Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in digital marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alexis Day, Co-Founder of digitalXmedia, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
digitalXmedia provides flexible freelance marketing support. We're a black-owned and women-led company founded by two marketing experts (Alexis and Sanarr) that dreamed of a different way to do advertising: one with greater transparency and more flexibility. We give advertisers access to expert marketing talent with a flexible and affordable month-to-month subscription. Our customers are small business owners who are busy with the day-to-day decisions of their organization. They're looking for affordable media talent for a wide range of reasons: temporary support (i.e., during a busy period), an expert with strong media experience to handle the planning and execution of a campaign while working alongside internal teams, or they just want to outsource this part of their role so that they can focus on other areas.
Tell us about yourself
Sanarr and I were working remotely for the same agency. We were miserable. All the media buyers were. The organization was disorganized, top-heavy, ineffective, lacked transparency, and was working its employees into the ground. My partner and I have worked in marketing for many years and have seen that a lot of the issues we observed at this agency were common with both the agency and brand marketing teams:
- Sales disconnected from marketing execution and, therefore, misinforming clients.
- Exorbitant retainers and fees are charged to cover the costs of large media teams.
- A small percentage of the media budget goes towards the most important part - the media.
- Overworked buyers feel frustrated with the various layers between them and the client.
During this experience, we came up with the idea of a subscription-based marketing services platform. Easy access for smaller brands, more affordable (no fees on media spend or retainers, just paying for time to do the work), and a freelance network that really allowed marketers to be free to work on their schedule, from wherever they wanted. We wanted the media buyers doing the work to be able to form direct relationships with their clients so they could have ownership of the planning and execution of media, ensuring best practices and their knowledge were applied to the entire process. Having fulfillment in what you do makes your work better, and therefore, clients get better results, and that continues in a beautiful cycle.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It may sound simple, but being able to offer projects (employment) to more and more freelance marketing experts and being able to provide more clients with great services is our biggest accomplishment. Being able to consistently meet that demand time after time is always something to celebrate.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As we've grown the business, we've had to adjust and re-adjust systems, processes, and tools to ensure that our direct and affordable ways of working stay consistent as we expand. You often check something off your list, and then it's back a few weeks or months later but in a slightly different form, based on the current needs of our stakeholders. It's hard, but keeping things streamlined as we go helps us remain agile and able to shift and accommodate new needs quickly.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be passionate about what you are doing. The passion for the vision will see you through the most complicated days and seemingly unsolvable problems.
- As a business owner, you are a jack of all trades. You will touch and be involved in every aspect of the business: finance, legal, IT, production, marketing...everything! But no one can do it all. Allocate your time based on where you can have the most impact, ask for help where you need it, pay for help where you can, and leave the rest for another day. This all takes time.
- Just because you are starting out doesn't mean you don't need organized systems and a clear foundation in place. No matter how small the business, documented processes and procedures go a long way to help you stay on course, prioritize and scale!
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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