Irving Muniz is a young entrepreneur who has brilliantly made his way into the marketing industry, a field in which he has been operating for over three years now. At the age of 24, Muniz already owns a fast-growing e-consultancy company called The Modern Marketer and an organization called Yes We CANS, which aims to help bring economic and environmental stability to low income areas.
The Modern Marketer brings together a team of marketing experts to help clients optimize their performance, providing in-depth market analyses, research, and personalized customer experiences. Combining some of the latest technology and awareness of market trends, the company helps businesses and professionals to reach a wider range of audiences.
“I started my career in marketing in 2015, at the age of 21,” Muniz says. “Prior to that I worked as a real estate agent for Long and Foster servicing luxury home sellers and doing rental sales on the side in Virginia. I was the youngest agent in the office, as well as the youngest realtor at the time in the state, so I knew I would have to adjust dramatically to cater to the market.”
While many of his colleagues merely followed the trends, Muniz approached real estate from an analytical standpoint. He observed how different market leaders and top players in his office worked their particular niche, some focusing on lead generation, others on customer service, and others using their own specific approaches.
“Looking closely at their process, business plan, and sales approach, I started creating market evaluations,” Muniz explains. “These evaluations could then be compared and closely examined, with the goal of finding the best returns. From there I helped people in the office improve their sales and marketing campaigns while developing my career at the same time, by being around market leaders and working intimately with their business plans/goals.”
Muniz has now started his own company and is establishing himself as a young entrepreneur. In addition, he has also founded a charity called “Yes We CANS”, which currently serves over 350 homes in Virginia and North Carolina.
‘Yes We CANS’ was born with the objective of cleaning up the environment, promoting economic stability for owners and assisting the homeless population in metropolitan areas. It does this by collecting and recycling aluminum cans that are being thrown away every day, with the involvement of homeless shelters, volunteers, and other local businesses.
A journey towards entrepreneurship
Muniz dreamt of being an entrepreneur since middle school, when he first started being interested in business and sales.
“My family owns a large metal recycler as well as a home improvement business,” he says. “Their pursuits and success in business have always motivated me. While most see entrepreneurship as a business I saw it more as a lifestyle and a challenge. The fact that one day I could create an idea and turn it into a lifestyle is what keeps me motivated since I was a child.”
His father, also called Irving Muniz, and his business partner Michael Melio were a huge source of inspiration for him. Muniz particularly admires how they started their metal recycling business, United American Steel, at a time in which social media and technology did not exist. His work was also influenced by author, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Robbins.
“My family’s business has had the privilege of working with Tony Robbins programs; inspiring thousands of people and pushing some of the market leaders of today into optimizing their business and leaving their comfort zone,” he says. “His philosophy has helped me determine how I want to handle my relationships both inside and outside of business to make sure to play fairly and in the spirit of good faith.”
Muniz says that his personal mantra is a quote by Robbins himself, “Most people fail in life because they major in minor things”. Throughout his life, he has always been motivated to pursue his dreams, trying to wake up every day feeling a little closer to achieving his goals than the day before.
With The Modern Marketer, Muniz hopes to inspire his clients in the same way that Robbins inspired him, encouraging them to reach beyond their comfort zone and helping them to improve their performance.
Hurdles and lessons learnt
Despite the support he received by both his family and friends, Muniz’s path towards establishing his own business was not an easy one. While many businesses prioritize aesthetics and providing high quality products, he initially wished to focus on creating the lifestyle that he associated with entrepreneurship.
“The biggest obstacle I faced in growing my business was creating a solid foundation and credibility,” he explains. “I needed leads coming in, not t-shirts; I needed more sales; not a nice looking website; I needed more customers, not a nice office. After a while I was able to fix this by making changes to fit my market. I needed lead generation; so I made more calls; I needed more sales; so I went door to door selling marketing services; I needed more customers, so I started building relationships.”
To establish his credibility, Muniz based all professional relationships on honesty, while providing thorough market evaluations. He also sought out the advice of renowned entrepreneurs operating in the area.
“I wanted to be around experienced business owners, so I searched for what would be their ‘hub.’ I soon found out about a country club in Norfolk called Town Point Club,” he says.
Muniz is now the youngest member of Town Point Club, which is situated inside the World Trade Center building in Downtown Norfolk. This exclusive club boasts some of the most respected business owners in the area, so it proved to be the perfect starting point for this talented entrepreneur.
As a young business owner, Muniz has already learned his share of valuable lessons. At one point, he offered website and social media management, google ads, and graphics design work all for $50/per month. Yet he soon realized that he was overworking himself and that the price was far too low for all these offerings.
“Today, I see it as there are 3 things people look for in a company “Good Price”, “Customer Service”, and “High Quality Service”. If I offer all 3 I would be hurting my business, just like I was doing at the time. Either I raised the prices or I would have to lower the quality of service, retaining the price and good customer service. Understanding this made a big difference in customer acquisition, price evaluations, and maintaining my sanctity.”
A valuable business strategy
To differentiate himself from his competitors, Muniz has built his business around three core pillars: building solid relationships with clients, personal style, and a competitive business model.
“Most of my clients, rather it be a small business or a celebrity, turn into long lasting relationships,” Muniz says. “These relationships are built on honesty and evaluating personal/business obstacles to optimize performance and help reach mutual goals. While most businesses focus on getting a pay check or harbor on whichever client is biggest at the time, we treat everyone the same, with southern hospitality and with an approach from a business advisor/life consultant.”
Muniz realizes that clients have unique lifestyles and caters his services around them, fully evaluating a business both inside and outside of working hours. He also feels that his personal style has helped to set him apart from others in the field.
“While most dress traditional business attire, I enjoy high end fashion, getting the latest designer clothes, and attending the top fashion events for inspiration,” Muniz says. “This has helped us stand out, but overall fashion is just a passion of mine. My goal isn’t to fit in, its more to stand out. Rather it be on a red carpet in Hollywood or at the office in Virginia, the goal is to make sure we separate ourselves.”
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The Modern Marketer