Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brittany Hodak, a Customer Experience Keynote Speaker and Author, located in Franklin, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a Customer Experience (CX) keynote speaker and strategist. I teach organizations how to turn their customers into superfans: loyal, enthusiastic advocates. I work with companies of all sizes across several industries, including healthcare, mortgage, real estate, direct sales, insurance, and financial services.
Tell us about yourself
I've always loved speaking, but I never considered pursuing it as a career. I worked in the music business for several years. I even started my own entertainment marketing agency, which helped recording artists connect with their fans. In 2015, after an appearance on Shark Tank, I started getting requests to speak at various events. I applied my entertainment background to customer experience ("creating superfans"). I began speaking to and consulting for organizations across the country. I love teaching businesses how to improve their customer interactions because it literally makes the world a better place.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I just finished writing my first book, Creating Superfans! Managing my speaking business while writing a book was not easy (especially with two kids under five at home and that global pandemic thing…), but it's always been a dream of mine to be a published author. It'll be available everywhere on January 10, 2023. I'm so proud of it and can't wait for people to read it!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It's a huge change from just being an employee at another company. You're now responsible for everything - not just the actual services you provide or products you sell, but all of the operational things that come with running a business. You've got to learn how to market yourself, pay your taxes, track your expenses, etc. When I launched my first startup, I always joked that I missed the "FWD" button. Like, I couldn't just forward an email to legal, finance, HR, or sales anymore, like I could at my corporate job. I was in all of those positions!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Sign up for a CRM (customer relationship management) software. When you're running your own business, you're often doing a million things at once. A CRM will help you build a sales pipeline, automate certain tasks, and store important customer information all in one place. It's true that your network is your net worth! A CRM's sole job is to help you make money. Use it!
- Focus on your current customers. Don't just be great; be amazing. Indispensable. Companies of all sizes spend too many resources on trying to acquire new customers when it's far easier and less expensive to sell to existing customers. Even if your customers aren't in the position for a repeat purchase, continue to show them that you care about them so you'll be top of mind if they're asked to make a referral. Experience is everything in business… and everything is part of the experience!
- Don't be afraid to ask for help! Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness — it's an acknowledgment that you want to learn even more than you already know. By reaching out to other entrepreneurs or leaders and asking for advice, you're also spreading the word about your business! Build up your network and learn from the other leaders in your community - and don't forget to pay it forward one day.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My debut book, Creating Superfans, will be available in January 2023! My podcast, Creating Superfans, will also be released in October 2022, wherever you listen to podcasts.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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