Anthony Roberts Jr. doesn’t have much to say about the kind of person he is. He will, though, engage in a lively discussion about prioritizing the objectives of an organization, or about identifying new ways to reach different demographics, or about taking part in bettering the world around you. And then he’ll do it.
As a marketing expert he advises clients to show – rather than tell – what they can do for customers or supporters. He’ll ask, “What do you represent?” For Anthony, this tenet of authenticity isn’t just a business strategy. It’s a way of life.
A native of Daytona Beach, Anthony completed his undergraduate studies at Johnson & Wales University before obtaining an Internet Marketing Master’s degree at Full Sail University. To date, he has established 30 brands, managed over 100 social media profiles and marketed/executed over 400 events. This experience is a combination of the work he’s done as a volunteer, an independent consultant, and a full-time employee at companies like Highwinds (a content delivery network) and Ascendant Group (a personal branding firm).
As an independent consultant (his company is ARJR, LLC), he attracts clients via referrals and word of mouth. “They may have attended an event I ran or seen some of the work I’ve produced. I do very little solicitation other than representing my brand. I feel if you are your product and you promote what you do well, people believing in your brand is your biggest billboard.”
True to his commitment to bettering the world, Anthony has also contributed in various capacities to the HIV/AIDS community, and is enthusiastic about being “a voice for the voiceless.” Such contributions include serving as a blogger for AIDS.gov’s “Black Voices” series, as the Co-Chair to the Campaign to End AIDS Youth Caucus, and as the Communications Chair of the Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative (YBGLI).
Anthony co-hosts a virtual summit in Dallas, TX.
Most recently, he was hired as a Social Media Specialist for John Snow, Inc. (JSI), a consulting and research organization dedicated to improving the health of underserved communities around the world. At JSI, Anthony’s main project is overseeing social media for AIDS.gov.
Anthony says he has a vested interest in not only discussing the problems this generation faces, but also in “being an active part of the solution. I can’t sit on the sidelines waiting for someone else to run in my place. I’m running and fighting for what matters to me most.”
As a caveat, he notes that “what matters most” took him awhile to figure out. In school he considered pursuing archaeology, architecture, physical training, and even sports and entertainment law. “I was always heavily involved in school organizations, though, such as SGA, Junior Civilian, and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). It was only after I ran for a leadership position on the county and later state level that marketing and I met each other.”
“There was an opening for a State Vice Chair of Marketing and Communications. I quickly learned that it was hard to please my peers but even harder to design and develop a marketing campaign. After that, I applied for and won second place in a Florida Outstanding Student Leader of the Year competition at Johnson & Wales.” After that, he says, “I knew I was going to study marketing.”
For fellow Full Sailors, Anthony advises taking the time to explore different avenues or careers as early as possible. “It’s only after you get to know them, and see if they spark your interest, that you’ll know if they’re things you’ll enjoy doing. Take as many opportunities as early as you can.”
And he’s not done pursuing opportunities to grow. “I would like to pursue a few industry certifications, and attend graduate school and complete a PhD program. I would love to teach adjunct or become a visiting professor for marketing and business courses. I also intend on expanding my marketing and social media company, ARJR LLC and developing some other business ventures.”
“Working in the field of marketing is an intrinsic one,” he says. “I gain fulfillment out of representing organizations and bringing exposure to their products or services. I hate the rap that the general public has on marketers – that we all are bad guys. Consumers depend on marketing and advertising messages more than we know.”
“I became passionate about marketing because it allows me to be creative, take risks, and be innovative. I don’t see things for what they are but for what they can be.”