Michelle Salater is the CEO of Sumèr, LLC, a full- service content marketing firm that helps high-end entrepreneurs and small business owners capitalize on their vision to achieve online exposure, increase sales, and generate a higher return on investment. Michelle displays an emphasis of personal connection in her business and her team celebrates effective communication and the success of each client. In addition, Michelle is an award-winning writer and frequently speaks to entrepreneurs and business organizations on how to maximize their online marketing efforts through brand messaging.
MO: Can you tell us how you developed the name for your company?
Michelle: Our name is inspired by the Sumerian civilization. We chose it because the Sumerians had enough foresight to know that in order to convey the significance of their ideas over distance and time, they needed to write and record a language to communicate and connect.
Their innovation inspired us to approach websites and online marketing possibilities in a more comprehensive way.
Sūmèr is reinventing how companies communicate and connect to their target audiences by providing a clear message and sharing that unique message with the world. We take a very personal approach with each client and, through our work, build strong connections between our clients and their customers.
MO: Why is content marketing so vital to the success of our reader’s business?
Michelle: Content marketing is vital to any business—large or small—because if you don’t share what you have to offer, how else are prospects going to find you, join your community, and become raving brand ambassadors? It’s all about mindshare and positioning. When people think of X, you want them thinking about your business. Your messaging must support that positioning; otherwise, people won’t be clear on what you do, whom you serve, and how can help solve a problem/meet a need. Confused minds don’t buy. But no one will buy if they don’t know you exist.
MO: Content marketing guidance is something business owners do not actively seek out on their own. What are a few signs that your business might need help from a company like Sūmèr?
Michelle: If you are frustrated with not being able to tap into the huge opportunities available to you, if you or your staff lack the knowledge to strategize, implement, and manage online campaigns, or you simply don’t have the time and energy, then you need outside help or you need to hire someone internally to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Clients come to us because they understand it takes something beyond traditional media exposure to turn a profit in today’s market. They look to us to help them build their online community, grow their brand, and significantly increase the bottom line. Sūmèr is more than a team of copywriters; we are an outsourced sales conversion company.
MO: What are the most common mistakes your clients make in their marketing before they come to you?
Michelle: We see two extremes: over communication, or not communicating at all. Clients are often inconsistent in their messaging and are haphazard in when they distribute content. Overall, they lack a cohesive content marketing strategy.
MO: What is the most rewarding part of your job for you?
Michelle: Seeing our clients’ visions turn into realities and, in doing so, we are privileged to celebrate the lives that are touched. What really jazzes us is doing the happy dance with clients when we reach or surpass campaign sales goals. We are providing clients solutions for freedom — we save them time, money, and worry, and it’s a great feeling helping them help more people. It’s the ripple effect at its best, and it’s awesome to be a part of.
MO: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of thus far in your career?
Michelle: Two things: I’ve been able to grow my business so that I provide full-time jobs for 4 people , creative people who now have jobs doing what they love.
Second, I was invited to speak at Big Africa’s 2010 annual business conference in Harare, Zimbabwe. I shared the stage with CEOs and speakers from all over Africa, England, and the U.S., and I spoke in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs about the importance of brand messaging.
MO: What is on the horizon for Sūmèr?
Michelle: This May, we’re going into our 4th year in business, and continue to expand globally. We have big plans this year for Global Entrepreneurship Week. In partnership with Endeavor South Africa and a select group of corporations and small businesses, we’re going to be broadcasting killer content from numerous cities across South Africa! This is a dream come true, as it’s aligned with Sūmèr’s reason for existing: we stand for the power of personal connection and for the hope and conviction that capitalism across the globe can be healed through conscious entrepreneurship.
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