Voyage Michigan Magazine: Inspiring Conversations with Alma Blackburn of Elevate Marketing
Voyage Michigan Magazine, January 2023
Photo Credit: Nikki Closser - NickiClosser.com
Today we’d like to introduce you to Alma Blackburn.
Alma, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My name is Alma Blackburn, and I am the President of Elevate Marketing LLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I started this digital business in 2018. It was a very large move for me to not only decide to do this but to actually believe in myself and take the big jump.
Most of my life, I worked in corporate settings (Ann Arbor News, MLive Media Group, Advance Digital) in combination for over 25 years and I was very comfortable with the security of a steady paycheck, great benefits, and generous paid weeks of vacation. I felt there was another chapter in my life I needed to write; I wanted more control in helping local businesses become successful and not always chasing a monetary goal for the corporate business I worked for.
While both my undergrad degree and master of science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University have proven to be essential for my marketing communications strategy and consulting practice, my experience as a traditional and digital account executive provided me with valuable insights into what makes businesses successful today. It’s being authentic, having a strong digital footprint, providing great service or products, strong customer support, engaging with customers, positive word of mouth, and consistent advertising.
Marketing is definitely about things we make, sell, and do, but more importantly, it’s also about the stories we tell. I have always been passionate about helping local businesses and people make a positive difference.
Being a business owner is not always glamorous, what you do daily determines your future, the little things become the big things over time. It takes years, be patient, growth takes time, but action wins every time. Just start, the motivation will follow.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being my own boss was the best decision I ever made. I quietly ask myself, what took me so long? The confidence was not always there. I needed to believe in myself first, once that happened, the jump was not as bad as I thought it would be. As Glinda on the Wizard of Oz tells Dorothy, ” You always had the power my dear”. I was glad I discovered it; I am passionate about what I do.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
We are a unique integrated marketing and media group that specializes in creating ideas that move people AND moves your bottom line. We help companies raise the bar and take their digital footprint to another level. Cell phones, laptops and digital social media have changed the way we communicate, businesses need to have a very strong digital footprint, it’s an important investment in the success of your business.
Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I am a firm believer in if you work hard, you should play hard, so I try to keep my life as balanced as possible to keep my sanity, my passions include traveling, great music, food, watching rock and music documentaries, snowmobiling, and being on water. There is a quote out there that resonates with me, “The goal is not simply to play hard, the goal is to make our work and play indistinguishable.” I authentically love what I do.
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Consistency is the magic pill, put in the work and show up for yourself - Alma Blackburn - Elevate Marketing