From coloring books to newspapers and magazines, Becky’s always been a writer. Want to learn how she transformed her love of writing into a career and the struck out on her own?
Well, then come along for the ride! I mean, really, what’s better than seeing women turn their passion into something of their very own?!
1.) Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started with your blog/business.
I’ve been writing since I could hold a crayon, but it’s been my living since graduating college 20 years ago. Man, I feel old! I got my bachelor’s in journalism then worked at a daily newspaper and later at very big magazines before striking out on my own. I’ve been a small-business owner for 11 years. I started as a freelance magazine writer, but in the last 2 years I’ve been focusing on content marketing. I’ve had a blog for my business for the last 4 or 5 years, but only truly committed to it in the last 2 months.
2.) What’s the focus of your brand and what made you choose that niche?
My clientele is primarily mid- to large-size companies, typically in the higher education, healthcare, and industrial markets. I focus on these types of clients because, frankly, they can afford me. After 20 years in my profession, my rates tend to be higher than beginning writers.
3.) What do you offer to your followers/clients that’s unique?
With clients, my biggest selling point is my experience. I require very little direction, produce quality work that needs little editing, and understand the importance of deadlines. With my blog, I think what makes me unique is my willingness to be vulnerable and to share my knowledge freely (I’m a firm believer in abundance, so I don’t worry about competition “stealing” from me).
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your blog/business?
In the beginning, I struggled to keep up with blogging because I never really defined my focus. I was all over the map and eventually got frustrated and quit. Finally, I treated my own business like my customers’ and created a content strategy with an editorial calendar. Now, my weekly blogging schedule is a breeze.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
Truthfully, I’m not a blog loyalist, but rather read a little of everything. I find content to read each day through the Google Alerts I’ve set up for keywords in my field, on the many Facebook groups I’m active in, and via Pinterest. That said, I am a big fan of Neil Patel’s content (http://neilpatel.com/blog/) and Melissa Cassera’s voice (http://melissacassera.com/), and try to catch their posts and read their emails when I have time.
6.) Can you give us your top three tips for staying consistent with your business/blog?
Like I said, I can’t stress enough the importance of creating a strategy and having an editorial calendar. Planning is everything! Also, be realistic with what you can do. Trying to blog daily will burn most people out. Choose a frequency that feels comfortable for your workload. Finally, get help when you need it. I’m on maternity leave until September. Rather than stressing myself out by banking a ton of content before then, I’m lined up guest bloggers to fill the void.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is thinking of starting their own blog/business?
Just do it. Stop waiting for the perfect time or to have all your ducks in a row or until you are an “expert.” Starting a business is like having a baby—if you wait until the time is right, you’ll never do it. It’s scary as heck, but if it’s your calling to be your own boss then you owe it to yourself to try. I was terrified when I quit my day job 11 years ago, but now I can’t even stomach the idea of working for someone else again.
8.) What’s the best advice you have for someone who wants to launch their own brand/business?
Don’t go it alone. Mentoring is really valuable, even if it is informal. Even better, join a mastermind group. I did this last year and it has really been key in helping me level up my business. These groups not only inspire you and offer guidance on trouble spots, the provide accountability to keep you motivated and on track. If you can’t find a group, you can start your own like I did. I wrote a post about it and you can also download my free startup worksheet. (www.beckymollenkamp.com/how-to-start-a-mastermind-group/)
9.) If you only had $100 to get started with your business, how would you use it?
That’s not enough to launch a business, unless you already own a computer, your domain (with hosting), and have a website designed or the skills to do it yourself. Assuming those basics are in place and you’re not trying to do retail or something with other big startup costs, then I’d use that $100 to get a massage to help manage the stress of running a new business. The truth is, starting most businesses requires more time than money. It’s about putting in the hard work to relentlessly network and market yourself in order to find clients.
10.) How can readers of It’s My Evolution get in touch with you to learn more about you and your blog/business? (social/blog urls)
I’m a big believer in giving more than you get, and this year I’ve been more focused than ever on walking that talk. I’m eager to help others be successful in their businesses, especially those who are in an earlier stage than me. If I can help you in any way, don’t be afraid to ask. You can find me through my website (http://www.beckymollenkamp.com) or on my preferred social media sites: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/beckymollenkampcreative)
Thanks so much for joining in on this series Becky!! I LOVE that you charge what you’re truly worth and focus on clients who are at that level. Sometimes asking for more can be tough, but hey….We CAN do hard things!
So what’s your biggest takeaway from Becky’s interview? Anything you’re going to put into practice in your business or blog? Let’s chat in the comments!