Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Austen Tosone, Owner of Keep Calm and Chiffon, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm Austen, an entrepreneur, creator, and consultant based in New York City. As a creator, I've partnered with brands like The New York Times, Kohl's, Glossier, Walmart, HelloFresh, and more on sponsored content. I have been quoted in Business Insider, Forbes, Business of Fashion, and Adweek discussing the business of influence. I've also been a guest on several industry podcasts and have spoken on numerous panels and workshops.
I support creatives through free content on my social media accounts (also known as #tipsbyausten), an affordable monthly membership community hosted on Patreon. One-on-one consulting and coaching sessions with tailored strategies to help them create quality content, build an engaged audience and thrive online.
Tell us about yourself
In 2012, I started my blog Keep Calm and Chiffon as a way to document my outfits over the summer. Almost a decade later, I'm still blogging, creating content, and teaching others how to do the same.
I love hearing from other creators that I've helped them make more engaging Instagram reels, negotiate a higher rate with a brand or book a client for the first time. My online community motivates me to keep creating and showing up for them to help them get to where they want to be.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment so far has been feeling confident enough to leave my full-time job and pursue content creation full-time. I was bringing in enough money to show proof of concept; the rest was about saving and trusting myself to leap.
It's been about 1.5 years since I left my job. I'm proud to be financially independent and earn money from content creation.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In this industry, in particular, you have to be flexible and sometimes do things you don't want to do to stay ahead of the curve. For example, many creators still don't love making video content.
Still, because Instagram has been pushing reel content, more creators feel they need to make a short-form video to keep up. The industry evolves rapidly, and if you're willing to experiment, you'll often be rewarded.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Establish multiple streams of revenue.
- Always ask yourself how you can add value to your audience.
- Outsource what you don't like or what doesn't feel like a great use of your time - even if it's something small like grocery shopping to give you more time back to focus on your business.
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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