I’m glad to be back with another amazing emerging entrepreneur in our interview series. I bring to you an entrepreneur who has been making waves in the online space in a relatively short amount of time. Natalie Greagor of Strategist Café is an entrepreneur I have grown to respect and admire because of the way she runs her business and connects with her community.
I met Natalie a few months back when I was a client of hers and have also benefitted from her digital products. I was very impressed with the way Natalie conducted business with me in a professional yet very approachable and easy going way. In fact, some of the strategies I received from Natalie are being implemented in my business today.
Can you please tell us about yourself, what your business is about and the products or services that you provide to your target market?
I am Natalie Greagor, a personal brand and online business strategist. Strategist Café focuses on strategies that get new and emerging creative business owners noticed and paid. Strategies range from DIY brand identity to content marketing and much more! The products and services that I provide help with brand awareness and influence. I’ve created a content creation course called Content Overdose for the business owner who has a hard time connecting with their target audience and consistently producing relevant, useful content.
I also have PDF cheat sheets to help remove the guess work for growing on Instagram and building a voice with their blog. My services range from visual brand audits to strategy sessions to help my audience build a cohesive digital space. As my audience grows, so will my products and services to help them accomplish their branding and marketing projects.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and what was your defining moment?
I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to help those individuals who feel they have limited resources such as time and money. I wanted to help those who think their limited resources hinder them from either starting or growing a business. My defining moment came when I began answering several questions from many aspiring business owners who wanted to know where to start or what resources they needed to grow. I thought that I should put all of the answers in one digital space (my website) and give my thoughts, experiences, desires and talents a home online.
What’s one unique thing about your business and what makes you stand out from others in your niche?
My brand is super humanized and it’s colorfully loud. I take the seriousness out of business with my brand voice. I am not the typical corporate feel. My brand voice is different as I am not always articulate. Strategist Café is relatable, conversational, and resourceful. As a creative, I know my stuff and I am very transparent with my business. I don’t hesitate to answer questions or try to help those who need me. More is more [opposite of less is more] when it comes to the Strategist Café brand and I strive to keep a youthful feel to my brand while teaching others about business, branding and marketing.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur? When did you launch your business?
This kind of touches back to my defining moment. I wanted to create a digital home to store all of my knowledge and allow people to visit to learn about DIY branding and marketing. When I started Strategist Café, it was like an epiphany. I was initially going to start a Facebook page with all of the answers that people would ask me through my inbox. I am a research hoarder so I begin to research different ways I could put my voice in the universe without having to individually answer inboxes and text messages. I found byregina.com, did some reading and at that time, I decided that I would start a blog. She inspired my every move and still inspires me till this day. So, I begin to build and design my website, I created 10 blogs to start with, I created social media pages and on December 4, 2015, Strategist Café was born.
What productivity tools or apps to help with productivity on a daily basis?
I am old fashioned. I have to write my visions and goals down to remember what I should be doing. I use graph paper notebooks on a daily basis. I also use Google Drive in its entirety to operate my business. I create and design everything on my website using Canva for Work. I use Squarespace and Stripe to host my website and purchase transactions. That’s about it.
How do you balance being an entrepreneur, being in relationship, a mum and everything else in between?
Balance is and has been a struggle for me. I truly have to make myself peel away from social media and the computer to have a life. I have to do things in time increments to make sure my work gets an adequate amount of my time as well as my boyfriend and kids. I believe in the saying, “You make time for what you want to make time for”. It’s true and I remember those words to keep me balanced.
Can you share your greatest accomplishment in your business so far and why you are proud of it?
My greatest accomplishment so far is building a personal brand that I LOVE. A personal brand that breaks grammar rules, that attracts people with similar personalities, a brand that actually helps people get tasks done, and a brand that has birth in a completely new industry for me. I am proud of this because I don’t feel confined based on what someone else has defined as success, hustle, failure or anything relatable. I feel free to do what I want with my brand and that has made me the proud to date.
Can you share a challenge you faced during your journey, starting out as an entrepreneur and how you were able to overcome it?
A huge challenge was dealing with imposter syndrome. Wow, this used to kick my butt! As I’ve read a completely new industry. I’ll explain. I come from the beauty industry. I used to be a hairstylist in a salon and at home. I am familiar with my name as a personal brand and building awareness for that brand. I’ve experienced having to do several things myself due to limited resources. I’ve built my own websites, created marketing materials and cards, and marketed my brand on social media with free and paid creative strategies. However, blogging is a new marketing strategy for me.
I knew how to do several things that were effective in getting brands noticed, how to generate income and speak to a target audience in their language, but I didn’t know all of the rules to blogging, how often to blog, SEO for blogging or any of that. I had to learn it. I caught on fairly quickly and begin to see results immediately with daily marketing efforts. As I began to get attention for my brand, I used to think, “Am I good enough?”, “Do I make sense?”, “Who am I to tell these people what to do?”. Everything was new to me so I began to feel like I was an imposter in this new space.
I wouldn’t say that I have overcome the imposter syndrome. It’s still a battle. I still fight with these thoughts here and there. I’ve built my confidence by learning more and allowing myself to fail quickly.
Tell us about a mistake you made starting out as an entrepreneur and the lesson you learned from it?
A mistake I made starting out was not creating a strategy for launches and creating a schedule for my email list. I knew the importance of my email list, but I wasn’t sure if the emails I sent were helpful or consistent. As far as the launches, I didn’t have a numeric goal because I would always test my marketing by engagement, reaction or sales. Now, I have a strategy for both. I know now that my emails are fine, they just need to be more consistent. I am finally getting people to respond to my emails so the lesson here is to just keep going!
How have you been able to network and connect with other entrepreneurs, both new and established ones in the online space?
I’ve joined Facebook groups and participated in Twitter chats to network and connect with other entrepreneurs. Most of them are around the level of entrepreneurship that I am on. We connect and relate to one another on so many levels. I’ve also met some wonderful people on Instagram through comments and pure engagement. Consistent engagement has kept us in the loop!
What’s the next step for your business?
The next step for my business is to increase influence and brand awareness on the platforms my brand is on. I will also build a video vault filled with DIY videos in alignment with my brand’s vision. My brand will be the go to “how to DIY” business when it comes up to learning how to get branding and marketing project done with a minimal budget. I will continue to grow a brand that is helpful, relatable and conversational while earning a profit that leads to freedom in all areas of life.
Please share parting words for emerging entrepreneurs out there or those who are still trying to decide whether to launch into entrepreneurship.
Mindset is everything. You know more about a certain subject or subjects than several other people. That’s what sets you apart! There is no shortage of time or money when you are determined to be the person you are destined to be. Short with money? Find the time to learn how to do it yourself, the right way! Short with time? Hire a team to help you execute your vision. Short with both time and money? It’s time to make some decisions and commitments to get started. Period. Either way, there’s no difference between you and the next person. It’s a difference of mindset and hustle.
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