image of Kayla Dammann on a mountain in colorado

One Year of KMD Marketing + Design:

Lessons I’ve Learned Along The Way

One year ago, I created KMD Marketing + Design. My goal is to help small businesses  & nonprofits develop a brand that is aligned with clear marketing direction and strategy – all while working on their business and not in it. It was a year filled with more growth than I could have imagined. But, this first year was a year of learning and reflection in so many ways. Not only personally but for my family and KMD.

Thank you for the support this first year. This post is a candid look back on my background in life, business, and marketing. Cheers to KMD turning 1!

It’s a Family Matter

I’ve always dreamed of a career as a leader. But, I’ve always questioned whether I become an entrepreneur. And if so, what does that look like? Starting KMD Marketing + Design was a trial at first. I was ready to pivot my career out of sales and into marketing. And the reflection of the past two years is I should have jumped sooner. However, in November of 2020, I pitched this vision to a few of my closest family members and connections. I tested the waters with some small projects, all to great feedback. A few months later, I built a website and laid the foundation… And now we’re at one year.

Growing up in a family business, I had a front-row seat to the impact running a business has on a family: the good, bad, and even the ugly. I knew very early on that if I ever had a business, it would be vastly different. As time went on, I chose a path to protect the relationships I have with my family. Most if not all, my working life has been for family-owned businesses. While I decided to stay out of my parent’s business, I learned a great deal working for other family-owned businesses. For example, family dynamics are different from one to the next. And, you get what you make of your relationship with your family. And lastly, boundaries are needed to separate the two at times. As a leader, I am the driving force behind the change I want to see and how I want KMD to function that fits my family. Let’s be honest; what worked 25-plus years ago won’t work today.

Building a business is not easy. Especially when you’re a small family-owned business, it takes an army outside of the family to make those entrepreneur dreams come true.

While my kids are pretty young, it gets difficult navigating this season. However, seeing them evolve in the past year as a result of creating KMD has been a moment of joy I never saw coming. I often wonder if my parents saw that in us kids growing up. My daughter loves to have “office” meetings, being my assistant wherever she sees fit. My son loves to pretend he is working on his mommy’s computer and reading my books. Lastly, my dear husband has shown support and more grace than I can count in the past year while I live out this vision. While it wasn’t easy, we found a rhythm that protected our family. And with owning a business comes some hard choices, but I know I will look back on this first year of KMD and know it changed our family for the best. My kids see what it takes to live out a vision and honor it with integrity. My husband and I are learning a new way of communication whether we like it or not (and by we, I mean me.) And for all of this, I’m grateful what this past year brought my family. My family is a part of this business behind the scenes supporting me.

Serving Before Selling

I come from the sales world. I’ve been all about selling. However, it was never about the sales for me. It was always about the customer experience. In all my years of sales, I remember you need to build rapport and trust. That was the philosophy I sold by. And the customer-first mindset. If the customer doesn’t trust me, they won’t trust the brand or product I’m aiming to sell. So I rarely took the quick approach to sales. Instead, I fostered trust and relationships with leads and customers in my territory. For me, those wins that I earned far outweighed quick sales.

What’s been so beautiful about KMD is that it has given me this opportunity to reach people in a new way, to serve them no matter what stage of their journey as entrepreneurs they’re at, and to get them to understand the world of digital marketing, and then hopefully invite them into a paid partnership that will make sense for them and will help them grow their business in a sustainable way.

This past year was filled with opportunities to serve many small businesses and organizations to get the results before extending an invite to a paid partnership, building that trust/ rapport factor. I added many new skills to my portfolio. I was able to get clear on how I want to grow KMD and impact more businesses. And I met so many AMAZING entrepreneurs, both locally and across the country.

Final Thoughts

Marketing is about creating a brand that builds trust and rapport before the sale. Marketing is about making an impact, no matter how large or small. Every business is alive for a reason: to serve a niche demographic that has a problem that needs to be solved. I can go on and on about why I love marketing so much. Today I want to thank everyone who allowed me to make an impact on your business this past year.

Marketing is time-consuming, and you won’t get results right away. But, if you want to get clearer on your marketing efforts and execution strategy, let’s join hands to create an impact together for your brand.

I am so grateful to have grown together this past year. And until next time.

Hey there I'm kayla dammann of KMD Marketing.

Thanks for stopping by the blog—I love educating small business owners + nonprofits about event marketing, SEO, website design, and social media strategy.

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