Self-Start Mums showcases mothers who have created their own self-employed business. I’m very happy to share my interview with Katrina McCarter, Founder of Marketing to Mums.
This series includes sponsored content.
An Interview with Founder of Marketing to Mums, Katrina McCarter
1. Tell me about yourself?
My name is Katrina McCarter and I’m the founder of Marketing to Mums. I’m a Marketing Strategist, Best-selling Author, Speaker and Mentor and I specialise in helping businesses sell more effectively to the world’s most powerful consumer, Mums. I’m also a mum of three kids, aged 15, 13 and 11.
2. Tell us about your self-employed business?
I started my first business at the age of 39 when my kids started school. I founded an online shopping website for Mums called Bubbler which I started in Perth and took national. I grew it to a community of 150,000 before selling in 2016. I founded my second business, Marketing to Mums, in 2015 at the age of 44. You are never too old to go into business.
Marketing to Mums is a marketing consultancy which provides education, strategic and research support for brands and business owners. I work with businesses of all sizes to help them identify who their most profitable Mum segment is and create a Marketing Strategy to best engage and connect with this segment.
I also coach Mums in business who are also selling their products or services to Mums. It was one of the things I would have really liked and benefitted from when I had my first business. I want to help business owners avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made (or see others making) so they can accelerate their business growth. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many women from start-ups through to those who have been running their businesses for more than a decade. They are from all over the world – from Hong Kong, America, New Zealand and Australia.
3. How did you transition to working for yourself?
The idea for my first business came about over a game of cards with my girlfriends on a Saturday night. My girlfriends were talking about these half-price shopping deals they were securing. It was the beginning of the group buying industry in Australia. I watched their activities for a while and observed that no one was catering for the family market. I decided I would seize that gap in the market. I pitched and secured four investors and launched six months later.
It was during my first business that I was inspired to start my second business. I saw that there was a growing dissatisfaction amongst mothers with the way they were being depicted and communicated with by brands. I also noticed that brands really lacked expertise around how to market to mothers. By next business was born.
4. What was your previous career?
I have 18 years sales and marketing experience working across diverse industries including grocery, hardware and online. I spent most of my professional life managing supermarkets accounts like Coles for big brands.
5. Describe a typical day in your working life?
I see my business has five parts to it – Coaching, Consulting, Speaking, Teaching and Writing. This means that my days are varied.
I set up my week so I focus on one income stream at a time. I teach the Digital Marketing Certificate course for the Australian Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising Association (ADMA) which is generally Wednesday nights and every second Tuesday.
Monday is my sales day, Tuesdays for coaching (when I’m not teaching) and Wednesdays and Thursdays for Consulting. Fridays I work on my speaker business preparing upcoming presentations or undertaking research to create new presentations. I find introducing some structure to my days and week ensures I am laser focused and highly efficient.
6. How many hours do you work per week on your business?
I won’t lie, I work seven days a week. I love what I do. So work doesn’t feel like work if you know what I mean. Certainly, I don’t do as much on the weekends but I still will do a little bit such as catching up on emails or exploring a new idea.
During my days I typically work school hours and then I do all the sport training runs. I get back to it again in the evening after dinner.
7. Do you supplement your income in any other ways?
I’ve now been self-employed for seven years and I have built up my business so I do not need to supplement my income.
8. How do you manage your family and working for yourself?
Combining my husband’s career and my own is challenging. We support and value each other’s career goals and aspirations. We both travel for work so we often have meetings to go over each other’s travel plans to ensure someone is always home to manage the fort.
My kids are particularly active in sport and we really need to have two adults around to help them get to and from their commitments. Whilst we can limp along for a few days with one parent, if either of us has a lot of travel for work, my Mum comes over from Perth to help out and keep us fed. Mums are the best :) I absolutely take my hat off to single parents.
9. What challenges did you face in setting up your business?
I made lots of mistakes when I started and continue to do so, it’s how we learn. I guess in the early days I found investing in print advertising didn’t work for me. I was an online business and I quickly learned that I needed to be a click away so all my attention moved to digital.
As my business grows I am very mindful about how I use my time. I’m currently in a stage of growth and I’m bringing on virtual assistants to help with the administrative tasks to ensure that my attention is used to secure and service clients. Increasingly I need to be very well planned.
10. What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
Making my own decisions. Carving out my own path. Creating the life I want.
11. What’s your best advice to another mum who is considering setting up her own business?
I’ve coached more than 70 women in business, predominantly those who sell to Mums. I find that they really need the support of other Mums in business. Many of these woman are juggling starting a business with being the primary carer (like I was) and it is difficult.
It’s important to find your business tribe – there are many of them around – who you can go to for advice and support throughout your journey. This is an important success factor. I’m in multiple groups which provide great support to me.
12. What’s next for you and your business?
I’m launching the world’s first podcast for business owners and brands who sell to Mums. The Marketing to Mums podcast will launch in September 2018.
I’ve got some exciting international speaking engagements coming up. I’m off to Paris and New York to speak which is a real pinch myself moment. In September I’ll be keynoting the Moms & Marketing conference in Paris. They’ve asked me to share my Australian research. I then fly on to present at the M2Moms Conference in New York where I will be talking about being a mom in an era of too much information and the challenge this creates for brands.
Are you a self-starter mum? Read more interviews with self-employed mums here.
To chat about taking part in this series and sharing your story, contact Mim here