Former CNN Associate Producer turned Business Reinvention Strategist & Professional Speaker, Marquesa Pettway, (CSP) helps experts and organizations leverage the Zoom Platform. She’s also known as the Zoom Queen! Marquesa teaches that standing out on Zoom can grow your influence and impact. Her work results in clients creating engaging virtual events, hosting smart productive meetings, and growing multiple virtual-based income streams. Under her brand, Zoom Queen, she works with client acquisition, Zoom Basics for the speakerpreneur, leveraging Zoom to grow your biz, and more. One major deal in Marquesa’s career was her decision to become a Zoom Administrator for Zoom Enterprise licenses. She shares that this deal changed the face of her business.
Beginning Ambitions & the Deal-Making Journey
At a young age, Marquesa wanted to be an entertainer. Starting from middle school and through college, she was heavily involved in the arts as a result. This included going to a high-quality arts high school that required auditions to gain admittance. Once in college, she majored in broadcasting while minoring in theater.
Marquesa’s journey then included going into television news, which she did not love. Later, she became an executive in the industry. During that time she had opportunities to appear on stage as a speaker and emcee. Eventually, she began to look into how she could do that professionally. 16 years in, Marquesa fell in love with Zoom. (She notes she was on it the first year it launched, far before Covid made it common place!).
The first deal Marquesa remembers making was after being the Girl Scout Cadet who sold the most cookies. That was back when she was in 5th grade. Because she had done such a phenomenal job at sales, she made a deal with her school to get to lead a school-wide candy selling fundraiser. As a result, she earned multiple accolades and made extra money. She eventually became known in her school as “the deal-master”.
Becoming The Zoom Queen
The way Marquesa approaches Zoom springs from her recognition of what a resource it could be in her business. For example, she notes that she lives in Manhattan. Clients would call and request meetings, and she realized that the amount of time and energy used up while prepping to go out, getting on the train, and being downtown usually derailed the rest of her work day. As a result, she started looking for ways she could still create a sense of connection without having to actually go out.
Once she found Zoom, Marquesa realized that branding it was key. One example of how powerful having her Zoom branded to herself? Early on in her adaptation, Microsoft emailed her about doing a breakout session. Rather than respond back with her rates, Marquesa emailed and asked if the contact would be willing to connect with her on Zoom. When she first came on, she was placed in the “waiting room”, which Marquesa had fully branded. There was color, her logo, a welcome message, and an option to download her ebook.
Once Marquesa had the contact enter her room, she had her own branding, of course, as well as Microsofts. This created a visual effect of connection between the two. At this time, Marquesa asked for more information about the event, shared her screen, and did a live mind mapping session with her on the call. By the time it was over, Marquesa was booked for not one breakout session, but three, one in front of leadership, plus a keynote on the main stage. That single call (and the extra touches to make Zoom a full experience) made the difference!
Zoom Enterprise & Deal-Making
Marquesa shares that Zoom serves as her virtual office, as well as a virtual studio, stage, and platform. She realizes that it’s one thing to show up on Zoom and talk…and a whole different thing to use it as a business tool. The latter allows her clients to take things to the next level while increasing influence and impact.
Now, this is something that Marquesa could achieve on her own; after all, she had a very successful business doing it! However, she used her deal-making skills to take her own business to the next level as well.
When she first queried Zoom about doing a Zoom Enterprise deal, Marquesa envisioned doing something really small, with minimal risk. She was curious, but not planning to go all out.
After they talked, the value of her deal soared. It ended up being a much larger financial deal than she had anticipated, which ended in Marquesa becoming a Zoom Administrator and making Zoom Enterprise deals. She has found that making this deal has enabled her to take her business to the next level by demonstrating her expertise and seriousness within the industry.
After entering into the Zoom Enterprise deal, Marquesa quadrupled her own client base. She realizes that, by taking the risk and extending herself, she also opened the door to showing up in a whole new way. As a result, she attracted a whole new group of clientele.
(To hear me talk more about why a deal like this involves risk, and how Marquesa’s mentality played into it, listen to the full episode now!)
Optimizing Strategic Alliances
In addition to building your business and making money, Marquesa notes that you have to be asking yourself what you deeply care about. One thing she loves about being a speakerprenuer is that she’s able to have a great deal of flexibility around what she does and what she speaks to.
Marquesa realized that she had reached a point where a lot of people knew who she was, and she was being sought out to speak and teach. She started to actively think about how she could leverage that in her business in an even greater way. One thing that came to mind was that she would often connect with or promote products or organizations she believed in or used, often with some vague concept of maybe earning an affiliate commission. She shifted this dynamic by instead creating deals based on ambassador payments.
For example, Marquesa did this with Zapp Pad. After their first launch to her tribe, the company told her they had just seen the most sales that they had ever had. She started to recognize that she had the power to earn more than affiliate incomes. There were also opportunities to become an ambassador and spokesperson for some brands.(You can learn more about this Zoom integrated tool here!)
Once she decided to get more serious about leveraging deals, she sat down and had a meeting with herself. She really explored her strengths. This included looking for ways she could use her own unique capabilities to stand out and grow into the next level.
One thing she had always gotten feedback on was her strong personality. Throughout her life Marquesa has been able to garner momentum, create connections, and ignite rooms with her personality. As a result, that was something she felt she could use to grow. On our episode, she announced that she actually has a commercial coming out that will be airing on national TV. The product isn’t attached to Zoom Queen (believe it or not!), but it leverages her skills. This is something she’s really excited about being involved in.
Marquesa isn’t looking to become an actress! However, she recognized that she could leverage the opportunity to increase her own name recognition. In addition, she could continue building contacts. Marquesa is able to get hired and grow her speaking business because of finding ways like this to develop who she is and why someone might be interested in hiring her.
Opening these doors always has the ability to lead to more doors being opened in the future, which is a powerful way of using deals to build leverage. I can attest to the reality that this is how things really start to take off!
This is a great interview, and Marquesa shared incredible insights.
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!