Here's what I like about Kim: One, she has a lot of wisdom to share about SEO, content marketing, and other online biz elements that I know very little about. Two, we have a lot in common, but we're also really different, so she offers a perspective that is quite unique and refreshing to me.
Similarities? She's from Massachusetts and loves the Cape, her boyfriend is a lawyer (in the process of opening his own firm!), she adores dogs, she lived in France (I did, too, albeit for a lot less time!), and she also double-majored in college, with one of those majors being English.
Differences? Kim is quite analytical and has a mind for business. If you look at her answers to my Desert Island + Creative Process questions below, you'll see what I mean. She is straightforward and blunt in a way that is quite rare in the online world, she's great at connecting online (we met because of a wonderfully friendly email she sent me!) and she speaks French fluently. Tres amazing!
So lets get to know her, shall we? Read on for the inside scoop on all things Kim Herrington...
I worked for a municipal government when I first graduated from college, but eventually started moonlighting for a local online marketing company. They loved my work and brought me on as a full-time contractor after about a month, when another contractor quit. I worked for them for over a year but their business started to falter and they could no longer provide full-time work for me. I either had to go out on my own or get another job. I decided to go it alone and do things differently than they had.
Why do you do what you do (work-wise)?
I started as a hobby blogger, just writing on the internet for fun and to keep up my creativity after graduation. I knew I wanted to do something with my English and French degree, but didn’t know how.
I love writing but I also love people and helping them tell their stories online. I’m a planner and a highly driven person so combining it all makes it very easy to love what I do. In my day-to-day, I’m working with clients to write content for their website, dream up strategic plans for online growth, or helping them learn how to make online grow their business.
What inspires you?
Helping others really gets me going, whether it’s volunteering after work or helping my clients do things they didn’t think were possible.
What's your creative process like?
To be honest, my creative process isn’t very touchy-feely, but very cold-hearted and direct. It likely comes from my highly competitive nature growing up doing competitive archery. Instead of taking time to wait for inspiration to strike, I work, work, work. There is no waiting in creating online content. It’s needs to be a constant stream of value. Waiting for muses doesn’t fit into that world.
If you had to give one piece of advice to women (or men!) who want to take the plunge and pursue their dreams of working for themselves or starting their own business or blog, what would it be?
Be strategic and do your research. My initial ideas of my business didn’t work out, and that’s okay. I’ve changed my plans and my business to fit the real needs of clients, not the ones I thought they had. Be bold but don’t be stupid. Save up a cushion of money to pay yourself while you’re starting your business but remember that it’s going to run out—and run out faster than you planned.
For those starting a blog, I have so much advice! I can’t distill it into one thing. The best thing to do is check out my business blog!
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
I’d like to say that I’m not a proud person and that I can’t think of one thing, but that’d be lying--I’m pretty proud (and stubborn). I could say it was living in France for a year, or making my business successful in a short period of time, or even that I did the damn dishes today. But the thing I’m probably the most proud of? Living a life that I feel is worthwhile and the fact that I’m happy. Not everyone can say that. Isn’t it what we all want in the end?
What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
I never feel guilty for liking anything! I have a huge problem with high-low culture moral values, especially in literature. It was a big head-butting point when I was in college. I’m happy to go from listening to opera to watching a soap opera about high school love. Right now, my “guilty” pleasure is probably the TV series "Sleepy Hollow." Silly, pointless, but such fun.
What's your biggest dream for the fall?
I’m working on releasing two new products, an SEO book I’ve been talking about forever and a special something to help bloggers in 2015. I don’t want to divulge too many details, but it’s going to be the best tool you ever had for your blog, and will make a huge difference in your blog productivity. My newsletter subscribers get first dibs!
I speak French fluently and studied in Montpellier. I took classes with French students as a real exchange student, not one of the programs where you study only with other Americans.
One class I took was a course on interwar literature and it was a seriously difficult syllabus. Imagine James Joyce in a foreign language with slang that doesn’t exist anymore! Etez-vous fous? by Rene Crevel was the book I focused on. I read it, understood it, and gave an oral argument about it in front of 300 students and 3 professors and didn’t look like an idiot. (See, I’m pretty proud.)
How do you stay balanced? How do you unwind?
My boyfriend also owns a business. He’s an attorney and owns a law office. Between the two of us, we could work 24/7 and never rest. We made a pact, however, to stop work no later than 6 p.m. and leave it at that. After that, it’s us time. We’ll go to volunteer organization meetings, watch TV, play cards or Words with Friends (he always beats me), or just sit and talk about anything and everything. He’s my best friend and I couldn’t imagine life without him.
If you were exiled to a desert island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be (have to ask it because I love this question!)?
A bow and arrows, a cup, and plastic wrap. Hopefully the desert island would have fish I could hunt and eat. Hello, sushi! The plastic wrap and cup is to trap moisture so I can survive. (And I think of archery equipment as one item because one is pretty useless without the other.)
What's one item that you cannot live without?
Pen and paper. Even for all my digital-based life and work, I still need to write things out on paper. I have a huge collection of books and will be really sad if society changes to a point where we don’t have those things anymore.
How do you try to live a mindful life?
I wake up each morning and let each day be completely new, full of opportunities to do good work. I try not to let the mistakes and errors of days past make me upset or frustrated or unworthy of those new opportunities. I try to live with open hands rather than closed fists.
If you could live anywhere for one year, where would it be and why?
I’d love to live in France again for a while. Not forever but for some time to speak French again and enjoy all my favorite things that I miss so much from living there! Petit Suisse, I’m coming for you.
Want to learn more about Kim? You can find her in the following places:
Thanks for telling me all about it, Kim!