Kristen DeGroot on The Art of Monetizing What You Love
Kristen DeGroot is the CEO of The Campfire Circle, an agency that grows agencies. She's been a digital marketing thought leader for over a decade. She recently launched my agency after spending so much time growing other agencies. And she can say without a doubt, she has monetized doing what she loves. Kristen took some time out to share her insights with Rob Barratt, Co-Founder of The Industry Leaders.
Can you begin by telling our audience a little about yourself, your business, and what led you to pursue your particular passion as a profession?
I run an agency for agencies. I found that many agency owners spend a ton of time doing awesome client work and don't have the time to dedicate to growing their own agencies.
I've worked every role at agencies over the last decade. Usually agencies hired me as a contractor to help them grow.
I knew I wanted to start my own B2B agency and after a little thought, I was like duh an agency that grows agencies because that is where my expertise lies.
I'm curious to know, what was the defining moment that made you realize that this passion could actually become a business? How did you identify the unique value it could bring to others?
Once I came up with the idea for The Campfire Circle, I consulted with colleagues and they all loved the idea so I made a website, published some guest posts, and started landing clients right away. And once I landed my first few clients, I had social proof to leverage and now I'm turning clients away.
Every entrepreneur faces obstacles, especially when turning a passion into a business. Can you share some of the initial challenges you encountered and how you overcame them?
My biggest challenge was that I didn't have funding so I had to launch my agency from scratch. But I learned how to build a website and I know the agency industry so well that I was able to gain traction without any funding.
Monetizing a passion requires a solid business model. Can you walk us through how you developed yours, and the key factors that make it successful?
My most popular service is lead magnets in the form of industry reports.
When I create these for an agency, I survey 300 members of their target audience and compile my unique data into a report. I house it on a landing page and make it the hub for all of my lead gen efforts.
I think this approach is so successful because it brings in qualified leads organically which shortens the sales cycle.
I promote the lead magnets for 3 months and implement a lead nurturing sequence so that they convert into a client for the agency I did the report for.
Many people worry that monetizing their passion may take the joy out of it. How have you managed to balance the business aspects with staying true to what you love?
Maybe I have not made enough yet to experience this dilemma? I love what I do. I used to look forward to the weekend and now I look forward to Mondays because I love what I do that much.
As your business grew, what strategies did you employ to scale it while maintaining the core values and essence of what made it special in the first place?
Thoroughly vetting contractors so they represented my agency well. If I don't think I can get amazing results for an agency, I simply tell them as I would never take anyone's money unless I believe in what we are doing.
Your journey is truly inspiring. What key insights or pieces of advice would you offer to someone looking to turn their passion into profit?
I would tell them not to try it. I would tell them to do it. With a little confidence and expertise, the internet is such a wonderful place that you can teach yourself anything.
Reflecting on your journey so far, what are you most proud of? What future developments or projects are you excited about in your business?
I'm most proud of the fact that shortly after my agency launched, I got accepted to Forbes.
For those interested in learning more about your journey or connecting with your business, how can they get in touch or follow your work?
Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristen-degroot-03a76062/
and follow my blog: https://www.thecampfirecircle.com/blog