Tone Love & The Secret To His Success
Tone Love - & his legacy
Tone Love is an American actor, producer and web developer. He has enjoyed success as an entrepreneur for 18 years under his IT company, Toneee. His rise in social media popularity came through a brand he started called Setting The Tone, where he garnered over 27,000 podcasts downloads (WSTT/Setting The Tone Radio). Love has also been credited as inspiration for a short film, Breakdown, directed by Morris Chestnut. The film premiered at the American Black Film Festival.
Love was born Tone Williams in Rochester, New York to Howard Love and Francine Williams. By age nine, Tone was placed into foster care and group homes and both parents relinquished their legal parental rights, making him a ward of the state. Love used his experience meeting different families and people to quickly adapt to situations and environments.
By age 12, Love took an interest in computers, learning several programming languages. By age 16, Love started his first business- a mobile dj service where he mastered Adobe Photoshop while creating marketing collateral such as party flyers and business cards. He continued to program computers and create business print collateral at his daytime job, Chase Investment Services Corporation. The success of his business garnered citywide attention in Rochester, New York and gave him the courage to relocate to Atlanta to chase his dream to become an entrepreneur.
Toneee was founded as a Georgia Limited Liability Company in 2002, just two years after Love relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. His passion was driven by the need for minority business owners to look as polished as the goods and services they offered. He felt that these businesses were just as good as their larger competitors, but lacked the budget or resources to illustrate their value. Toneee was an affordable web development and graphic design alternative. It expanded to include web hosting, domain registration, merchant services and social media marketing.
Working with businesses of virtually every industry gave Love the knowledge and experience to guide any aspiring entrepreneur. He began publicly speaking to children and young adults about success and entrepreneurism, especially targeting at-risk youth, as he was considered one himself. He also volunteered and donated to charity organizations focused on helping at-risk youth- even speaking at festivals, events and schools.
Love soon realized that tweens, teens and young adults were especially receptive to actors and social media. He used his connections to reality show stars and popular influencers to propel his message of success.
Love credits Morris Chestnut for planting the seed to try out acting. While Breakdown was Chestnut’s directorial debut, he admitted he truly enjoyed acting and suggested Tone to “give it try one day.” In 2018, Love decided to enroll in formal acting classes and jumped on background acting and crew opportunities to learn more about the industry. He has since worked on the sets of popular projects such as The Originals (CW), Dynasty (CW), The Hate U Give and P-Valley.
Today, Love is managing his new production company, Setting The Tone Media Group, where he is producing and directing a web series, Magick Boyfriends (magickboyfriends.com). He plans to continue to influence aspiring entrepreneurs through new media, public speaking and technology.
Instagram.com/toneloves & Toneloves.com
As an influencer, you have a strong social media following. What would you want for your followers to gain from your influence?
I am powered by success and I want others to understand what that means. I believe in setting a positive tone in my life, each and every day. I encourage others to set their own tone and not allow negative factors or people to deter them from their goals. This may require one to reset the tone and dig deep to find what success means to them.
What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do?
My mom permanently kicked me out at nine years old after years of physical, verbal and mental abuse. My dad and family lived just minutes from every foster home and group home I stayed in, yet never came to see me. Luckily, there were people in my corner, such as my first grade librarian, who I still speak to regularly today. My motivation lies in knowing that every bit of positive influence can help change the outlook of someone, no matter the age. Kind words, encouragement, and real solutions to problems can help people make better decisions to become the best version of themselves. I am a walking testament of success, so seeing the success of others is my most driving motivator.
From your experience do you have advice on how to rebrand their companies?
Rebranding is a great way to present your company in a different light. Toneee has rebranded a few times, starting as toneee.com (always written in lowercase and with dot com), then Toneee (without the dot com) to represent that we offer much more than web-related products and services.
Rebranding is not something that one should take lightly. You need to know why you want to rebrand in the first place and what you will do differently to separate your company from its competition. I advise you to revisit your original mission statement and see if it still fits today’s market. Is it still relevant? Does it address the needs of your target audience? Why or why not? Compare the answers to these questions with your perspective brand and the reason for your rebrand. Does it all align or will your rebrand leave you in lateral position, keeping you at the same level you were before? You never want to lose your identity or position in the market, only gain leverage, so it is important to build a stronger identity than ever before. Deliver on the new strategy, conveying your new brand to existing customers so that they are excited to know they are grandfathered into the new wave, which will in turn convert them into walking advertisers at no charge to you!
When did you realize entrepreneurship was right for you?
I landed a job at a prominent full service brokerage firm during my teenage years. While the opportunity taught me a lot about investments and how successful people operate, the company advanced whites while in a “hiring freeze” whenever I asked to move up from my low-paid temporary position. I picked up my first freelance database development gig with Hudson Hotels Corp in Rochester. They gave me much more freedom than my fancy, 21st-floor brokerage firm job, and paid me more in one draw than I made in an entire month! Even better, they had hotels in my dream city, Atlanta, and allowed me to stay there at no cost to me to help me relocate. The gig helped me realize that my skill set was much more worthwhile than any employer would be willing to pay me. Creating my own business allowed me to set my own pricing and determine my own worth. The flexibility allowed me better work/life balance, and knowing that clients truly appreciated my talents was much more fulfilling.
You’re well on your way to becoming a global icon. What do you want your legacy to be for future generations?
I would love to be known for setting the tone for success. I want my life story to serve as a testament to those who feel there is no hope for them. Everything I do aligns with my mission to help people understand their unique gifts, despite their immediate circumstances.
About the Creator
Has been writing for Vocal since Feb. 2021 covering lifestyle fashion and entertainment
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