Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a lifestyle blogger, consultant and entrepreneur living in Washington, DC. In addition to blog and consulting, I’ve started three new businesses: to & from — a digital gift guide magazine (with my partner Katie Anderson), MANIFESTO — a fashion line, and the b bar — an ebook website for bloggers and businesses (with my partner Victoria McGinley). When not working, I do yoga, go running, or read. I love traveling, experiencing new things, and reading anything — books, magazines, blogs!
You are currently a marketing consultant. What made you decide to start your own marketing business, as opposed to working for brand or agency?
After working in two jobs for a total of six years, and always wanting to own my own business, I knew it was time to go out on my own. I didn’t only want to do social media, so getting a job in the field would have stunted the growth of my businesses.
What inspires you and fuels your creativity, for both your business and your blog?
I’m constantly coming up with ideas, but certain ones you just know are winners. Those are the ones that fuel me to work on them. Usually it’s because I see a need in the market or an interesting niche or a new concept. For my blog I’m always trying to push myself and come up with original content — which is where GSD came from.
When you first started as a marketing consultant, what was your most successful form of marketing and what works best for you now?
Happy clients that share their experiences with others (word of mouth) and I also think my blog is where a lot of my business comes from. I don’t really use it as marketing, but more just informing people know what I do sometimes, and when they need that service, they come to me because they also read my blog, or maybe their friend does and recommended me to them. When I first started out, I was just talking to anyone I could meet — at events, my friends, emailing people — just getting my name out there and associated with online marketing. When you are starting out you have to hustle and prove yourself.
What would you recommend to those looking to start their own business?
This all depends on your financial situation, but for most people they need an income. So in that case, I recommend making sure you what you want and/or know what you are doing first before you leave your job. I suggest working long hard hours to launch your business while you are still at your job (if possible), and once you are turning a profit that you can expect to stay steady or grow, then you can leave your job without the major financial stress. Don’t underestimate real world/real job experience. I constantly learn more from meeting with others. I think it really depends on your financial situation though. If you have the ability to leave your job without financial stress to focus on your business for a few months before launching, then maybe that will work for you. It just doesn’t for everyone. Mainly, you need to have a VERY CLEAR vision of what your business is and how you plan to start it, market it, etc.