Welcome to another edition of the Unusual Entrepreneur Interviews and today I’ve got another female unusual entrepreneur on the hot seat. Her name is Laura Roeder. She is the 28 years old founder of LKR Social Media, a training company which teaches small businesses how to create fame using social media and online marketing.
If you are just joining us for the first time, this is the unusual entrepreneur interview series. It is a parade of unusual entrepreneurs who are changing the world and profiting from purpose. Profiting from purpose by changing the world isn’t an impossible dream as many tend to think of it, but a realistic one as many unusual entrepreneurs have extraordinarily proven. Click here to read more unusual entrepreneur interviews.
Take it away Laura!
Interview Questions Part One
ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Awakening the Spirit of business
- Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your business? What do you do?, how do you do it?, why do you do it and who do you do it for?
My business, LKR Social Media provides training and support for small businesses who want to learn how to market online using social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. We’re all online, so entrepreneurs can access our courses anywhere around the world, at any time.
2. What is your take on the general notion that entrepreneurs should build a business around what they naturally love to do?
I think what you love to do is a great place to start, but I also think that what you love changes and you don’t want that to be the only driving force in your business. I see this a lot – someone starts their business around Google analytics, but then after living and breathing it for a few years what was once fascinating is now boring, and then a thriving business gets abandoned for the next “passion”. There are some major figures that I see doing this constantly. So you have to get to that next stage of business where you can move beyond just being excited about your topic.
3. What is your personal life mission as an entrepreneur? That is; what contributions do you want to make with your life or what would you like to be remembered for as an entrepreneur through the businesses you create when you die?
One of the big focuses in my business is to be encouraging. I think there’s enough negative stuff out there that makes people feel like success is an impossible task. I just want to give people a little support, and let them know that their dreams are achievable and possible.
Interview Questions Part Two
STRATEGY – The unusual execution of business best practices
4. How do you identify business opportunities and what metrics do you use to measure their viability?
It’s hard to answer this question because it’s not how I think at all! I just look at what my audiences needs are, and fill them the best way that I can. It’s not based on metrics or data analysis.
5. Do you have mentors, business coach or external consultants that you work closely with to grow yourself and your business? If yes, to what extent would you describe their impact on your business? If no, are there any particular reasons?
I’ve had business coaches in the past, now I mostly rely on friends. At this point in my life most of my friends are entrepreneurs, and they’ve been invaluable with advice and feedback. Honestly 99% of the time I’m just following my own way, I think for me friends are more valuable for mindset stuff than anything. Having successful people cheer me on is awesome, and seeing what they’ve achieved inspires me.
6. How do you strategically use your time as an entrepreneur? What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs use their time for?
Well there are so many activities that an entrepreneur needs to fill their time with! For me, my main role in the business is marketing. That’s really where my focus lies in my business. Without marketing, there are no customers and no business!
7. How do you generate profitable customers for your business? What unusual approaches do you adopt for marketing your products/services?
8. Many entrepreneurs complain about not succeeding in business due to lack of adequate funding, what is your take on this matter and how do you cope with funding issues in your business?
I’ve bootstrapped my business, so it’s something that I’m intimately familiar with! Every dollar that I spend has to be generated by the business. My advice to those starting out is this; don’t buy anything until the moment you need it.
When I began my business I actually found I didn’t need a physical checkbook until about 6 months in, so that’s when I ordered one! You’d be surprised how lean a business can run, and you certainly don’t need to spend money setting up a traditional office.
As for things you need to spend on to grow like hiring, bootstrappers have to get creative. I didn’t start out hiring full-time employees; I started with part-time contractors or people doing one-off projects. Leverage contract work to grow your business until you can afford to get full-timers – and sometimes contractors will turn into your employees down the road.
9. When starting out a new business, who are the likely possible partners or professional service providers you would recommend every entrepreneur work with?
First you need a great website – but this is possible to do on your own these days with a professional WordPress theme. If you don’t know how to set it up you can use resources like my WordPress course in SocialMediaMarketer. You should also get the proper financial structure set up from day one – work with an accountant to set up your business entity and make sure you’re paying taxes properly. Taxes are one thing you cannot afford to mess around with as an entrepreneur!
10. The pricing of products/services is always an issue for entrepreneurs, what unusual approach do you take when it comes to pricing?
I never compete on price; I think that’s always a losing game. When your main selling point is that you are the cheapest, someone can always come along at a lower price and then you’ve lost. I try to remind myself that people who can’t afford our programs aren’t the right fit. SocialMediaMarketer was created for small businesses, not people still figuring out what to start, there are lots of other great resources for those people. Once your business is actually up and running our program is very affordable, so when people complain about price I know they aren’t the right customer.
What more would you like to know about the Unusual Laura Roeder? You can ask her further questions below in the comment section and I will be sure that you will get an answer directly from her.
Also, what did you learn from this unusual entrepreneur? What lessons, what philosophy of her strike you the most? What ideas, insights or tips are you going to immediately apply to your business as a result of reading this interview?
Laura has shared her unusual story with you, now is time to hear from you. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!