For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Katie Ross, a business strategist, and coach.
As a business strategist and coach with over 12 years of experience, Katie helps business owners & creatives get clear on who they are, where they want to go and how they’re going to get there. Defining these critical areas of your business will allow you to take action on your big ideas and maximize your potential for success.
She has guided hundreds of owners through the incredible transformations that owning a business can trigger—been a part of some amazing product and service launches that take a business to the next level and has witnessed the rock-steady confidence that comes when her clients truly understand the how-tos and how-comes of building success in business.
What really keeps her excited is identifying creative opportunities alongside her clients that result in increased revenue, getting unstuck, increased confidence and growth for their business.
She prides herself on getting to know each client individually and understanding their vision and goals so that together they can create a strategic and purposeful plan that supports their business and lifestyle.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Katie about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such a useful tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
I’ve been self-employed full-time now for about a year and a half. When I jumped into it, I had a kinda-somewhat-sort-of idea of what I wanted to do in the early days and boy was I wrong. I struggled for a while, trying to find my place in an industry that I believe is highly underserved. Luckily, towards the end of 2019, things started to click in terms of who needed me the most and where my true passion really fit into the equation.
My core focus is on small business owners and creative entrepreneurs who need guidance to get really clear on who they are, what they offer and who they serve.
This is such an essential piece because it allows you to communicate better with your audience, it acts as a constant reminder to you of what business you are in and it helps you say no to the things that you don’t want to be doing. More often than not, this results in allowing for more room for yes projects that are truly in alignment with the reasons that you went into business in the first place. All of these pieces fit into the strategy – once you’ve defined these critical areas, you can go on your way and do the work or we can continue to work together. Working together on an ongoing basis is where coaching comes in. Anyone that knows me knows that I shoot from the hip, so my no B.S. coaching approach includes keeping clients accountable and helping them get unstuck when things get a little chaotic.
2: What made you decide to get into business coaching?
I’ve been a cheerleader and supporter of the small business community throughout my entire career. I believe that a business without a strategy lacks direction and if you don’t know where you’re going…you will likely end up somewhere else.
When I worked in the public sector, the services were more of an advisory fashion, which means spending an hour with an owner and barely getting to the root of their challenges. Coaching on my own has allowed me to roll up my sleeves, dig deeper and offer more than surface-level support to the entrepreneurs that are taking the risks that essentially fueling our economy and keeping our communities vibrant and alive.
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
This is going to sound super cliché…but I have two things that come to mind and both have to do with my family. First, as a parent to three strong-willed girls, I love being able to drop everything if they need me (it doesn’t happen often – but when it does, it’s relatively easy for me to adjust). Second, doing what I do allows me to expose my kids to the realities of the real world, the stuff they don’t learn in school, and no matter what life throws at them there’s always a creative way to forge their own path no matter what they decide to do with their lives. Whether it be a professional career, a career in the trades, or running their own business…We don’t all fit into the traditional box and I want them to be aware of that!
On the topic of being a female entrepreneur, I honestly don’t believe in the whole girl boss trends that we see on the daily. I think if anything, it labels us even more as an underdog and if we’re already perceived to be just that, then using those terms, in my opinion, only fuels the fire. I believe in equal opportunity and if that means that I need to work a little harder to prove that I’m entitled to a seat at the table, then I’m going to work a little harder and if I don’t make it to the table, then it wasn’t meant to be.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to go into business for yourself?
Picking a direction (the irony…I know) Saying no to things that weren’t in alignment with my vision to allow room for the work that I wanted to be doing was probably the biggest thing I’ve had to overcome thus far. For so long, I was trying to cater to everyone’s needs…and we all know how that goes. Months of spinning my tires really helped me nail down what it is I didn’t want to do, allowing for me to really define what it is I want to be helping people with. Coming from a long career in the public sector where anyone I ever worked with received my support with no fees attached would come in hot at number two. Trying to change the dynamics of those relationships and that narrative has not been an easy task – and I’m still working on that.
5: What is one thing about working in the coaching industry that people would be surprised to learn?
I’m going to come at this one from a bit of a different angle. People often think that a coach comes with a considerable price tag and in some instances, that is the case, but I like to believe that there are also affordable solutions depending on your individual needs. I think the critical piece I’d like to highlight here is that you need to invest in your business to grow. Investing in yourself by hiring a coach can accelerate whatever transformation it is that your going through and changes that you need to make. Coaches are like on-call sidekicks. They’re there to help you to get shit done, keep things moving and keep you accountable when you need it the most.
Most coaches offer a free introductory call that allows you to make a more informed decision before you buy-in, it’s also a great opportunity to determine if you’re a good fit and if they can help you based on your circumstances and industry. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities if you are contemplating getting support from a coach.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
Ugh – this one’s tough. I’ll say Instagram has allowed me to be the most creative and has been the easiest to keep up with. I don’t worry too much about having a curated feed, but I’ve been using tools like Later & Canva that have made my life so much easier, helping me plan and curate content. I love Twitter for in the now; there is something about still being able to put your feed in chronological order and getting a quick hit of what’s going on the world, in our community, in our industry, and with my colleagues.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
I don’t think that it’s optional not to use social media for your business nowadays. It’s where we primarily get to interact with our clients and build our community. It’s where we show that we are human, that we know our craft and where we communicate what we’re up to. My favourite line from a colleague is that “we do business with people that we like and can relate to” – and social is the easiest way to build and maintain those relationships
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
I haven’t really thoroughly gauged the impact of social media on my business. It’s been an amazing tool to keep connected, build new relationships and maintain my existing network. It’s also given me an opportunity to keep tabs on my clients, small businesses in our community, others working in my industry and a place for us to gather and celebrate what’s happening. We’ve all at some point experienced how isolating being an entrepreneur is ( x 100 during this difficult time) and I feel like that’s been the most valuable component for me.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
Firstly, get over the fear of showing up. Be consistent and just start…baby steps still move you forward.
This applies more now than ever, but the best thing you can do for yourself and your audience is to be clear in your messaging. Now is not the time for buzz words and catchphrases. If you need help or have something to offer, just be clear and be vulnerable when you’re communicating that information. The reality is that there is no better time than right freakin’ now. Show up, stay relevant, show empathy more now than ever and your audience will remember that when we come out of all of this shit. I trust there will also be a period of recovery once regular life can resume, so it’s crucial not to disappear completely, you can take a break but don’t fall off the face of the planet. We’re all going through this pandemic together and while some are going to come out less affected than others, we need each other now more than ever, so please stay connected.
A bonus piece of advice that I’d highly recommend is to not be afraid to use the mute or unfollow feature… it’s pretty therapeutic if you just can’t handle all of the noise right now or at some point in the future.
Connect with Katie:
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Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!