Meghan Laurie was originally on a path to becoming an engineer, but then eventually she realized that she just couldn’t see herself enjoying every single day once she started working in that field and that was the most important thing to her.
So she decided to follow a road less traveled – that of an online entrepreneur. She now has a successful business via her Instagram account as an influencer. She has also moved into blogging and created her website, www.meghanlaurie.com. She has two other businesses as well, a boutique called Laurel & Lace (www.instagram.com/shoplaurelandlace, www.laurellace.com) and a social growth agency called SocialHackHub (www.socialhackhub.com).
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with this inspiring entrepreneur 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 college as an engineer, but I just couldn’t see myself enjoying every day once I started working as an engineer and that was the most important thing to me. As I was about to transfer schools (and go into engineering again) I spoke to my mom over the phone and she somehow brought up how creative I was, and how much I loved to go over the top with school projects. She thought that I should try to pursue something in that arena, which is how I got into advertising.
I really think my marketing mindset and creativity is why I am where I am today. For my influencer business, I originally started by taking pictures of my travels and my favorite outfits just for fun. I loved finally having good quality pictures! Then all of a sudden it started to grow.
Because of my success there, I decided that I wanted to start an online women’s clothing boutique, Laurel and Lace, with a friend. All of my social media knowledge really helped here.
And finally, I get so many questions about how to grow a following like mine, so I started a social media growth and consulting company, SocialHackHub.
Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?
I started down the influencer road, the path to all of this, in late 2015. I never imagined I would get to where I am today at all. It all started just for fun, but then it became my fulltime job… which is something I still can’t believe to this day.
What is your main source of income?
Out of the three businesses, I actually make the most from being a social media influencer!
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
I constantly try to engage with my audience on all three businesses. I focus solely on organic social media for my businesses, so no paid advertising at all.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
Instagram is the best platform for all three by FAR! I also use Facebook and Twitter.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
I have tried this and while it has given results, I found I can produce similar results organically through hard work, so I like to focus on that.
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?
My main tactic to gain awareness was to find people I thought would like my brand and engage with them. Show them that I am interested in them and I think they would be interested in me, as well.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
Social, social, social!
How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?
As an influencer, I stood out because of a unique social media theme (which is huge these days) and for being open and honest with my followers. I will talk to them about the happiest things in my life and talk about depression and anxiety. I want to promote a healthier social media for everyone.
For my boutique, we are similar to a brick-and-mortar boutique in that we have only a few of each item which makes us an interesting twist on the typical online store.
And for my social growth agency, I stand out because I am living proof that I know what I’m doing!
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
The hardest decisions I’ve had to make are who to work with and who to say no to. While I know which brands just won’t fit with my lifestyle and/or my followers, sometimes they do fit but won’t work for some other reason. It can be hard to pass on a brand that I actually do enjoy.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
The biggest money mistakes I made were at the beginning of starting my boutique. We bought a lot of items that did not sell well and tried various unsuccessful marketing tactics, but that experience taught us a LOT. While there was a lot of money lost, it helped us drastically improve.
What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?
I learned that it takes a specific type of personality to be successful as an entrepreneur. You need to always be hungry for more. Always want to achieve more. If you ever feel content with what you have, being truly successful as an entrepreneur isn’t in the cards for you.
What new business would you love to start?
I am always thinking of new business opportunities, but for now, I think what I have is enough.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I would have slowed down. I always want things done quickly and that led to mistakes that didn’t need to be made. I would have taken time to do more research, network with experts and taken other opportunities to learn rather than get started right away because of my excitement.
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 tell myself that any friends lost along the way weren’t true friends, to begin with. I lost a decent amount of friends and started to see people dislike me because they thought I was doing all of this for the wrong reasons. My businesses were not to be in the spotlight, it was to take something I loved and make an income from it. I would get very upset each time this happened, but my life is so much better off now.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I got was from my husband. Every time I wanted to give up due to lack of success, he told me it would pay off eventually. He always pushed me and it is the reason I am where I am today.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
There will be a lot of lows no matter who you are or how much experience you have. But the only way to be successful is to push through. The lows are when you need to put in the most effort rather than backing off.