Welcome to our Founders Q&A series, where we delve into the minds of those who have turned their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Today, we are thrilled to have Chandler Sherrod, the dynamic founder of a burgeoning marketing startup. With her unique perspective gained from the news world, journalism, and corporate marketing, Chandler saw an opportunity to create a business centered around empowering businesses to enhance their online presence, especially her community. Without further ado, let's explore the story of Chandler's leap into founding her startup and the insights she has garnered along her journey.
Can you tell us about your personal background and how it led you to founding your startup?
I have a background in the news world and journalism. More recently I've been working in the corporate field of marketing primarily helping people in a white dominated field make more money so I said why not start a business helping my people.
What problem does your startup solve and how did you identify it?
I help businesses enhance their online presence through social media. I identified it by noticing a lot of busy business owners don't have time to keep up with the day-to-day trends on social.
How did the idea of your startup first come about?
From work! A colleague had her own marketing business so I said why not!
What is your startup's mission and how does it drive your daily operations?
Helping service-based businesses scale their brand on social media!
Can you share the story of how you gathered your founding team?
I am currently a solopreneur!
How did you go about securing initial funding for your startup?
Completely bootstrapped with no external funding at the moment.
What were some major obstacles faced during the early stages of your startup, and how did you overcome them?
Clients not wanting to pay on time! Currently still going through this.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
A time I failed was when I had an influencer client sign a contract for one month instead of three. When it came to the second month, I was anxiously awaiting her payment and she told me she signed for only one month and not three. I now make sure I do my part when it comes to contracts and I send the appropriate ones!
How does your startup stand out from competitors in your industry?
I would say I stand out from my competitors because marketing isn't a hobby for me; it's my career that I turned into a business.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a founder so far?
Having the foresight and ability to detect and say no to red flag clients.
Can you describe a typical day in your life as a founder?
Wake up, Pray, Get Coffee, Work Work Work Work!
How do you stay motivated during challenging times?
God and Lil Babys music lol.
What is the best piece of advice you received and who was it from?
"Don't give up, when tomorrow could be the day you win." - My Therapist
How do you manage work-life balance, especially during intense periods of work?
How has your leadership style evolved as your startup has grown?
I focus on meeting the needs of my clients and creating a supportive environment for them to feel safe with working with me.
What does success look like for your startup, and how do you measure it?
By the number of clients I have! I measure it through lead generation and how many inquiries I receive.
Could you share any pivots your startup had to make and the reasons behind it?
Pivots would be changing niches from who I took as clients. Less product-based business and more service-based. I feel that I could relate to more of the service-based business owners.
How have you leveraged technology to grow and improve your startup?
Always staying up to date when it comes to new Apple devices!
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting your business?
I wish I knew about how much trial and error you have to go through to get to where you want to be.
Can you discuss a time where customer feedback directly influenced a decision or direction for your startup?
Yes! My first client told me how much I was helping her as a busy mom, she could spend more time with her son being that I took over her marketing and I knew the business was made for me.
How do you see your startup evolving in the next 5 years?
I would love to scale into an agency instead of a one-woman show! I see myself having a team of social media managers under myself with a loaded clientele list.
What are the key qualities you look for when hiring new team members?
Can you share an instance where your team had to go above and beyond to deliver on a project?
Yes! I had a client that sold t-shirts! At the end of the month, he had a new shirt come out and he wanted extra content on social media. So, I stopped what I was doing to ensure I advertised his new product effectively.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting their own business?
Do it! Don't wait until it's perfect. Go for it.