Overnight Success Leads to Fast Lessons in Marketing for 'Nasty Woman' Entrepreneur

Sarah Steimer
AMA Podcast
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Key Takeaways

What? Google Ghost took off overnight, thanks to a viral Tshirt that was caught the attention of social media influencers and publishers.

So what? The speed of success surprised founder and owner Amanda Brinkman and forced her to learn a number of business tactics as she went.

Now what? There are plenty of people to help new businesses, but a brand will stay authentic if the leaders remain true to their vision and learn some of the ins and outs themselves.

​March 23, 2017

Overnight success sounds like a dream scenario. But how prepared would you really be if your business took off while you slept?

Amanda Brinkman had her online shop, Google Ghost, up and running for only a few months when—on a whim—she mocked up a particular shirt during the final presidential debate in November 2016. The white T-shirt featured a red heart with the words “Nasty Woman” inside. Brinkman posted the photo to her personal Instagram account and went to bed.

The shirt went viral overnight. It was picked up not only by other instagrammers with large followers, but by well-known publications and bloggers as well.

It’s been a wild ride for Brinkman since her T-shirt took off, and she’s learned quite a bit about marketing in the process. In many ways, she’s had luck that many can only hope for. Celebrities have worn her clothing and her products often appear with a quick search of the #nastywoman hashtag.

Google Ghost will do its first official photo shoot this month, as most of its promotional photos have come directly from those who purchased and wore the shirts.

On the other hand, Brinkman has had to teach herself quite a bit as she went. For instance, lawyers told her not to trademark her T-shirt images, but copycats quickly convinced her otherwise. 


 Google Ghost founder Amanda Brinkman

She’s also started working with a marketing company, but she does want to know the process herself because, as she puts its, “When you hire people to help, whether it’s in marketing or photography, really learn it as well so you can see what they’re doing and you can make sure you’re happy with what they’re doing. Just because they’re an expert, doesn’t mean they understand you or your brand or your product.”

The most important piece to her company, she says, is in remaining authentic. She looks for other female artists to support on her site and aims to use as many sustainable products as possible. She has yet to sway on those grounds and is working to keep her young company's mission intact as it moves forward.


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Author Bio:

Sarah Steimer
Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.
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