Today I am so happy to be talking with Ameerah Saine. Ameerah is the founder of Brunch and Slay and the CEO of BAS Media. After incredible success with Brunch and Slay, Ameerah realized that she had a new passion. She was hungry to build a company that could help small businesses flourish and grow and BAS Media was born. A digital marketing company that gives “al a carte” options for small businesses.
In this episode we will cover:
* Pivoting your business.
* A la carte marketing for small businesses.
* Social media marketing.
* Making the best TikTok content.
If you would like to connect with Ameerah you can check out her website.
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The Legalpreneur Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney on these topics. Copyright Legalpreneur Inc 2022
Episode 225: Always Be Ready to Pivot with Ameerah Saine Transcript
Andrea: [00:00:03] Welcome to the Legalpreneur Podcast. I’m your host, Andrea Sager, founder and CEO of Legalpreneur, Inc. As a serial entrepreneur and someone that works exclusively with small business owners legally protecting their business, I’m dedicated to covering common legal issues faced by business owners, providing you with the business knowledge you need to catapult your businesses growth and showing you just how some of the world’s most elite entrepreneurs have handled these legal and business issues themselves in true attorney fashion. The information in this episode is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only, and you should always consult with your attorney before implementing any of the information in the show. Got to let you know about dreaming bigger. Don’t forget, we now have our two payment option. Can pick a payment plan for dream bigger. We want as many people to be there as possible. And so we’re making it more affordable. Make it in two payments or one. It’s up to you. That option is still available until we sell out. We do still have some VIP passes. It’s probably going to be selling out in the coming weeks. So get your ticket now before they’re gone. And we also have our legal protection playbook, $37 to learn everything you didn’t know you needed to know about the legal side of your business.
Andrea: [00:01:25] You get their three part course, which is talking about planning your business, preparing and growing and scaling three part course. Plus, there are some bonuses in there. One of the bonuses, which is probably the best I know, it’s the best bonus. It is a one on one call with me to chat specifics about the legal side of your business. I know everybody has a different business, so you have different needs for everything. So we’re going to have a one on one call chat specifically about your business. Now, there are limited spots available because I there’s only so much time in a day. So if you want to make sure you have that one on one, call with me. Go get it. Now it’s at the Legalpreneur Dot Co. It’ll be there in the show notes. Hello there. Welcome back to another episode of the Legalpreneur podcast. I’m really, really excited for today’s guest because I was actually on her podcast a number of years ago and we recently caught up and I was like, Oh my gosh, you need to come on my podcast. So today’s guest is Ameeerah Saine with BAS Media. Ameerah, thank you so much for joining me.
Ameerah: [00:02:32] Oh, I’m so excited to be here. I love watching your journey. I think you are one of the folks, few folks out there doing it right. As far as your your industry, you’re in the amount of information you’re giving away and then creating such an awesome platform and podcast. So kudos to you.
Andrea: [00:02:48] Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. So can you tell the audience who you are, how you got to where you are today? Because we were just chatting offline and we were talking about your pivot. So talk about what led you up to where you are today.
Ameerah: [00:03:03] Yeah, you know, I feel like my life is just a continuous line of pivots. I’ve been pivoting my whole life. So I think when the pandemic happened and I had to pivot, I almost expected it. It was like time it was in that season of pivot, pivot like that. But yeah, I started a company about, oh gosh, seven, six or seven years ago called Branching Slate, and it was when I was a new mom, so I guess seven years ago. So my daughter’s seven and a half now. I was a new mom and I was looking for a way to connect with ambitious women. I was a mom who was a stay at home mom who came out of corporate America and had a very driven, crazy life and was used to basically bossing people around. So I just thought that was a way to relieve that, and I didn’t want to turn into mush brain, you know. And so I started a pop up event series to connect with other women who are kind of looking for what’s next and looking to be around other like minded women called brunch and Slate and Brunch and Flavors started out as an event series, quickly morphed into a podcast and from there morphed into a small agency which I called or named the media. As anyone who’s ever been in any kind of content creation or influencer space, you know that brands begin to reach out.
Ameerah: [00:04:15] Because my background was in sales and marketing, I knew better than to just settle for $200 for a post when you’re literally taking all my intellectual property and all these things. And I began to leverage that and ask these brands, How about we do a collaboration, let’s do an event or let’s do email blast or whatever the case may be. And that was pretty lucrative. The only problem was it wasn’t consistently lucrative, right? It was when they felt like dealing with me. Now, this was pre-pandemic and I’m going to be very blunt here and say this is before black people were really on trend. This was before we were starting to be noticed. Right. We’ve always in my world been relevant. The but brands were not really, for lack of a better word, checking for us the way that they were doing other brands. And so it was very difficult to gain their attention. I’m sure if I had to launch this in 2020, it would be a whole other story. Yeah, but because of that, during the pandemic, the world shut down. I had a whole year worth of events planned and ready to go, had partnerships with hotels and franchises and all kinds of things that literally fell through. And this was the second time that had happened for brunch. And it happened once when Hurricane Harvey hit, because originally I started the company in Houston. And when…
Andrea: [00:05:30] Hurricane Harvey.
Ameerah: [00:05:31] Yeah, yeah. When Harvey hit, I lost a ton of contracts because those funds were then rerouted to people who needed them more than I did as a business. And so that was the second really painful hit as a business that set us back. And it really messed with my mind because I felt like I was just running in place. And so I really I’m a huge meditator. I’m a huge person who gets quiet. And so I did that and I felt like, what do I have in existence that I can leverage and not have to start completely over? And it was put the power and energy into your agency and I did. And we helped a lot of businesses during the pandemic at the beginning, especially small businesses, which is truly my passion similar to you. I love helping small businesses flourish and grow. And I’m a girls girl. So women owned businesses. Yeah, hello. It’s a no brainer. And so I started Vegas Media and we’ve been working with that’s more enterprise level clients. But in order to keep answering the call on my soul, I started something called Bento Marketing, which is marketing for small businesses. They can choose what marketing services they need when they need it, and it’s affordable and they are able to do payment plans and things that small businesses typically aren’t able to do. And so I’ve been able to do that, and that’s my huge pivot for, I would say, this decade now that we are in the twenties. Right. But, but yeah, so that’s a long winded version of who I am, what I am, what I do and why I’m here.
Andrea: [00:06:58] Wow. So you I love how you are just like always ready for a pivot or I don’t know if you’re always ready, but you look like you graciously pivot. And I think that speaks to resiliency. And not everybody can do that because some people will just kind of be down a little bit after, you know, maybe after Hurricane Harvey. They just would have been like, oh, I guess I’m just going to go back to corporate America or something. They just would not bounce back the way you did. So kudos to you for that. And so are you still in the Houston? Are you in the Houston area?
Ameerah: [00:07:32] No, I’m in Dallas now. In Plano, actually. Right outside of Dallas. Yeah. I moved here right before the pandemic, so.
Andrea: [00:07:39] Oh, okay. Okay. I’m in Houston. I didn’t know that you initially were in Houston. Well, yeah, that’s amazing. So I’m so now knowing that you have the marketing agency talk about what marketing services that you offer, because I have questions that I want to ask based on what? What offers do you have?
Ameerah: [00:07:56] Yeah, of course. So I have a full scale agency. So our agency does everything from brand ideation, brand strategy, content creation, audits, website development, like truly Jack of all trades, master of None. I have a staff, thank god it’s not just me, but from a bench perspective, we stay in the digital space, so we’re the person you reach out to before launch, when you need your emails crafted and branded, when you need a copy for them, when you need social media posts, whether they’re static or not. If you’re new to TikTok, that’s what I call it all the time. If you talk, if you do TikTok or reels and you really need someone to help you build that persona there and you need someone to basically we can create briefs for our clients every month with, Hey, these are the sounds to you, these are trends, and we really hold their hand, especially for the smaller businesses there. We can help with merchandise design. We help small businesses with. There’s 15 things we offer. Bento So forgive me, I’m just kind of throwing them off as they come to me, but that’s really what I honed in on. We did a beta year of beta where we worked with about five small businesses and really tapped into What do you need, what can you like, what would help alleviate the pain outside of us running your social? Because that’s still social to run someone social takes a lot of time, you know that it’s not something so much time that you can just do on an hour basis.
Ameerah: [00:09:20] It’s just not one of those things as much as I would love too, It’s just not something we can do. So we definitely can help them build that brand persona, identify the platforms that work for them. We can do even marketing plans and create logo design and all those good things. So all those one, all things. Email signatures to make you look professional. Yeah, crafted branded emails. Not just something that you’re sending. So you know this game because I’m sure you see a billion pieces of content because I get a lot of content for you, so I know that you’re. You’re doing it. Yeah. Thank you. And that’s a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. I think it’s great, but. Yeah, and it’s great content. It’s not poorly made, which I’m telling you, I’m going to tell you this. I recently had a meeting with a law agency, our law practice, that wanted to meet, and I asked them, who are your idea folks? And they mentioned you. So you’re doing something right? Yes, I said, well, I just happen to know her and it’s so funny. But they said, I love how she’s doing it. I mean, they were in a whole different space. They didn’t really understand the question, but they got it and they saw your branding sticking out. So yeah.
Andrea: [00:10:25] Oh, my God, you just made my day. Thank you.
Ameerah: [00:10:29] But it’s true. You’re doing a great job.
Andrea: [00:10:31] Thank you. So one question that I have I so I love TikTok. I am on TikTok all day long like I flipping love TikTok I’m obsessed anyways. So for a business owner that is not yet on TikTok and they’re like, okay, I know I need to be on TikTok where like, how do you get them started? What do you tell them? Like, I would love to hear your words of advice for somebody wanting to get started on TikTok.
Ameerah: [00:10:58] Yeah, first things first. Get that page. Even if you’re not ready, you better reserve that name. Reserve that name right now and immediately make it a business account. That’s what you need to do. You don’t want to have to underscore us on your name because someone beat you to the party or whatever the case may be. So first off, get that name. Secondly, have fun. TikTok is not your traditional social media platform. It is all about from me and I’m with you. I am a TikTok obsessed and as far as I’m concerned I would say start there first. Any other platforms that they’re on, in my opinion, will not give you the notoriety, the growth and the exposure that TikTok will give you. Right now, TikTok is the latest, greatest move. Now, next, and it is what Instagram was ten years ago. And I say that because I think it’s very important for brands to understand. It’s awesome to be able to be represented on every social media platform. But as a newbie, that’s unrealistic and you’re setting yourself up for failure. And I suggest always pick one platform and own it before you leverage it. And I’m not a fan. I’m going to be honest with you. I’m really not a fan of repurposing content, the exact same content across.
Ameerah: [00:12:06] I’ve heard people say that for marketing agencies, pick one and just post it on all. I’m always thinking as a consumer, and that would turn me off as a consumer. And so I literally think it’s selfish for us to tell people that and think something will stick is something is better than nothing. That’s not necessarily true. I think we are savvy consumers and most consumers are women. And I know you and I are savvy, so come on. Like we are not we’re not falling for that. And I’m not going to follow you on every platform for the same information. So pick that platform, own it. Look at some businesses that you like. I always say it’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration from someone else. So follow all of your maybe not your competitors. You might not want them to see you following that closely, but definitely tap into their pages. Often follow those brands you feel are doing it right and use them as guidance and inspiration and start having fun and don’t delete, keep them up there because TikTok is really cool right now because the algorithm doesn’t penalize you for content. You’re you can post something three months ago and go viral tomorrow.
Andrea: [00:13:09] That’s me right now. Yeah, right now I have a video. This is actually something that I have reposted from like over a year ago, but it did really well over a year ago. So I posted it a couple of weeks ago and it did okay. Like I got over 10,000 views. But right now, like over the past two days, it’s still blowing up. And I’m like, this is why I love TikTok.
Ameerah: [00:13:31] Yeah, and it will change. So I say, Jump on the wave. Now get on this, get on that surfboard and start riding the wave now because it will change. That is what these social media platforms do and I’ve been around long enough to see it in the beginning. It’s all for one. United we stand, divided we fall quickly it becomes “how can we monetize it more?” Which means those people who aren’t getting enough views will get to the bottom and the algorithms will change. So right now, and the great thing I love about TikTok, it’s really identifying the sounds that trends. So perfect example, the video that you post it, you could totally repost the same content and just change the sound play with those sounds. Another tip for newbies if you want to give out a tip video, great. It’s nothing wrong with it. Post that video with four different sounds and see how they perform. That’s how you’ll figure out what your audience will gravitate to and what really resonates with them. And the more you figure out what they gravitate to, the more authentic your content becomes and the more comfortable you become in front of the camera. And we can see that as consumers and as viewers. So those are my quick tips for just getting started right now.
Andrea: [00:14:35] I love that. I because I actually get people asking me like, how do I even get started on TikTok? And I will send them to this episode now because I’m like, I don’t know. I just started posting like I don’t even know how I got started. I was just like, I think I need to be on TikTok. And so I started making TikTok’s and now like 65,000 followers later, we’re doing okay.
Ameerah: [00:14:56] Yeah.
Andrea: [00:14:59] So when it comes to. Instagram right now. What is your take on Instagram right now? Because I love seeing the videos of people on TikTok talking about Instagram, so I would love to hear your viewpoint.
Ameerah: [00:15:18] I mean, just remember, Instagram is matter. I’m going to say that no disrespect, but it’s a powerhouse and we will never have control there that we once had. It’s gone. When I first started with Instagram way back in the day, I would post like five times a day because it was a timeline, right? People could see your last post that’s many, many moons ago and it was much easier. And so I’m equating where TikTok is, is to that era of Instagram. What I would say about Instagram is it’s not dead. It’s still very relevant. And it’s just like what Facebook was, the older folks. And I say that as an older folk because I am over 40, but we come to the party most folks, because I’m a party person, so I’m always going to be out next, but they come to the party later. So where you’re thinking Instagram is stagnant and it’s no longer working, it is working. It is still relevant because it is the new Facebook. Facebook is MySpace. Instagram is Facebook, TikTok is Snapchat.
Andrea: [00:16:18] I know exactly.
Ameerah: [00:16:19] As far as the times that we’re in. So Instagram, if you’re looking to boost your brand, if you’re looking to grow your business, I would stop posting static images and only post reels. That’s going to get you more exposure. People, everyone knows and you know it. If you’re on social media, you’re looking at videos, you’re no longer just looking at carousel posts. If you are posting static images, use carousels, don’t just make one image. And if you are a business, the best way to educate and to grow your audience is to educate, give information away, give it away consistently, give it a proper information away, and do it in a cadence that is comfortable for you, but also that your audience can rely on. And don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t make it over complicated. Do not use a lot of industry jargon. People do not care. They do not care about the proper terminology for a legal contract or for my marketing services. If I say brand strategy or ideation, what does that mean to them? I would never put that in a post. Right?
Andrea: [00:17:18] Yes. And I love that you’re saying this because I so I’ve actually I mean, obviously Facebook groups with lawyers and there’s in particular this one trademark Facebook group. And this was probably like a year or two ago when there was an attorney. She was like, it just annoys me so much when I see somebody when I see another attorney on social media talking about how to get a trademark, which is not the proper terminology for. Legal speak. But I’m like, clearly, you don’t know how to talk to your audience like I do that I like I say things that will resonate with my audience because if I talk about, you know, the legal terminology of certain things about a trademark, people have no idea what the heck I’m talking about. And actually used to do that. And then I realized there’s a huge disconnect and so I have to speak their language. And so I love that you bring that up.
Ameerah: [00:18:10] Oh, yeah. It’s so important. Right. I think a lot of times it’s great. It’s wonderful that you invested in your education. It’s wonderful that you sit for exams and have MBAs and PhDs, all these great things. But the truth of the matter is, no one cares. When we as a marketer, as a human, we always have to think about what’s in it for them. And when you are posting, if your post doesn’t answer what’s in it for them quickly, no one’s paying attention. It’s just as simple as that. Tell me what’s in it for me and why I need to keep following you very quickly or you’re going to lose my attention and you literally have 20 seconds and that’s me being nice to get to that.
Andrea: [00:18:51] I don’t even know if you have 20 seconds these days, right? No. No.
Ameerah: [00:18:54] Exactly. And that doesn’t mean. And there’s, again, get creative. Just because you’re giving tips and you’re speaking in front of camera doesn’t mean someone’s going to pass it. It’s what music behind that tip. What make up? Let’s be honest. I’m going to be real with you guys here. Yes. You have to present. Well, yes. I don’t care if you say that’s not me. Okay. Well, then you’re not trying to track who is your avatar. Who are you trying to attract? Does that person care? I care about people who I’m spending a substantial amount of money with. I’m going to care about how they present. If I’m ordering something from you on Instagram, that’s $10. I probably don’t care. But if you’re asking for anything over 1000, you better bring it because you’re asking for my hard earned money. And I think that I would be doing this podcast. No justice to tell, not to tell people that you better bring it. And I don’t want to see any more people in their raggedy t shirts laying on the couch doing videos about business. Unless you’re Gary Vee, if you’re Gary Busey, whatever you want to do and no one cares. That’s his brand.
Andrea: [00:19:53] Absolutely. So. Post COVID we are now. I mean, I don’t want to say like it’s over.
Ameerah: [00:20:01] But yeah.
Andrea: [00:20:02] Like we’re out of the quarantine stuff, the shutdowns. So I’m curious if you are going to be bringing back any brunch and sleigh events or is that in the past? What I’m very I don’t know if you heard we’re having our first event dream bigger. And so I’m just curious from like the queen of events, is it coming back for you.
Ameerah: [00:20:25] Or are you putting. Thank you. And I’m sorry I cut you off.
Andrea: [00:20:29] No, no, you’re good. I was just going to say it’ll be a miracle if I survive this year because. It’s a lot. Andrea likes to do a million things at once. And a big event like this is. Crazy, but yes, go ahead.
Ameerah: [00:20:42] It’s a lot you know, that’s $1,000,000 question for me right now. And I’ve gone back and forth. I want to be very honest. I thought I was starting back up a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t know what direction it was going. I started posting regularly. I had fun then. Obviously I’m running a business and I’m running a pretty decent sized business. So that pulled me away and and I felt the pressure of letting people down, which is not my business. I typically play my content almost a year in advance. So for me to kind of drop the ball three times in a row, I felt very sad about it. Honestly, I worked very hard on brunch and play and we had a great deal of notoriety. Even the podcast we got to Apple’s Top Right Business podcast, and that took years. But one day I woke up and I was I just realized it didn’t feel my soul anymore. I had done 240 interviews and I was over it. And so I told my team and they were upset. They couldn’t believe I was counseling the podcast. And I just thought times had changed for me. And I no longer could remember people I interviewed, which was weird and it was very it was it was getting to be not authentic. So I left alone. And so with the with the brunch, I would love to still do awesome brunches.
Ameerah: [00:21:53] The only thing, I guess worry about it, or just the feeling that I keeps me from saying absolutely yes is it’s a huge undertaking. As you know, it’s like planning a wedding, right. And the market’s changed. And then in this current climate, you still are really needing PCR testing. You still need proof of testing and things because COVID is still running rampant. And that’s a lot of headache for me on top of building a smaller business and really trying to help people. Like now I have a staff, I have people who rely on me for their actual livelihood. So that gives me a different amount of pressure. When I was a solopreneur, it was, yes, I can do it, no biggie. Now my responsibilities have changed, so it really makes it challenging. And literally this week I talked to one of my developers on my team and I told her to take down the brunch and say website, and she gave me a lot of pushback. And she literally sent me like, we use a lot of we do a lot of voice texting. And she made a very moving argument and she made me keep it up. And I promise you, for a month I had been meditating and I’m like, I’m just going to take it down.
Ameerah: [00:22:56] I feel like I’m letting everybody down. I’m taking it down. And she is like, No, your SEO, the backlinks. Nope, we’re not doing it. You need to repurpose it, figure out what that is. And I don’t know what that is. I wish I did. And I my gut wants to do it. I want this fabulous brunch in Houston. I want a fabulous brunch. And that was because we need that. I feel like the community that we’ve created really needs that after this pandemic and it really deserves it. And I just hope that a sponsor calls from from back in the day and says, hey, what are you doing? And then we can put something together. But, you know, the first few brunches, most people don’t know it. I paid for all that myself out of my savings. I would buy out restaurants out of my savings and pay for those events. I thank God I always made it back, but that’s a lot when you’re telling your husband, I’m going to buy out 5115, no biggie. That’s a very expensive restaurant. And y’all listening, it’s Fifth Avenue restaurant and it’s huge. And I did and I brought it out and they shut it down and we sold out. But that was a whole lot of gray hair and thank God for color. So I know.
Andrea: [00:23:59] I’m right there with you. It’s scary. It is so scary. And that’s where we are right now at the event, the conference. It’s like I like all of my money is going to the event and we like we have some sponsors, but it’s not enough for everything and it’s just I know how you feel. I, it’s scary and it’s. It’s a lot. So either way, I definitely would not take down the website because of the SEO and the backlinks and the brand and all that. So I would definitely sit with it for a little longer and I think something will come to you because I think that honestly, that’s what happened with me last year when I was I was no longer fulfilled with my law firm and I knew there was something else I was meant to be doing. And that’s when it really hit. Finally, like I’ve set the intention, I’m like, I’m just surrendering, letting go. And then it hit me and I was like, Oh, it’s here. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. And it’s still a struggle, but it’s happening.
Ameerah: [00:25:00] Right? And there’s a new hunger, right? So the hunger is there. And I think I think that’s what people in business sometimes or who aren’t in business don’t get. You have to really be hungry to get up and go out and hunt for yourself and gather for yourself. And when that passion dwindles because maybe your season has changed, you can either stay in that and become depressed and wander back to corporate America, or you can say, Time to pivot and I’m going to go give it a chance. And giving it a chance is what that fiber you need buyer to be your own business owner that you can’t do it without fire. And so I get it. And that’s why I feel like I am like the media and bento. But every time I think about some fabulous event and that’s all being together, it just tugs at my heart. So I don’t know. I’m just going to keep on letting the universe.
Andrea: [00:25:49] We would love to have you at dream bigger. I will tell you that we would love to have you there. But yes. So before we wrap up, I ask everybody this same exact question. What is your number one business tip?
Ameerah: [00:26:04] Do you know what this is going to sound? I guess boring for people, but be consistent. I think if you’re consistent, that answers everything you need in business because eventually you’ll get there.
Andrea: [00:26:18] Yeah. No, that’s the best. I love that piece of advice because some people just aren’t consistent and that’s why they’re never successful. They just give up too soon or they just pivot too quickly. And there’s really a sweet spot of knowing. Is it time to pivot or do I just need to stay consistent?
Ameerah: [00:26:34] Yeah.
Andrea: [00:26:35] So, Ameerah, thank you so much. Please tell everybody where they can find out more about you if they want to work with you media wise, how they find you.
Ameerah: [00:26:43] Well, thank you. Thank you for having me. It’s definitely been a pleasure. You can find me at www.basmedia.net. On social media “Basmediaus”. Yes, I’m one of those. Or you can just follow me on “AmeerahSaine”. I’m real simple. I don’t have all these pseudonyms and all these other things. Just the mirror saying you Google that and it’ll point you in the right direction.
Andrea: [00:27:09] Ameerah that’s perfect and we’ll link everything in the show notes. Ameerah, thank you so much and hope to see you soon.
Ameerah: [00:27:18] Yes, thank you.
Andrea: [00:27:22] Here at Legalpreneur, we’re committed to providing a supportive legal community for all business owners. I know how scary the legal stuff can be. If you found this information helpful. I would be so grateful if you could share it with a fellow business owner. And quite frankly, it doesn’t cost anything to rate, review or subscribe to the show. Your support helps me reach more listeners, which allows me to support more business owners in their entrepreneurial journey. Have any questions or comments about the show? Feel free to drop me a line on Instagram, I promise. I read all of the messages and comments and if you want to be a guest on the show or know someone that would make a great guest, simply fill out our application form and a team member will reach out if we think it’s a good fit. I’ll see you in the next episode.