Biz Diaries: Forward Media
Welcome to Biz Diaries!
We’re going behind the scenes of women-owned businesses. One at a time.
Your Name: Dakota Lowe
Location: Austin, TX
Business Name: Forward Media
Describe your business in a sentence: We drive businesses Forward through Social Media.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received?: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Basically, your team, work ethic, and drive will be major factors in your business' success. Strategy is still a key element, but your people and values will far outshine great ideas.
What's one thing you wish you knew when you started?: That you don't need to have it all together all at once. Start with a few clients, do good work, then worry about scaling.
Tell us about your journey to start company: I worked in Corporate Marketing at GoDaddy and had previously worked in different marketing/ account management roles, building a comprehensive background with robust experience. But, I was experiencing serious burnout and also a disdain for the marketing strategy - I thought businesses could be served better. I quit one day without a plan, backup job, or stream of income. Smart, right? I had the idea for Forward Media and approached several brands and small businesses I thought could benefit from my social media chops. I then began working with a coworking startup that was female-founded and thought "This is my bread and butter. This is where I can shine." I then brought on 3 new clients, plus a contract with HomeAway/ VRBO and Johnson & Johnson through Spredfast. I took a big leap of faith, and managed to make it work - And still am!
What is your company’s mission?: To serve businesses better and drive them Forward. We specifically love working with female-founded, mission-driven brands that are cultivating a positive impact and strong community.
Tell us about your work day!: It sounds cliche, but really, every day is SO different! I typically do a quick email check, start my coffee, and do some yoga/ a quick workout. Then, I get to work. Some days I work from home, and other days I work from a coffee shop or Reset, an Austin-based coworking startup housed in the city's best restaurants. I pound through some more emails, check in with any contractors, and get to scheduling/ tweaking content! At any given time I'm checking posts are formatted properly, hashtags look on-par with strategy, and people are supported when needed! I also commit time each day toward Account Management/ Business Development to work on maintaining and growing the business.
How many employees do you have?: I have a few contractors I work with at the moment, but other than that, I'm a one-woman show!
What legal steps do you take to protect the business?: By having proper contracts, agreements, and terms, we take care to make sure everyone is on the same page, expectations are overcommunicated, and our customers are happy.
What’s your biggest business expense?: Software, for sure!
What’s your favorite accomplishment from the past year?: Building a business from scratch where I can not only sustain myself but that also allows me to travel and work from anywhere!
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the past year?: Leaving a job too soon, even though it ended up working out in the end.
What’s next for the business?: More consistent growth. I'm looking for a few more clients, and to onboard Forward Media's first official team member.
Share your favorite business resource: conferences, podcasts, books: Podcasts! I'm a huge business fan and frequently listen to The Skinny Confidential, Goal Digger, The Skimm, Often Ambitious, The Startup Addict, and more. I also try to attend networking events often and serve on the board of a women's group - called Women In Digital