Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tamara Smith, Founder of Studio Three 49 Digital Marketing, located in Durham, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Studio Three 49 is a boutique digital marketing agency specializing in copywriting, content marketing, social media, and paid ads management. We provide smart digital marketing solutions for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Our approach is highly personalized. As marketers and business owners, we've gotten really good at talking to people but have often forgotten how to talk to people. We're mindful that behind every like, comment, and share, there's a real person with fears, pains, and goals. We're focused on helping our clients make real, personal connections with their ideal clients. Connections that start conversions and create opportunities for conversions.

Tell us about yourself

I always wanted to start my own business, but I had been looking outside of myself for the idea, thinking it had to be some kind of external product or service. It took two layoffs in less than 90 days, a family health crisis, and a global pandemic, but I finally realized that I could be the product and service.

I stumbled upon the idea of becoming a virtual assistant. It was a completely new concept for me coming from the corporate world, but I saw potential in offering contract business support services. Initially, I focused on supporting clients with email marketing and social media management, drawing on my background in advertising, marketing, sales, and new business development. It was interesting to see how my career had come full circle-my first job out of college was in broadcast production, creating commercials for local advertisers.

In 2021, almost two years into the business, I made the decision to pivot and relaunch Studio Three 49 as a boutique digital marketing agency. I discovered that my true passion lies in helping businesses stand out, be seen, and connect with their ideal clients. And that's what I continue to do today.

It's incredibly exciting to witness the success of the people we work with and genuinely enjoy collaborating with. Seeing their growth and achievements is a constant reminder of why we do what we do. We love nothing more than being a part of their hype squad and supporting them every step of the way.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Adding my first team member, no question. Being able to create opportunities for other people and see them grow and thrive within the business is incredibly rewarding. It's a testament to the impact we can have as entrepreneurs, not just on our own lives but on the lives of others. Building a team also allows me to focus on my strengths and delegate tasks that others can excel at. It has opened up new opportunities for creativity, innovation, and taking the business to the next level. It's a wonderful feeling to know that together, we're contributing to the success of our clients and the growth of Studio Three 49.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the toughest challenges I've faced is finding the balance point between working on my business and working in my business. As entrepreneurs, we're the CEOs, the marketers, the salespeople, the strategists, and the list goes on. It can feel like we're constantly spinning plates while herding cats. For me, it's come down to careful planning, effective time management, and developing a team that I can trust to delegate to when needed so that I can focus on the bigger picture. I've learned I have to treat Studio Three 49 like I would any one of our clients and protect the time I have dedicated to setting goals and developing the strategies and systems that will keep us moving forward.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Get visible and make connections. Building a business isn't just about creating a fantastic product or service-it's about connecting with your audience. Get yourself out there, share your story, and let people know what you're passionate about. Leverage social media, attend networking events, and join online communities where your target audience hangs out. By building genuine connections and showing up consistently, you'll attract the right people who resonate with your message and want to support your business.
  2. Always be looking for opportunities to share and add value. Look for ways to provide helpful content, insights, and solutions to your audience's challenges. Share your expertise through blog posts, videos, podcasts, or social media. By consistently delivering value, you'll position yourself as a trusted authority in your industry and attract loyal customers who appreciate what you have to offer.
  3. Just start. Sometimes, we can get caught up in overthinking and waiting for the perfect moment to begin. Spoiler alert: There's never a perfect moment. The most important thing is to take that first step. Once you start, you'll gain momentum, learn and make necessary adjustments along the way. Embrace the journey and be open to the growth that comes with taking action.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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