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Meet Cass Butler Dunlap

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cass Butler Dunlap.

Hi Cass, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I lived and breathed marketing at a couple of broadcast television stations in Omaha, Nebraska. In short, I helped create marketing plans for ad agencies and marketing plans and production (or content) for small businesses, which was my favorite part! But some of my larger clients included Coca-Cola, Menard’s, Well’s Blue Bunny and Toyota Dealers – brands you may have heard of. But I especially loved helping those small businesses come up with strong marketing copy and the right guerilla marketing (or disruptive) tactics to compete against the big brands so the small businesses could not only compete but creatively stand out on a shoestring budget.

Fast forward several years and I went to work as a digital marketer for a higher education aggregator. Our company was one of the leaders in higher education marketing, handling student recruitment and program marketing for over colleges and universities. I also did some contract work in the pay-per-click and search engine marketing spaces, specifically in the dating and gaming niches. I did really well in ranking high in the dating niche because I was basically writing ads for people just like me since I was definitely the target market.

I eventually pivoted into higher education full-time in more of an operational role doing a little bit of everything, which included… you guessed it, managing the marketing for my campus and supporting the marketing efforts of eight other campuses in my region. I’ve done some fun stuff, but I missed the ownership of living and breathing a brand that speaks to your core. Something that is uniquely you, with your imprint that doesn’t have to conform to the voice of anyone but yourself. That is why my blog, The Luxestyles was born.

My blog, www.theluxestyle.com, gave me the freedom to just “be.” To be exactly who I am and build a community around me to share with, laugh with, learn from and grow with on this journey.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has been anything but smooth but I have learned to count it all joy.

This space is filled with a lot of great personalities and perspectives and early on, I did not want to niche down and focus on just one area. I wanted to “be all the things.” I’m a multi-hyphenate and felt my online presence should reflect that. However, it was difficult to build a community around that style of brand, especially starting as late as I did in the blogsphere. I had to figure out what mattered most to my core audience and myself and revisit my authentic persona or the way I would present myself online and on social channels.

An obvious challenge is time and the lack of it. It’s a significant commitment of time to plan, write and edit content for a blog. Couple that with planning looks, scouting locations, and then shooting and editing shoots for your blog posts and social media channels. Also as a contributing editor for third-party platforms and creating sponsored content, which is certainly a blessing, the work is amplified. This is certainly not meant to be a complaint, it’s simply not as glamourous as it may appear. Most of us have done this for years, along with our full-time work, because it fulfills an outlet for our creativity.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
For full-time work, for the past 12 years, I’ve worked in higher education as an operations and marketing executive, with P& L responsibility for a multi-million dollar annual budget.

I am transitioning to a fortune 100 tech company where I will be responsible for using data and insights to help align and establish the rhythm of business of a $32B operating unit.

In 2020 I authored my first book, The Weight of the Wait, which chronicles the different challenges you may face during your faith walk with God and how what it really means to not lean on your own understanding.

In addition to that, I’ve recently launched a streetwear evangelist brand, The 99.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
The first thing I do every day before I check my emails, before I talk to my husband, before I do anything, is say “thank you” to God for allowing me to wake up, and then I pray. I spend at least 10 minutes expressing gratitude and getting my mind right for my day. It really does help to level set the day.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
@leitmotifphotography for the personal photo

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