No matter where you are on your road to seven, there will always be parts of your business that you absolutely love and others that you don’t – we just need to figure out how to make it work. In this episode, we’re talking to Tamika Auwai, CEO of Orisha Creative, about her journey from being a solopreneur to building and leading a thriving agency. Tune in to learn about how you can build a self-managing agency and play within your genius.
From Solopreneur to Agency
Before Tamika started her solopreneur journey, she used her corporate background to start a business in fashion event marketing. Unfortunately, she soon discovered that she was unable to make a sustainable income for herself. Back to the drawing board, she started freelancing as a content creator for a seven-figure business coach.
As she was working she realized that while there were all the elements of a team (a business manager, project manager and graphic designers), there wasn’t anyone in charge of marketing. This gap meant that there was no one who could envision the creative aspects of the business and then execute the creative concepts, direction and strategy with the rest of the team.
Tamika’s epiphany moment was realizing that this gap didn’t just exist in this business, but this was a common barrier for coaches. She realized that there was a need and that she had the talent to provide the solution and support that her audience didn’t even know they had. From this, Orisha Creative was born.
Change the way you work to make your business work
Freelancing often feels as though you’re looking at your client as saying, “here are the packages for what I offer, take it or leave it.” For Tamika, being a solopreneur meant doing parts of the job that she didn’t necessarily love and filling in gaps for her clients. This often led to burn out or even resentment because she wasn’t being paid the full value for the amount of work she was doing. Instead of changing clients, she instead changed the way she worked.
She also wanted to take up more work so she switched to an agency model where she worked with two more clients. This was the perfect moment for her to tell her original client that she was changing the way in which she was working – a huge power move! It’s so easy to worry that your client will be upset (or worse, leave you) when you need to increase your prices to reflect your value. Try using language like “This is the way I’m working and this is what it looks like.”
You can price at any level that you want – whether high or low. What you need to decide is the type of clients that you want who will see your price and will buy into the value that you’re providing them. They will trust that your service or product is an investment for them.
“I hired before I was ready”
Transitioning to an agency is like solving a puzzle – it can feel hopeless and overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out how everything fits together. Which is why we need to take a calculated risk.
Hiring support can feel like a big risk. Your agency needs people whose genius fills the gap of your business on an individual level but also comes together as a team to execute the work on the same page. Before Tamika hired anyone, she hired a business manager to help her manage the back-end and find those other players – a client care coordinator who understood her audience, a project manager who understood her business and some copywriters to help execute the work.
For every hire, it was crucial that Tamika stayed transparent with them around how many hours she can offer them with the hope to provide them with more. This way, she could hire the right players that she needed.
Choosing your support
Transitioning from one business model to another is always difficult to navigate. Sometimes, we need advice – but who can we turn to?
The key is in understanding what you need to move forward. However, this can be overwhelming when you don’t know if you need mindset help, tactical strategy, referrals or all of the above. Then you have to decide whether you need a coach, strategist, mastermind or group. Instead of looking at everything like a giant buffet, Tamika urges you to ask yourself, “what is the gap?” and “what is the outcome?” Then writing down the steps to get to the outcome.
Sometimes this might mean a coach and sometimes you might be able to get it done yourself. For Tamika, finding another perspective with a coach and then focusing on her strategy helped her put the pieces of the puzzle together.
“Strategy is sexy”
Imagine you were building an addition to your house and you just hired a couple of very talented craftsmen but you don’t give them any direction or strategy on what you envision your house to look like. Chances are, you’ll end up with something you weren’t expecting.
Many businesses don’t hire marketing teams due to cost, yet the number one barrier to a business’ growth is the lack of consistent, powerful marketing. Tamika says that if you don’t have a great messaging and positioning strategy to communicate to your copywriter, what you’re going to get back is not going to be aligned with your business. Many businesses will hire a social media manager who will do their job but may not necessarily understand the vision or strategy behind the posts. If you just bring in the players to do their job but don’t give them a plan, they won’t do their job to the best of their potential. You won’t receive the best work from them.
Having a clear marketing strategy will not only keep your marketing on brand but having a dedicated team who understands it will make it easier to get it done and get it done right. It is the blueprint, it is the grand master plan that you need to present to people to get things done.
“Surrender to the outcome”
For Tamika, she had to make the decision to move forward in full trust that if she took action, it would figure itself out. You can’t create anything from a place of trying to worry and micromanage every single decision that you make – you just need to make it. This is what Tamika calls surrendering to the outcome. This also plays into the fact that you need to trust yourself and your ability that you can figure out what to do to course-correct.
Tamika urges us to surrender to the fact that we will make mistakes but we can also make the right decisions to get us back on our road to seven.
Resources From This Episode
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