SCORE

Courtney Herring wanted to make an impact in the marketing world, but she was frustrated at the opportunities available at marketing agencies. Herring wanted to gain meaningful experience while working with people and companies aimed at creating positive change.

However, she didn’t have a lot of agency experience. She worried she needed extensive credentials before trying to break into the industry and serve clients well. 

In 2014, she mustered her confidence and launched The Champ Media Agency, a digital marketing consultancy that partners with purpose-driven business leaders and organizations.

But how could she make her budding agency more visible?

Making time for mentoring

As 2015 wound down and Herring started to set goals for the coming year, she recognized that she wanted to work with a business mentor. She researched various organizations and decided where to find a mentor.

“I sought mentoring from SCORE because I knew that in order to take my business to the next level — things like hiring a team, attracting and servicing more client accounts, doing more public speaking — I needed mentoring,” she says. As a solopreneur, she knew that talking to someone with more experience could help her “get out of my own head and out of my own way to create a thriving business.”

Mentor Nakia Melecio has advised Herring on business operations, systems and processes in weekly meetings, while holding her accountable for her progress in these areas.

Positive results in business and beyond

“After a few email conversations, it became apparent that Nakia was someone I could truly learn from and partner with to get to the next level,” Herring says. She admired Melecio’s willingness to offer valuable insight based on her mentoring request before they even spoke by phone to confirm they were a good mentoring fit.

Herring also attended an online workshop about marketing a small business; it helped remind her of all the ways she could promote her business outside of digital marketing.

“Since having Nakia as a mentor, I’ve been able to close more clients in my consulting business, build a support team, gain motivation during the tough times and also leverage opportunities and relationships he’s shared with me,” Herring says.

Herring even notices that Melecio’s interest in her business success has enabled her to make positive changes in other areas of her life, as well. “I'm thankful to Nakia for the time he's invested, the resources he's shared and the insight I've gained from him,” she says. “I can only hope that he's gotten value from our relationship, as well.”

No excuses

Herring advises would-be business owners to start with the resources you have. Don’t procrastinate, make excuses, or get stuck in analysis paralysis. “My only regret in business was not starting sooner,” she says.

If you want to see positive change in your business – whether you’re just getting started or have plenty of experience — meet with a SCORE mentor.

About the Author(s)

Bridget Weston Pollack

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the SCORE Association.

Vice President of Marketing & Communications, SCORE
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