It’s summer and time to dial up the road trips, air pods in the kitchen, and stories that inspire us. On the Simple Pin Podcast we do something fun during the summer months – the Summer Story Series!

This is where we interview entrepreneurs, business owners, and inspiring people to give us a break from the tips and action items. This just allows us to listen to a good story.

Don’t miss an episode of the Summer Story Series! Add a reminder to your calendar and be notified as soon as a new episode is released.

Today we’re diving into the story of Molly Keyser, who turned her photography hobby into a 6-figure business, and then got hit hard by the pandemic. She shares about how she’s always looking through the lens of monetization, and has learned how to pivot in extraordinary circumstances.

microphone sitting on table with text "simple pin media story series featuring molly keyser".

monetizing for entrepreneurs

Nothing drives the entrepreneurial spirit like having just 81 cents in your bank account. She knocked on doors, offered to photograph products for businesses, took senior portraits, booked weddings on Craigslist. As her reputation as a photographer grew, Molly found herself coaching and mentoring other photographers.

Both Kate and Molly talked about the importance of leaning into your strengths. Molly found herself managing a larger team than she intended. This pulled her away from doing what she really loved and was good at, and she was miserable! While she found more “high ticket” success, she knew what she was doing wasn’t sustainable.

While trying to sort out what to do, the pandemic hit. Molly’s business faced a ton of obstacles.

They had to cancel a big live event, clients who bought her course/training asked for their money back, she lost team members due to lack of childcare. She ended up having to close down her photography business that she had worked so hard for.

RELATED: Philosophy of Rest for Entrepreneurs (podcast/blog post)

In 2021, she hit the ground running with a new type of business – helping content creators monetize their business with digital products and courses. She started from scratch, because there wasn’t a lot of crossover between her old business and new.

She said it took her a couple of years to really hone in on her ideal customer/client, and she feels like that’s the hardest part of running an online business.

content creation vs. digital marketing

Something that Molly says really helped her figure out where she was struggling, was realizing that there’s basically two totally different worlds of online entrepreneurship – content creation and digital marketing.

A creator enjoys creating content and producing things that help people, while a digital marketer focuses on finding a problem in the market and monetizing it. Both are crucial to the success of a business, and there’s nothing wrong with being one or the other.

But these are two separate things! It’s important to know which one you are, or if you’re both, what areas of your business fall into which bucket? Do you use more of your creative energy and need to learn how to manage your time, or is your business focused more on monetization?

Do you like to create more or do you like to sell? Creators often START with the content, and then go on to monetize. Digital marketers often start with a problem that needs to be solved, and monetize the solution.

person in red shirt sitting in hanging chair.

Additional Questions and Topics Covered:

  • What’s amazing about being an online business owner and entrepreneur?
  • What has been the most fun about being an entrepreneur?
  • If you could have dinner with any entrepreneur, author, business owner, who would it be and why?
  • What do the next 3 years look like for entrepreneurs and the industry?

To learn more and hear more from Molly, check out her website or find her on Instagram @mollymkeyser.

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