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Meet Dannie Fountain of Strategist. Author. Educator. in West Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dannie Fountain.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my business just over 9 years ago. My first client was a total accident, but an amazing experience. Since then, I’ve had many amazing twists and turns that brought me to where I am today. I earned my “business stripes” working in marketing for brands like Whirlpool and today, I work in sales and marketing for Google. When I’m not at work for the #1 Best Company to Work For, I am collaborating with entrepreneurs and corporate clients alike to brainstorm, strategize, and implement strategic plans and processes to better their business and increase their sales.

I’m also a multipassionate human (who isn’t?). Beyond working in marketing and strategy, I’m also an author, educator, digital nomad, and whip-smart whiskey drinker. I wrote The Side Hustle Gal and The Bucketlist Babe, co-wrote Big Plan for the Creative Mind, and have an additional book forthcoming – One Honest Woman. You can even read my Bachelor’s Thesis (on tattoos in the workplace) and Master’s Thesis (on the importance of Employee Resource Groups) online.

I’m involved in our entrepreneurial community because that’s the only way to understand how we can improve. I currently serve as:
+ The Rising Tide Society Creative Council Chair
+ Mentor at 1871, Chicago’s Technology & Entrepreneurship Center
+ Member of the Advisory Board of Creative Women’s Conversations
+ The face of Burgundy Fox, a curated lingerie and sleepwear company

I’m also a speaker on business strategy worldwide. Beyond my speaking experience, my work (and the work of teams I’ve been a part of in my corporate and entrepreneurial careers) has been submitted to and recognized by Cannes Lions, the Effies, CASE, the North American Excellence Awards, the American Advertising Awards, the Shorty Awards, and D&AD Impact White Pencil. The same work has been featured in Advertising Age, Adweek, Forbes, Holstee Magazine, Belong Magazine, and more.

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?
Is it ever a smooth road? Entrepreneurship rarely is. I was side-hustling and double fisting work as much as I could in the beginning – and I DEFINITELY took on too much throughout the journey. I also was faced with the struggle of age. How can a 23-year-old be who I am today? How is it possible to have done what I am done at the age that I am?

However, the struggles inform the journey as much as they cause you to stumble. Struggles lead to pivots in my business though, growth in my maturity, and even new business friendships.

Please tell us about Strategist. Author. Educator..
I say this all the time – I’ll tell you why I’m here… I’m here to work. Everyone’s goal is to make money from a thing you created doing something you were born to do…right? I’m here because I have a deep passion for marketing and I’m here to help you too.

You hear it all the time, but what does it really mean – “I’ll help you simplify your life and business?” Most of the time, when I talk to an entrepreneur, their business has grown and they’ve hit a plateau and they can’t seem to figure out what’s next.

So how do I help? Strategy. I work with clients 1:1 to craft clear and action-oriented marketing strategies. I provide audits that help folks uncover the gaps in their existing strategy. I speak at conferences all over the globe on marketing strategy and entrepreneurship. I even wrote a couple books on the subject.

Professionally, I’m the proud mama of some pretty badass work-babies.

+ While I was on the team, Whirlpool underwent a massive rebrand to the new “Every Day, Care” campaign. The new branding launched in late 2014 and received over 2 BILLION earned media impressions in the first six months.
+ If you’re nerdy about numbers, consider this: that Whirlpool rebrand? It resulted in a 6.6% growth in sales (and 4pt. market share increase). Positive social media sentiment rose more than 600%. Purchase intent scores increased 10% from pre-campaign levels. That’s MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in growth.
+ I’ve crafted marketing strategies for $2B distribution companies, $5k hobbyist calligraphers and everything in between. I’ve also managed marketing and ad spend budgets of $1k and $10.9M.
+ I helped a WNBA champion (and Hall of Famer) pivot from basketball coach to full-time trainer cultivating winning players.
+ I’ve even assisted in the presentation and fulfillment of a display & giveaway on The Ellen Show.

Today, I even work at Google while running this business along with the best team in town.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rosemary Watson Productions, Verdigris Photography & Design, Charuk 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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