Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in advertising services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Caitlin Patton, Founder of Curio Five, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm Caitlin, a Chicago-based content creator and the founder of Curio Five, a digital marketing agency that helps creators grow their businesses through affiliates. I share fashion and lifestyle content with my audience of Zennial women on both my blog and social media channels. I've partnered with Fortune 500 companies and been featured in Business Insider and HuffPost.

As a creator myself, I know that many content creators are one-woman shows, filling the role of creative director, photographer, copywriter, social media manager, etc., all at once. Even if someone isn't ready to outsource their affiliate marketing to my agency, I still want to support the growth of their creator business. I offer free resources as well as coaching for creators, beginners, and veterans alike, seeking to level up their affiliates.

Tell us about yourself

I started my lifestyle blog as a college student in 2014, which was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey as well as my first introduction to affiliate marketing. I started to monetize my blog through brand partnerships and quickly discovered affiliate links were a great source of passive income. As my own digital brand continued to grow, friends of mine who also had blogs as a "side hustle" began asking for my help with their affiliate marketing. Now, I help content creator clients achieve success with affiliates through Curio Five while continuing to advance my lifestyle blog and personal social media channels.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is the growth in both of my businesses in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic first hit the US, marketing budgets were slashed everywhere, which took a toll on my creator business. I was able to use the extra time at home to make lemonade out of the lemons, redirect my vision for my lifestyle blog as well as formally create my agency.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

With social media channels, there will inevitably be high-performing content and low-performing content. The performance may be a reflection of the content itself, but oftentimes, it's a variable out of your control. It's important not to get caught up in your frustration or elation surrounding how well a piece of content does but to look objectively at analytics so you can replicate successes and minimize underperformance.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't be afraid to niche down. While it may seem that you're closing the door to potential clients or customers in the short term, it will benefit your business in the long run. Focus on your strengths and what you uniquely bring to the table in your industry.
  2. Network with other business owners in your area. The connections you make will bring you leads, collaborations, and friends who just "get it."
  3. Know your worth, then add tax.

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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