Elder Mark Moore Jr is a Pastoral Assistant at Faith Covenant Church in Atlanta, Georgia. His goal is to reach as many people as possible through ministry media and social event planning. He is currently planning a large event, the Young Leaders Conference, which is set to have more than 5,000 attendees.
A graduate of Morehouse College, Mark was drawn to his mission as a way of communicating his spiritual message to the masses. He has learned to take advantage of how far reaching social media can be. He also spends a great deal of time traveling internationally, reaching out to those seeking his message. He is considered a thought leader for his generation.
How did you get started in this business and what inspired you to start this business?
I am a preacher’s kid. I have been around events and event planning all of my life. I got into hosting conferences because I saw a need for people to come together and form communities along common goals and values. There needed to be a platform where people could meet and share their ideas and experiences. Those gatherings need to be planned meticulously and with great respect for the message they are trying to share.
How do you make money?
It is a combination of event programs and digital services. With today’s world, you need to have an online presence so that you can reach as many people as possible. Not only do we coordinate events and handle the details there, we provide the availability and online resources necessary to reach the intended market.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Through strategic planning and good stewardship, it took us about three years to become really financially stable. When you are just starting, there is a lot of give and take. You have to be willing to use the money you make to put back into the business. It takes some time to become recognized and draw in more clients.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I doubted it would work every single day. Every time I got an invoice or a cancellation, I had doubts. I handled it by remembering why I had started this in the first place and continued to follow my passion. That passion and drive is what I used to influence my decisions. I want to do the most good that I can and I had to remember that during those moments of doubt.
How did you get your first customer?
My first customer was my Mom. Growing up in the church, there were plenty of events to help with. I gained my experience through hands-on planning. I learned what works and had done well. Outside of family, it was about finding someone and providing them with exceptional service. Through their satisfaction, I was able to find more clients. When you put your heart and soul into what you are doing, when you impress those who have placed their faith in you, they will tell others. Word of mouth is still one of the best forms of marketing. The impression you leave is what people will share about you, so you put your all into the project to ensure that it is a good impression.
What is one marketing strategy, other than referrals, that you use that works really well to generate new business?
You cannot exaggerate the importance of social media. If you are fishing for clients, you need to go where the fish are, and they are on Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms. This is where people share their experiences with others. The ability to reach so many people is an extraordinary tool.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I have had to let some relationships go over the last few months. It is never an easy decision to move away from some clients that you have worked with, but you have to focus on what is best overall for your business.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I have a dogged determination to help people and to provide value to their lives. It is impossible to fail when you genuinely want to help people. My goal is to reach as many people as possible. I have always been drawn to helping others, to providing a place where ideas and values can be shared. These events allow that community conversation. I have always followed my passion and I think that is why I am successful with it. When it is something you love, something you feel is really important, you’re going to put your all into it.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There really isn’t a single moment for me. I think the most satisfying moments for me would be the time after a successful event. It is in those moments you see the manifestation of all of your hard work. Seeing the people blessed by all the work you have put in, the sleep you may have lost. There are so many details that go into planning events, things you don’t think of until they come up. Take the opportunity to really appreciate that moment when everything has come together.
What does the future hold for your business and what are you most excited about?
I see the potential for more growth and the ability to reach more people. It is all about reaching the most people and doing the most good that we can. As we continue to produce successful events, more potential clients are going to reach out for their next one. I feel the work I do is very important and I am excited about seeing the evolution of my brand.
What business books have inspired you?
There are a few that have inspired me. One that I really enjoyed was Think and Grow Rich by Ben Holden-Crowther and Napoleon Hill. It explains how the mindset of success can help lead you to it. I also like This is Marketing by Seth Godin. It’s a good resource for marketing strategies. Another great one to read is Hitmakers by Derek Thompson. The book delves into the psychology behind what becomes popular in our society, it’s an interesting read.
What is a recent purchase you have made that has helped with your business?
We recently invested in upgrading our technology, including new computers.