On my blog which you are looking at right now I have decided to profile a series of founders and self employed people to showcase the cool things they are doing as well as to shine a light on the challenges and day to day routines of self employed people.
Self employed people contribute strongly to the UK economy, with over 5 million self employed people and represent over 15% of the labour market. Right now in August 2020 self employed people are eligible for the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, its a far cry from the furlough scheme which is a lot more supportive of employed people but at least there is some acknowledgement of the important role of self employed people.
The second person i've interviewed for this article is the glamorous, hilarious and intelligent Kim Darragon. She is a local east londoner, and the founder of Kim Does Marketing. She is an all rounded marketing and events expert with a keen eye on all things social media related. The thing that i love the most about Kim is that she talks sense and generously offers up pearls of wisdom on her Instagram page @kimdoesmarketing. See below an example of her swipe-along bite-size content which she regularly publishes in a fun and easily digestible way!
Describe your business (and your big idea):
I run Kim Does Marketing, a marketing and events consultancy based in east London. My mission is to make marketing easy to understand and implement for entrepreneurs and small business owners of ALL backgrounds particularly founders from a BAME background and those from overseas who have launched their business here in the UK. I also host a lot of 1-on-1 coaching sessions, run marketing audits, provide part-time consulting services, host webinars and speak at a lot of events on everything from marketing and freelance life to female founders.
Photo credit: Emily Metcalfe
What is your background? How does it link to what you are doing now?
I’m from France and moved to the UK a decade ago. Since then, I’ve worked in-house as a marketing and events manager for global magazines, tech firms, beauty startups and government organisations. I’ve freelanced for fashion designers, small craft brands and others as well – but setting up my consultancy has been a totally different experience, and so rewarding. I’m constantly learning new skills.
How and when did you launch?
Before launching KDM last November, I’d spent 12 years working as a marketer in Paris and London, mainly in the media and publishing industries. I started freelancing on the side four years ago when a friend needed some help marketing her new fashion brand. Soon enough, by word of mouth, friends (and friends of friends) were asking for my support to help with their brand’s launch plans or to create pop-up events around London. So, I started hustling after work and on weekends. I had the opportunity to organise events for Courier magazine and meet some amazing entrepreneurs. The idea of supporting talented new businesses came from this!
What is one of your proudest business moments?
The highlight of my career has been moving to the UK and challenging myself in a new environment – and a new language! A recent proud moment was when I taught marketing at both General Assembly London and New York. I used to attend their workshops and now I’m running webinars – that’s crazy! I had an audience of 200 people listening to my talk; it was scary and empowering at the same time.
What challenges have you faced?
My biggest obstacle has been myself. Getting out of my comfort zone; leaving a well-paid, secure, 9-to-5 role as a head of marketing; accepting I’ll have to confront my family’s doubts on my career choices. I’ve always known I wanted to work for myself and get out of the corporate world – I found it sort of toxic, working under constant pressure to reach targets, getting burned out because you want to overachieve and have to deal with messy management. No thank you... next! Just putting your head down and getting on with it sometimes isn’t enough; you have to make a change.
How do you stay motivated?
What keeps me motivated is helping awesome entrepreneurs reach their business goals – it’s so rewarding and fun. They usually have a small budget but giant dreams, so you’re not allowed to fail. But helping them achieve their dreams is awesome. I also stay motivated when I remember my former life in the corporate world. I don’t want to go back there – I’ve tasted the freedom of being my own boss. I want to work hard for myself, collaborate with the clients of my choice and make my living on my own terms. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it.
What have you got your eye on for the future?
Collaborating with more BAME founders and helping them grow their biz in London. At some point, the end goal is to move my business to the States and enjoy the sun of California! I’ve been dreaming of La La Land for a couple of years now.
What are your favourite things to carry around with you?
After the essential trio – phone, cards, keys – I always carry red lipstick, a pen, a book or magazine to keep me company when I have to wait, snacks or candy (in case I’m stuck in a lift!) and because we’re in London I usually have a crappy little umbrella (half broken but still usable). In recent months I’ve been carrying antibacterial gel and 2 masks (a Goodordering one and a paper one!).
Do you have a motto? If so , what is it?
My business motto is ‘make effective marketing fun again’ – but my personal motto is a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: ‘And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’
How can people get in touch with you?
You can find me on Instagram and TikTok at @kimdoesmarketing where I share tons of marketing tips. You can also get in touch with me on LinkedIn (just don’t write “best regards” – I like keeping the vibe informal but straight to the point!)
Thanks Kim for sharing all your knowledge and for making us smile!!