BBW VIP MEMBER INTERVIEW: Adriana Lacy, CEO of Adriana Lacy Consulting

What is your name?

Adriana Lacy

What is your title?

CEO

What is your business name?

What is your website URL?

www.adrianalacyconsulting.com

What is your Instagram handle?

What is your LinkedIn URL?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women member?

Since December 2023

Where are you based? How did you end up there?

Boston, MA. Been here for two years!

Tell us more about your company! What do you do and what pushed you to start?

Adriana Lacy Consulting is a full-service digital content consulting firm specializing in helping a wide range of organizations, including newsrooms, media companies, non-profits, and technology companies, grow their digital audiences. Our core services encompass a broad spectrum of digital marketing strategies, including paid and organic social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, content creation, website optimization, and data analytics.

The inception of Adriana Lacy Consulting was driven by a combination of personal passion and a clear market need. My journey began with a deep-seated interest in the digital world and its profound impact on how organizations communicate and engage with their audiences. However, what truly pushed me to start this venture was the realization of a significant gap in the market: many businesses, especially smaller ones or those from underrepresented communities, were struggling to adapt to the digital landscape. They lacked the expertise or resources to effectively harness digital platforms for growth and engagement.

Recognizing this, I saw an opportunity to not only build a business but also to make a meaningful difference. I wanted to empower these organizations by demystifying digital marketing and providing them with the tools and strategies necessary for success in the online realm. This vision was fueled further by my personal experiences and the desire to level the playing field, especially for those who might not have easy access to digital marketing resources.

At Adriana Lacy Consulting, we pride ourselves on not just being service providers, but partners to our clients. We take a personalized approach, understanding each client’s unique needs and crafting strategies that are not only creative but also measurable and impactful. Our mission is to help our clients build a strong digital presence, engage with their audiences more effectively, and ultimately achieve their organizational goals through the power of digital marketing.

What is your definition of success? How do you know when you’ve reached it?

My definition of success, particularly in the context of Adriana Lacy Consulting, is multifaceted, combining both tangible achievements and intangible satisfactions:

Client Impact and Satisfaction: Success is deeply linked to the impact we have on our clients. It's not just about meeting their expectations but exceeding them. When clients report back with positive outcomes – whether it's increased digital engagement, growth in their audience, or achieving specific marketing goals – it's a clear indicator that we are succeeding. Client testimonials, repeat business, and referrals are concrete measures of this success.

Team Growth and Development: Success is also reflected in the growth and satisfaction of our team. A thriving, engaged team that continually develops and excels in their roles is a sign of a healthy, successful company. When team members are able to grow professionally, contribute meaningfully to our projects, and find fulfillment in their work, it indicates that we have created a successful work environment.

Innovation and Adaptation: In the ever-evolving field of digital marketing, success means staying ahead of the curve. When we're able to consistently innovate, adapt to new trends, and incorporate cutting-edge strategies into our services, it demonstrates success in maintaining our relevance and effectiveness in the market.

Financial Health and Sustainability: While financial metrics are not the only measure of success, achieving financial stability and sustainability is crucial. This includes profitability, but also factors like financial efficiency, revenue growth, and the ability to reinvest in the business. Success, in this sense, is having a financially robust business that can withstand market fluctuations and invest in future growth.

Social Impact and Community Contribution: As a business with a commitment to empowering underrepresented voices in the digital space, success also means making a measurable impact in these communities. Whether it's through mentorship, workshops, or pro bono services, success is seeing a positive change in the accessibility and effectiveness of digital marketing for these groups.

Personal Fulfillment: On a personal level, success is feeling fulfilled and passionate about the work I am doing. It’s about looking forward to challenges and feeling a sense of accomplishment in overcoming them. It's when the work aligns with personal values and contributes to personal growth.

Tell us about your most transformational moment as an entrepreneur?

One of the most transformational moments in my journey as an entrepreneur was the decision to expand Adriana Lacy Consulting by hiring a team. Until that point, I had been managing most aspects of the business on my own, which was both challenging and limiting in terms of growth potential. The realization that I needed a team to truly scale and enhance the quality of our services marked a significant shift in my entrepreneurial mindset. The process of assembling a team was transformative in several ways. Firstly, it allowed me to delegate tasks and focus on strategic planning and business development, which was crucial for long-term growth. It also brought diverse perspectives and skill sets into the business, enriching our service offerings and enabling us to tackle more complex and varied projects. Perhaps the most impactful aspect of this transition was the shift from being a solo entrepreneur to a leader. This required developing new skills like team management, effective communication, and leadership, which were instrumental in my personal and professional growth. It was a learning curve, understanding how to inspire and motivate a team, set collective goals, and create a collaborative and productive work environment. Moreover, hiring a team underscored the importance of trust and delegation. It was a lesson in letting go of the need to control every detail and trusting my team to deliver. This not only improved our operational efficiency but also fostered a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members, driving them to excel in their roles. This moment of transition was a turning point for Adriana Lacy Consulting. It not only propelled the business forward in terms of capacity and capabilities but also marked my evolution as an entrepreneur. It was a journey from being a solo practitioner to a leader of a talented team, each member contributing to the shared vision of empowering businesses through innovative digital marketing strategies.

What was one of your biggest challenges in business?

As a black woman entrepreneur, navigating a landscape where there is underrepresentation in leadership roles was daunting. It involved overcoming stereotypes and biases, and sometimes facing skepticism about my capabilities. This required not only proving my expertise and the value of my business but also continuously advocating for diversity and inclusion in professional spaces.

Starting from scratch added another layer of complexity. Building a client base, establishing a brand, and securing funding without a pre-existing network or resources was a significant hurdle. It meant starting from the ground up, often with limited support and guidance. This required immense resilience, determination, and adaptability – learning through trial and error, persistently networking, and finding creative ways to make my business stand out.

Additionally, as a solo entrepreneur initially, balancing the multitude of roles – from marketing and sales to service delivery and administration – was overwhelming. It demanded a steep learning curve, mastering various aspects of the business while also managing the day-to-day operations.

However, facing these challenges was also empowering. It pushed me to develop a wide range of skills, from strategic planning and marketing to leadership and resilience. It also led to a deep sense of accomplishment and pride in what Adriana Lacy Consulting has achieved. Overcoming these hurdles has not only strengthened the business but has also allowed me to be a mentor and inspiration to other aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds.

This journey, with all its challenges, has been integral to shaping both my personal growth and the success of Adriana Lacy Consulting. It has instilled a commitment to excellence, a passion for empowering others, and a dedication to breaking barriers and paving the way for more inclusive and diverse entrepreneurship.

How do you handle the harder days? The struggles? Those moments when you feel like giving up?

Handling the harder days and struggles that come with entrepreneurship requires a blend of resilience, perspective, and self-care. On days when challenges mount and the temptation to give up looms, I turn to a few key strategies to stay grounded and motivated.

One of the most effective ways I've found to cope with stress and recharge is through kickboxing classes. Kickboxing is not just a physical workout; it's a powerful stress reliever and a form of mental therapy. The intense physical activity helps in releasing pent-up tension and anxiety, providing a healthy outlet for the frustrations and pressures that come with running a business. The focus required in kickboxing also serves as a mental break, allowing me to step away from business challenges and clear my mind.

How has being a Boston Business Women Inner Circle member positively influenced your life + business?

Being a member of the Boston Business Women Inner Circle has had a profoundly positive influence on both my personal life and my business, Adriana Lacy Consulting. This membership has provided a wealth of benefits and opportunities that have been instrumental in my growth as an entrepreneur.

Networking and Connections: The Inner Circle has given me access to a diverse network of like-minded, ambitious women in business. These connections have been invaluable for both personal support and professional collaboration. Networking with other women entrepreneurs in Boston has opened doors to new business opportunities, partnerships, and client referrals.

Mentorship and Learning: The group offers a rich environment for learning and mentorship. Engaging with experienced businesswomen and industry leaders has provided me with insights and advice that have been crucial in navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship. The opportunity to learn from their experiences and expertise has significantly enhanced my business acumen and decision-making skills.

Support and Community: Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, but being part of the Inner Circle means having a supportive community that understands the unique challenges of being a woman in business. This sense of belonging and mutual support has been a source of encouragement and motivation, especially during challenging times.

Tell us about your most proud moment in your career.

One of the proudest moments in my career as the founder of Adriana Lacy Consulting was when our firm was recognized for its exceptional work in digital marketing, particularly for a campaign we designed and executed for a non-profit organization. This project was not just a showcase of our expertise, but it also aligned deeply with our mission to empower and uplift businesses and communities through digital innovation.

The non-profit we worked with was struggling to gain traction and visibility for their cause. Our team at Adriana Lacy Consulting designed a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, utilizing a blend of targeted social media campaigns, SEO-optimized content, and engaging multimedia elements. The results were beyond expectations – the campaign significantly raised the non-profit's profile, leading to a substantial increase in donations, volunteer sign-ups, and overall awareness of their cause.

What made this moment particularly special was the recognition we received not just for the effectiveness of the campaign, but for the social impact it created. The project was highlighted in several industry publications, and we were honored with an award for excellence in digital marketing with a social impact focus.

This recognition was a culmination of many factors that define my passion and goals as an entrepreneur. It underscored our ability to create meaningful change through our work, affirmed our commitment to excellence, and validated the hard work and creativity of our team. It was a moment that resonated not just on a professional level, but personally too, reinforcing my belief in the power of digital marketing as a force for good.

Who is the woman behind your business? What does she like? How does she spend her free time? What does she value?

The woman behind Adriana Lacy Consulting is a dynamic and multifaceted individual. She has a strong passion for learning and self-improvement, which she pursues through continuous professional development and personal interests. Deeply committed to empowering underrepresented communities, she dedicates time to mentoring and volunteering. Creativity plays a significant role in her life, often explored through painting or photography. Nature and the outdoors are her sanctuaries, providing tranquility amidst a busy entrepreneurial life. She is a fitness enthusiast, enjoying activities like yoga and kickboxing for balance and well-being. At her core, she values strong relationships with family and friends, cherishing the time spent with them. An advocate for social causes, she actively participates in community initiatives that align with her beliefs in equality and social justice. For relaxation, she turns to reading, embracing literature and non-fiction to unwind and broaden her perspectives. Her values of growth, empowerment, creativity, balance, and social responsibility are not just personal traits but also integral to the ethos of her business.

What makes you stand out from others in your field? What do you do differently?

What sets Adriana Lacy Consulting apart in the digital marketing field is a combination of unique approaches and core values that drive our operations:

Tailored and Inclusive Strategies: Unlike many firms that apply a one-size-fits-all approach, we specialize in creating customized digital marketing strategies that cater to the specific needs and goals of each client. This personalized approach is particularly effective for the diverse range of clients we serve, including those from underrepresented communities. We ensure that our strategies are inclusive and accessible, reflecting the unique voices and visions of our clients.

Focus on Empowerment and Education: We place a strong emphasis on not just providing services, but also empowering our clients with knowledge and skills. This is done through workshops, training sessions, and ongoing support, ensuring that clients understand and can sustain their digital marketing efforts.

Commitment to Social Impact: Our business is driven by a commitment to make a positive social impact. This ethos guides our choice of clients, projects, and community engagements. We prioritize working with non-profits, small businesses, and organizations that align with our values, aiming to use digital marketing as a tool for broader societal benefit.

Where can we keep up with you? What social media platforms do you use the most?

instagram: adrianajlacy // instagram: adrianalacyconsulting

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