BY JEFF LEESEMAN | STAFF WRITER
BLKPRENEURSHIP THE MAG | 11/08/2022
Digital Marketing is the wave. Over 90% of small business in the U.S. will budget more and increase spending on social media and other outlets to expand their brand. The increased emphasis for spending on Digital Marketing is plain and simple. Attracting a greater audience to increase brand awareness. Simply put, creating brand awareness is the process of measuring how recognizable a particular brand is, which leads to instinctive consumer preferences toward certain brands and products. To handle increases in the number of small businesses using digital marketing as a way to raise brand awareness, Digital Marketing Agencies are offering value services engaging larger audiences through digital communication. One company on the cutting edge of Digital Marketing is SuperFantastic Digital Marketing Agency (SFDMA).
If you want to know how Rasheed and Cheryl Salahuddin day is going, the answer to your question just may surprise you. “SuperFantasic!” exclaims the two digital marketing mavens. SuperFantastic is more than a simple connection of two words found in the dictionary only apart from each other, yet, the term is a way of life for the Salahuddin family used in a way to uplift one another no matter the circumstance. His first encounter with the word SuperFantastic happened during a previous business working relationship, which the business leader used the word at the beginning of each day to express a positive sense of energy to the team. Not until his next profession did the positive energy from the word SuperFantastic begin to affect those who came into his presence. “I use it (SuperFantastic) because we want people to remember life as being amazing, being phenomenal, being outstanding, and SuperFantastic.” Rasheed asserted. ”And a person who gives you that is like I’m giving with my words. Words are gifts of high level energy, high level excitement and enthusiasm. I just gifted you with excitement and enthusiasm with my words.” For Rasheed, the desire to become an entrepreneur was sparked at an early age after observing his father provide for his family. Growing up amongst six siblings, his dad worked at a chemical plant as an engineer and self-employed business owner in several different industries. As much of a developmental role Rasheed parents were part of during his youth in shaping him to be the person he is today, his service in the U.S. Military as a Marine would mold him through discipline. These disciplines learned in the military taught him the value of ’the little things and how the little things can affect another person’s livelihood. “If I can discipline myself to be better at the things I am supposed to hold myself accountable for, I give a better experience to the person.” Rasheed stated. ”And If I give a better experience, I am doing a better job of serving; therefore, I automatically assume more good will come back to me.” And come back it did in a variety of ways once his discipline met a level of consistency in fine tuning the vision he had for SFDMA.
Consistency in the Salahuddin household is a virtue though finding a level of consistent success in the digital marketing industry did not happen overnight. Raised by parents who were a model of consistency, both Rasheed and Cheryl were instilled at a young age that family was more important than any success in business. Those words of wisdom were inspiring enough to create a model used by the Salahuddin’s in a strategic approach in how to market SFDMA to clients. An approach that caters to a happier, healthier, and holistically type of family life versus a typical business strategy of seeking after clients where true family like relationships have not been established. Since then, the implementation of this strategy has been welcomed with open arms by many new clients who perceive the family-friendly approach as the way business should be conducted.
Prior to the launch of SFDMA, the two marketing mavens spent years in the network marketing industry benefitting from knowledge acquired from others while developing a keen eye for businesses operating without a successful marketing plan. The now SFDMA duo took particular interest in the small details and how they could help businesses grow if certain strategies were applied. And despite the proven and positive results from multiple strategies used to help businesses grow, the number of requests for services were not enough to grow their own business. Unfazed, if Rasheed and Cheryl learned one thing from those previous business experiences, it is you must have skin as thick as a rhinoceros in order to grow your business. ”Every time we were not successful we had to pick up and keep going and do it again.” Cheryl Salahuddin stated. ”So through all of the failures you kind of learn what works.” Moving forward, both Rasheed and Cheryl have positioned SFDMA with an eye toward future changes in how digital marketing is consumed by large and small businesses alike. With the expected increase in technological advances, it is predicted by the year 2053 African-Americans will possess little to no wealth as businesses resort to eliminating medial jobs. In fact, as a former cab driver, Rasheed saw first hand the effects of how the latest in technology affected his profession as Uber gained a share of the ride-sharing industry building digital platforms to gain access to riders. Once SFDMA was launched, Rasheed and Cheryl never looked back.
Success in any venture involving two or more people requires like-minded individuals who come together for the greater good of the organization. The two business owners, who are figuratively joined at the hip and seemingly so intertwined with daily operations of SFDMA, lean on each other for information where one person may have more knowledge in a specific area than the other. And although the concept of sharing information with each other has helped the duo tremendously, the regret of not sharing enough of the knowledge with other individual business owners accumulated over the years is evident. “There’s people I did not help who I could have helped that did not need all of the information I acquired.” Rasheed stated. ”But I did not help them because I wanted to learn everything. Good for me that I learned, but I also lived with some guilt that I did not help people as good as I could have because I was trying to be too perfect.” From what was once guilt, has now turned into a learning experience and has galvanized his approach to how information is passed along to others who are lacking the necessary tools and information to market their business.
Over the years, what Rasheed and Cheryl learned from their parents as entrepreneurs has now been instilled into the SFDMA founder’s four school-aged children. Aside from Khari (LaReezy), the younger three children have taken a liking to the ever-so-growing content media landscape and have a good idea at a very young age what they would like to do in the future. ”Our second son wants to be a videographer.” Cheryl Salahuddin stated. ”He grabs the camera and follows my oldest son around and is currently making a documentary right now.” Whether its the gaming industry as is the case of the couple’s third youngest son, or as a rapper (youngest), both Rasheed and Cheryl are inspired by the vision each child has independent of each other. As each child continues to grow into their own path as entrepreneurs, the support from teachers and family members are continuing to grow as fast as their popularity. ”The whole family is involved in their entrepreneurship journey.” Rasheed began. ”They (children) get teachers to subscribe to the youtube page. The teachers are fans and want to know when the next video is so they can attend. It’s like an overall family effort.”
Now established in the digital marketing sphere, SFDMA has entered into the music industry as record label owners of Young Paper Chasers (YPC) and lead marketing content creator for upcoming music artist Khari, who goes by the stage name LaReezy and happens to be the son of the marketing duo. Though unique, the challenge of managing an emerging music artist (who happens to be your son) and record label could potentially be an issue if the vision between the two is not aligned. With SFDMA, there are no issues. SFDMA approach prioritizes content positivity from each artist on YPC record label and will not promote content portraying negative influences or vulgar language inappropriate for younger age groups. Strategy and approach aside, SFDMA reaches its artists by embracing a philosophy that teaches life principles if they are willing to listen. ”You don’t have to be a follower to be a leader because at the end of the day even if you make 100 million dollars and you are rapping about killing people, you can keep it all.” Rasheed stated. ”He stopped cursing and started getting better every time he (LaReezy) put something out.” And although positive lyrics has not translated to instant success for the upcoming artist, SFDMA marketing mission is continuing to push a message of positivity embraced by the younger generation.
And for all of the time spent in teaching their oldest son how to create a digital marketing platform for himself as an entrepreneur, both Rasheed and Cheryl are beginning to see the fruits of labor that was poured into him during his upbringing. The long hours spent teaching Khari (LaReezy) SFDMA’s marketing principles has enabled the young and upcoming rapper to take the baton on his own as he ventures off into a budding career. Never lacking for confidence, Khari is capable of managing his entire video shoot without the help from his parents. He now directs and writes the script for his videos while still maintaining a social media presence for all of his followers to connect with him. As of late, the pupil has now been teaching the teacher. “Two weeks ago, he (Khari) said Dad I need you to hype the crowd up for me. So he know I’m the hype man because when you show it to kids they don’t know what to do.” Rasheed asserted. ”So he (Khari) said you know how to hype the people up and I can’t tell them as I am rapping to get hype so you have to be the hype man.” With what Khari (LaReezy) has learned in a short period of time as an entrepreneur, Rasheed and Cheryl are both confident the time spent with teaching him the valuable lessons of entrepreneurship will last for a lifetime.
As SFDMA continues to grow its digital marketing footprint, the company’s owners plan to launch an assortment of different services designed to help entrepreneurs grow their brand. Among the services SFDMA planning for launch is a software company designed for entrepreneurs to personally build their digital marketing platforms through web building. Also coming soon is a ‘Get Up and Go’ holistic approach podcast catering to entrepreneurs that provides marketing, business, family, health, and fitness motivational information. The general theme behind the podcast is to bring people together to create a community of accountability and awareness while sharing a synergy amongst members in the group. “Within that community developing a circle that’s strong enough to help each other.” Cheryl stated. ”You don’t have to leave the circle but can if you want to, but all of our needs is self-sustaining right here in that circle.”
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