How Blavity Inc. and The Lip Bar scaled with search, paid ads and inclusivity

Stephanie Horton, director of marketing, Google Shopping

When launching their businesses, Morgan DeBaun, founder and CEO of Blavity Inc., and Melissa Butler, founder and CEO of The Lip Bar, drew their inspiration from Black culture and inclusivity. 

“I really loved the idea of building products for people at scale,” says DeBaun, creator of content for Black Americans and millennials, in the latest episode of Talking Shop, Google’s series of one-on-one conversations with underrepresented entrepreneurs, retail pacesetters and business leaders. Building Blavity was “an incredible opportunity for me and my friends to make something that is for us and leverages this moment in time [by using] platforms, the internet and technology to actually build something at scale for Black people in this country.” 

Like many entrepreneurs, Butler founded The Lip Bar, her vegan beauty brand, out of her home. “So many Black entrepreneurs are starting in their homes, in their kitchens,” she said, noting that entrepreneurs shouldn’t feel stressed if they are figuring out how to run businesses and need help. “As an entrepreneur, you think you’re supposed to have it all figured out. [But] when you realize that you don’t necessarily have all of the means to get to the next level, then you reach out for mentorship.” 

When she was scaling The Lip Bar, Butler and her team leaned heavily on Google Search and paid ads across a variety of platforms to reach their customers. But as entrepreneurs are scaling their businesses, DeBaun says that entrepreneurs should center everything around the customer — while also planning for the future. 

“You have to have deep customer empathy, be able to describe them to a T and be very specific,” said Butler. “And you have to have some sort of future strategy because a lot of times, you can’t just be reactive to today; you have to be ahead of the game. It’s about taking bets and taking risks and being ahead of the curve.” 

Check out the entire conversation between Butler and DeBaun in the video above and learn more about the steps they took to grow their small businesses to sizable brands, insights that helped them build their communities and how tech influenced their reach with customers.

This article originally appeared on Think with Google.

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