Our female entrepreneur today is the CEO and co-founder of Aimtal, Janet Mesh. Janet shares her story on starting a remote-first digital and content marketing agency.
She explored agency work before working as a freelancer. After two years of freelancing, she decided to start her own agency Aimtal and grew it into a 6-figure business.
Janet is a Content Marketer at heart, Remote Work advocate, and a world traveler. Read on to find out more about Janet.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED.
I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts then headed slightly north to the University of New Hampshire. UNH had a specific Communications program that allowed me to focus in Marketing through courses with their business school. So from early on, I always knew I wanted to work in marketing and advertising. I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication and Marketing and headed back to Boston to work for an IT staffing firm. I started low on the totem pole and worked my way up to Marketing Manager to help build and grow the company’s marketing strategies and department with their executive team.
When the company was acquired, I took that as my sign to chase the creativity and flexibility I desired. Instead of jumping into another corporate role, I traveled through South America for four months (with my boyfriend who is also my business partner now!) and what I discovered is that I wanted to focus more on digital marketing with my career and be able to work remotely. This wasn’t as popular five years ago so I worked with a couple of marketing agencies and eventually started freelancing to get the opportunities that aligned with my professional and personal goals. My freelance work really started to grow and quite honestly, became bigger than I could handle. All roads led to the decision to start my own agency so, after two years of full-time freelancing, I decided to start Aimtal with my business partner, David.
Aimtal is a full-service agency that provides digital and content marketing services to companies primarily in the B2B industry, specifically for tech and SaaS brands.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?
Every day is different in terms of client projects that I’m working on with my team or for my own business. I try very hard to stick to a strong routine to add some consistency to my day. Even though I work from my home office, I wake up and get ready as if I was going to a physical office. Yes, that means I shower and do my hair and makeup! This helps me feel ready to show up for whatever the day has in store for me. Overall to be the most productive, I drink an iced latte and listen to music to get into my zone of genius.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
The launch of Aimtal was like a natural evolution. I was a marketing freelancer and a lot of my projects and clients started to grow through the services I was providing just on my own. It all became bigger than I anticipated so it was the right time and move to start an agency so I could bring on my own team members to help support clients. I always wanted to work for a big agency and never thought I would start my own! I’m so grateful that I took the leap.
My business partner, David, actually came up with the name for the business. Aimtal means aim + digital — like the digital aim needed for marketing and business growth. We started the agency with my freelance clients (who graciously stuck with us!) and have bootstrapped the business since starting it in August 2018. We now have a team of 6 people at Aimtal and continue to grow.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR BUSINESS?
I set a high revenue goal for 2019 and we actually exceeded it! I’m definitely proud of that. I’m also proud that we’re creating a close-knit team that delivers exceptional marketing services to our clients. Our business is all about the people and I’m proud that we’re developing strong relationships with everyone who’s a part of Aimtal.
As for challenges, I’ve had to overcome and come face-to-face with my own impostor syndrome. The doubt always creeps in, especially as a young woman in industries that are dominated by men. I’ve learned that I don’t need outside validation to feel confident and that I should be confident in my abilities, expertise, and strengths!
WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?
Aimtal has been a remote company from day one so we’ve always been very intentional with the processes we’re building and the tools we use to support our team and serve our clients. One of our core values is “be exceptional” and that’s what we do in every client relationship which I think has resulted in our growth. We go above & beyond for every client and their marketing initiatives so that care and attention have allowed us to grow their business and in turn grow Aimtal.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
My vision and mission for Aimtal are to create award-winning marketing campaigns and brands to help our client’s businesses grow. In order to consistently meet this goal, we’re planning to develop specialty areas of the agency for digital and content marketing so we can continue to provide better and more services to current (and new!) clients.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES OR TOOLS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS?
I wouldn’t be able to run my business without Trello. I’m a huge advocate of the tool. We use it as our digital workspace for all of the client and internal projects. We also use Slack for all internal communication. Since we’re a remote company, these digital communication and collaboration tools have been integral to how we run the business.
WHAT OR WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCE IN BUSINESS AND WHY?
I don’t think I could pick just one person who has been my influence because there have been so many amazing people in my life who have contributed to Aimtal’s success so far. In particular, my business partner, David, has always been my biggest advocate and supporter. Our team, my friends & family, my network of fellow business owners and my business coach, and even my clients have all been a great influence on the business and I owe our success to them as well!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Surround yourself with the people who truly want and will support you. This is hard work and toxic relationships or attitudes will just distract you from what you’re capable of achieving. It’s okay to be picky with who you work with and let into your network – I think that’s a great thing! Set those standards and stand by them.
WHAT BUSINESS IDEA DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH OTHERS?
With the boom of digital technology this year and even more people getting online, I think there’s an opportunity for a business to provide a service to older generations on how to use these digital tools like Zoom. You would be surprised how many things we take for granted with technology and how to use them but it’s actually confusing for many people!
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
There’s no doubt that running a business is hard work. I always joke that I’m getting my MBA while building Aimtal. I have learned the hard way that I should prioritize myself and my self-care. Burnout is very real and without a strong routine and interests & hobbies outside of the business, it can hit you hard. So figure out what that self-care routine looks like for you, set boundaries, and prioritize yourself, lady!
And of course, if you’re interested in learning more about marketing and some tactics you can use for your own business, check out some of the free resources on our website: https://www.aimtal.com/resources
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!