Photo courtesy of Ming Lee

Photo courtesy of Ming Lee

When it comes to branding, Ming Lee is arguably one of the best. After deciding to structure her hustle into a business, she became dedicated to building an empire in the hair and beauty industry.

With a multimillion-dollar brand and an unmatched knack for innovative marketing and advertising strategies, Lee has successfully executed advertising campaigns that have shifted the way beauty brands market, brand and sell their products.

Rolling out had the opportunity to catch up with the owner and CEO of the highly influential Snob Life brand to discuss branding, marketing and motivation.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, what tips would you have for entrepreneurs starting businesses but lacking a budget for big marketing campaigns?

The biggest tip I have is to use social media to your advantage; and by social media I mean all social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. All those platforms are free, and I actually got my start on YouTube. All of them don’t require money but it does require time and dedication to yield greater results.

Photo courtesy of Ming Lee

Your book Best Marketer Wins is packed with affirmations, and tips for entrepreneurs. What was one of your biggest marketing mistakes and how did you learn from it?

My book is really an outline to all my mistakes in business and how to not make those mistakes. It gives tips but It also shows how I think and process things. I’m a big picture person but I also know the importance of crawling before you walk. It’s fundamental to have a strategy and plan before launching.

The obstacle I faced was turning a hustle into a functioning business. When I started there was no accountant, or organization; I had products come in and I focused on getting them out. My biggest obstacle was finding a system because It’s hard to create a system once business starts rolling. Get your structure and foundation in order before starting so you don’t confuse your team who is used to working one way.

What three things should entrepreneurs focus on when it comes to branding themselves and building their brand?

I think entrepreneurs should focus on one thing and that’s product. You need to make sure your product is amazing and something you believe in. No one should know your product better than you and If they know something you don’t know you need to educate yourself on it, find out if that information is credible, who their source is etc. Don’t sell products you don’t use, have a passion for or believe in.

Do you think it’s important to have a branding plan before launching?

I think it goes back to building that foundation before launching even if it’s not a fully thought out marketing plan. It’s going to be hard to sell a product that no one knows about so that branding plan and marketing go hand and hand. I think a lot of younger generation companies don’t set aside money to properly market their products because it’s more than just posting pictures on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Ming Lee

How do you stay motivated and on track when you have an overwhelming amount of tasks to complete?

I always tell people that to make money it takes more dedication and making sure you have plans of action. It’s really easy to slow down once you start making money, or accomplish something. It’s so many people watching you and studying your moves that even if i’m winning everything today someone can come get my spot. I was the first person to put thousands of dollars into making 15 second marketing videos on social media and a lot of people didn’t get it but I make a lot of money off those videos and started the trend of them. I always remember that even if I did something impeccably well that I could always do better. Being successful is a very uncomfortable place so I’m never satisfied, and I always remember that I’ve never done enough.

How do you stay positive in a constant state of growth and high stress?
I surround myself with positive people and I truly believe in The Secret way of thinking. Everything I have ever written on a piece of paper as a goal has come to fruition. The thoughts you have will always manifest, so I make sure that anything I put out in the universe is what I want to get back.

Alicia Renee

Alicia Renee is Freelance Journalist and blog coach, helping individuals and corporations capture their target audiences whether large or small.