In 2013, True Story PR founder, Whitney Lee left her corporate job to work for herself. After graduating from The University of Southern Mississippi, Lee moved to Destin, Florida in 2008, and later moved to Tallahassee to complete her Master’s degree at Florida State University. In her last semester, she interned at a hotel property and was eventually hired as a full-time employee. Eight rounds of interviews later, Lee became the Director of Marketing at the Hilton Sandestin. Eight months into her new role, she became miserable and knew she had to make a change. After meeting a woman with her own agency, Whitney told her boss she was leaving to pursue consulting.
Whitney Lee launched her agency, Sociallee PR and Digital Media in October 2015. Despite going through personal challenges, she pushed through and continued to work on building her agency. She started attending events and meetings to meet new people and get her name out there. She eventually got her first client which grew into more clients. Initially, when she started the agency, she was a solo practitioner. As her agency started to expand, she realized she had to hire people to help keep up with the workload. She hired her first employee, and eventually, her team grew to what it is now.
Whitney’s journey from corporate to consultant to agency owner, allowed her to acquire knowledge that can be shared with those looking to go out on their own and start their own business.
Whitney’s tips for consultants and aspiring agency owners:
Take a leap of faith and hire employees.
Believe in yourself to hire the first person. As a consultant, there is a ceiling to how much work you can accomplish on your own. Hiring employees will help you complete your work and ensure the work being done is quality.
Learn how to manage your employees
Clearly outline their job description so they are aware of what is expected of them. Learn how to give tasks and feedback while also allowing them to have creative freedom.
Take yourself seriously
Invest in yourself and your business by getting business cards, professional headshots, or creating a website. Look professional and start putting yourself out there.
If you would like to hear more about Whitney’s journey to becoming an agency owner and tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, listen to the full podcast here.