It’s hard to believe it has been seven years since I started my digital marketing agency Chatty Girl Media! My team and I have had the privilege of helping hundreds of businesses with their marketing needs in the last seven years. I am thankful to so many people who have supported my business over the years through referrals, client work and more! The growth of digital marketing has been exponential since I started in the industry. I remember in the early days how it was hard to convince people that they needed to be online marketing their business!
When I started Chatty Girl Media there was limited resources to help people and businesses market themselves online. I remember when I worked with my first realtor client Adam Dirksen, there was less than 10 local realtors we could find online actually doing social media marketing! With over 3000 agents in Edmonton that was not very many people utilizing social media. I’ve had the opportunity to work with over a hundred agents in Edmonton now with their marketing needs, it has been amazing to watch them pivot their online marketing after we work together!
One of my favourite things about my job is helping people. I love the lightbulb moment in consulting sessions when clients learn the different ways to market to customers and say things like “wow I never thought of that”. Our job is to help you amplify your online marketing, to help you stand out in a busy online world! Some of the ways we can help you and your business include:
- Social Media Management
- Content Creation
- Graphic Design
- Consulting Sessions
- Influencer Marketing
Over the last seven years we’ve worked with a variety of people and businesses including realtors, restaurants, small business owners, mortgage brokers, shopping malls, hotels and more. Every type of business needs a completely different type of marketing so it’s important to have a marketing plan in place! By planning ahead with your marketing you will be able to allocate your time properly, come up with better content and be more successful online. The best brands on social media don’t sell you a product, they give you a reason to follow!
Over the years I’ve unfortunately had many hard lessons I’ve had to grow through as well. I want to share these moments with you in hopes to help you from going through the same things! The best thing for myself and my business has been creating boundaries. It has allowed me to take Sunday’s off completely, to give myself permission to not be treated poorly and most of all has given us the choice of who we want to work and align ourselves with. Here are some of my personal experiences I’ve had to learn from and grow through:
- A lot of people will use you. It’s amazing how many people expect you to work for free! If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “can I take you for coffee and pick your brain” i’d be a millionaire! And because I’m a people pleaser and the type of person who likes to help I’ve fallen for this too many times. Now I am upfront about my consulting fees and it has saved me a lot of time I can allocate elsewhere in my business.
- Client relationships have taught me so much about who I am as a person and how I’m willing to allow people to treat me. There’s the users, the verbal abusers, the people who hire you and then you question why because they already seem to know the answer to everything no matter what you tell them. The moment I finally stood up for myself and my staff and let these people know we no longer wanted to work with them was both terrifying and freeing all in one. Boundaries are so important in business, but they are also something many people are afraid to put in place. I’ve been able to identify pretty quickly if a client relationship isn’t going to work out and now have the courage to speak up and part ways when this happens.
- There are a lot of people in this industry that are not kind. The gossiping and the downright sabotage I’ve seen is horrible. I’ve never understood why grown adults need to behave like they are in high school all over again! In saying that there are also some really supportive people and businesses too! I am thankful to have met so many wonderful people in the industry and choose to distance myself from the ones who like to cause trouble.
- When you put yourself out there online and share personal aspects of your life, there will always be internet trolls waiting to give their two cents. Our family has had to deal with stalkers, death threats and some of the meanest things said to us online. It always amazes me how a complete stranger can hate someone so much that they feel the need to go out of their way to try and hurt them. The block button has come in really handy over the years!
Sure there are hard lessons to learn, but there are also lots of rewarding moments as well when it comes to owning your own business. The reason I decided to become an entrepreneur 15 years ago was so I could have the flexibility to make my own hours. But first I spent 2 years working a full time job while building my first business every night. That’s the reality of being an entrepreneur, many of us have had to start as a side hustle till we could quit our full time jobs to pursue our dreams.
I remember getting home from business trips, being exhausted and then sitting down on the couch to cut ribbon and glue hair clips with my first business Kula Klips. It was so exhausting but rewarding as well, I always had the biggest smile when I’d see a little girl wearing the clips that I had made. That business helped me transition to Chatty Girl Media where I am today.
You need to wear so many hats when you work for yourself, you are the problem solver, the book keeper, the marketer, the decision maker, and the list goes on. Being an entrepreneur reminds me a lot of riding a roller coaster, there are so many scary ups and downs along the ride! I always encourage people to go after their dreams but also want to share the reality of how hard it is. This past year has been one of the hardest yet having to pivot during a pandemic all while losing more than half our clients in one months time. There were many sleepless nights, conversations of how we’d pull through and stress beyond belief. These moments encouraged me to move to a new city and explore new opportunities. Here’s to a new year of business filled with endless possibilities! Thank you to those who have come along for the ride.