Motherhood On My Terms

Valerie Hoffman, Chief Evil Genius at mySmartMedia

October 25, 2022


Every business has a story on why they got started. Welcome to The Marketing Accelerator Podcast featuring three insights in about three minutes. I'm Drew Dinkelacker. Today, I'm speaking with Valerie Hoffman. She's the chief evil genius at mySmartMedia, a fractional CMO firm. Val, what was the path that led you to starting your own consultancy?

Valerie Hoffman: A really good question. I had worked for several agencies over the years and was just really ready to start my own, but I think the biggest motivator was that I was pregnant with my second child. And like a lot of expecting moms in the workforce, you're juggling pros and cons, and, for me, it just made sense to start my own firm. It was a long-term goal, and it was sort of that catalyst that I needed at the time. So absolutely no regrets on choosing the lesser-run path with that, and it's been a really fun adventure the last 10 years. In fact, I still have my first client. We've had a wonderful long-term relationship. I'm very lucky in that.

Drew: So, you've seen the ups and downs of your own business and your clients, as well?

Valerie: Yes, absolutely. A couple of years ago, they sold so under that new leadership, we did a complete rebrand. We tore [chuckle] everything I'd built for about six years down, and rebuilt it. New CRM, new website, new materials, new sales strategy, and additional sales offerings and things like that. So, I would say the one lesson I would take away that I would share with other people is don't be too attached to your work. Don't let your ego get caught up with it. Do what's best for the client, and it will be the best thing for your business, as well.

Drew: So, Val, if you could hop in the time machine and go back 10 years and whisper in the ear of that Val that was just getting her business started, what would you tell her?

Valerie: There's a lot of things that I could probably tell myself, but I think the most important thing that I've learned that I would share with anyone who might be in those shoes forging their own path right now, is to build those relationships. Don't just focus on building the business, build relationships with people and serve before selling. And if you do those things, your business will grow organically. So don't try to force it, and it's really at the end of the day… Brené Brown, she says, "People, people, people." I say that to myself a lot, too. It's all about those relationships and people at the end of the day.

Drew: You know, as consultants, clients often buy into you first and then they stick with you when they see the value that you deliver. The Marketing Accelerator Podcast is a production of and just one of the resources we provide to accelerate marketing leaders. I'm Drew Dinkelacker.