Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lark Begin, Social Media and SEO Specialist of Profit Parrot Marketing and SEO, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) business helps small businesses improve their online visibility and search engine rankings by optimizing their website, content, and online presence. This includes keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and more. We target small business customers, including local businesses such as restaurants and retailers, and service providers such as lawyers, dentists, and beauty salons. These businesses often have limited resources and may rely on the expertise of an SEO firm to help them compete with larger companies in their industry.
Tell us about yourself
When I met my husband in 2008, he owned a flooring company. To generate more business leads, he enrolled in an online marketing course, which I took with him while working full-time at my government job in Ottawa. We traveled to San Diego and Boca Raton to learn from industry leaders in digital marketing and gained valuable insights and strategies from a wide range of experts. I became passionate about the course material and the psychology of marketing. I began to take on the lead generation for the flooring company myself. Our efforts paid off, and the business was eventually sold to a competitor in 2013. With our newfound knowledge and success in marketing our own business, we saw an opportunity to help other businesses improve their online visibility. We started with friends' businesses and gradually grew our client base. Today, we have monthly clients from all over the world and work in various niches.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've been able to help over 1300 businesses with their online presence since 2008. Building a strong customer base is crucial for our business's success, and achieving consistent growth in this area is a major accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It was challenging for me to delegate tasks to a team, as I felt I could do them better myself. As a control freak, it was difficult for me to trust others to provide the same level of quality. However, hiring my first team member and letting go of some responsibilities has proven to be a wise decision as it doubled my profit. I have now realized that focusing on client relationships and business development is a more efficient use of my time and skills while still remaining actively involved in managing the majority of the daily operations.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get educated and take advantage of free resources like online courses and webinars from successful companies.
- You don't need to spend a lot of money to get started; start with friends and family as your first clients and let your work speak for itself. Create a strong portfolio that showcases your skills. If you truly care about your clients, your client list will grow organically.
- Time management is crucial, especially when balancing business and personal life. Prioritize your tasks and be adaptable. Expect to make mistakes and learn from them, and don't be afraid to take small steps toward your goal.
- Attitude: Remember that every step is a learning opportunity, and confidence will come with time.
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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