This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our visiit with Chad Rogers & Victory Harbin, co-owners of The Social Brand which helps businesses market themselves online and in-person. The difference though is that we have a holistic approach to design.

Describe more about what The Social Brand does. We love marketing and helping businesses tap into their potential. Plus, we are both creative people and it’s cool to get to use your creativity in your business!

We help businesses clarify their message, target their most profitable audience and keep up in a content-driven world on social media, online and on Google. We focus on the social connections that drive businesses forward and bring a human-centric focus back into a world full of generic, corporate marketing options.

How did you get started? When we first met, we both owned and operated different businesses. Chad was running Old Number Eleven, a web design company and eventually, Victory was running Tech Nav Media, a social media company. In March 2019 when we merged together to form The Social Brand, we started this because we knew that our services were like peanut butter and jelly. In the digital age, a website isn’t enough, just like social media by itself isn’t enough – we know that businesses need a multifaceted approach. So, we took everything we learned from our previous businesses and from the 2019 market and are growing something that we see a need for.

What is your background? Chad has a degree in design and has been in the industry for about 25 years. He has worked with many Fortune 500 clients in the US and abroad. After college, Victory has continued to pursue knowledge and training on all things marketing. We both carry multiple certifications from everything from Business Consulting and Social Media to Google AdWords and InBound Marketing.

Who is your mentor? The three people who stand out the most are Teresa Sylvia with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, Doug Minter with the Propel Protege program, and Bob Camp, a business consultant, who we met through our time in the Propel Protege program. These three people hold us accountable, give us good, solid advice and have (more times than we care to count) listened while we cried (or in Chad’s case didn’t cry).

Describe your customers. Generally, we work with small to mid-sized businesses in the Greater Knoxville area. But, that’s kinda obvious, right? Specifically, we tend to work directly with Owner/Operators and Marketing Managers within those businesses which makes our job fun. We tend to work with two different groups. One type of person comes into our office and sits down with a plan already in their head – they know how they want their marketing to feel, how they want it to work and they simply need our help getting it there. The second type of person tends to feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole process and we can help them boil it down into a functional marketing strategy. At the end of the day though, no matter the job title or frame of mind when we begin to work with them, our customers are people passionate about growing their businesses and helping their communities and we get to help them accomplish that goal.

What environments impact your business? Well, as a SOCIAL company, the number 1 influencer on our business and on our client’s businesses is social connection. Even things that don’t have social in their names (like social media does) are very much social and require people to be the catalyst to success. Websites, ads, videos, and content are designed to speak to people. We try to work with our clients to get away from generic corporate-speak in their marketing and get back to the stuff that matters – the people who work IN their business, the people they work FOR in their business and the passions they share together. Beyond that, we know that when the economy is doing well, businesses tend to reinvest in their infrastructure. One of the ways that we see people reinvesting is to make sure their websites and marketing get a boost.

Name three things you wish you knew when you started. 1. Some things shouldn’t be DIY-ed (like yours books) 2. Relationships are everything. Finding good honest colleagues that you can share both your success and (yes, especially) your failures with is vital. 3. Cash is king. Gotta have that recurring revenue, baby!

What do you enjoy about running the business? We are living our best life! We have the freedom to use our talents in our day-to-day jobs and the coolest part is we are getting to use those talents to actually help people. The other things we both really enjoy about owning our own business is not having “corporate rollouts” over our head pressuring us to push things that may not be good for the people we work with. When you’re the boss, you get to make sure that what you’re doing works for you and most importantly, for the people you’re working for.