Founder & CEO
Modern Darling Media
< $10,000 / month
I have Katie Thompson as my interviewee today. Katie Thompson is a photographer, writer, designer, and Founder & CEO of Modern Darling Media.
Katie is an accomplished marketing manager with over 10 years of experience in the field, and her portfolio of services expands to podcast management, virtual assistant services, marketing courses and many more. She is passionate about helping creative entrepreneurs make a meaningful impact in today’s world. I recommend checking out her blog where she shares her best marketing tips.
Katie hosts a podcast called The Hustlenomics Podcast, which is all about inspiring female creative entrepreneurs, their stories, experiences and life lessons.
This multi-talented female entrepreneur has a spirit uplifting story to share. Relax and take your time!
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED?
My entrepreneurial journey started right after I graduated from grad school. I was super excited to get out in the world and find a cool job, work with fun, intelligent people my age, and make a difference in the world!
I was sorely disappointed when I got ghosted from hundreds of companies that I applied to, and the job offers I did get were underwhelming, to say the least. I ended up in a job that didn’t challenge me creatively or intellectually, working with people who vehemently resisted change and were also pretty obviously unhappy themselves.
So I started small with a photography business as a side hustle. After two years, three corporate jobs, one cross country move, and expanding my business to a full-service marketing & design agency, I finally grew my business enough to do it full time! I am super passionate about shaking up the status quo and finding ways to help others craft the life they want, not the life they are settling for.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
When I started my business, I was focused on photography. I did weddings, families, events and more. I found that I was able to take care of things like building a website, social media, copywriting, and graphic design instead of having to hire out contractors. I thought it was just a convenient fact that I had cultivated these skills in college and grad school and thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t have to spend extra money to have someone else do them for me.
However, I soon realized that I was super passionate about all those creative aspects of creating a business and started offering those services to others. After about six months of testing the waters with free projects, I decided to expand my business past photography.
I came up with my business name through a lot of trial and error. I was about to get married, and I didn’t want to use my maiden name if I was going to change it. Since I work with mostly female entrepreneurs, I wanted something that harnessed that feminine energy and felt energetic and professional but still approachable.
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
I spent the first eight months learning, making connections, making mistakes, and trying out new things. I needed that time to explore and try my hand at everything I was passionate about. Eventually, I felt confident enough and had enough experience to really nail down what I wanted this business to be.
I sat down and wrote out my goals, my vision & mission statement, my ideal client, the services I wanted to offer, and what packages I wanted to offer them in. I asked friends and family to listen to my pitch, and I got feedback on how to scale it sustainably. With all of those building blocks in place, I was able to redo my website, design a new logo, rebrand my business, and launch my social media confidently.
When I was first ready to take on clients, my strategy was simple. I started telling anyone who would listen to what I was doing and the services I provided. I told family & friends; I announced it on social media. I wrote about it on my blog, and I wrote guest posts on other people’s blogs. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive. I just put it out into the world. How will people know to hire you unless you speak up?
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE ALONG THE WAY?
Biggest Achievement: My biggest achievement so far has been launching my podcast, The Hustlenomics Podcast, to help other female entrepreneurs follow their own dreams.
Biggest Challenge: One of the biggest challenges has been that in the corporate world, most of the time you have a team supporting you. You have someone helping you with finances and accounting. You have someone helping with sales and someone else focused on marketing.
As a business owner, you do it all! Wearing all those hats can be overwhelming. Of course, you can outsource later on. However, oftentimes, entrepreneurs have to learn a lot of new skills to keep things going in the beginning.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS?
I promote my business on social media (Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest), through my blog, through my podcast, on my weekly email newsletter and with a whole bunch of free resources.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
My hope for the future is to one day hire a team.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.
WordPress, Wix, Later, Buffer, Tailwind, Grammarly, Libsyn, Canva, Asana, Google Drive, Temi, Toggle, Audacity, Lastpass, Slack.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BUSINESS BOOKS, PODCASTS OR BLOGS?
- Boss Up!: This Ain’t Your Mama’s Business book by Lindsay Teague Moreno
- The Goal Digger Podcast
- The Hustlenomics Podcast
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Good things take time. I am naturally an impatient person. When I get excited about something, I want it to happen NOW. One thing I’ve learned is that anything good will take time to grow.
You might hear about these “overnight success” stories but that’s a myth. Most of these business owners have been working for years before they reached that level of success.
So, be patient, continue to challenge yourself and don’t compare your journey or timeline to anyone else.
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!