Kennette gets international exposure for coaching business
When a news anchor contacted Bermudian Kennette Burgess about her business, it felt like the answer to a prayer.
After the chief executive officer of business coaching firm Focus Marketing and Development Solutions prayed for exposure in the American media, she received a call from Audrey Biesk, anchor at WXXI, NBC’s news affiliate in North Carolina.
“I can’t say this was just the result of hard work,” Ms Burgess said. “It was also divine intervention.”
Ms Burgess splits her time between Bermuda and Greensboro, North Carolina.
Ms Biesk asked to interview Ms Burgess for a segment on turning your passion into a business.
“I said how did you find me out of millions of people in the United States?” Ms Burgess said. “She said she searched and was looking for a certain quality of business and certain calibre of person who could speak of entrepreneurs. She found my website. She said you are exactly what I need. It shows that my website works!”
Ms Burgess launched Focus in Bermuda in 2017, then opened a branch in North Carolina in 2020. She also runs an apparel brand.
“Ever since then it has been up and up for me,” she said.
At Focus, she does everything from corporate client consulting to marketing and development strategic sessions. She also helps with writing business plans, logo creation and website development, among other things.
At the time of the interview, Ms Burgess was in Bermuda, so Ms Biesk spoke with her via Zoom. She normally has an artificial background up for Zoom, but Ms Biesk wanted to see her environment.
“I was in my living room in Bermuda,” Ms Burgess said. “My mother had her lawn chairs to the side.”
Ms Burgess was thrilled with the interview.
“It was great,” she said. During the segment, she gave viewers some tips for starting a business. She told Ms Biesk that she looks for clients who are passionate about what they do.
“Sometimes things happen, like Covid-19,” Ms Burgess said, “and we are not able to capitalise the way we would like, but if we are passionate we are able to push through and get over the hurdles.”
Ms Burgess was confident during the interview, despite not having a lot of time to prepare for it.
“I am not a nervous person,” she said. “I am nervous when I am speaking in a room with thousands of people, but when talking to the media everything flows. It is second nature to me.”
She also was not expecting the interview to be broadcast live, but she was still thrilled with the result.
“Right now Focus is doing marvellously,” Ms Burgess said.
Since the show aired, Ms Burgess has been inundated with calls from new potential clients.
“The feedback has been tremendous,” she said. “The response was so overwhelming I had to put potential clients on the waiting list.”
Some people reached out to say they were struggling with some of the things she mentioned, or needed help putting together a business plan. While the target market was North Carolina, some Bermudians did catch the show.
“I’m not sure how they saw it, but some contacted me to say they caught it,” she said. “I would assume thousands of people saw it.”
The hope is that more interviews, and more clients, follow from the segment.
Ms Burgess plans to soon launch an online series of entrepreneurial courses for small businesses that need help.
She said Covid-19 had a lot of terrible consequences, but also held opportunities for entrepreneurs and would-be business owners.
“My clientele tripled in 2020,” she said.