Are you a fan of the ABC drama, Scandal? If so, you are among the million-plus viewers who watch every Thursday night, and you know all about Olivia Pope, the fictional political powerhouse crisis manager. Aprille Franks-Hunt is the entrepreneurial version of Olivia Pope, with a little bit of Gloria Steinem wrapped up in one. She is a force to be reckoned with, a champion for women entrepreneurs.
It all started with her desire to talk. Aprille wrote and launched an inspirational empowerment book, “Confessions of an Independent Woman: Truth, Lies & Relationships,” in which she shared her personal journey about overcoming adversity. Armed with the success of her book, Aprille decided to strike while the iron was hot. In 2011, she created a platform for women called Women Recharged. Women Recharged is a full-service consulting agency that assists women business owners as they navigate through business ownership. The mission of the company is to work with businesses to create an impact and leave a mark.
In the beginning, her idea was about empowering women by creating a sounding board in which she could deliver a message of inspiration. Here’s how her business unfolded:
An Advocate for Women
The funny thing is Aprille didn’t set out to start a business. In fact, she didn’t realize that her services were even needed until she began hearing from women entrepreneurs. Today, guiding women and supporting them as they shared their stories about overcoming the odds continues to be the basis for Women Recharged. As an advocate for women, Aprille’s mission “is to stand in the gap for them.”
Comprehensive Consulting Services
Women Recharged offers business owners assistance with their entire brand profile. The services range from consulting to specific marketing and operational services. This may include acting as an extension of their marketing and operations departments in order to help develop the right solutions. Women Recharged has also developed partnerships with companies that can address the needs of their clients.
Women Recharged has a lot to offer. Services are initiated with an analysis of the client’s brand profile. Aprille describes an example of a client needing services as an entrepreneur who may need direction with their brand message. Let’s say Client A is unsure if her business is conveying the right message to its customers. In this scenario, a brand analysis would be conducted. This may include a breakdown of the messaging and the business’ visual message. A good starting point for this type of client would be a review of their website and business content. This may include being the liaison between the web development team and the client to create a solution.
Creating a Speaking Platform
Women Recharged has started working with women that want to cultivate their brand messages from the stage. Many entrepreneurs are turning to public speaking as yet another way to gauge their audiences’ attention. According to the article “Add Public Speaking to Your Marketing Plan to Promote Your Company,” “public speaking adds value to your business.”
At its core, Women Recharged is helping clients leverage their messages. However, it all begins with discovering what is deep down inside of them. Aprille says that “for some reason, women need permission to be great.” Although women business owners can multitask as they take on the world, underneath they continue to struggle with feelings of insecurity and being overwhelmed. This is especially true for those that are participating in male-dominated industries.
A Bold Approach
Aprille brings her no-nonsense, in-your-face personality to women entrepreneurs who are dealing with issues that may be holding them back. However, once women work with Women Recharged they emerge as powerhouse entrepreneurs ready to embrace being great.
Passion & Perseverance
As entrepreneurs, we understand the challenges of creating a start-up. Aprille was no exception; she understood her vision. Her challenge was identifying how she could help. This meant she had to find a way to match her vision with her audience. She’s so glad she didn’t give up because she says she loves her job so much that she’d even do it for free.
Using Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Creating a great customer experience is at the marketing core of Women Recharged. Clients who have been wowed are spreading the word, and word-of-mouth is their number one source for new business. Aprille says that referrals have been fundamental to the company’s success.
The company also uses Social Media as a part of their marketing mix. They engage potential and existing customers on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter, which has been a key component to the success of their word-of-mouth marketing. An example of this was the successful marketing of a conference held last March. They only spent a meager $600 on advertising, yet the 225 seat conference was sold out thanks to their effective online engagement via Social Media.
There has been a recent trend in coaching and consulting businesses. Aprille says that what makes WR stand out is their commitment. She is truly passionate about her clientele and cares about their success. When speaking with her clients, she loves to uncover their purpose by helping people “discover the meat of their business.”
The Future of Women Recharged
In 2015, Women Recharged will continue to market itself as the premier agency for women by cultivating their speaking, coaching, and author platforms.
Because she is a warrior and an advocate for women entrepreneurs, Aprille is a much sought after motivational speaker. Some events and conferences in which she has graced the stage are: Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle Women’s Business Conference, YWCA, Black Chamber of Commerce, and The National Women Business Owners Conference.
Women Recharged is excited about their second annual Fabulous New You women’s conference that is going to take place March 20-21, 2015 in Oklahoma City. The life-changing, breakthrough event is expected to host 400 awesome women from around the country.
Aprille offered three tips for her fellow entrepreneurs:
- Financial – Know your numbers; make sure you understand your Profit and Loss Statement.
- Education – Plant yourself in an environment that is going to nurture your entrepreneurial spirit. Stay away from negativity.
- Show up in your most authentic voice – Do not emulate; be yourself.
We can all learn from the inspiring example of Aprille and Women Recharged. The take away for all entrepreneurs should be that it is okay to be passionate while building your enterprise. Along the way, you may need to have a cheerleader or an advocate. As Aprille puts it, sometimes we need someone to say, “Yes, you can do this!”
Do you think women entrepreneurs need to be recharged? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet us @KabbageInc