional, De’Laija works with dynamic brands in a variety of industries and loves the creative challenge that clients bring. She is passionate about working for companies that value creativity in the workplace. De’Laija is passionate about inspiring individuals to reach their full potential. She is especially inspired to help people take their careers – and themselves – to unprecedented heights.
When did you discover your passion for storytelling and marketing?
I think I was always a storyteller. Even when I was little, I was the kid who would go and sit in the corner and read books, or make up stories and act them out with my friends. I think that’s why I love plays and musicals so much. I was able to bridge that with marketing and social media when I got to college. All of my classes that focused on my major had us creating advertising campaigns, planning events, putting together full strategy plans and things only made sense to me if there was a story at the core of all my projects. I think marketing is similar to storytelling in a lot of ways, but with marketing, you have very specific goals you want people to do (sign up for your service, purchase your product), whereas with storytelling you’re usually just trying to tell a story that you think is entertaining or engaging for people.
What inspired the start of Sunflower Media?
At first, I thought I wanted to work for big-name brands and top agencies. One day I realized that no one values my time, energy, and commitment as much as ME. Starting Sunflower Media gave me the freedom to reclaim my time and energy by choosing who I wanted to work with and when I decided it was time to work. It also gave me room to pursue other passions and pushed me to really embrace the idea of self-care.
I knew that I wanted to help businesses genuinely connect with their community. Sunflower Media has been a great way for me to be creative, build relationships, and help businesses succeed all at the same time.
What can new customers expect with their experience?
You will be in safe hands. We have a wealth of experience and knowledge to ensure that your social media is up to date, fresh, and will deliver you results. We are constantly looking at new ways to use social media to help our clients reach their target market.
We know how important it is for your business to use the correct tone, voice, and brand in order to deliver your message successfully and we will work together with you to make sure that this is achieved throughout our work for you, as well as providing you with all the information about analytics and insights so that you can see what is working for your business.
What has been your groundbreaking moment thus far in your career?
One memorable moment I have is securing my first international client in 2021 but honestly, I haven’t had a moment of eureka. My career has been a series of small moments that resulted in remarkable outcomes. To all the hustlers who are reading this, don’t be overwhelmed by the idea that you need to have a mind-blowing moment for your calling, to find your purpose, discover what you want to do, or find your own unique voice.
What advice do you have for the next generation of Storytellers and marketers?
I’m excited about how technology is enabling all of us to become creators and storytellers, rather than just passive consumers. The best advice I have for the next generation of storytellers and marketers is to do an audit of all the things you tell yourself. What are the stories that you believe about your brand, about your company, about your product? What are the stories you’re telling yourself on a daily basis? Share those stories with other people. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves before we share them with others. After we get that initial feedback we need to own it and be proud of it. We need to live by those stories every single day.
Where do you hope to see your brand in the next five years?
I hope to see the agency continue to produce timely, reliable, and actionable results for clients. Our job is to help clients grow and make valuable connections with the people they serve. If we are doing this job well, it should be a no-brainer for clients to come back every year. Our primary focus will be on maintaining our reputation for being a company that delivers on its promises. As we scale up, our goal is to maintain the same level of outstanding customer service as we have been providing since we first started.
There is a huge and growing need for effective social media marketing among non-profit organizations that our agency is ideally suited to fulfill. With a focus on developing impactful strategies at low cost, and with the opportunity to do pro bono work for select organizations, we can grow our business while making the world a better place.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
My definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles is someone who is confident in their femininity and also has the ambition and determination to follow their dreams. A Pretty Woman Who Hustles is a woman who has the power to decide for herself what she wants to do with her life. She takes risks and sets goals. She moves forward and never looks back. She works hard but also plays hard (on her own terms).
She hustles even if she has no idea what she is doing because she knows life is all about learning from mistakes. She hustles because trying means she can fail. But failing means she can try again and succeed at something even greater than before. She hustles because it makes her happy, and happiness is all that matters in the end.
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