Crystal Washington is a marketing strategist, social media consultant, keynote speaker and the owner of a Houston-based marketing firm, Black-Market Exchange. Crystal teaches professionals of all knowledge levels how to leverage marketing techniques, social media and networking effectively.
Crystal’s career began in corporate sales. As the youngest manager in her company, she immediately shot to the top, closing contracts with Fortune 500 firms previously unattainable by her company, exceeding aggressive sales goals and leveraging relationships and creative strategies to gain lucrative contracts. The result? She was heavily promoted at a very early age until she found herself managing a department, at age 24, overseeing a staff the age of her parents and grandparents.
Her boss, prior to her last promotion, was concerned that her new staff would not accept her due to her age. Previous managers had not fared well with the group. She quickly proved the fears of her Director and General Manager to be unfounded. When her manager, dumbfounded, said, “I don’t get it. How is that they will do anything that you ask them to do? I mean, they love you.” She simply stated that they valued her because she valued them. She listened to them, even if she did not always follow through with their suggestions. She developed techniques that made them more efficient and rewarded them for utilizing them. In short, she built solid relationships and leveraged technology.
The increase in department efficiency paired with her building new outside relationships and leveraging new technologies resulted in increased revenue for her company.
While Crystal was enjoying success in corporate America, she had a desire to start her own marketing firm. Now bit by the entrepreneurial bug, she set out on her own to start her marketing firm, Black-Market Exchange. For the next three years she helped hundreds of businesses leverage marketing, social media and networking to increase their bottom line through consulting, marketing services, special events, webinars and products.
Companies and organizations began reaching out to Crystal to speak at annual conferences and training events. She was almost always asked to speak at the next event, immediately after speaking at the first. Conference and event planners quickly received feedback from attendees about the impact she had on them; including emails outlining how attendees utilized the information Crystal presented and immediately began using social media and other techniques, resulting in lucrative contracts, media appearances, etc. Crystal quickly realized that she could impact a larger number of individuals through professional speaking.
Today, Crystal still operates as a marketing strategist and social media consultant to “stay sharp”. She is frequently sought by entrepreneurs wanting to leverage unique marketing strategy and companies who want their employees to leverage tools like LinkedIn to support company goals. Additionally, she is an international keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who has impacted companies, associations and entrepreneurs all over the world.
Crystal describes herself as a fun-loving and eclectic nerd. You may find her reading the newest book on social media, meditating with Buddhist monks, attending a West African Dance class or parasailing.
Activities & Awards
Crystal recently received the Evolving Eve Award from Houston Women Magazine and has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, Black MBA Magazine and CareerBuilder.com. Additionally, she has appeared on ABC, NBC and CBS.
Crystal’s appreciation for the arts and serving humanity has let her to serve on the advisory boards of Inprint and Rice University’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Additionally, she serves on the Steering Committee of Ensemble Theatre. Crystal has also been a “Big” with Big Brothers Big Sisters for four years. Crystal received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Houston.
What Others Have To Say:
“Crystal is a smart, talented and connected person. She has a knack for bringing professionals together and helping them grow their business. Her expertise on the topic of marketing online as well as through social networking is best in class. If you want a marketing advantage for your ventures, I recommend Ms. Washington’s events, products, and services, just as I do with all my professional entrepreneurial clients.”
- John Whaley, The Entrepreneur’s Assistant, E2E Transition
“Crystal is truly a blessing to all whom she encounters. If there is one thing this dynamic woman knows is networking. Crystal’s committment to the community and to business owners is immeasurable. I highly recommend Crystal to any client.”
- Delilah Alexander, Executive Director, Image Essentials LLC
“Crystal is very perceptive. Her marketing and business development strategies are on point. I have grown tremendously, professionally and personally, from her guidance and advice. Her diversity and her ability to reach so many people are phenomenal.”
- Tonya Bradley, Owner, Coy Creations
“Crystal is a very dedicated and out-of-the-box progressive thinker in our community. She puts integrity, professionalism and a great deal of detail behind every assignment or task. She rises to the occasion with each challenge and is very accountable to her customers and is always looking for ways to make business relationships and business learning better for everyone she knows. I give her my highest recommendation.”
-Nekisha-Michelle Bakre, Life Redesign Coach,Vivacious Living Int.
“Crystal has wonderfully positive energy. She is a superiorly developed organizer and compassionate community contributor/activist who is well educated and informed. Anyone who knows this synergist will agree that she’s an extremely effective ace!”
- Barbi Oduyemi, CEO, Opal Hue