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This is Capitalism: CEO Stories


Sep 27, 2022

Kait Hill faced a tough decision in 2021 finish college or start her own business after two years of doing corporate sales. She chose to start her own business, and thus was born Rock City Digital. The digital marketing agency leverages its young staff’s familiarity with new ways of creating and consuming content to help companies and individuals build brands and create identities that resonate in today’s dynamic market. Kate joins us on This is Capitalism to share her journey from working in politics to going into sales to being her own boss, and why the future will belong to content creators of all kinds.

 

Listen in to learn about digital marketing.

Key Takeaways:

 

[:22] Patricia O’Connell introduces Kait Hill, Founder and CEO of Rock City Digital, and welcomes her to This is Capitalism.

[1:23] Kait started working when she was 15 years old. At age 20, she had her first corporate position. She saw a lot of issues with how things were run and cultures weren’t tended to. When she was mistreated at the agency at age 21, she saw she could run a company better, so she started one.

[2:05] Before starting her business, Kait was going to school online and working. She wasn’t learning a lot and wasn’t giving her all at work, so she made the decision to quit school and the job to start a business. She had the passion and drive and knew what she wanted to do so she decided to start the company.

[2:51] No one ever told Kait she had entrepreneurial traits, but she has been finding ways to make money since she was eight years old, so she sees she has always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Her first “job” was a lemonade stand. She also helped her neighbor with their garage sales on commission.

[3:35] Kait explains how she went from political science and politics to digital media. She had convinced a man in the media to sign a petition. In their conversation, the man introduced Kait to digital media and later helped her get into it. Kait had wanted to get paid for being a high performer, and digital media sales was a good way to do it.

[4:44] Kait put out applications and one agency didn’t reply to her. Her new friend advised her to find out who was the person in charge, call them, and ask for an interview. She did and ultimately got a job with that agency.

[5:13] Kait has been running Rock City Digital for about seven years. The most surprising thing to her is how much time you spend handling problems. There’s always something you have to learn. The biggest lesson she has learned is that developing yourself is your best investment. With training, you can handle anything.

[6:10] COVID-19 was an unsettling time, not knowing if they would lose clients. Kait’s clients decided how they would work, which also meant how Kait would work with them. Kait worked on the finances, and if anything needed to be cut, she got rid of it. She met with other business owners and compared notes. Everyone was willing to share.

[7:09] Rock City Digital has always been a remote office, so that was a leg up that was extremely helpful during the pandemic.

[7:38] Kait started developing herself after reading The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. Following the practices listed in the book, she started meditation, exercise, reading, affirmation, visualization, and journaling. These practices helped her find clarity to handle hard conversations and see the root causes behind problems.

[8:41] Kait finds the time for her morning practices by waking up early. These practices improve the way she lives her life. Her clarity helps her move forward and not return to old routines and old ways of thinking that are not beneficial.

[9:31] Kait talks about current conditions in B2B marketing, including TikTok. Which led to YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and Facebook growing more videocentric. TikTok has niched down how video is offered to you. Their algorithms show you what you want to see before you know that you’re interested in it. They build niche communities online.

[10:33] You are seeing a change to personal brands becoming the next cornerstone of marketing. Kait is starting to build a community around her personal brand on LinkedIn. If you can build a community around your brand, and tie it to your business, it will follow you “for life.”

[11:08] Kait tells how the influencer space is changing. The number one thing is authenticity. Instagram is known for beautiful content. TikTok is known for more casual and natural-looking content that adds value to the users. Creators will be the new influencers. Software solutions will make it easier to connect with creators and brands.

[12:25] It’s important to be active as a brand on social media. If you are not on social media, you are not going to be a credible brand for Millennials and younger generations. People are now searching for businesses on Instagram and TikTok. That’s how Kait searches, because the results are visual.

[13:10] Building a brand personally applies not only to the CEO or owner but also to employees who can post on their personal brand on behalf of their company brand.

[14:11] The way people consume content has shifted. The type, length, and content of videos have changed dramatically. If you’re not leading the changes, your brand will not get a lot of exposure. The algorithms are not chronological but are based on what the viewer watches and the comments they post.

[15:17] Some of Kait’s clients are interested, while some do not get it yet. As long as they are on social media, that’s what matters. When Kait is on a business website and clicks out to their Facebook page, if they haven’t posted in a couple of years, she thnk’s they’re probably not operating.

[15:54] Kait grew up poor. She had no resources, connections, or college degree. What helped her was seeing what successful people were doing, and doing as they did. She heard you need a mentor. So she found a businessperson she enjoyed talking to and asked him to be her mentor. They met up for dinners and talked business.

[16:29] In those chats, her mentor gave her life-changing advice. Having him there helped her stay focused on her business without being distracted by new ventures. That made Rock City Digital grow a lot better. There’s always somebody above you that you can learn from. Mentors have played a massive role in Kait’s life.

[16:52] Books have also helped Kait tremendously. Some of the greatest thinkers, operators, and business owners have written books telling what they’ve learned and how they do it. She reads a book and extrapolates the information to her business.

[17:35] Kait’s initial drive was not wanting to struggle as her family did. She decided she would provide for herself. Besides wanting to earn money, Kait always had the drive to help people succeed. She wanted people to be treated fairly and right. She tried to be good to people at work, and it didn’t make sense to her when she was mistreated.

[18:29] In one job, Kait was working in politics, seven days a week, over 80 hours a week.She was sick one day and had to go to the doctor. She called in, and was 20 minutes late for the morning huddle and got yelled at. She quit not long after that. A month or two later, she got into marketing.

[19:30] In her marketing job, Kait was mistreated by an older man. She made a sale and he bullied her about her commission. Kait went to an executive who told her he couldn’t do anything because the man was a high performer. So she decided if they could run a company, she could, too. She quit within a month or two to start Rock City Digital.

[20:52] Kait’s advice is to ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?” If the worst that can happen is you failing, that’s OK, because you’re going to learn something from that to take to your next venture. Also, ask a person you admire to be your mentor. Kait was shocked by how readily people help. What’s the worst that could happen?

[21:51] Kait says Rock City Digital’s biggest goal is spreading workplace and culture awareness. They treat people with the respect and autonomy they deserve. In turn, the people help build an amazing business that everyone wants to be a part of.

[22:09] Find Rock City Digital at Rock City Digital on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn and find Kait Hill on LinkedIn.

[22:25] Patricia thanks Kate for joining This Is Capitalism: Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Stories and thanks the listeners. She invites you to join us again.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

This is Capitalism

Kait Hill on LinkedIn

Rock City Digital on LinkedIn

Rock City Digital on Facebook

Rock City Digital on Instagram

Rock City Digital on TikTok

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM), by Hal Elrod