I’m just as curious as you, I love an origin story, and I want to know what the journey’s looked like for someone else.
“My one question: HOW did you get to this level in your business? Where did you start in the beginning? You’re amazing. Mind blown and goals as I continue to grow myself” – @PermissionToParty
There’s no shortage of these DM’s, so it’s about time I give you the full enchilada.
How did I get my start as a female founder? Here’s the play by play:
I Was a Surprise Solopreneur
Little known fact – The Social Bungalow started as a two person operation between myself and my corporate marketing colleague, Jake. We were a dynamic marketing duo at our company and knew we could take this show on the road.
After 6 months of prep, we leapt.
Well, Jake leapt first. I held on to the vine a little longer while sidehustling.
Until one day the company restructured the org chart and asked me to absorb both Jake & I’s positions, with more employees reporting to me, and no pay increase, without any willingness to negotiate… needless to say I went full gtfo-mode.
But that’s a story for another time.
We started our “Outsourced Directors of Marketing” partnership for local Las Vegas small businesses. Mostly brick & mortars and up-and-coming product lines. We acquired a couple contracts, but shortly thereafter Jake and his fiancé received an amazing opportunity to move to San Diego.
We were faced with the opportunity to make the business bi-state, or dissolve it.
I can still see where I was when Jake and I were on the phone discussing this. I can feel the giddiness in my voice when I shared that I had a dream of creating courses, being a digital teacher, helming a business, and finding “my people” out there.
Meanwhile, he shared that he wanted to go low-key and jump back into fitness franchise marketing (where we came from – I was way over that).
So, we ended our partnership and I assumed TSB completely. If you’ve followed me since those ultra-OG days, you’ve seen the absolute transformation of the content. From who we are, what we do, who we serve, etc.
I Took a Risk and Said NO to Income
I also took over our clients. And quickly found that working with local small business was not the most profitable.
It was super time consuming, stressful working with small budgets, and hard to explain that marketing takes time to see results.
“I signed the contract on Wednesday, I was hoping to see an uptick in foot traffic this week.” – former client (operative word: former).
When their contracts ended I declined the opportunity to renew.
Now client-less, partner-less, and further through my savings…
I Created a Role and Found the People Who Needed Me
I decided I wanted to do the Outsourced Dir. of Marketing role for online-based business, or at least do it remotely.
So I asked my sphere of friends, former colleagues, and LinkedIn connections if they knew anyone who needed marketing support so I could pitch myself.
Through this process I began ‘Director of Marketing’ for Tana Cogan – Her monthly membership of powerhouse women, namely moms reclaiming their wellness, was my first brush with the microcosm of the female entrepreneur space.
I was completely hooked, addicted, in love. It was like being in a whole new world and I knew it was where I needed to plant roots.
I pivoted into marketing planning/coaching for online businesses. I was still doing a bit of the done-for-you work, but it was more focused on creating the plan VS executing on the plan.
THIS is where I count my official start as The Social Bungalow.
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s jump into the steps I took to convert my first client:
I Found My Stride in the Online Space
It was then that I went full force into growing an audience of my new ideal client avatar (ICA). Hashtags, rabbit holes, big splash strategy on profiles, DM convos, you name it – If it was organic, relationship-based and gave me quick access to a conversation with my ICA, I was on it.
I was doing 2-3 hours per day focused on Instagram growth and community nurture, and it was working! There was an audience of entrepreneurs with online based services forming and engaging.
With this small audience (maybe 300 people) I created my first free resource, an Instagram Algorithm Guide, with an automated 5-part email sequence that delivered the opportunity to get on a sales call with me.
I know some of the Bungalow OG-ers probably still have a record of that in their inbox!
The freebie was shared through my Instagram, Facebook, in the DMs, Pinterest, and in a freebie swap with someone I had a professional friendship with. I also pitched myself and booked one mid-sized podcast where I promoted the stuffing out of it- I was in full promotional mode for that freebie to the point where I probably was talking about it in my sleep.
Of these opt ins I looked at everyyyy subscriber who came in – I found them on Instagram and nurtured the relationship, but here is where the first client came from..
I sent a custom email to each person who appeared to be an ICA.
She responded, I offered free advice, she took it, we entered a contract.
I Locked in My First Client to Convert
… and just like that my first client had arrived! Peep my very first email to her above ^
Once this client converted, I did two things from the jump:
… and at every single promo there was a call to DM me, book a call, or email back if they wanted to discuss the opportunity to do something similar in their business.
Within 2ish weeks I had a client roster of 6 and $18k guaranteed.
The business has changed a lot since then. I’m so proud of every group program, mastermind, masterclass, course, 1:1, VIP day/week client and cohort.
I’m a woman serving woman-identifying people who traditionally serve the same. The ripple effect of opportunity is startling.
On this International Women’s Day, and every day, thank YOU for trusting me and investing in yourself.
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