Career Q&A: Business, Blogging & More
I get a lot of random questions related to my career from how I started my business to what exactly I do for a living and when I find to blog, etc. I thought it would be fun and easy to do a quick Q&A from my most asked DM’s to answer it all! Let’s get started…
How did you start your business?
I launched my business 5-years ago. I was recently married and unhappy in my current position, which was for a Los Angeles based PR agency. I loved the people I worked with, but was already a contractor (self-employed - so didn’t have any benefits) and most of my accounts were international (meaning no face-to-face interaction). I think my agency could tell I was wanting to explore other options because after trying to make it work we ended up mutually parting. They let me keep the one local account I had brought in to their portfolio, which was a shopping center in Leawood, Ks that I had worked with for many years (honestly, this was so generous of them, as most agencies make you sign a non-compete). That gave me the cushion to truly go off 100% on my own and start to find my own clients! It did help that I was married and had support from my husband (plus, his insurance coverage). But the timing was ultimately right and I knew I would be happier building my own brand & business. It paid off because I tripled my income in 3-months and now as a mom have so much flexibility to work and raise our son, which I love.
In regards to how I built my business, I did a lot of traditional networking - going to coffee events, sending LinkedIn injuries and just putting out feelers to anyone and everyone about the services I offered and how I could help their business. It did help that I launched in 2014 and not many businesses in Kansas City at the time were offering a mix of social media + PR/marketing services. I always look ahead to “what’s next” and try to evolve, which helps with marketing my brand. I think it’s important to focus on the skills YOU are truly talented at and what you love to do.
What exactly do you do?
My background is in public relations and marketing, but my workload is a mix of social media, marketing strategy & management and influencer relations. Those fun events you see? Those are influencer campaigns and events I coordinate on behalf of brands. It’s fun, but also hard work! I also manage about 6-7 Instagram accounts at a time, which can be super time consuming but something I really enjoy!
My main income is by working with small businesses on managing their marketing. I serve as a freelance marketing manager for them and will run everything from their email campaigns to social media content. It’s a lot of work, but I love helping small businesses and seeing the growth that can happen when they invest in marketing. I also take on project work (or campaigns that are for a short period vs. ongoing), which is typically the influencer events and campaigns. These are super fun, but a lot of work happens behind-the-scenes.
I also take on a handful of coaching and consulting clients. Right now, I am really busy with summer campaigns/events while managing my retainer clients, so won’t be taking on any coaching projects until fall. This is something I do because I love helping others build their brand.
How do you manage a business and a baby?
With a LOT of help. I thought I could be a SAHM and run my business, but quickly realized that would be too hard for me. Props to all the moms - whatever you decide, to it’s really hard.
For me, I realized that in order for my business to run, I would need to be involved vs. relying on others to run the accounts for me and that meant having dedicated work hours away from Ford. As hard as it was to hire a nanny (it is expensive), I knew I could make back the investment if I worked.
I have talked about this before but I also outsource other areas of my life, like laundry, house cleaning, etc. in order to have quality time to work and to be with Ford. It’s a constant juggling game. For awhile, there were a lot of late nights where I have to work because Ford was home/fussy/sick during the day. Now that he in full-time daycare, I am in a better groove. This is just what worked best for us and I am excited to have more time in the day to not only work, but to take care of myself, so when he IS home, I can truly enjoy our time.
How has your work shifted since becoming a mom?
In so many ways. Becoming a mom has changed my mindset as a business owner and instead of hustling 24/7, I am trying to create more balance in my life, which sometimes means not taking on a project or even charging more for my time to make it worthwhile.
It’s important to give yourself grace, to manage your time well (systems are key) and to be prepared to say ‘NO.’ I’ve had to question a lot of work I do to ensure it’s worth my time, energy and investment. I used to feel guilty about not going to a meeting or re-scheduling an appointment, but now I try to be realistic with my time and only go to things that feel like they are truly important for my business. I also try to enjoy my flexibility by picking up Ford early, if I can or going to a fun activity with him - because these are the memories I want to make. I want him to see that a woman can work hard, have fun, run a business and be a great mom.
When do you blog and why did you decide to start?
Blogging has been my creative outlet for the past year or so. I have been blogging on and off since 2009 and this is the longest I have kept it up! I decided to start as a New Year’s Resolution in 2018 and sharing my pregnancy and motherhood journey has made it really fun. I feel like it goes by so fast, so I love having these posts to look back on to see how far I’ve come and to hopefully help other mamas along the way.
Blogging always came second to my career and now is in third place after being Ford’s mom and a business owner. But I keep going because I LOVE it. I love writing - documenting our life feels so special and I love taking photos - just for fun without the pressure of it having to be perfect.
My goal with the blog is to inspire you, share our story for us to look back on one day and just to be creative. I do not know where blogging will take me, but I am along for the ride because I enjoy it.
Do you make money blogging?
Sometimes, but 95% of what I do with the blog is unpaid. I have done maybe 1-2 campaigns per month and occasionally make an affiliate sale (I use rewardStyle), but it’s not a lot of money or enough to want to do this exclusively. I truly blog and use Instagram for FUN.
However, I do appreciate when you all use my links! It’s such a small commission, but makes it worth it. Plus, I like seeing which products I am sharing that you guys love!
What’s your favorite part of work?
The connections I get to make. I get to work with so many talented, creative and inspiring (mostly, women) in Kansas City and it makes my work so fun! I love having real relationships with influencers that I work with for my clients and do think blogging myself makes me value them much more!