Branding’s Their Game–Aniesia Williams & The GOTO Ladies

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Ana If it’s branding you want, then you might want to try the GOTO Ladies. The agency focuses on key branding, digital media, communications, and thought leadership. Launched by Aniesia Williams, the fledgling company offers support to a diverse set of clients to include sports, lifestyle, non-profits and media personalities.

After more than 10 years of consulting experience, Williams decided to start her own agency. She’s
worked in a number of arenas–from STEM and the U.S. Government to beauty and retail.

She built her own brand as the national director of branding, marketing and communication for Black Women for Obama; chief marketing officer of the Black Data Processing Associates’ Education Technology Foundation; and brand ambassador for Marriott, Blogalicious and the National Urban League, to name a few.

These positions gave her insight into what small businesses want and need.

Williams recently returned from Sundance where GOTO Ladies hosted a panel that focused on the state of independent films and how hey are changing the way films are made. “The panel was quite interactive and also included discussions about various aspects of filmmaking from funding to casting to actual filming,”says Williams.

Here, Williams tells TNJ.com how she now plans to build GOTO Ladies.

TNJ.com: Why did you start GOTO Ladies?
Aniesia Williams: I wanted to start something that meant something to me. At the same time, I wanted to empower and bless people all across the country. I love helping people dream in color so they can, in turn, empower others around them.

TNJ.com: How did you fund the startup?
Aniesia Williams: Through my own funds saved when I was doing government contracting and executive strategy. I never went to investors.

TNJ.com: What challenges did you have to overcome?
Aniesia Williams: Being an entrepreneur can be challenging–sometimes you almost want to quit. However, knowing what the vision is for my life that God has created for me keeps me focused and driven.

TNJ.com: How do you reach out to clients?
Aniesia Williams: Relationship are very important to GOTO Ladies. I typically connect with a new client through current clients and client referrals.

TNJ.com: Why is branding so important today?

Aniesia Williams: The brand is the foundation for the house and without it your house will fall leaving you without viable options for marketability. Without a viable brand there is no need for PR or marketing.

TNJ.com: Can anyone or any company be branded?
Aniesia Williams: It depends on the value proposition, the individual or company’s target market, and their ideal product and/or service customer.

TNJ.com: What are your 2014 goals for the company?
Aniesia Williams: My biggest three goals for 2014 are to create strategic partnerships, do more brand engagements and increase GOTO Ladies’ footprints across the West Coast.

TNJ.com: What are your long-term goals?
Aniesia Williams: My long-term goals include forming a board of advisors to move the company forward to its greatest success. I also want to continue to establish GOTO Ladies as a brand advocate for a lifestyle brands such as My Black is Beautiful or Dove and other companies that represent who I am as head of GOTO Ladies and the values that represent the company.

TNJ.com: What has been your biggest business lesson so far?
Aniesia Williams: Always, always, always listen to yourself, trust yourself, know yourself, and value yourself.

TNJ.com: What you enjoy most about what you do?
Aniesia Williams: When I dream in color; I am able to do things that people say I cannot do. When I close my eyes I am able to dream the biggest, most audacious dreams and execute them and even if I can’t do exactly what I saw in my dreams, I come pretty darn close.