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In this episode with Katie Dunsworth-Reiach, we talk about the biggest lessons we learn personally and professionally when growing a business and empowering a team.
Katie is passionate, curious, and as she says – does things her way – which has led to some pretty amazing experiences, opportunities, and success.
Katie is the founder of one of Canada’s largest independent communications agencies, Talk Shop. A journalist by trade, Katie began her career in PR and went on to co-found the money-mentoring business Smart Cookies and was featured on Oprah. That same year she also opened the agency that is now Talk Shop. In anticipation of the impending economic crisis she was among the first to focus on making financial information engaging and relevant to a female audience. Katie went on to co-host her own W Network series and co-authored the financial bestseller Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough.
Named among the youngest women to rank on the top 40 under 40, Katie also founded STEM Spotlight Awards, a student awards program recognizing skilled sector apprenticeships in the STEM sectors (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). She owns a number of other creative and professional service businesses including If Communications. She is also a dedicated volunteer for Canuck Place, Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver and sits on The Forum For Women Entrepreneurs.
Listen in as we talk about:
- Teaching and learning as part of business growth. Katie shares how and where her team focuses their time and energy to up-levelling team members and encouraging them to continuously learn.
- The value of building a relationship-focused business. What’s the true weight and value of a business, and how can you leverage relationships for tangible growth? Katie shares her perspective with us.
- Top tips for a successful PR strategy. Katie talks about getting clear on your brand pillars and how creating content and messaging that connects to these is key.
- The importance of teaching people about money and finances. Katie talks about how her experience being on Oprah led to many opportunities and opened doors. She shares how it transformed the work she does helping people learn about finances.
Connect with Katie:
- Website: https://www.talkshopmedia.com
- Facebook: @TalkShopMedia
Connect with Tiana:
- Website: https://tianafech.com
- LinkedIn: Tiana Fech
- Instagram: @tianafech
- Facebook: @tianafech
- Book: Online Course Creation 101: A step-by-step guide to creating your first online course https://amzn.to/3BujR21
TEACHING AND LEARNING AS A PART OF BUSINESS GROWTH
“Leadership means authenticity. It’s somebody who’s able to keep it real in terms of what needs to happen.”
Katie shares how and where her team focuses their time and energy to upleveling team members and encouraging them to continuously learn.
She talks about how as a leader, she has put a lot of energy into learning development and upskilling her team. She believes it’s really important for women in particular to have a strong foundation in financial literacy, which isn’t something many organizations put an emphasis on.
It’s important for Katie that women have a strong understanding of things like profit and loss, costs in and costs out, and how to read an income statement.
She and her team also create learning modules that teach on questions that most people have about finances and are scared to ask, as well as focusing on mentorship opportunities.
Lastly, Katie talks about why it’s so important to be at the forefront of adopting technology all the time and making sure that her entire organization is invested.
THE VALUE OF BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP-FOCUSED BUSINESS
What’s the true weight and value of a business, and how can you leverage relationships for tangible growth?
Katie shares how her and her team focus on being “business-minded” as a core value. Another core value for her team is “get it” which speaks to the importance of continuous learning and being quick and capable in making the complex understood.
A third core value is “care wildly”. And this was a value that was suggested by her team. She talks about how valuable it is to have care at the top of their core values, as it encourages team members to always do the right thing. It sets them apart with their genuine connections among their people and clients.
Their fourth core value is “seek equity”. This speaks to the importance of investing in their people and community through their work in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
TOP TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL PR STRATEGY
Katie talks about getting clear on what your pillars and how creating content and messaging that connects to these is key. What is your brand position? What makes your brand unique?
Katie shares that for Talk Shop their PR strategy focuses on talking about what they do. This includes communication, PR, and marketing. For Katie’ personal brand, two of her pillars are financial literacy and working with small businesses so she spends a lot of time creating content around these.
To prevent overwhelm, Katie also recommends picking a social media channel to focus on that you are really going to nai by being consistent on it. For example, for professionals in a B2B market, be on LinkedIn. This platform really gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your “thought leadership”. Think about a topic that is important to your clients and you and write about it.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT MONEY AND FINANCES
“Be willing to adapt and know that not everybody receives information the same way. Sometimes, to make an impact, you may have to customize or adapt how you deliver information.”
Katie talks about how her experience being on Oprah led to many opportunities and open doors. She shares how it transformed the work she does helping people learn about finances.
What she wants entrepreneurs to learn the most is that it’s really about creating a community more than anything else. She shares why you want to try and meet people where they’re at when having conversations with them, and trying to find common ground to relate on.
By creating that sense of community, you can drive your point home with greater ease, while giving people the tools they need at the same time. As well, Katie shares how she learned just as much from the community she connected with as they learned from her. Other people would also have awesome tips on how they were saving money and doing things.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do? Play piano
What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? France
What is a book, podcast, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently? Book: Spare by Prince Harry
If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be? The founders of Airbnb
1:00 Meet Katie
3:15 Katie’s story
5:10 Katie talks about how teaching and learning have been of her journey in building a business and the growth and success of Talk Shop
10:35 Katie shares Talk Shop’s brand values and how they guide the work that they do
13:55 Katie outlines her top tips for a successful PR strategy for small business owners
18:15 Katie talks about her experience being on Oprah
24:25 Katie shares what she learned from her experiences teaching people about money and finances
26:40 Katie gives her her top tools and strategies for becoming more money smart
29:40 Katie describes what leadership and being a leader mean to her
31:40 Katie talks about what she has learned from her kids as she has been juggling mom life and entrepreneur life
35:38 Katie reflects on her favourite teachers
39:28 What Katie is most proud of looking back on her journey so far
40:15 Katie answers some rapid fire questions
41:40 Katie’s words of wisdom