Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kayla Norris, founder of Marketing Main Street, located in Rogers, AR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Marketing Main Street, we are a marketing agency dedicated to serving small businesses only. We say we deploy modern marketing techniques while holding vintage values. But what does that mean?
It's really pretty simple. At Marketing Main Street, we use the most current marketing tools, strategies, and trends to provide our clients with the best campaigns and results with measurable ROI. Our service, however, is less than modern. We tend to each campaign with a very hands-on approach and an extra dose of Southern Hospitality.
Tell us about yourself
When I moved back to Northwest Arkansas in 2019, it was clear there were few agencies catering specifically to local businesses. Most of them work exclusively with vendors and the major corporations in the area (NWA is the home of Walmart HQ). Honestly, who can blame them? Massive budgets, producing killer creatives, and working with some of the most globally recognized brands? That's any marketer's dream. But to be honest, that never really appealed much to me. Who knows where life will take me later, but since I was introduced to small business marketing in 2014, I fell in love. Perhaps it's the fact that I was raised around small businesses, but for whatever reason, this is where my passion lies. When a small business owner hands you their marketing dollars, they have to see a return quickly.
There is a deep responsibility when your local electrician gives you their vacation budget or Christmas gift spend to put together a strategy so that next year they can go on an even better vacation than they dreamed of or buy even more presents for their family.
This isn't to say that corporate agencies don't have their work cut out for them. Their plans have to work, too, or they're fired immediately, and that client has moved on to the next agency as if the other never existed. But, for the small business owner, the stakes are higher. There isn't money to blow and experiment. Not yet. Today, we're putting together solutions that yield measurable results tomorrow.
Beyond strategy, our agency will help you in all of your marketing efforts. What good is having a stellar social media campaign if the website we're sending your audience to is clunky and not user-friendly? What business owner has the time to produce all of their own graphics, check for brand cohesion, measure marketing ROI, and everything else in between? It's like I tell my clients, "I don't do what you do. I'd never try to fix a car, perform surgery, repair a roof, etc. So let me do what I do and help people find you, tell them why they should use you over your competitors, and show you tangible, quantifiable results."
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I get asked this question all the time, and truly our success has been mind-blowing. If I had to nail down one accomplishment, I'd say that my ability and freedom to give have never been greater than it is now. Being able to use my business, whether it's my resources, building, skills, etc., as a means to give back to my community is awesome. When you're the boss, you make the rules, and being able to put my dollars and energy toward causes I'm passionate about has meant the world.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part of owning a small business for me has been turning it off. I'm a perfectionist, and the work is never done, so I tend to just roll from one project to another until I completely crash.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Invest in marketing. Never underestimate the power of an ad buy where you can tell your story. People will not buy from you if they do not know that you exist. You have to tell your own story because nobody will tell it for you.
- Do one thing every day that's not work-related. My husband is SO good about making me disconnect. From doing peaceful things like working in our garden together to watching an episode of a show (because binging doesn't exist for the business owner) to going on a run, just do something for an hour that takes you away from work.
- For service businesses, you have to establish boundaries with your clients. Some of them will really try not to respect your boundaries, but it is OKAY not to be run over. It's so tempting to make yourself available 24/7. You don't have paid sick days anymore. Nobody sets your work hours now. You have to establish those things for yourself and your loved ones. And any clients that might not respect that may not actually be your client. The right ones will fall into place.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I get asked all the time what the secret to the success of Marketing Main Street is, and I always respond with, "I'm good, but I'm not this good." My faith is a huge driving force and sustainer for me, and the Lord has truly blessed our efforts. My faith is what gave me the confidence to take this leap into small business ownership. People say not to mix faith and business, but for me, my faith in Jesus is what has sustained me, and I have to give Him the credit for our success.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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