Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in digital marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sara Dunn, Founder of Sara Does SEO, located in Battle Creek, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a Wedding SEO Specialist for wedding planners, photographers, florists, venues, makeup artists, and other wedding professionals who want their websites to rank higher on Google. I am thrilled to work every day with some of the most hard-working and creative businesses in the world. My clients devote their days and weekends to creating memorable events that are incredibly important parts of people's lives. I am so thrilled to help these pros get found by new clients every day on search engines. My team offers done-for-you SEO for wedding pros, as well as a course called Wedding SEO Bootcamp that teaches wedding business owners to set up their own SEO. Over 500 people have gone through the program, bringing in thousands of website visitors to their websites every year.
Tell us about yourself
I'm really motivated to understand my clients' target clients and how they search online for their wedding vendors. It's fascinating for me to watch the trends and seasonality in what people search for and are interested in. To me, ranking well on Google is a game and an experiment to see what works and what brings in the right visitors.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I offered web design and general digital marketing services for over 7 years before I got the itch to become a specialist. I wanted to move from being a generalist who knew a little about everything to someone who had deep expertise in a very specific topic. It was a really scary pivot— to narrow down what I offered and turn down a lot of clients and projects that weren't part of my narrow focus. But 5 years into my niche of wedding SEO, I don't regret it for a second. I absolutely love my clients, the industry, the work, and the team who surrounds me. I love that every time I learn something new about what it takes to rank in the wedding industry, all of my clients can benefit from that knowledge. Every day, I want to work toward knowing more about this tiny slice of the universe (wedding SEO) than anyone else out there.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It's really hard as a business owner to know where to put your attention. Is it providing your service? Marketing? Social media? Caring for your customers or clients? Learning accounting? Hiring and managing other people? Small business owners have to play so many different roles. I think it's really important for business owners to stop and take time for reflection. That can really help you see where you spent time that actually moved the needle. I set quarterly goals in my business, which gives me that time to pause and reflect every quarter on where we are and where I want to go next.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find clients or customers you truly care about serving. There's no substitute for deeply understanding your clients, what they struggle with, and what they hope for. When you immerse yourself in your client's world, it can help you find new opportunities to solve real, valuable problems.
- Understand that sometimes, there aren't shortcuts. There is so much education for business owners that promises quick results or easy outcomes. But there is no substitute for working hard, staying focused, and sometimes doing things that are tough or tedious. You have to put the work in, especially getting started or if you want to grow to the next level.
- Test every idea as simply and cheaply as you can. Don't invest too much time or money in chasing an idea until you're sure customers will pay for it. Do a live workshop before creating a course, and provide a service before launching an app. Doing simple tests will save you a lot of time chasing ideas that just won't work.
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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