SDH 197: The Benefits of Having a Co-Founder with Jenni Brown
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If you’re starting a business with a partner, how do you find where you’ll both thrive and stay productive? How will you be able to navigate your personalities?
We get to hear all about this with Jenni Brown, who is the co-founder of Prim’d Marketing, along with Sophie Davies. Originally, Jenni did marketing for mid-size businesses in her early 20's, and ended up working for brands such as Samsung, Nabisco, and Pepsi. She was in love with the field of marketing and loved that she got to tap into her creative of side of writing, designing, and working on a team. However, she wasn’t in love with the practice of working so hard to make these huge brands money, and she said her work didn’t feel meaningful. She eventually left her job and decided to get her MFA in writing in order to transfer her creative skills to an artistic forum. She also got a side job handling the marketing sector at a boutique PR firm, which is where she met Sophie, who was in charge of cross promotion and strategy.
The two found their groove with Jenni’s ability to come up with a brilliant marketing plan, and Sophie’s skill in taking that plan and finding the perfect collaborators, like bloggers and brands, to grow that strategy into a profitable opportunity. Unfortunately, the ladies found themselves without a job just before Christmas in 2013 due to the firm losing some important clients. During the following months, the duo ended up unintentionally freelancing together by recommending each other when hired onto projects. Soon they finally ended up deciding to go into business with each other, and Prim’d Marketing was born.
They began by offering every service under the sun, with Sophie doing jobs like writing newsletters to managing social media accounts, and Jenni designing logos and making websites. Their first year allowed them to see what they did and didn’t like, and to build a monetary foundation. They soon whittled their services down to a Brand Plan, which was a plan that helped clients figure out what was unique about their brand and services, who their target audience was, and how to appeal to them in an authentic way. Initially the plan was free since their client’s needs tended to change quickly, and to charge for the plan proved to be wasteful for the client and frustrating for Prim’d. Now the Brand Plan has become the keystone to their business and forces clients to think through their ideas thoroughly, stay committed to them, and increase productivity by showing them that their time is valuable.
As they built their business, they also had trouble with role overlap which led to a lot of frustration, and inefficiency. They had to learn how to distinguish their roles in order to effectively hone in on each other’s purposes and strengths to lead Prim’d in the right direction. Sophie began to take the lead as the business developer and tended to be the one who handled potential clients. Jenni stepped in as the CFO, and handled the systems of the company because she’s more left brained.
Jenni found that her pitfall was that she threw to much of herself into Prim’d because she was so determined to get Prim’d off the ground. Her mind became so consumed with her business that she would be listening to her partner speak, but thinking about her clients. By the end of 2015, she felt fatigued by constantly having her brain occupied by Prim’d, and she saw how it was negatively affecting her business and relationships. They both had to learn how make time for the things that gave their life and brain rest and enjoyment outside of work, like shutting down for a month and traveling to Mexico and Africa!
Here more about how Prim’d Marketing came to be in today’s episode!
In this episode you will…
- Learn how to distinguish your role in your business when you have a co-founder
- Find out how to work with your co-founder by picking up on their habits and behaviors
- Figure out the best way to tweak your services to fit your client’s behavior and needs
- Begin to find the courage to charge for your time and services to show that your effort is valuable
- Start to balance your hustle flow with play time
- Know how to stay organized as a business in order to stay productive
“We started freelancing…and we found that we kept offering our skillsets together…[Sophie]’s sort of the other half of what I do…we decided to umbrella our skillsets to offer our clients the best of that creative, strategic, whimsical, fun so they could have the whole breadth of what they’re looking for.” –Jenni Brown
“I think for people that are really just getting out there, there’s nothing wrong with putting as many irons in the fire as you can. And particularly if you’re just trying to get paid, there’s nothing wrong with doing all the things that are within your capacity to do, just to try it on and see what fits and what feels good.” –Jenni Brown
“If you’re a driven ambitious person, when you have goals that you haven’t met yet it can be hard to say ‘That’s enough.’ Even though I may not be making the amount of money I want to be making…I don’t have the audience I wish that I had…I’m not putting out the offerings I had imagined…being able say that enough and I’m just going to shut it down for today…[for] whatever your alternative life is outside of your business…learn how to figure out balance in your life.” –Jenni Brown