Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Avutu.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Amanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 2014 I was living in Cincinnati, Ohio when a health scare brought me to a bedridden, life-contemplating, full stop. I’d spent the better part of a decade producing, pruning, and eradicating words in one form or another (as both an editor and copywriter), and had loved every moment of it. But while I was putting the random, transient illness behind me, I had a revelation: my professional life was full of passion, but where was the purpose?
As I regained my strength, I rebranded as Good Egg Branding, with a focus on brand storytelling for social entrepreneurs. In Good Egg Branding, I found my purpose: I would help people who were committed to making a difference—not just a profit—tell their brand stories. And I would leverage my experience as a journalist and creative writer—not just a marketer—to pull out the most compelling aspects of their business narratives.
Has it been a smooth road?
I tell strangers the most personal details about my life; this is my job as a nonfiction writer. In essays that I’ve written for O: The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, I’ve taken strangers with me while I spread my estranged father’s ashes, ended my marriage, and contemplated my beautiful brown daughter’s desire to blend in. Vulnerable? Absolutely. But that moment when I connect with one single reader makes it’s all worth it. And there’s always at least one.
Convincing my clients to share choice personal details about their lives, on the other hand, can be a bit of a challenge. But here’s the thing, stories connect people, and the connection is so, so important in this world. The business world is no different. You might have a great product or offer a phenomenal service, but people don’t connect with products and services, they connect with people. Be human. Be vulnerable. Be honest about your journey and your passion. You’ll connect with that one client or customer, and it will be so worth it.
The challenge of getting my clients to strategically share personal pieces of themselves is one for which I was prepared. My greatest professional challenge was something I never could’ve anticipated. Good Egg Branding had barely relaunched when my now ex-husband accepted a new position in Atlanta. Within a year of relocating, I had three retainer clients and was growing my business. Then, a Syrian refugee family moved into my neighborhood.
Here was purpose staring at me in the face. I wrapped my projects, back-burnered the brand I’d just worked so hard to rebuild, and committed a year to help my new friends use the single wooden cookie mold they’d carried with them when they fled Syria to start their business, Sweet, Sweet Syria. We crowdfunded over $25K to help the family pay for a commercial kitchen, and secured media coverage in Forbes, Parents, Today, Atlanta Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Creative Loafing.
The family now has an online store, several accounts with local coffee shops, and is looking for an investor to help them open a brick and mortar café. In so many ways, this was my biggest challenge, but also my biggest success.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Good Egg Branding – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I could tell you that we develop brands, provide coaching in brand storytelling for individuals and groups, create brand story guides, and write anything for—or about—businesses. But really, what we do—and do well—is ask the hard questions … and listen.
Why do you wake up every day to do this thing you do? I could write a story for my client, no problem. But it’s all the more powerful when I can help them discover (or rediscover) their passion. Words are just words without their “why?” So, we develop brands, coach, and write—yes—but we help people remember why they are passionate about their work. We tell the stories that make their audience care, by helping them remember why they care.
I’m part psychologist, part journalist, and part storyteller. I help my clients discover the stories they really should be sharing, the ones that will foster connections that translate into sales. I had this one client who was functioning on autopilot. Her business did well, but it wasn’t growing. Her team was solid but uninspired; there was some recent attrition. In her creative brief, I could see the business had flat lined.
So, I invited her out for coffee, turned on my voice recorder, and asked enough of the right questions, left enough quiet space for contemplation, and (after 50 minutes of regurgitating the story she’d been telling for the last decade) watched her remember why she started her business in the first place.
Those last 10 minutes of recorded conversation became the basis for a successful rebranding campaign that helped my client reinvigorate her employees and bring in new customers. The story she found that day was nothing like the story she’d been telling herself, her customers, or her employees. It was so much more powerful. To be there with her, to have some small part in helping her reconnect with her passion, it was truly something.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
When I first found out we were relocating to Georgia I cried. The South?! How would we fit in, a white mom and her brown children? Of course, now I realize how ridiculous this is. Aside from New York, Atlanta is one of the most diverse places I’ve ever lived. I’m in love with the people, their creativity, and the overwhelming positive energy. What do I like least? The traffic, of course!
- Website: www.goodeggbranding.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @amandaavutu, @goodeggbranding
- Facebook: @amandaavutuwriter
- Twitter: @amandaavutu
- Other: https://amandaavutu.wordpress.com/
Wesley S. Cummings, David Naugle