Build business, and create careers. That is the single mission statement Morgen Reynolds, owner of the marketing agency, Beyond The Trend has lived by since she started freelance marketing back in 2008 in Chicago Illinois.
In college, Reynolds studied Business Management and Marketing, with an emphasis in International Business. Her first professional job while in school was as a sales rep, where she achieved the highest level of personal sales in her company, and was promoted to open and run her own district sales office. Her office ranked #11/200 in the nation her first summer.
Yet, despite a promising sales career, Reynolds still wanted to pursue marketing. “Unfortunately, based on my sales experience, no one wanted to hire me for a marketing role. Then Twitter happened.” Twitter’s launch and the rapid growth of social media coincided with Reynolds reaching a point where she needed a change.
At the age of 9, she had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and now as an adult, she was struggling to manage her symptoms. “I never wanted to let my autoimmune define me, but I had to learn how to live with it. I learned to work differently so that business could keep growing, but I could also take care of my health.”
Drawing on her creativity, she started creating business plans and simple digital marketing tools like Wordpress websites and Mailchimp marketing campaigns, to help some college friends launch their start-ups.
“I’ve always been passionate about the ‘American Dream’. My grandfather was a pastor and a prison warden. My dad became a software engineer, and eventually started his own company! These days, anyone with an Internet connection and a computer can build something of their own.”
Reynolds continued, “When I saw the success my friends had by executing on the marketing and business strategy I created, it made me hungry to help other business owners,” she said. “I started a freelance consulting business and began working with nonprofits and local churches. Through networking and relationships, I began to land some larger contracts. It was in my 20’s I learned that if you value your relationships, and take care of your clients, large or small, you never know what might come your way.”
Reynolds moved to Orlando in 2013 when she married her husband– a relocation triggered by his job with the military. Even though she left all of her connections in Chicago, Reynolds was determined to continue building her consulting practice.
“While that drastic life change certainly slowed down work for a bit, it also strengthened my love for marketing, technology and the fact that this type of work can be done from anywhere. As an entrepreneur, you can’t box yourself into thinking that your business, or your life, can only work in a certain way. You have to be willing to push through challenges and think outside the box.”
Reynolds recalls a specific challenge: “I was in the hospital during the launch of a client’s Facebook campaign. I needed that client, so I actually took out my IV, put a sweater over my hospital gown and Skyped with her while we launched the campaign. Having health issues has only made me more grateful to get out of bed in the morning. Even when it feels hard in the moment, it is worth it in the long run.”
In 2016, Reynolds and her husband, who retired from the military and accepted a new job, moved to Vero Beach. Once settled into her new community, Reynolds officially incorporated Beyond The Trend in 2017.
As the agency grew, she felt it was time to move to an office, so she called on commercial property owners until she found someone who believed in her vision and was willing to work out a deal. As the paint was drying and shortly after the new furniture was delivered, Hurricane Irma hit.
“That was a big event for us,” Reynolds recalled. “I had a client in Baton Rouge, not affected by the hurricane, who had a campaign ready to launch. I didn’t want to delay it, so we evacuated Vero to stay with friends in Orlando. But the power went out there too! Fortunately, I was able to use a mobile car battery to charge my laptop and used my phone as a hotspot. I sat in the dark with no AC, but we launched on time! It took a full week for power to be restored to our home, but my office had power, so I worked and slept there for a week. Don’t tell the building manager!”
Beyond The Trend has grown largely through referrals from happy clients. “One of our clients started as a neighbor in our office building, and they have referred us to several more clients,” Reynolds explains. “I genuinely love meeting new people. I introduced myself to someone at Starbucks after overhearing their dissatisfaction with their website. They became a client. Someone I met in line for coffee at a conference later became a great client. Can you tell I have a coffee addiction?”
Reynolds’ clients have given her a nickname and affectionately refer to her as ‘The Captain’. Knowing that names carry weight, Reynolds wanted the name of her agency to convey that they “keep business moving forward.” Beyond The Trend utilizes emerging technology, and leverages social and global trends in an effective and efficient way for their clients.
“We are successful because we truly want to take advantage of every opportunity for our clients. We fight to give them the very best campaigns, the best creative design, and the best technology possible to achieve their goals. We’re never afraid to bring them a new idea based on what’s happening in the marketplace.”
Looking ahead, Reynolds is excited to keep growing her team. At the center of her personal and professional goals is the mission statement she developed back in Chicago - Build Business and Create Careers.
“To this day, I continue to check in to make sure that’s still my focus. If I’m helping owners build their business and giving people an opportunity to start and grow their careers, then I feel I’m doing my part in the world.”
What advice does Reynolds have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
“As an entrepreneur, you have to believe in what you’re doing because you will absolutely work harder than you would by working for someone else. Figure out why you’re doing it and let that drive you.
Do everything with excellence. The big and the small things. It all adds up.
Finally, don’t let others discourage you, they don’t really know you. Take care of your clients, do what you say you’re going to do, and be open to any opportunity. If you are willing to work and be good at it, there will always be good work for you to do.”