Jamahl King’s S.T.E.P.S. Event Planning Firm is known for its trend setting events for leading brands like Bronner Bros., Lincoln, Warner Bros., Def Jam, Atlantic Records and artists and celebrities alike: Diddy, 112, Ne-Yo, Common and Martin Luther King Jr. But what you didn’t know is King is taking the brand in new directions: corporate consulting.
“The event planning is something we can do with our eyes closed, in a day or two. It’s definitely a need for people to have the knowledge that we have and we look forward to growing in that direction,” he shares.
Having planned events across the country and globally in cities like Barcelona, Cape Town and Durban, King says he couldn’t imagine not being an entrepreneur and the CEO of S.T.E.P.S., a corporate planning and consulting firm.
Here, King discusses building a global brand that has exceeded his dreams. –yvette caslin
How do you define your brand?
My personal branding is a lifestyle. I want people to understand that event planning at S.T.E.P.S. is a lifestyle. It’s not just putting together an event. It’s what you do, how you look, what you say, how you live, it’s a full lifestyle. Anybody who knows me knows that you will possibly see me wearing a S.T.E.P.S.-branded shirt for an entire week or branded cap or backpack. It’s always about branding S.T.E.P.S. and who we are and what I am, it’s pretty much a package. That’s our branding goal that I hope people understand.
When you mention the name S.T.E.P.S., people automatically associate it with Jamahl King. Can the brand thrive without Jamahl?
I definitely want it to be lived beyond me. Of course when they see S.T.E.P.S., they immediately think of Jamahl, but it’s starting to get to the point that I can have someone saying they had on a t-shirt or hat and they asked about the company. Somewhere along the line they’ll ask about Jamahl. It’s one of those situations that at the end of the day S.T.E.P.S. is me, but it’s good to know that the brand is living, and living beyond Atlanta.
What was it like to have an A-ha moment and realize the reach of S.T.E.P.S.?
One of the most rewarding experiences is to have on a t-shirt in the airport in a different city and someone say “S.T.E.P.S., I’ve heard of S.T.E.P.S. You guys did this … event. Can I meet the owner?” and I’m like I am the owner. I’ve had a lot of those golden moments when I’m out of the city, even out of the country and someone acknowledge S.T.E.P.S. and actually knew who and what we were. I definitely think the brand is living beyond my dreams, but having the brand and the dollars match that’s always the challenge.
How do you use technology and social media to promote your business?
Facebook [STEPSEventPlanningFirm], Twitter [@StepsEvents_PR ], and a website [stepsevents.com] … I just realized how many hits we get so many hits a month. We just started our Twitter, so we’re getting up to speed in that space. We’re publishing a lot of features in magazines. It’s definitely bigger than what I know it to be. When I’m in or out of the city and a stranger walks up to me praising our work, I finally get it.
How has working with celebrities helped to raise your platform?
When you say you’ve worked with a Puffy, Ne-Yo or Keith Sweat, it helps people understand who you are. Also, with clients like Martin Luther King III, it really makes it register. It’s really been the celebrity work that has allowed us to cross the borders.
For more information, visit stepsevents.com.