Success Interview with Kaye King

Welcome to success interviews. These are where I chat to a fellow female business owner and find out why they started their business and how they measure success. In this post, I’m joined by Kaye King you can either watch or read the interview below. 

Interview Transcript

I met Kaye a few months ago when she was referred to me for some support with her business and I loved her mission to debunk the myths around marketing.  She is the Marketing Mentor and works with female coaches, consultants and service professionals who are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and often a little bit afraid of marketing. She works with them one-on-one and through group programmes to help them get past the fear and overwhelm to create a way of doing marketing that feels right for them. An approach that doesn’t feel spammy, sleazy or a bit grubby so that they can feel comfortable and consistent when promoting their business. To embrace it and use it to grow because if we’re not marketing our businesses, they’re not going to grow and the people who need our help won’t get the help that we can give them because they won’t know that we’re there.  

Why did you start your business? 

This business started three years ago. Prior to that, I worked in marketing agencies for about 30 years. I worked with some huge clients. I had some brilliant experiences and I learned a lot. I left the agency world in 2016 because it was very stressful. There was a lot of pressure, a lot of deadlines and constant, relentless pressure to meet targets.  

I set up a consultancy business doing marketing for small firms and it was okay but I didn’t really enjoy it. It didn’t inspire me. It wasn’t exciting and I was working mainly by myself with these clients. I didn’t have that amazing talented team around me that I was used to and I didn’t have the budgets that I was used to working with but I was doing quite a lot of networking and I kept meeting people who were solo business owners and working really, really hard to promote their businesses and I could see that they weren’t getting the progress they wanted. They weren’t getting the enquiries and the clients they wanted to work with.  What they were doing, with a few simple changes and a little bit of support and training would make a huge difference to them and would make life feel easier.

One of the things I loved about my old life was training and developing my team. I missed the training and development side of my old life but I knew that I didn’t want to employ people. I didn’t want to run a business that was building my own team. So, I thought how can I combine that 30-year marketing experience with those big clients?  That’s when the Marketing Mentor business was born really and I love it. I just love it. Seeing those light bulb moments and seeing people get more confident, embracing marketing and learning to recognising that they can do it in a way that works for them. 

Marketing is just a conversation. That’s it. That’s all it is. At the end of the day, it’s nothing to be scared of and we get to choose how, when, where and how often we have those conversations. With the right support, you can do that.  It’s about helping the people who need help. It’s about helping them find the right solution for them and you know, guiding them towards that decision and sometimes that decision won’t be to work with you, the right decision for them will be to work with someone else or it might be to work with you but not yet. It’s our job to help our audience get the best option for them. So, if they don’t buy from us and we can recommend that they work with someone else, that for me is just as positive an outcome as if somebody signs up to work with me. 

How do you measure success? 

First and foremost, feeling comfortable that what you are doing, the business that you are running is right for you. It’s in line with your values. It brings you joy. It brings you excitement and you know when you get up in the morning and you see that you’ve got certain clients in your diary and you go brilliant, can’t wait to work with those people. 

I’m like you. I hate the whole 6 figure thing and actually that has caused a lot of people I’ve met to invest ridiculous amounts. Well, not invest, waste ridiculous amounts of money signing up for programmes that promise the world and don’t deliver because they’re not right for them. Then those people end up feeling like they’ve failed and they haven’t. They’ve just gone down the route that isn’t right for them because of some very, very clever and manipulative marketing techniques.

So for me, success is being able to live the lifestyle, the life that you want and to develop a business, to design a business that helps you do that.   With all my clients, we start with what is it you want from life and business and let’s help you design a business to get there and to create marketing content and programmes that will help you create that business to support that lifestyle. 

What one tip would you give your younger self? 

This is a great question and I loved it and I have two daughters who are 27 and 29 now and I give them the same advice and it is that whatever it is you’re doing now doesn’t have to be what you do forever.   I think very often we think that, particularly when I left university and started my career in the 80s, you were going into a career and that’s  where you stayed.  I definitely stayed in jobs longer than I should have done or longer than was good for me because I felt like I had to build my career.  I couldn’t change jobs after a year because that would look really terrible. 

Looking back that was really not a good thing to do. Having said that, I don’t think the time was right for me to do what I’m doing now. If I tried to do it sooner it might not have worked. I wouldn’t have had the vision that I have now because I wouldn’t have had the experience to help me see it. So yeah, everything leads to something else and we never know where it’s going to lead.  A lot of my daughter’s friends and one of my daughters herself, they’re doing other stuff alongside their jobs as well that are helping them to get creative inspiration or some other fulfilment alongside their work and sometimes earning a little bit of money from it as well. So I think the next generation, my daughter’s generation, they’re not prepared to put up with crap either. At work you know if they are being dumped on, if they’re working ridiculous hours, they’re more inclined to stand up and say that’s not right or to change jobs because of it. Which is good, much, much braver and stronger than I was at 27, definitely.  If you’re not happy, stand up for yourself. Say, you’re not happy and and go and make that change for yourself. 

Life is way too short to to be doing something we don’t enjoy. and if you’re in an employed role, you spend a long time at work. It’s the same in business. If something isn’t working, if it doesn’t feel right, then change it. It’s your business, your rules. You get to run it how you choose to run it. 

Watch the Interview

Kaye King

Kaye King

Kaye King Marketing Mentor

Kaye King is on a mission is to debunk the myths that cause fear, confusion and overwhelm around marketing. After working with brands like Kenco, Hilton, and Nationwide during her 30-year marketing agency career, Kaye now uses her experience to strip everything back to basics for her clients. Her aim is simply to stop business owners wasting time, energy, and money on marketing that doesn’t work for them (or to stop them avoiding it altogether!) Through her calm, practical and jargon-free approach, Kaye encourages her clients to embrace marketing, and prioritise it to grow their business in a way that works for them.