To Go From Completely Comfortable to Absolute Uncertainty

  • Published on:
    August 16, 2019
  • Reading time by:
    8 minutes

Amy Levesque decided to start her business called Hub Digital after she got laid off from her sales job. Levesque was doing really well selling digital ad space for a large news network when the company was purchased by an investment agency who promptly laid off 90% of the sales staff. It was a massive shock and it made Amy Levesque go from being completely comfortable with her future, to being absolutely freaked out by it in the span of 15 minutes. 

After processing things for a few days, Levesque decided that she never wanted to feel out of control like that again. She knew she had to offer something valuable to people, and she wanted to do it on her own terms now. 

Amy Levesque decided to pursue her passion for marketing that she always had while she was in school at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Pursuing her passion led Levesque to start her own marketing company Hub Digital. Serving all of Rhode Island, Hub Digital offers full-service marketing at affordable and reasonable rates for small businesses. Hiring large agencies or full-time marketing help can be expensive, and it’s important for small businesses to maximize and account for every dollar spent. Hub Digital offers the quality work of a large firm, but with the attention and commitment of a single person. 

In your own words, what do you do?

I help small business owners and solopreneurs grow their businesses through sustainable, long term digital marketing strategies. I help them utilize and showcase their personalities, talents, beliefs and skills to authentically connect with their target market, and drive more traffic and sales.

What challenges did you face early on?

If you know anything about me, you know that one of my biggest weaknesses is patience. I HATE waiting for stuff! When I first started my business I was constantly comparing myself to other people who had been in business for years and was getting frustrated that  I wasn’t at their level yet. I had to learn that business growth doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes YEARS of hard work and determination. It was tough pill for me to swallow in the beginning when I just wanted to be at that point already.

Did you take any courses or qualifications?

I did! I have a bachelors degree in Marketing and Advertising from Emerson College. After school I worked in digital ad sales for about 5 years where I learned a lot specifically around buying ads (both display ads and paid search ads), as well as organic SEO strategies to give added value to my clients. 

In college I minored in print journalism as well. That writing background has really helped me gain a foothold in content marketing in particular. It’s something we focus heavily on at Hub Digital and something we’re really proud to excel in for our clients.

Did you have any particular fears about starting a business and if so how did you get over them?

That I wouldn’t be good enough. I think most of us entrepreneurs struggle with “imposter syndrome”. That feeling like we’re not qualified to own our businesses or offer advice to other people. I had to leap a little bit and have faith in my education, background, and what I believed in. But, it still took a good few years of hearing positive feedback from my clients before I was able to internalize it and truly believe it myself. There are still days where I hear that nagging voice in the back of my head and I have to really focus on driving it out

What skill has helped you most throughout your career?

I think it’s been the idea of coming from a place of truly helping my clients and doing things “right”. I have always focused on doing things well, even if it means taking some extra time to do it. I don’t do it to sound altruistic or anything, but I’ve always come from the philosophy of it you’re going to do it anyway, you might as well do it right.

Sometimes it’s hard to do things this way, especially when client’s push back about spending the extra money, or I’ve had to say “no” to things because my current workload just wouldn’t allow it to fit in. But in the end, it’s given a reputation I’m proud of and has really helped drive growth through referrals.

Tell us what it was like to build from zero? 

I feel like I’m still doing that! There are still days where I look back and think that I’m not where I want to be with my business. I’m constantly reinvesting back into my business to find new revenue streams or into education. Sometimes that is a hard practice for me when I just want to use the money on clothes or going out.

Building something from scratch is super hard, and requires A LOT of patience (something I struggle with!). But at the end of the day, when you finally get to see that hard work pan out, there is no better feeling in the world.

Tell us about your other company that you recently launched geared towards women entrepreneurs

I’m SUPER excited about my marketing membership program, The Hub. It’s an online marketing membership that offers expert trainings and masterclasses, as well as an amazingly supportive community, focused on female entrepreneurs and business owners.

Women own about 40% of the businesses in America (34.4% averaged across Europe, 27% in Canada, and about 27% averaged in South America) but many of them lack the support they need for long term success. Women, in particular, have specific challenges they face, including caregiving responsibilities, that can make owning a business difficult. I wanted to create a resource that was flexible and worked around those unique challenges (time, access, finances) so that women could get the information they needed to grow their businesses.

What marketing strategy do you use for your businesses? Have you tried a strategy that did not work at all in the past, what strategy would you advice someone to leave behind? 

Value, value, and more value. I’m all about giving away as much as possible through blog content, videos, and even podcasts. People have a TON of choices today when it comes to making any kind of purchase. They are going to choose you when they feel connected to you, and like you’ve already improved something in their life.

Marketing used to be SO much easier a few years ago when you could just post something on social media and get a whole bunch of followers interested in buying from you. That doesn’t work anymore. Organic reach on social media has decreased dramatically and the only posts that are still getting through to consumers are the ones that deliver value to those that are reading it.

What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/ disagree with? Why?

I used to live by the idea of “faking it until you make it”. And, while I can still see some merits in using that theory to drive your confidence and push yourself to take risks, I’ve completely cut that out of what I show to my potential clients or my audience on social. If I’m struggling with something, I tell them about it. If I’m proud of something, I’m honest about what those accomplishments are. When I’m confused about the next steps, I put it out there and ask other’s for advice. I think we’re all just tired of seeing the fake instagram posts and want to see what’s real. My clients/following deserve to know the real me, the one you’re going to get when you sign up to work with me.

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