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Meet Danielle Mitchell of Average Black Girl in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Mitchell.

Danielle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin changed the course of my career and my life. In 2012 while working for Coca Cola the tragic news of the shooting hit. I was devastated and like many of my peers, identified with the slain teenager. I lived in a gated community in Central Florida, just like Trayvon. One-year post undergrad, my Fighting Illini hoodie was still a wardrobe staple, just like Trayvon. And finally, I was black, just like Trayvon. It was scary and deeply disturbing to know that an innocent young man was taken from his parents and lost his life for no reason. I was compelled to do something. I became obsessed with signing petitions, but was left feeling satisfied with the process or lack of results. And so, a seed was planted.

The following year, I moved to South Beach. I kept my day job, but evenings were spent channeling my talents to help people who looked like Trayvon and I. I created and updated resumes and held strategy sessions for career advancement and overall development. As the people I helped began landing higher paying jobs and more fulfilling careers I couldn’t help but feel good. I actually felt like I was making a small difference in people’s lives. Results!

Fast forward to 2014, I found myself making another move due to my career, this time to Atlanta. Although I was excited about the move, I was disenchanted with corporate America. It didn’t help that the job wasn’t what I expected. When a marketing opportunity opened up within my company I wanted to apply, but was prevented from interviewing for the position because of political reasons. Enough was enough. I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny while uplifting my community.

The first thing I did was create a YouTube channel. My videos discussed my frustrations. I subscribe to the school of thought that buying black is a major key to effect change. But finding black businesses felt like a never ending scavenger hunt. Did anyone else care? Or was it just me? The positive response from my videos was super encouraging. After reaching 400 views I decided to take this thing more seriously. I hired a business coach and we hit the ground running. Nine Months after my first YouTube video, I left Corporate America and stepped into full-time entrepreneurship.

At the start of 2016, I moved back to my parents’ home in Chicago to develop Average Black Girl. Average Black Girl, is now a powerhouse providing resources to create more black millionaires through web design, marketing strategies and securing partnerships. In addition to my brand, I also teach WordPress classes at Blue Lacuna, provide business strategy sessions with the Chicago Urban League, a mentor for the Mandela Washington Fellowship in partnership with Northwestern University and am an invited speaker to various organizations throughout the city.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The lifestyle of an entrepreneur is not easy, and I made lots of sacrifices to really do this. At the start of 2016 I moved back to my parents’ home in Chicago. That significantly reduced my expenses and allowed me to put 100% into my businesses.

5 Tips from Average Black Girl for anyone with an idea:

1. You can create something great while working full time. The first step is to believe it! Know that you are entering a marathon and not a race.

2. Your day job should fund your idea. Starting a business is a big deal comprised of many small achievements. Keep the positive momentum going by celebrating every victory and achievement no matter how small.

3. Rely on free social media channels to build your following and get your message out there. Use metrics to check for progress as you grow. Set goals for likes, views and customers.

4. Start a Facebook page ASAP and get yourself some fans! Growing a social media presence is an untamed beast, the sooner you start conquering it, the better. Once you hit 5,000 Likes, Fans or followers on a social media account you can sign up for platforms like Fame Bit that will compensate you to post and do reviews from major corporations.

5. Reduce your overhead as much as possible. Everyone may not be able to move back home with mom and dad, but you can cut costs in other ways. Meal prep, learn how to give yourself a pedicure, and shop at resale and consignment shops. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll save. Use the extra cash to feed your dreams.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Average Black Girl – what should we know?
Do you struggle with the perception that because you are black that your business is only for black people or that your business is subpar?

Wouldn’t you love to learn how to get your business past those misconceptions?

Hi, my name is Danielle Mitchell and we help create more black millionaires through average black girl.

We do this through web design by
• Monetizing your site and utilizing lead generation,
• marketing strategies – increasing exposure and awareness
• and securing partnerships- we are able to get you paid sponsors and partners at the inception of your business.

We’ve been busy at average black girl. We currently have 30,000 followers.
We generate revenue through online courses, web design, consulting, membership course, and sponsored posts.

We market through contributing for major outlets such as blackdoctor.org, average black girl podcast, and social media.

In a world of online coaches that focus on BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT am unique in that I not only teach my clients how to grow and expand but I teach the individuals how to become an influencer.

My background is marketing with consumer packaged goods such as L’Oréal and Coca Cola and I am an international marketing strategist and have not only taught in the USA in cities such as Chicago and Atlanta but I have also worked in Nigeria and will be speaking in Ghana in September at the African Entrepreneurship Conference.

I am looking for the audience today to download my podcast, follow us on social media and look at our services.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The ability to push forward and to believe in myself.

One thing people don’t tell you about is the difficult conversations you will encounter and how you must always advocate for yourself.

People don’t realize as you climb, how many people will try to take advantage of you in terms of getting a deal, not reciprocating in trade and bartering or straight up using you.

Knowing your mission, vision and core values is so important. Those key elements go back to your why. With those things always at the top of your mind, you won’t hesitate to increase your prices when it is time to do so, say no to people who ask to pick your brain and send them an invoice instead, and most importantly know when to say no to opportunities that do not serve you.

Pricing:

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Straight Hair Photos: Dimeji Adeeko
High School and Moxe: Chep Media
Grey Suite: Rikki Wright
Purple & Pink Dress: Andre Bobb
Group photo pointing: Shanw Lee Studios

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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