Like many entrepreneurs, Martu Freeman-Parker had to figure out a niche for her apparel consulting company before it truly took off. After a few years of tinkering with her mission, she had developed fashion industry bootcamps where her designer clients learned how to navigate manufacturing and product development overseas. “I had literally figured my business model out,” says the founder of M.E.F. Productions in Miami, Florida. Then, while she was at Paris Fashion Week in early 2020, the pandemic struck, upending her company’s way of connecting with clients.
“Everything went from one-on-one [in-person meetings] to doing workshops and bootcamps online,” Freeman-Parker says. While the fashionista was able to pivot her business model to a virtual format relatively quickly, she was struggling to gain traction with her website and social media accounts. “I needed tips on how to better work social media for marketing,” she says.
Freeman-Parker’s quest for answers led her to Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, a free online portal where entrepreneurs can find personalized learning, expert coaching and grant opportunities to help them thrive in a digital environment. It was just what she needed. “Compared to courses I took elsewhere, the Verizon learning actually empowered me to implement these techniques myself,” says Freeman-Parker.