Moving from Dermatology to digital marketing is not everyone’s career move, but it is the one Kaitlyn Study took and now she and her team are helping businesses optimise their marketing strategies.
What’s your story?
I’m the owner and creative director of South Street & Co., a creative marketing agency. I started my company as a side hustle after helping my previous company, a local dermatology practice, double in size in the two and a half years I was there. Now, a little over 6 years later, my team and I specialize in helping small to medium-sized service-based businesses grow their reach online.
What excites you most about your industry?
I love being in the marketing industry because it never stops moving and evolving.
Something people outside the industry might not realize is just how important SEO is for reaching potential customers and clients. I’ve also noticed that people are becoming more and more interested in Influencer Marketing, which is a fairly new strategy within the industry.
As far as where the industry is headed, I think video, short-form content and behind-the-scenes content are going to continue rising in popularity and effectiveness, just like we’ve been seeing already!
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My goal is always to achieve the best results for our clients. I am driven to make sure my team and I always maintain a great reputation, foster a great culture to work in, and do the best work possible. I built the company on three core pillars: Excellence, Communication, and Creativity. My team and I embody those values and we’re always seeking out innovative ways to continue growing. Our clients can trust that we’ll put in the work to get them the best results because what we do to market ourselves is exactly what we do for them.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Programs are everything. Here are some of my favorites:
Zapier: It connects programs and apps that wouldn’t normally talk to one another. We save around 20 hours per week using this program.
Freshbooks: I used to send invoices manually – big mistake. Freshbooks completely streamlined the process.
LastPass: Saving passwords on a spreadsheet is a nightmare. With LastPass I can save them all in one place and even share them with team members.
Coaches and mentors have also been crucial. I hired a business coach early on and I have mentors and colleagues whose support has been invaluable.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
After I graduated from college someone told me to join one organization for work and one for fun. Simple advice, but so important. It was harder than I anticipated to make connections without the built-in network of a university, but joining organizations helped me meet new, like-minded people who became a part of my personal and professional networks.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by quotes and by other people’s ideas. During the pandemic I saw so many businesses rise to overcome the tough occasion with new creative ideas and strategies. It was an extremely hard time for everyone but seeing these small businesses come up with so many different ways to stay afloat inspired me to look at my own business differently.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
The new Chrome update where you can group tabs into categories is mind-blowing. I usually have so many tabs open that it can get overwhelming, but thanks to a team member who mentioned this feature I’ve been able to better organize my meeting notes, to-do items and everything else into neat folders on Chrome so I never lose track of them.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would listen to my gut. Too many times, I didn’t listen to what my gut or ‘inner voice’ was telling me to do and each time I ended up regretting it.
Also, if I could go back, I would try to remember that not every client is meant for me and my agency. Over time I’ve realized that if I’m referring a client to someone else, I’m helping them even more than I would be in trying to take them on without knowing for sure it was the right fit.
How do you unwind?
Going on bike rides and watching TV shows that don’t require brain power. 🙂
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
I can’t do everything. Recently with Zapier, one of the programs I mentioned, I realized I SHOULD NOT be the only one on my team who knows how to use it. It’s not hard, but it definitely takes some time to get used to it. Until recently I thought, “My team doesn’t need to learn this program.” WRONG. That was a huge mistake. So now, we have a scheduled tutorial on how to use it and I’m going to record it for future employees. As a business owner, delegating can be tough, but it makes a world of difference.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Never Split The Difference” by Chris Voss. This book has been a life changer for me when it comes to negotiation – which everyone does on a daily basis in one way or another. It’s one of those books that you put on or near your desk and highlight and write in the margins. The author is a former FBI hostage negotiator who shares and explains how to negotiate in any type of situation. I’ve recommended it to my family, and now my team and I are reading it together for our book club.
Shameless plug for your business:
We’re an award winning digital marketing agency that specializes in helping small to medium-sized businesses grow their reach online through expertly crafted websites, engaging social media, top-notch SEO, strategic blogging, creative email marketing and coaching. If you feel your business has hit a plateau and you need direction to overcome it (or you want someone to do it for you!), we could be just what you’re looking for. Visit our website www.southstreetmarketing.com to schedule a free consultation call so we can help you start growing your business again.
How can people connect with you?
Our website: SouthStreetMarketing.com (Schedule a consultation call with me!)
Our email: Hello@southstreemarketing.com
My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaitlyn-m-cook/
For a free download of our top 3 social media, email and blogging checklists: bit.ly/SSCoChecklist
Social Media Links? : https://www.facebook.com/SouthStreetCo/
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.