Jen VanEe started strategic communications firm Wright Touch Marketing LLC as a moonlighting project, but took the venture full time after one too many experiences with a toxic work culture. In the latest episode of the MiBiz Podcast, VanEe discusses taking her own advice as well as landing new contracts and opportunities by leaning into her core values, such as supporting women.
How did you decide to start your own business?
VANEE: In my previous role as president of a local communications company, my vision for growth was not always shared. As a people-centric leader, I noticed my tactics were not always great for immediate return, but for long-term sustainable growth and brand loyalty. I wanted to bring my ideas to fruition, going into multiple companies to help them grow sustainably.
What does Wright Touch offer?
Brand and growth strategy is the main focus. There’s a big focus on the core message of your brand and what values you can offer. Some clients are campaign-focused and use Wright Touch to navigate their research strategy.
What was the process of carving out your niche, and what recommendations do you have for companies who are struggling to find theirs?
We are still going through it to find that one thing people need. But that’s what I do for a living: Help people get that leg up and find their core message. It’s hard to look at your business objectively and narrow down your niche, but it helps to have someone from the outside listen to your story and help find your core messaging.
How do you help businesses define their business or marketing structures?
I want to hear from the people who work with and for the company. A recent strategy showed that 90 percent of the team didn’t know what the brand goal was. This shows how important a solid brand message is — it connects the internal team and inspires them to become more invested in the company, which all ties back to the customer.
Is there anything you would tell your younger self or others just starting out?
Most successful women take the leap due to something forcing them. Don’t wait for something to push you off the cliff: be ready. And think of it as a launch pad, not a cliff. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is important. Reach out to people you look up to in the spaces you are interested in, because people are open to sharing their experiences.