Founder: Courtney Cawte
HQ: Bay of Plenty

What problems do you solve and what products or services do you sell?

When a customer or client comes to me, they are unsure how to articulate, specifically with words, what they do, how they do it, and the problems they solve. I sit down alongside them and not only give them the words of ‘this is what you do’ but try to articulate their core or the essence of who they are as a brand. So, if you were to meet their brand in person, what kind of person would you be chatting with? What are the strengths of that brand? If I’m looking up 50 different hairdressers, why am I specifically going to feel drawn to you? What is your unique selling point?

Services-wise, I’m at the very start with essence, so I’m building it up. I’m currently working on website copy for a client. I’ve done testimonial articles for another company, homepages for websites, and recently wrote an article introducing a new music artist to the New Zealand music scene. I’ve also done a caption bank for a photographer on Instagram because she has great photos but struggles with putting words to those photos.

So, I help clients discover the intrinsic nature of who they are as a brand and how they can express that to their customers.

essence

Courtney helps articulate her client’s core or the ‘essence’ of who they are as a brand.

Who and where are your target customers?

At the moment, my target customers are based locally in Tauranga. I would say I have two main target markets. The first are businesses just starting out. COVID has chucked a lot of things in the air for people. Like me, many people have started something new and need help articulating the words around it. My second target market are people who want to revamp their business but might have lost touch with their markets. Specifically, the businesses who have gone, “We’re not talking their language anymore”. So, helping businesses reconnect with who they are so they can reconnect with their customers.

How and when did you first come up with the idea for your business?

I came up with the business during the lockdown. I had been doing a lot of copy for Venture Centre, and I started slowly growing in creativity around that space. Over the six months leading up to lockdown, I started following a woman I now work alongside. She was showing people on Instagram what it looks like to be a copywriter. And I looked at it and went, “Oh, that’s a career! You can do that. That sounds really fun and right up my alley.”

So, I had a conversation with my best friend, my husband, and my mum. I said, “This is what I’m thinking of doing, and I feel like I’m supposed to drop a day of normal work.”

What are three things about your business that you are proud of?

1) I’m proud of the compassionate and organic growth. I say compassionate because I’m not pushing myself to achieve all of these goals in a really short period. I’m letting it grow as it goes and being honest and present with myself.

2) I’m proud of the risk that I’ve taken to do this, like dropping a day of income. I’m proud of overcoming the imposter syndrome, the daily fear, and the constant newness feeling in my stomach of ‘I genuinely don’t know if this is going to be okay.’ In saying that, I’m also proud of myself for backing the skills that I’ve got and being like, “I’m really good at writing, so let’s do this.”

3) I’m also proud of the team unit that my husband and I are. I’m proud of how we’re handling this and the way we’re backing each other in the newness.

How do you market your business and what advice do you have for others around marketing?

At the moment, I’m marketing myself through one-to-one conversations I’m having with people. I have a lot of connections through Venture Centre, the entrepreneur support hub I work for. So, that’s one of my biggest touchpoints. I’m connected to this community because I’ve been serving it for three years. I put something up on LinkedIn saying that I’ve started this business, and I’m doing it one day a week. Every person who’s come to me, I’m connected to through my network, and they wanted me to tell them more about it.

I’m currently slowly building up my social media and being honest about the whole process of entrepreneurship.

I would tell others to ‘be you’ and show up as human as possible. There’s something to utilising your story and showing up honestly around your process and your journey.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in building your business so far?

Imposter syndrome. 100%. When you show up, and you are yourself, and you’re vulnerable, you’re going to get hit by the classic day-after shame storm. I believe that the shame storm hits hard the day after. There will be posts that I do on social media, and all of a sudden, I’ll be like, “Who was I to post that?’ Like, who am I to be taking income away from my family unit, and who am I to be taking Fridays off? So, all those different imposter things, but also, “Who am I to think that I can write copy for this business? This business who’s pumping out millions of dollars of work? Or this single mum who’s putting everything on the line to do this?”

I think that that’s been the biggest challenge for me. Again, I’m very, very grateful for my network and the people around me because they are the people who pull me out of that. So, yeah, that would be the biggest challenge for sure. Like, I’m happy with the pace, I’m happy with the work that I do, and I don’t mind the writer’s block. I don’t mind all of that. I don’t find it as challenging as the, ‘who do you think you are?’

What is the biggest entrepreneur lesson you would like to share with other Kiwis thinking of starting their own business?

I would say, have an answer back to “Who do you think you are?” And be like, “I’m new to the entrepreneur scene.” One of the biggest pieces of advice that I got given was that everyone else is faking it, too. Everyone else is struggling with imposter syndrome too. You’re not alone. So, surround yourself with people who are doing the same thing. If you want to join the entrepreneurial scene, entrepreneurs are kind people by default. They understand risk, they understand fear, and they understand imposter syndrome. They understand a lot of things that you go through when you start. So, connect with a community.

What do you love most about the Bay of Plenty?

I’m a huge fan of this region because we all secretly want to be at the beach 24/7. So, we are all building lifestyles around that hope and that desire. The entrepreneurial spirit is about building the lifestyle you want, doing life how you want to do it, and making the impact you want to make. There are amazing entrepreneurs in this city.

Specifically, it’s amazing being in Tauranga because it is where Venture Centre is. Of course, it’s this quickly growing city and all that, but entrepreneurship existed here pre-growth. People who have been fighting the fight – the entrepreneurial fight – for years and years and they built this community of business owners and mentors. They have been slugging in this space for a long time, even when innovation and creativity were the minority. Everyone is here to make a difference, to do something different, but not just burn themselves out. We all just want to be at the beach.


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