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Empowering Lives and Building Brands

In Conversation with Serena Mastin

For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Serena Mastin, Owner & President of Pulse Marketing Inc., a full-servicing agency located in California. Serena discusses her journey as an entrepreneur, author, and speaker, as well as her approach to marketing strategies, storytelling, and targeting the right audience. She touches on the importance of team support, data analysis, and content optimization for search engines. Watch the episode now for some profound insights!

Just keep climbing and embrace the journey because that’s where the true victory is.

Serena Mastin
Owner & President of Pulse Marketing Inc.

Hey, hi everyone. This is Ranmay here on your show E-coffee with Experts. Today we have a very special guest Ms. Serena Mastin from Pulse Marketing. Welcome, Serena to our show.

Thank you so much.

Great. It is our pleasure. Serena before we move forward and discuss your journey and talk about digital, digital marketing at large I would like you to introduce yourself to our audience and then we’ll take it from there.

I am an entrepreneur and author and speaker. I founded Pulse Marketing in 2013. And then from there just recently I wrote a memoir about my story that’s going to be launching in the next few weeks. So that’s exciting. And then in addition to that I work with multiple organizations, and I do podcasts for speaking whenever I’m needed. So whether it’s a nonprofit or a large organization, I’m available to speak.

Great. Superb Serena thank you for taking out time for this podcast. Great. Serena as an author what inspired you to pursue writing and what keeps you motivated to continue writing today?

I wasn’t prepared to be an author I had to learn how to become an author. It’s a much different process than I thought, right? But I have a very unique life story and throughout my life, I’ve been in witness protection. I’ve been in foster homes, and I’ve been homeless all the way through.

Even after starting my business, I lost my husband. And Because of all of those things, there are different parts of my story that relate to different walks of life, and I wanted to share that in order to empower others to speak their truth.

A really tough woman, I must say. Thank you. Our audiences will take a lot of strength from what they will hear from you today, I’m sure.

Great. And how do you wear multiple hats, right? How do you balance your various tools as an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. What strategies do you use to, make the best out of the time that you have on your plate?

I’m also a single mom, but the truth is that my team at Pulse Marketing has been through many of my challenges with me, and they have lifted me up and supported me through my journey and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. So I would say the way that I balance is by having people surrounding me that believe in me.

That’s great. A team is really important. Now we all talk about work, colleagues, and peers, but your team at the office or let’s say work is very critical in terms of how you fight your day-to-day challenges, right? And it does have that impact on your personal life as well.

So I know that you are quite lucky to have that kind of person around you. Superb.

It’s a huge blessing because without them I don’t think I would’ve been able to get through some of those things. As an entrepreneur, you already feel alone. And there are many times when you face challenges that you can’t talk about with your team.

And so it isolates you even more. And I’ve just been able to create a culture and a team of, truly inspired individuals that want to see this vision grow together. So it’s a beautiful thing.

Absolutely. A big pat on the back for your team, I must say. Superb. Talking about marketing Serena, how do you approach developing a marketing strategy for your new client?

Or let’s say you’re pitching, what kind of thought process do you go through to understand one’s business, and devise a strategy and what factors do you consider when crafting down that customized plan for any new client or for any new pitch for that matter?

Yeah. So when we’re even before we onboard a client, when we’re in the discovery phases, we’re learning about their competition, we’re learning about their target audience and the different industries they serve. And we’re also learning not just about their services but about who they are.

And we collaborate with the client to identify all of this information, to create a strategy that’s gonna be best to reach out to their target market. But in a way that is genuine and authentic. So it’s a lot of data. We pull a lot of data together in order to make the right decisions for the client.

Absolutely. Like we were talking about you have to relate to their story in order to present it in front of their audiences. Just one quick thing this might have must have happened to you rather when we sit down with these entrepreneurs and try and understand their vision, their mission, then actually they start thinking a lot of people, they actually might not have thought through that much when they start their business.

And when you sit down on these calls with them, then they start thinking, oh, okay, that is a point which I might not have thought about, but I should. Does that kind of thing happen to you as well?

Yes. And it’s interesting because a lot of times many of our clients are just focused on the services.

Or the product we need to sell. Yeah. And margins. But once you get to a deeper level of understanding not only who their customer is, but how to talk to that customer. Because if it’s 25 to 35, it’s a much different conversation than someone 45 to 65, so understanding how to speak their language and relate to them on a human level.

Absolutely. So talking about, let’s say if you have created a marketing campaign, okay. For a customer, what are the key metrics that you use to measure the success of that marketing campaign? How do you use the data at your disposal to inform, us that we should take this path moving forward?

And if something has gone wrong in the past, we take down this road to make that more successful versus what it was. So what are those key metrics for you?

First, we have to set goals with the client. So we have to understand what their goals are. Then we create milestones and key performance indicators to identify how we’re going to achieve those goals.

And then we have agency analytics and different platforms that we use to go ahead to report on what those goals are, the milestones are, and we’re able to report on that every month so that we can keep the client completely informed and there’s full transparency on the results that are being produced by each of the campaigns or the ads that we recommend based on their target market.

Absolutely. Agency analytics is a fantastic platform, so I have also used it in the past, so I can vouch for it. Superb. And, talking about different businesses we discussed it a bit earlier in terms of, you have a story, but how you tell it is very important, right?

Yeah. So what are the creative ways that businesses can incorporate storytelling into their marketing efforts? Beyond those, age-old, traditional advertising channels. What is your way of doing about creating that story?

So depending on who their audience is gonna determine how we target the audience.

So if it is a 25 to 35-year-old audience, they might be a lot more active on one platform versus A different audience might be a lot more active on a separate platform. So we have to consider the platform and how we’re going to craft the message, so that when we craft the message that it’s customized based on who the audience is, what matters to them, and how we’re gonna get in front of them.

But the biggest thing is their message and their story is always gonna be the priority because people don’t care what you do. They typically care who you are. And why do you do it? And so if you connect with your audience on a level that they relate to it’s on a platform that they use, then you’re gonna have a much higher likelihood of getting conversions.

Absolutely. While we target different platforms, like you mentioned a very valid point in terms of age categories. So people in 25 to 35 buying a product in the same industry or niche, and we’ll have a different mindset while picking it up. What sort of product do they want to buy or purchase?

Similarly, someone 45 plus will have a different way of looking at a product in the same niche. Understanding the demographics and preparing a customized story is very important to entice the customer in buying the product. And it should look and sound genuine at the same time. So it’s a tough task.

And even if you think about promotions a younger demographic typically cares about giving back in some way, or they care about nonprofits and, if I buy these shoes, then it, then they’re planting a tree, right? So you have to understand if that’s the message for that particular target market, then you also customize some of the things that you do internally in order to reach that person.

Now, if you’re selling the same shoes, but you’re selling to an older demographic, They might care more about the comfort and you might wanna focus on the pain point and how to provide the solution. But it’s just different, it’s the same core message on who you are and what you do, and why you do it, but now you’re just you’re being agile enough to, really maneuver your message to the right person.

Talking about the right person, how do you identify the right target audience for the businesses or clients that you work with? There, there are platforms and all that, but like you mentioned, we understand there are different demographics, but how do you identify the right target audience for your client’s businesses?

If you ask any client, I can guarantee that you’ll know what they’re gonna say. All my customers, the world my customer.

Correct. It never ends, it never ends.

So we have to look at, okay, who’s buying now? If it’s a product or service, who’s their existing customer?

They analyze their existing customer, and then we look at the actual market geographically and demographically and identify what market are they not getting in front of we test different markets to identify which one’s more active, right? Based on the research that we’ve done. And that’s how we start to create a persona of who that person is.

Absolutely. See, research and backend data work have become so important. These days, all of the strategies revolve around it more or less, so that becomes very crucial as you mentioned. Absolutely.

It does. And you ask any client and they’re all gonna say the same thing, I’ll even say the same thing.

Absolutely. And when you ask me, Ranmay what are your top three categories that you want to do business with, I would tell you 10. To start with, right? So yeah. We all want more.

But it’s true. Being an agency, I also know that, okay, if you ask me what my target market is, I have to zero it down to what, who I best specialize in and work with.

Okay, that’s five to 25 million in revenue. Those types of companies are our core clients. Typically, we work predominantly in construction. And ancillary businesses, B2B right? So now I’m narrowing it down even more. But it’s gonna take me a while to get any lower than that because I want all of them, just like our customers do.

Absolutely. A couple of weeks back. So that was this prospect of mine. I was discussing business with and this was a niche wherein we had never worked, work way back, with one of our clients and after that never would work and get some kind of sample orders.

Went back to my team and I was all excited. Let’s try this out. They’re like, Ranmay we don’t have that expertise. I’m like, we’ll create one. What’s the problem with that? He said you’ll have to hire. I said, okay, now that is…

No. I don’t wanna do that.

I said we can give it a try, okay? And the customer does not like the deliverables. It’s fine. Then we back off, right? We were not charging anything. But that is the agreed part of it. You all want to do everything. And Finally, we have to say no because my team stepped their foot on the pedal saying, Ranmay

You have to learn to say no to what we don’t do. But we all want that. We all want to expand our horizons as much as we can.

And it’s something that you do have to learn because we have been everything to everyone for a long time, and that just spread us too thin.

We’re not experts at anything, so we had to shift our mindset and focus on the things we’re good at.

Absolutely. And and since we are talking about the target audience, how we target them, storytelling, content plays a very important role in all of this, right?

As for you, what do you follow as some of the best practices for optimizing your content for different search engines and how do you ensure that your content is relevant at all times and valuable and insightful for your target audience as well?

So obviously we use different tools to identify the right keywords, and when you’re identifying content and things like that, It’s competitive no matter what industry you’re in. And so we have to think of relevant topics and relevant stories and articles that are all going to tie into the stories of the company.

So we think about core values and we think about the culture of the company. Because people do care about what the company does, but they are even more when they get to know the company on an intimate level or a human level. So we do a mixture of really understanding what those values are, and then we incorporate it into our process.

Absolutely. That’s a brilliant way that you have put it in terms of how you go about doing it. Superb. Now, before we let you go, Serena, I know you are running a bit short. We’ll try and get hold of you for another more detailed episode, we would love to chit chat with you more, but before we let you go one final question.

To the entrepreneurs out there, especially female entrepreneurs, because we see a lot of female entrepreneurs coming on stage these days and I personally absolutely love it. So what is that one piece of advice that you want to give out to entrepreneurs in general, if you have something specific to speak to female entrepreneurs out there, we’d all love to hear it from you.

I would say that most people look at success as you’re, standing on top of the mountain and you’re saying, look at me. I did it. Yeah.

But the true part of the success that a lot of people don’t recognize is climbing up the mountain. Because the mountain is filled with obstacles and challenges, and you’re sweating and there’s blood and there are tears, and when we’re in those moments, It wears us down at times, and there are times that we just want to turn around and go back down the mountain.

But I would say to remember that the journey and the process are where the true victory lies and to stay focused and to keep climbing. And that there’s, you’re never alone. There are people cheering you on every step of the way. Just sometimes when you have negative voices in the back of your head, you can’t hear them, right?

So just keep climbing. And I would say embrace the journey because that’s where the true victory is.

Superb, very nice message Serena. Really appreciate it. And a big thank you for taking out time for this podcast. And like I mentioned we’ll definitely get hold of you sooner than later for another detailed one.

And thank you so much. I’m sure our audiences will have benefited a lot. Out of what we could discuss today. And a big thank you to, make time for this.

Thank you. And if you want to get a sneak peek of my book, you can download the first chapter for free at my author website @serenamastin.com.

Superb

But it’s not for the pains at heart,

Correct. Correct. That’s a good one. And then how would anyone reach out to you if they want to?

You can go to our website at www.heartofcreative.com for our agency website. And then for my author website, it’s serenamastin.com.

Great.

So thank you Serena for your time. Really appreciate you having the time to come to our show. And it was brilliant having you over here

And thank you for having me.

Cheers, Serena. Thank you.

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