How To Build a Purpose-Driven Brand With Tamara Loehr

Tamara Loehr is the Co-founder of Beusail Academy, a marketplace and community where conscious consumers use their purchasing power to make a collective positive impact. She became an entrepreneur at 19 years old when she started a digital marketing agency. Tamara is also the Co-founder of Concertina Team, an outsourcing agency that helps entrepreneurs scale by finding the right team for them. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and an advocate for female entrepreneurs and net-positive brands. 

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran interviews Tamara Loehr, the Co-founder of Beusail Academy and Concertina Team, about how to build a purpose-driven brand. They also discuss the concept of ethical offshoring, how to raise entrepreneurial kids, and Tamara’s inspiration to start Beusail Academy.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • [01:50] Tamara Loehr’s background raising money for various causes
  • [05:25] Tamara talks about starting a digital marketing agency and training her team
  • [11:29] What is ethical offshoring? 
  • [14:27] Tamara’s inspiration to start Beusail Academy
  • [19:25] The concept of purpose and profit
  • [21:44] How Beusail Academy creates impact in the community
  • [26:34] How the Entrepreneurial Masters Programme (EMP) has impacted Tamara’s career
  • [29:11] Tamara talks about her book, tips for raising entrepreneurial kids, and the peers she acknowledges for their support

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:00

All right, today we’re talking about profit and purpose, philosophy. So if you have a business, how do you align, purpose and profit together so that they can work in harmony with one another? My guest today is Tamara Loehr. I’m gonna tell you more about her in a second. So stay tuned. 

Intro 0:19

Well, welcome to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we feature top entrepreneurs, business leaders, and thought leaders and ask them how they built the relationships to get where they are today. Now, let’s get started with the show.

John Corcoran 0:36

Alright, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show. Every week I get to talk to interesting entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs. We’ve had all kinds of people from Kinkos to Grub Hub, Redfin, Quicken, YPO, EO, you name it. And I’d love to talk to these types of interesting entrepreneurs, check out the archives, you can go check out all of those different episodes as well. My guest here today, as I said, is Tamara Loehr. She’s an entrepreneur, she started her first business, which was a branding marketing agency at the age of just 19 years old, she had graduated from university and she creates and sells and helps other entrepreneurs create and sell eco Luxe beauty and wellness products, online with a specialty on direct to consumer. And she’s also been a big advocate for net-positive brands, and business for good, which she also co-founded Beusail. I’m saying it wrong, which is a marketplace and community where conscious consumers use their purchasing power to make a collective positive impact. She’s also been a huge advocate for female entrepreneurs in particular. And tomorrow, I know we’ve been working for a while to get this lined up. And I’m so excited to talk to you and share your journey and your story and, and where you come from. I always love to know a bit more about my guests and how they were as a kid. And you said that when you were young, you were just like that kid who crushed it and raising money for whatever causes like school fundraiser, that sort of thing. And my area was like selling chocolate bars or something like that. So tell me a little bit about young tomorrow, what what that was like for you, were you going around selling popcorn or whatever it was?

Tamara Loehr 2:16

Well, it’s really interesting, because I didn’t even know what the word entrepreneur was. Whereas it’s such a common word in my family and household, obviously, as the breadwinner, and having two young girls, but an ad network, obviously, but at the time, it didn’t know what it was. But what I was very good at was able to fundraise for causes. So when you’re at school, there’s always the 40 Hour Famine, and there’s things that you’re always raising for, and I just had this gift of being able to put together, take to market strategies, at the time, didn’t know what that was, but being able to raise capital in a different way. So funnily enough, you know, I was in the midst of Australia, and when everybody was, you know, baking stuff, I was going in hiring out boats on a Monday night putting on hospitality events, and, you know, bringing in 10 grand for an event versus, you know, a stall. And it wasn’t really until I was much older through university that I I really started to see the correlation between the things that I did at school naturally, and that I love doing, and entrepreneurship, and really knowing that for me, the two have to coexist profit and purpose. And for me a long time, my narrative from my family and my area that I grew up in, which was a very small mining town in Australia was that people who had money, did it the bad way. And it’s kind of that them and us. So as soon as I started to meet entrepreneurs, and I really related to them, and I could see that they were good people and they had a mission and they had a purpose, and they were solving problems. That’s when I realized that that narrative was completely wrong and that the two could coexist. 

John Corcoran 4:01

How old were you when you started to have this epiphany and realize that the way you’ve been raised to think about entrepreneurs and, and successful business people was kind of holding you back in a sense?

Tamara Loehr 4:15

I think it was when I left home, obviously, I was very bored in high school, and I ended up graduating at 15. So went to university quite young, and leaving home and being in that environment around professors and other people who were well traveled, who were well educated. That was the first insight but I think the biggest one was when I started out in the real world as you know, you learn more on the job than what you do at university and meeting some of these brands and these clients and looking at what they created and realizing that my zone of genius, which was growing businesses inside, you know, wise and marketing and take to market strategies was something that drove A business and was something that I could actually do. The difference was, is I didn’t have an idea. I didn’t necessarily come up with a product or, I didn’t really know what it is that I wanted to create. And it was my forum, actually, that said, Why would you do that four out of five businesses are failing, go collaborate with one of those, which got me into sweat equity as part of what I was doing inside my digital marketing agency at the time. 

John Corcoran 5:26

So the digital marketing agency, this is your first business that you launch, you launch it around 19 years old. What were the early days like? And what were some of the challenges for you having socially having come raised in a mining town and still having some of the, you know, head limitations or psychological limitations that that one has at that age?

Tamara Loehr 5:50

Well, what was interesting is it wasn’t an intentional conscious, I’m going to become an entrepreneur, it was more of a survival. That’s what you do at that age, right? You’re trying to survive. Yeah. And for me, when I graduated university got, I got straight, VHS got headhunted to an agency in the city. And I was working or told to work on all these brands that I ethically and values wise, didn’t agree with McDonald’s, for example, you know, selling hamburgers and sugar to kids wasn’t something that aligned to my values, I had a sister, who was a type one diabetic, and I was very aware of nutrition. So I didn’t want to work on that client, I certainly didn’t want to use my zone of genius to make their money. And I was told that that’s what you do. And you should be grateful that you’re on these big accounts at such a young age. And it was actually a client who came to me and said, Look, I know you love what you’re doing with us, and that you’re struggling with the issues with the other clients, why don’t you go out on your own. And it was a simple decision of well, that one client could cover my whole wage for the month. So it was just that natural survival instinct of great, I get to tick two boxes, which is my conscious is clear, I can work on brands that I really love, collaborate with those. And then I started building out the agency. And, you know, to me, that was a big thing, you know, I got to a million dollars in revenue, which as we know, 1% of women get to that I was in my 20s, I thought I’d done really well until again, you don’t know what you don’t know, somebody said to me, your your business is profitable. But it depends on the CIO keep us independent, and it’s not valued at much for an exit, it will include golden handcuffs. And the idea of going back to having a boss again, really scared me because I hadn’t spent much time doing that. Again, you know, just that evolution of constantly thriving and learning, and then realizing, okay, well, then how can I now make that next transition? And that’s our job as entrepreneurs is to constantly be conscious, evolving, remaining relevant and transforming. Yeah,

John Corcoran 7:57

I often say that our greatest strength are our superpower, eventually becomes our limitation. It sounds like that was the case with you. You know, you are great at branding, you’re great at strategy. So you start this purpose-focused, branding and marketing agency, but then it’s you it’s you’re the one who’s providing that uniqueness. And oftentimes, with a more creative endeavor, like branding, it can be challenging to put an SOP around it or to guide a team and say, here’s how we create a brand. So, how did you get yourself out of this? How did you train up your team?

Tamara Loehr 8:37

Well, what was interesting is around that time, I was working with some mergers and acquisition houses. So they would come to me with a business that was doing say 10 or 15%. year on year growth, they were looking to maximize their valuation for liquidity or an exit. And then I would basically come in and do my online piece, you know, explode the online revenue, so then they get a higher multiple at exit based on future projections. So I was working in collaboration and at the same time that that was happening, I was also looking at how do I scale so I’m, I’m one of these people who have both sides of the brain. I’m creative, but I’m also extremely analytical. Sop driven. I’m a huge fan of EO’s Entrepreneurial Operating Systems by Gina Whitman. But what I created was EEGS, which is an entrepreneurial growth system. EOS is great but it doesn’t address sales and marketing. So when I went through it, I went I’m gonna create systems and processes for sales, marketing, and customer service that’s scalable, so that anybody can do it. So that was my first thing because I knew if I could create that I could plug that into most businesses and look at him like building blocks, okay, this business is direct to consumer. I can grab the influencer module. I can grab the you know the SEO module. I can grab you know, three-level out Our ad for the metal module. And I can plug those into that business or if it’s b2b, here’s the LinkedIn model. Here’s the key person of the influence model module. And I can plug those in. So that was the first thing that was getting the SOPs in place. The second thing was the lack of skills, the cost of labor in the creative space and the retention. That was my second issue. So at I know, it’s only just starting in America, but 15 years ago, I was traveling to the Philippines as a CEO, we went on the EO field trip, and and I started hiring and sourcing talent in the Philippines who could follow my SOPs. So that’s why I get a higher multiple exit for any business that I invest in, or I mentor is because we’re plugging in and we’re building in-house capability when it comes to sales, marketing and customer service. We’ve got much cheaper, reliable, talented, highly skilled people in the Philippines. So a full stack marketer will cost 45,000 In the Philippines, you’re looking at over 180 in America, all my businesses in America by the way, so even though I’ve still got this silly accent, so those two things went straight to the bottom line, and in a tick the purpose as well, because we’re helping these women, you know, by creating them their own revenue and ability to be able to create their own wage and be self-dependent independent in the Philippines as well. And