Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lexi St. Laurent-Hartmann, Founder and CEO of iHartContent, located in Covington, LA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
iHartContent is a boutique bilingual content agency dedicated to amplifying the messages the world needs to hear. Through thought leadership ghostwriting to social media management and content repurposing, we help raise the voices of founders, brands, and creators on a mission to make the world a better place in both big and small ways. We're especially passionate about making the online world a safer place for women and girls.
Tell us about yourself
I got my start in content marketing around 16 years ago out of necessity when my mother's business - a 24-hour French Bakery and Cafe in Charlotte, NC - first opened and didn't have the budget for traditional advertising. We turned to social media and focused on telling authentic stories, eventually becoming one of the most Instagram-like restaurants in the country. Since then, I led the marketing efforts of a top national small business SEO agency before going solo at the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Intentionally surrounding myself with clients and colleagues who are purpose-driven change-makers is incredibly motivating. These stories need to be told, and I'm honored to be able to play a part in that process.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I initially grew my small but mighty agency from $0 to six figures in just six months, hitting our first multiple six-figure milestone just a year later. These days, however, I am most proud of our willingness to pivot when we notice things not feeling authentic or aligned with our mission. For example, we recently offboarded a very large account to ensure we had the bandwidth to serve the oftentimes much smaller accounts that are more aligned with our vision of amplifying the messages the world needs to hear. My proudest moments this past year are less revenue and growth-focused and more centered around being relentless in the pursuit of alignment of values in the work we do day in and day out.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
For me, it has absolutely been learning to see those who are doing what I do - and doing it bigger and better - as allies and not competitors. As a solopreneur, it is so easy to get caught up in the trap of comparison and impostor syndrome. But when we learn to view our most successful competitors as collaborators, we truly can do so much more. I have connected with so many incredible women who have taught me so much on this journey. That would not have been possible if I had acted from a place of fear or with a scarcity mindset.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be honest with yourself about what you really want, who you want to serve, and why and how you want to serve them. It's okay if your answer isn't what you think it "should" be. Defining your personal mission and vision as a solopreneur is a time for deep self-reflection and sometimes brutal honesty. Once you've defined it, be relentless in your commitment to it. When it starts to feel misaligned, give yourself space to reassess and redefine. Alignment truly is everything.
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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