Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Kristen DeGroot of The Campfire Circle: Navigating Small Business Challenges

In this exclusive interview with Kristen DeGroot, founder of The Campfire Circle based in the United States, we delve into her journey of starting an agency that grows agencies. From overcoming the challenge of landing her first client to navigating the ongoing hurdles of guaranteeing results in marketing, Kristen shares her insights and experiences. Join us as we uncover the unforgettable story of a client relationship that ended due to overwhelming success, and explore Kristen’s future plans for her business as she aims to expand and hire full-time employees. Stay tuned as we discuss the unique challenges faced in areas like sales, marketing, and adapting to changing customer trends in the small business landscape.

Interviewee Name: Kristen DeGroot

Company: The Campfire Circle

Intervirew Host: Jesse Samberg

The Interview

Let’s get started. First, we’d like to know more about how you started your business journey

Kristen DeGroot : After over a decade of doing freelance work to grow agencies, I decided to start an agency that grows agencies. Though I have a ton of experience, I only launched 8 months ago. And I have to say, I absolutely love it!

Reflecting on your business history, what stands out as the single greatest challenge you’ve successfully navigated, and how did you overcome it?

Kristen DeGroot : As a brand new agency a few months ago, my biggest challenge was landing my first official client. Though I had a ton of experience growing agencies, my agency was new. So once I landed my first client and got a testimonial aka “social proof,” I was able to leverage that to get more clients. And the more clients I landed, the more credibility my agency had, it was kind of like “the snowball effect.”

Businesses often face ongoing challenges. What does your business consistently grapple with, and how do you tackle these challenges head-on?

Kristen DeGroot : One challenge for my business is that clients want guaranteed results and is the case with all things marketing, it’s hard to foresee what the results of a campaign will actually be. For example, my most popular service is lead gen. So I do guarantee at least 300 leads but from there, the client is the one who meets with an interested lead, so it’s up to the agency and the quality of their website to turn these leads into clients. Once I explain that, my clients usually understand.

Can you share with us the most unforgettable story involving a customer or client? What made it memorable, and what lessons did you draw from the experience?

Kristen DeGroot : My most memorable experience involving a client is that they put me on retainer for agency growth. And through my various strategies, I grew them a lot. Well, too much. Because they said they had to end our working relationship because they couldn’t handle all the growth I was bringing in. It was the first time I had been let go for doing too good of a job for my client. What I learned, is to audit an agency before I take them on as a client if they’re wanting growth so that I can make sure they are able to handle new leads and clients. If they’re not, I help the agency position themselves for growth before implementing my expertise.

Looking ahead, what are your current plans for your business when you retire?

Kristen DeGroot : Looking ahead, since I’m only 38, I don’t plan to retire for a long time. For now, I’m just focusing on getting my agency out there and growing it to the point where I have full-time employees because I only have contractors right now. My goal is that every agency out there knows who The Campfire Circle is!

Navigating the small business landscape can be both challenging and rewarding. Can you share a bit about the specific hurdles you’ve encountered in areas like sales, marketing, and adapting to changing customer trends?

Kristen DeGroot : Being a one-woman shop with contractors, navagating the business landscape can be tricky. I feel like I work 2 full time jobs. One job being growing my own agency and landing new business. The other job being the time I spend actually doing the work for the clients I land. I do my own sales and marketing and am good at it but the first full time person that I hire will be for sales!

Leaders Perception magazine would like to thank Kristen DeGroot and “The Campfire Circle” for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

Interested in connecting with the host of this interview series? Feel free to reach out to Jesse Samberg on LinkedIn: Jesse Samberg’s LinkedIn Profile

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