Business owner found niche in social media marketing
By Patty McCormac, QCBN
Marketing guru Seth Godin said, “How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable.”
That is advice that Donna Werking takes to heart. Werking is the owner of Prescott’s Northern AZ Social, which specializes in digital marketing. She has been on her own for less than two years and is already getting rave reviews from her clients. Kenneth Boush, director of marketing and communication for Yavapai Regional Medical Center said that Werking has been a great help in their outreach.
“It allows us to reach more people and it has a positive impact on our budget,” he said. “Social media saves money. It allows us to be good stewards of our community’s healthcare resources.” Some of the services offered by Werking are: Social media marketing and management, pay per click advertising, email marketing and remarketing along with other digital services.
She said she loves her occupation for many reasons, one being it changes on a daily basis.
“You never get bored. I liked to be challenged,” she said.To stay on the cutting edge of new developments, she attends conferences and continuing education classes. Her profession got off the ground when she landed a job as an intern with the Arizona Sundogs Hockey Club. After six months, she earned the title of Director of Corporate Sales.
“I was a hard worker. I have always been. It was very challenging, something new and fresh. It got me out there.”
“I have to say, it was the most exciting thing I have ever done in my life,” she said. “In 2007-2008 we won the championship. I felt it was time to move along.”
She went to work for a full-service advertising firm in town. “That is where digital started happening. Prescott was challenged with digital marketing. No one was asking about digital marketing,” she said. “Within two or three years, they started to get it. Everyone had Smart phones and things started to evolve quickly in 2012 and 2013. People started asking ‘what can I do to get more people to my website.’”
She saw a market niche. In September of 2015, she launched her business. “I was extremely confident having the history of having worked in the community. I had a great amount of supporters out there plus excellent relationships while I was with the Arizona Sundogs Hockey Club. I was already branded and had an established reputation. I knew I could expand these boundaries of Yavapai County and spilling into Coconino County,” Werking said. “In the five-year plan, that is where I want to be. I would be happy with Northern Arizona. Lots of people do what I do south of here.” She credits her success to just working hard and caring about people.
The daughter of a military family, Werking moved a lot. At age 18 she earned a full-ride academic volley-ball scholarship to Delaware State University. After a year, she moved to Prescott to live with her grandparents. “When I got here, I thought this was heaven.”
She went back to school at Yavapai College and then on to Northern Arizona University where she earned a degree in marketing and management.
She has been married to Kelly Wood for 17 years. They have two children: Madison, 16, and Brenner 5.
In her free time she enjoys the outdoors and believes in giving back to her community. She has volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County and The Mountain Artist Guild, among other non-profit organizations. She is also co-founder of the New Year’s Eve Boot Drop.
Who had a strong influence on you?
“My Mother. My Mother is one of the strongest women I know. She came from Thailand and didn’t speak English. She taught herself how to read and write and made a wonderful life for us. I go back to my Mother to find my strength.”
What advice do you have for other young professionals who want to start their own businesses?
“Hard work. Time and energy will eventually pay off if it is something that makes you truly happy. You need to love what you do and you will find success.”
What is the best education you have received that helped you succeed in business?
“I always go back to Seth Godin’s quote. It is up to us as individuals to go as far as we can in our career or life.”
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
“I escape by hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing.”
When was the last time you danced?
“I like to dance while I am cooking…I just put on some music. I dance with the kids. I danced with my little boy two days ago.”
Northern AZ Social is located at 1745 Rustic Timber Lane.