Kristin Marquet served as the Creative Director of the award-winning PR firm, Creative Development Agency. She oversaw the day-to-day operations of the agency as well as directed all client accounts and projects. With a strong eye for creating memorable brands and a diverse range of knowledge, Kristin provided strategic counsel to clients interested in developing successful internal and external communication programs across all media platforms for more than a decade.
In 2017, Kristin launched the emerging spinoff media company, FemFounder.co that helps creative female entrepreneurs plan, launch, and scale their businesses. FemFounder is a one-stop resource for everything on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, PR, and social media marketing. Now, Kristin runs Marquet-Media.com, a boutique creative consultancy that designs beautiful and feminine brands in the wedding, beauty and fashion, wellness and fitness, cooking, photography, and interior design industries.
Passionate about learning, Kristin has advanced studies in data and marketing analytics. She has attended MIT, Boston University, and New York University and holds degrees in literature and marketing/public relations. She has also contributed to high profile websites such as Forbes.com, Inc.com, HuffingtonPost.com, Entrepreneur.com, and NYDailyNews.com.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Kristin to discuss her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I started my first business in 2009, it was a full-time PR and marketing firm, which I offloaded in 2017. I actually started the business because I had lost my corporate consulting job during the Financial Crisis. Bridging the gap between unemployment and building a thriving brand was very tough in the early days, but I made it.
In 2017, I also launched the emerging media and education company FemFounder.co. FemFounder.co is designed to help creative female entrepreneurs plan, launch, and scale their businesses in a shoestring budget. Now, I also own and manage Marquet-Media.com, a boutique creative consultancy where I work with high-growth brands one-to-one.
Additionally, I am releasing my third book, From Nameless to Notable: How to Gain Influence, Establish Authority, and Reach Expert Status in Your Niche or Industry the Ultimate Guide to Generating Media Coverage for Your Startup and Leveraging It to Increase Website Traffic, Email Subscribers and Sales this summer, which is exciting. I have a few other projects in progress which I will share later.
Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?
When I started my first business, I worked a lot of hours every week, upwards of 80, including nights and weekends building a pipeline of clients and revenue. It took me a year or so to refine my message and marketing strategy as I tried to serve all industries and businesses of all sizes. I was scattered and tired. It took its toll. But after taking a hard look at my company and where it was headed, I learned I had to niche down and only serve two or three industries. Taking this laser focus approach enabled me to build a profitable agency with clients I valued and loved.
About seven years into my entrepreneurial journey, I had countless entrepreneurs and small business owners start asking me for tips and tricks on how to grow a profitable venture. Based on those requests, I started FemFounder.co as a resource to help those entrepreneurs—which evolved into a full-fledged media and education company. Now, we have over 160K email subscribers and thousands of students in our PR Academy program.
Earlier this year, I also launched a digital marketing membership program and a directory where freelancers can find projects. The name of this venture is called NapoleonofBusiness.com.
What is your main source of income?
I have a few that I built out over the last decade. My primary sources of revenue are consulting and design work for luxury brands through Marquet Media, selling courses and info products on FemFounder.co, and offering a membership program on NapoleonofBusiness.com.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
I actively use Pinterest and Instagram to grow the FemFounder and NapoleonofBusiness.com email lists, and then publicity and thought leadership to build to the Marquet Media brand. I’ve found these to be the most effective.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
For FemFounder.co, I use Pinterest and Instagram to generate traffic and email subscribers. I used to utilize Facebook, but my markets are no longer using that platform. I also use Instagram Stories for any new product launches.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
The only paid advertising I tried was running Facebook Ads several years ago. It was an effective list building tactic, but I find that the cost per acquisition or cost per lead now is just too high, so I don’t use any type of advertising at this point. I am fortunate enough to have each one of my brands generate traffic, email subscribers, and sales through search engines, social media activities, and online media coverage.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
Like I mentioned above, the most effective way to build my brand awareness is by using Pinterest, Instagram, and publicity. After years of refining each brand’s messaging and brand images, I’ve learned how to craft narratives that resonate with my target audiences. Refined messaging helps my brands stand out from the competition. Refined messaging also only attract our ideal clients because the copy speaks to them directly.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Interestingly enough, the toughest decision I’ve had to make over the last few months is whether I should make the digital marketing membership program available on the FemFounder.co website or a different website.
After conducting extensive research, I noticed a gap in the marketplace that serves freelancers and online business owners and then started the NapoleonofBusiness.com website as a separate brand. This website is an integrated hub for freelancers and online business owners looking to increase their income and find the right gigs/projects for their skill sets.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
In the early days, I wouldn’t outsource any tasks as I tried to do everything myself. This actually ended up costing me more in the long run because I ended up spending more time learning how to do certain tasks that didn’t generate any income. For instance, I would draft my own client updates which would take hours every week—when I could have just outsourced it. I was being penny wise and pound foolish.
What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?
Here’s my business money advice: outsource the tasks where you’re not expert or that don’t generate any revenue if you can. Think about the small admin tasks you have to do every day that eats into your money-making activities. Spend time on tasks that bring in a profit and don’t be afraid to delegate.
What new business would you love to start?
This is a great question–I would love to start a business that helps infertile couples understand the process of IVF and other fertility treatments as this is something that I have struggled with in the recent past.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have tried to do everything myself. I would have brought on the right team members from the beginning, so I focus on long-term growth.
I’ve now learned that having the right team members will help my business grow much faster than I could do by myself.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?
I would have done a lot more publicity in the early days (especially television interviews)—I wouldn’t have waited a few years to start conducting media outreach to generate coverage. I think it’s really important to get your name out there in the early days, so you become trusted and visible to the right target audiences. I would have also written my first book the first I started my business to gain more credibility, instead of waiting until year five.
Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
Yes, one of my favorite books is She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur by Carrie Green. She gives readers an inside look at the unglamorous side of entrepreneurship. She is authentic and I appreciate that as an entrepreneur. She gives it to her readers straight—no fluff, no BS.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
My dad always had great nuggets of wisdom as a child and teenager. He would always say, “Listen more than you talk because others will feel heard and understood. You’ll also gain knowledge and perspective. You’ll be the smartest person in the room.” And besides, no one likes a know-it-all.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
I would say to make sure that a market exists for your product or service before spending a lot of money developing a complete product or service is the key to building a profitable company and power brand. Start with creating a minimum viable product and then be sure to conduct the right market research where you’ll test it. Don’t create something and try to market it without ensuring that there will be a demand. Be smart and strategic with your marketing. Test, test, and test again.
You can follow Kristin via her Social Media Channels: