Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Cousins, Founder of Ideas Girl, located in London, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I’m an online course creator and marketing strategist. I help creative entrepreneurs discover their genius, polish up their intellectual property, and create transformational offers that make their competitors green with envy. My customers tend to be the divergent thinkers and intuitive introverts of our world, often trying to create, innovate, or launch something brand new. They have a big vision and huge aspirations but sometimes get too close to see the practicalities of connecting everything together in a way that makes the most of their innate talents or relays the real value of their offer.
Tell us about yourself
One of my first jobs was in PR; I loved writing and using different angles to gain publicity in the media. I studied elements of marketing at university and later on achieved my Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Marketing with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I loved creating marketing strategies for clients, connecting new ideas together, and understanding the psychology behind buyer behaviour.
I’ve always appreciated thinking differently and the ability to take abstract ideas and turn them into something practical and useful. Most of my career has been spent marketing in the education sector, where budgets are limited, and you have to be highly creative and resourceful. I love everything to do with ideas, creativity, and imagination. How we think, learn, and our potential as humans really fascinates me, so recently, I began researching multi-dimensional thinking and where our individual genius lies.
My business is quite varied - I might be commissioned to produce a campaign or marketing strategy, hired for my copywriting, or produce and launch my own practical online marketing courses. My latest programme, Distilled Genius™, is very different - it promises to help you discover and refine your genius so you can create relatable concepts, processes, and frameworks to establish your intellectual property in your next offers. It’s all about identifying your unique, innate genius and turning those abstract insights into concrete processes, ready to use.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has to be my latest offers. I’m proud of my previous work in education, which included exceeding recruitment targets, building and launching an “Experience site,” pioneering TV advertising and video emails, creating fun new interactive video concepts like “choose your own adventure” and 360° tours and pairing geo-mobile marketing with outdoor campaigns, but my latest offers: The Irresistible Idea Workshop™ and Distilled Genius™ are hands-down the most radically different programmes I have ever created. They demanded I think in different ways and represented a big change in my approach to course creation. I went from potentially overwhelming my customers by trying to include so many additional resources to focusing instead on creating the most impactful transformation via the most direct route. I think this radical shift reflects what online creative entrepreneurs are really looking for right now - their blood runs cold at the mention of hundreds of hours of content to wade through. Their time is precious. They want outstanding results in record time. As a course creator, it’s my job to make that possible.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
In conventional marketing, I think one of the hardest things that come with being the owner is juggling the day-to-day - balancing the books, pleasing demanding clients, consistently delivering your best, and not replacing one boss with one hundred (client) bosses. In the online course world, setting aside the stress of big launches, I think it comes down to the ability to be objective when originally creating your offers. When it’s your idea, it’s all too easy to become blindsided by a lack of objectivity and only to see what you want to see.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Use your individual genius to think and create differently.
- Dream big, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Be kind to yourself and give yourself credit for breaking away from mainstream conformity.
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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