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Hillary Berman - Popcorn & Ice Cream. Washington D.C. Metro Area, DC, US

Hillary Berman

Founder | Popcorn & Ice Cream

Washington D.C. Metro Area, DC, UNITED STATES

Small business marketing. Passionate about customer engagement, customer experience, small/local business, startups and entrepreneurship.



Hillary Berman Publication




Customer, LLC Book Preview




Hillary Berman is the founder of Popcorn & Ice Cream, a Washington, DC-based marketing consulting firm focused exclusively on making marketing strategy and services available to small businesses and start-ups at a scale appropriate to their size and at a price they can afford. She is also the author of Customer, LLC: The Small Business Guide to Customer Engagement & Marketing and a Google Small Business Advisor.

Since founding the company in 2011, Hillary has led the Popcorn & Ice Cream team in its work with more than four dozen small businesses to launch new products and services, open new bricks and mortar locations, increase brand recognition, drive leads, close more sales and improve customer retention. She and her team regularly work with businesses at all stages -- including pre-launch startups and early stage businesses, as well as existing, established organizations.

Hillary brings experience working in and for businesses of varying size to her small business clients. Cutting her teeth at Grey Group in New York, Hillary got her first taste of small business at a reminiscent of Facebook, but sadly before its time. Upon moving back to Washington, DC, Hillary worked for a start-up technology company that was later sold to a major telecom before turning back to the agency world where she continued to build her portfolio of work with both Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Prior to launching Popcorn & Ice Cream, Hillary worked with her husband to build and grow a financial services business.

Hillary holds a BS in advertising from the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and an MBA from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Industry Expertise (4)


Social Media

Public Relations and Communications

Business Services

Areas of Expertise (9)

Small Business Marketing

Women in Business

Startup Marketing

Customer Engagement & Retention

Customer Experience

Small Business

Small Business Communications

Small Business Entrepreneurship

Customer Engagement

Education (2)

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business: MBA, Business

Syracuse University, SI Newhouse School of Public Communications: BS, Advertising Management

Affiliations (1)

  • Google Small Business Advisor

Languages (1)

  • English

Testimonials (8)

Rebecca Gunter, Founder | operation:eatery

My business benefitted from Popcorn & Ice Cream's workshop right away! By shifting the paradigm by which we were crafting content to the customer's perspective, we made a much bigger impact with our messaging. Thank you for bringing these powerful communications and sales strategies to the people!

Dana Evans, Owner | Daisy Baby & Kids

My motivation and excitement surrounding marketing is at an all-time high working with Hillary and the team at Popcorn & Ice Cream. They help push our marketing to new and exciting levels and help us stay engaged with our customers – both online and off.

Meghan Leahy, Owner | Meghan Leahy Parent Coach

Hillary understands what integrity, creativity, and hard work can do for a business, and that is what she brings to every meeting and every task. I don't find that I have to explain too much to Hillary, she just gets it. She is funny, smart as a whip, and current! Launching a new business is daunting, but Hillary and Popcorn & Ice Cream makes the whole process easier – providing guidance on what to sell, how to sell it, and how to market it. Working together, I have a more clearly defined path for growing my business.

Meghan Khaitan, Owner and Inventor | MyBuckleMate

When we started with MyBuckleMate, we had no idea whether it would take root, but with Hillary's expertise and Popcorn & Ice Cream’s work, we defined an entirely new product category as well as build and position the brand. Their spot-on recommendations saved me a lot of time, deliberation and money, kept me focused and positive, and helped me think about the business in both the short- and long-term and in new ways. After I began working with Hillary and Popcorn & Ice Cream, I didn’t have to scramble each day to figure out the “now what?” to grow the business. They also, very simply, got things done better and faster than I could. We’ve achieved amazing and tangible results all without a paid PR program and I’m pretty damn impressed with every aspect of the work they did, the thought they put into it and the results.

Annie Hesser, Chief Marketing Officer | KRa Drinks for Athletes

Hillary and Popcorn & Ice Cream always have their clients’ best interest at heart and provides clients with the right amount of guidance throughout the marketing process. I love how collaborative they are – always open to our ideas and thoughts. Together we work to bring the plans to life to build our brand and business.

Danielle Vogel, Owner | Glen's Garden Market

Hillary embraced our business as though it were her own — working tirelessly, and often times very late into the night, to launch and grow the business. She truly lives the brand, which makes all the difference when it comes to designing and implementing a pitch perfect marketing strategy.

Sandra Alboum, CEO | Alboum Translation Services

Tremendous! Customer Love is a very interactive and thought-provoking workshop. I definitely left the day with lots of takeaways and to do lists. It's a really great workshop if you run your own business and are not so good at the marketing side of things. It was worth every dime!

Nadya Sagner, President | Blue Locket Art

Hillary's workshops are fun, engaging and incredibly helpful. The value is clear for new and established businesses alike. Hillary is down-to-earth and both realistic and optimistic about small businesses.

Media Appearances (4)

Interview with Hillary Berman on Customer LLC

Showcasing Women  


Interviewed by this online magazine for women in business and with more than 30K Twitter followers on my book, Customer, LLC.

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Meet Your Neighbors

Bethesda Magazine  


Interviewed for the Bethesda Magazine Welcome Guide which highlights local, notable community members in this annual publication.

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Small Businesses Have Wish List for New SBA Head

Associated Press  


Interviewed by the Associated Press for this article which offered perspective on issues of importance to small businesses to the incoming director of the Small Business Administration.

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MBA Careers Far From the Beaten Path

Bloomberg Businessweek  


Interviewed for this article in Bloomberg's Businessweek on professionals who have leveraged their MBAs in non-traditional ways.

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Event Appearances (12)

WOM Marketing – Driving Consistent Client Referrals

National Association of Professional Organizers  Washington, DC


Making Sense of Marketing

Hera Hub Power Panel  Washington DC


Marketing That Works

Maryland Career Development Association  Washington, DC


Nurturing Leads Into Customers

American Public Health Association Exhibitor Series  Denver, CO


Executing Impactful Tradeshows

American Public Health Association Exhibitor Series  Denver, CO


Changing at the Speed of Culture -- Winning Today's Big, New Marketing Game

Renaissance Weekend  Banff, Canada


Exponential Entrepreneurs

Renaissance Weekend  Banff, Canada


Startup Marketing

100 Entrepreneurs  Bethesda, MD


Marketing Roundtable: Customer Engagement

Her Corner Member Series  Bethesda, MD


Social Media Marketing

Independent Public Relations Alliance  Tysons Corner, VA


Building a Strong Personal Brand

Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce NextExecs Luncheon Series  Bethesda, MD


Engaging Customers, Creating Customer Love

Day of  Roslyn, Virginia


Sample Talks (5)

Making Sense of Marketing

There are tons of choices and opportunities when it comes to marketing. And each one promises to grow your business. This workshop explores how to choose marketing programs that make sense for your business. And once you've selected a marketing program, how can you make the most of it? This workshop will also cover how to make the most of your marketing investments so you engage new audiences, capture leads and nurture them into becoming customers. Specific takeaways include: - How to evaluate a marketing opportunity for its value to your business. - Key components of a great marketing campaign. - Setting yourself up successful execution of marketing programs.

Foundations of Customer-Centric Marketing

You wouldn’t build a house without pouring the foundation, right? So why do so many small business owners jump into “marketing” without first establishing the foundations of a customer-centric business? “Marketing,” as most business owners think of it, is the fun stuff – the videos that go viral, the awesome offers that drive hundreds of customers in a single week. “Marketing” is the social media, advertising, email campaigns, limited-time discounts and so on. But without a strong foundation, “marketing” can quickly become an expensive, losing endeavor. This workshop covers the essential elements to position a small business to embark on programs that engage the customers they already have and reach the ones they want.

Love Your Customers – They’ll Show You the Love in Return

When small businesses embrace their customers at their core, customers show them love in return. The result? Unmatched customer satisfaction, loyalty, referrals and growth. Customer love is about going beyond customer satisfaction to build true customer relationships. It's about making lasting positive impressions on customers. Customer-centric marketing doesn't have to be hard. And it doesn't have to be expensive. This workshop highlights the power of satisfied customers and leaves attendees with ideas of how to engage more deeply with customers at every level of their business.

The Power of Customer Feedback

Customers’ perspectives offer an invaluable resource for small businesses focused on continuous improvement and maintaining excellence. While feedback isn’t always easy to hear, not hearing from unhappy or underwhelmed customers is far worse. This workshop encourages attendees to recognize both criticism and praise for the incredible value they offer, as well as how to: - Ask for feedback and use it for continuous improvement. - Respond to both positive and negative feedback. - Turn an unhappy customer into a happy one again.

Driving Word of Mouth - Referrals Happen Because of Marketing

“I don’t do any marketing. All of my new business comes from referrals.” How often do small business owners make this claim? But referrals don’t generate themselves. Referrals happen because a business consistently delivers an experience that customers appreciate, recognize and want to share with others. This workshop teaches attendees how to embrace satisfied customers and create a referral culture within their business. Attendees with leave with an understanding of how to: - Be top of mind when referable moments occur. - Create referable moments. - Effectively and confidently ask for referrals.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Author Appearance


0 to 5000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee

Articles (2)

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Beat Amazon

Small Biz Daily


Small businesses feel more threatened by Amazon everyday. Wall Street analysts note that Amazon has "a critical competitive advantage now that it has acquired so many Prime users in the United States: same-hour and same-day delivery can structurally replace trips to the store.” This article provides insights and perspective for small business owners on how to remain competitive and where they have advantage over the big guys, particularly Amazon.

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Christmas in September: 4 Ways to Position Your Small Business for a Joyful Holiday Season

Small Biz Daily


This article provides recommendations for small businesses on how to position themselves for a profitable holiday shopping season -- one that sets them up for sales in the short term and relationships with customers to encourage repeat business over the long term.

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