We recently connected with Kimberly Kirt and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberly, thanks for joining us today. If you could go back in time do you wish you had started your business sooner or later
I feel that I started my business at the exact right time.
I had a few years in the “corporate world” to learn that it absolutely was not for me, but also HOW an agencies and creative teams work. I was lucky enough to work for a renowned Dallas Marketing Agency as well as an international software company, so I learned a lot along the way!
Starting my business at age 25, I had the perfect mix of experience and naivety to push through the highs and lows of being a start up. I was also at a time in my life where I had very little financial responsibility outside of fending for myself – so *putting it all on the line* wasn’t as scary as it would have been maybe 10 years later.
Kimberly, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
A creative at heart, I have been an artist for most of my life. From designed houses and then “building” them with manilla file folders to being an art major for a year in college before making the change to film and communications – I have always wanted to be in a creative field.
With my film experience, I became a producer out of college. It wasn’t long before I switched over to an email marketing role and got to see just a piece of all the data that was available for use as a marketer! I saw this as a way better guide my creative decisions and also as a way I could do everything I loved in my career!
While working in Branding & Marketing at a software company, a friend of mine in digital marketing mentioned that he thought I would be good at social media marketing, and thank goodness for him! Without his push who knows where I would be now.
Over the last 4 years our services have evolved from strictly social media to Organic Social Media, Paid Ads (Google, Facebook/Instagram), and Email Marketing – the trifecta of marketing if I do say so myself ;)
I also now act as a Fractional CMO for a few of my clients which has been an absolute blast. Helping them determine holes in their marketing strategy and then having the team to fix it for them has been a place I have wanted to take my business since its conception.
In order for this to happen – I of course have to have a group of rock stars by my side! I have a team of all women who all have goals to be successful in their career but also one day give 100% to their future kids and family – who says who can’t do both? Cultivating this group, our culture, and seeing everyone grow and support each other in their different roles is one of my biggest accomplishments.
The quality in our team shows through the quality of our content and the work that we produce. As our agency is called “Champagne Lion Digital Marketing & Consulting” – the heart of a lion mentality shines through each and every day!
Can you talk to us about how your side-hustle turned into something more.
The side hustle that grew into the big hustle! I got started in social media due to a friend seeing my work background and grit. My first clients were people in my network and I provided pretty basic social media services to them.
I was extremely diligent with my time – working my full time job, teaching indoor cycling part-time, AND starting this business on top of it.
As you can tell – working at my first advertising job didn’t necessarily pay well! I was initially motivated by money – and this quickly changed as I got to see the type of impact I was making in my clients lives and businesses.
It took me a year and a half from starting my business to going full time in working for myself. I wish I would have started sooner – but in that time I learned SO much and was able to build up a book of clients that out weighed the salary I was making at my current marketing job.
I still had the safety net of my part-time cycling job, which was a huge help and I highly recommend having a side gig if you are starting your own business to help ends meet! I had a fear of one day waking up and all of my clients quitting on me (yikes) so I knew I would at least have money to pay rent and buy groceries with this (lol).
Then I decided – what if I served my clients SO WELL they couldn’t possibly think of going any where else?
There then came a time where I knew I had to go 100% into MY own business. Before I could make the decision myself, the cycling company I taught for folded and I was on my own about a year after leaving my 9-5. Biggest blessing in disguise!
We have scaled massively since and I don’t know if that would have happened keeping my safety net.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
Social media and word of mouth! Being in social media, I would hope that my social presence is A1 – and this has always been our biggest source of leads.
Social media can be used for a lot of things – but when you use it to educate users, demonstrate your authority, and show that you’re a blast to work with, it becomes a money machine! With the proper systems set up on the back end, of course ;)
- Website: https://www.champagnelion.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimberlki/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-kirt-39b5536a/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5pTpJkspbhbHC-r3p0RPNg
Taken by Samantha Garcia (@samgphotog.raphy on Instagram)