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Empowering Small Businesses through AI and Digital Strategies

In Conversation with Rachel Luber Cevera

For this episode of E-Coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Rachel Luber Cevera, CEO & CMO of HalfGenius located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Rachel provides valuable insights on authentic brand storytelling, maintaining brand integrity, and leveraging AI in content creation. She emphasizes understanding the target audience, personalization, and optimizing content for effective campaigns. Her expertise highlights the importance of strategic thinking and leveraging technology for successful marketing.

A brand-led approach where organizations can share their why, their mission, and their value proposition in ways that connect and are engaging from an authentic place drives revenue, engagements, and reach.

Rachel Luber Cevera
CEO & CMO of HalfGenius

Hey. Hi everyone. This is Ranmay here on your show, E-Coffee with Experts. Today we have Rachel Luber Cevera from HalfGenius. She’s the CEO and CMO at HalfGenius. Welcome, Rachel, to our show.

Hi. Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be here.

Great. Pleasure is all ours. Rachel, before we move forward and talk about the industry insights I’d like you to introduce yourself to your audiences and we’ll take it forward.

Great. Sure. Thank you. My name is Rachel Cevera. I’m the President of HalfGenius. We’ve been in business for 12 years working with b2b, b2c, and non-profit organizations helping to distill and tell their story to connect and we believe that a brand-led approach where organizations can share their why, their mission and their value proposition in ways that connect and are engaging from an authentic place drives revenue and drives engagements and drives reach. So that’s our starting point with clients. We offer web design, we offer social media management and content creation, video production, brand strategy, and different branding packages. And we have our creative incubator, which many of our clients utilize. We get to know our clients deeply and what they’re working on, what their goals on, and how we can help them and support them, achieve that through creative digital strategies at campaigns.

Great. Additionally as the CEO and CMO at HalfGenius you have heard numerous companies achieve their goals through authentic, brand storytelling. So what do you think are the key elements that make the brand story truly compelling? How do you create that brand story piece?

So really first starting with a mission is critical. If prospective clients and customers don’t have a mission that they can understand, then they’re not gonna latch on to a product in most cases. I would then say, voice. How does your brand communicate? And going through that practice, what types of content do you talk about? What types of content do your customers and clients wanna hear about? And I always like to share and leave an impression with our clients that at the end of the day, your product or service, let’s say your product or service, is the best in your industry.
At the end of the day, people are doing business with people and it’s crucial to share that and connect. Consistency through that, whether it’s communication or graphic design through color, through typeface, and all these things, really really matter.

Absolutely. And, messaging across platforms is a, very critical feature for any campaign. So how do you ensure you know, that a brand’s message and two remain consistent across various digital channels, that we can think of today? And what strategies do you, use to maintain brand integrity across those forums?

So I think understanding each platform is critical. Everyone on our team implores everyone to stay up on industry news changes to platforms and understand who our clients are talking to on each platform because differs from organization to organization. And while an image, you may start with the same image, it may be a little bit different on Facebook than it is on Instagram, then it is on Twitter, then it is on LinkedIn based on your end goal and who you’re speaking to. So once, once we understand that, and once we can help our clients understand that it’s relatively easy to shape, the copywriting to shape the video content, shape the imagery that you’re using and curtail that to who you’re speaking to and always putting it in terms of how your product, service, or what you’re trying to communicate how that’s going to be meaningful for the people that you’re speaking to. Cause at the end of the day, we all wanna know what is this for us.

Yeah. And talking about that what is there for us, and then messages can go wrong in terms of, what you want to tell to the consumer segment and how they perceive it.

So what are some of the common mistakes that small, and medium businesses make by creating their message campaigns?

I think a lot of mistakes are often made where brands are not thinking about who they’re talking to. Similarly, you and I, we’re in the same industry and so I know that I can communicate to you differently than someone who may be a teacher or who may be a doctor and they’re not focusing on marketing and they haven’t, had years and years of experience. And so I think understanding who you’re speaking to. And again, it goes back to a lot of branding exercises, the tone of voice, and figuring out the best ways in advance how to speak about your products, your services, your mission, your value proposition your company culture how you wanna talk about current events, if that’s something that’s, important to talk about to with your brand, how you’re going, shout out your employees and talk about what a great job they’re doing on social media or newsletters emails.

Thinking about these things in advance rather than a lot of organizations, big and small. Don’t put that strategy in the forefront at the beginning. And so they get caught up in the whimsy of, oh my gosh, I have to post today. Or, oh my gosh, we have to get this newsletter out. And so I think a lot of times it’s not thought about in advance.

I think that probably the biggest pitfall is not knowing who your customer or client is and who your audience is and not putting the strategy, putting a little bit of time on the front end to be strategic with how you’re going to communicate and market your brand.

Absolutely. And, knowing your customer is so important, like you mentioned and you’re talking about personalization, it has become very important to run your campaigns, and what strategies you create, to have those targeted messaging and optimized content for specific audiences.

That’s a great question. Boost your productivity, and for smaller businesses that perhaps are creating their content, they don’t have a graphic designer using Photoshop. In design all of these more intense software that our designers use. Canva is a great product.

It’s very user-friendly and it has AI components to it now. And you can lock in your brand colors and your brand template so that you’re consistently utilizing HubSpot as another great tool. It’s interesting cause at times when talking about social media at times we’ll see the different platforms suppress information when you are using third-party software to schedule content.

Always being mindful that there’s a give and take. So auto, yeah, automation may also have some downsides, and so really figuring out, what your goals are, what your needs are, what your resources are.

And what you’re trying to achieve, which is something that, in our discovery process, we work towards another great tool. Chat, GPT. Yeah, we are, we’re excited about chatting, We’ve seen it help so many of our clients that maybe don’t have the budgets to outsource and train them.

And we’re working on a training program so that people can understand the right ways to use it, the right ways, to train your chat GPT and utilize it. It could expand your team. So if you’re a solo entrepreneur and you don’t have a marketing person, now you have three. If you are a marketing director, but you don’t have any direct reports and you’re responsible for your organization’s marketing and communications strategy and execution.

Now you have three employees. And we want to support marketing executives, business owners, and solo entrepreneurs. And so it’s something we’re very excited about.

Absolutely. Since you mentioned chat GPT. what is a general take on AI content? How do you believe, the content writers of our industry are gonna look at it, or, how they’re gonna survive the storm there?

Yeah, I think it’s a wonderful tool. My business partner and husband Jason has been watching AI and all of these various software over the years and really, playing with them and testing them out.

And I have to say I was I’ve been hesitant over the last probably seven years. However, What I’ve understood is that it’s an amazing tool and, while it may change the landscape, some, a journalist may now be the writer and the editor, but it still requires a creative brain, an intern, an intellectual brain.

It requires a strategic brain. It requires someone to utilize the software appropriately. And so I think that as marketers, I think the best thing that we can do is figure out how we can work smarter, not harder. And so for anyone afraid of AI or afraid of chat, G P T stay tuned because we can help you and we can train you.

But it. It can help you advance in your career. It can help you create better content. It can do a lot of wonderful research for you. It can help you. Sometimes, you have writer’s block and it’s like Friday at four o’clock and you were supposed to send something over an hour ago for review.

And I see chat GPT removing that barrier to get started and get some ideas. Give me 10 ideas on the real estate market right now in Philadelphia. And 10 ideas to talk about on social media. And it’ll give you, and, you might not like three of them. You might hate six of them, but yeah, it’s a great way to start.

And if any creative person knows when you’re trying to copyright or come up with an idea often those first few pages are the hardest to get out.

Very nicely mentioned in terms of how it can be leveraged to drive home more efficiency if you’re using it the way it should be.

Correct? Yes. Superb. Rachel, it is wonderful hosting you on our show tonight. And before we sign off, I had requested to let our audiences know how they gonna reach out to you if they want to.

Yeah, please reach out. I love talking about business and marketing and creativity. And you can check out our website, HalfGenius.com. You can reach out to me personally on Instagram, Rachel Morgan LC is my handle. HalfGenius on Instagram Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn. We’re on LinkedIn as well, so feel free to reach out, say hello, and thank you so much for your time.

It was great chatting with you today Ranmay.

Thank you. Thank you, Rachel. Lovely speaking with you. Take care.

You too.

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