How a Single Mom Went from Lyft Driver to Digital Marketing Mompreneur
By: Nicole Howard
Monique Battiste spent last year looking for a role in digital marketing and worked as a Lyft Driver to create a stream of income during her search. Months continued to pass soon turning into a year of driving accumulating nearly 30,000 miles earning about one dollar per mile for a grand total of $23,000 for the year. 7 days a week she was working 40 to 60 hours and it was completely draining. Did I mention she’s a single Mom?
A moment of hope came when she received an opportunity to work as a Marketing Coordinator. Unfortunately, this was not the best fit and she was let go after only six weeks. She never received training for her role due to scheduling conflicts with their international staff.
She had already suffered from depression and anxiety so when she lost the job she had stayed in bed for about a week. Thinking what was wrong with her, why she couldn’t secure a job and how was she going to keep a roof over their heads, or purchase presents for the holiday.
“It is very difficult because my daughter is happy go lucky, but I would sit in the closet and cry for hours. When I lost that job I felt like I failed as a persona and a mother. There is a tremendous amount of guilt, pressure, and shame that can happen as you are searching for a job and are responsible for the well-being of a child.
I applied to Target and Wal-mart but retail schedules wouldn’t work because she didn’t have a sitter to keep her daughter on the weekends or be able to work over-time due to the daycare hours. She noted that a lot of single parents are being forced into entrepreneurship because companies don’t aren’t flexible when it comes to having to work within a certain set of hours.
The silver lining is while at that previous job she got the energy to begin the process to start her own business in digital marketing. She began looking up how to apply for an LLC and soon this would be her sole source of income. Why? Sometimes we have that gut feeling that a job isn’t going to work out and she knew it was time to get ready.
“I couldn’t file for unemployment so I said, I just have to do this, I know what I’m capable of doing,” said Monique. For many of us, there is that moment where we realize the skills we are bringing to the table for someone else we could be used to elevate our own business.
Monique had over five years of experience in digital marketing. She had positions where she was putting together case studies for businesses, creating social media content for local DJs and PR Companies, coordinating promotion teams, etc. After not being able to secure employment it was time to create her own opportunity and hire herself!
Since October of last year, she has made J’Marie Digital official! Her company is named after her two-year-old daughter. Monique Battiste is a Digital Marketing mompreneur. She spends hours upon hours finding out what makes social media sites tick. She strives to help clients past, present, and future identify their target markets by taking their digital marketing efforts above and beyond their usual expectations. She constantly under promises and always over delivers. Exceeding expectations are her goals. Your brand becomes her “baby”, and she makes it her mission to nurture your online presence. Feeding your business the nutrients it needs to grow. She not only runs her own business but looks out for others.
“As a single Mom, an entrepreneur, I know what it’s like to have to start from the bottom and not have help.” This is not her first business previously she had a personal training company through social media with no website through posting progress photos, tips, etc. So, she is open to sharing her knowledge with those who need help getting started.
“I just make sure that I’m always ready for whatever opportunity lands in my lap and whoever I’ve brought along the way I make sure I call them first, said Monique. She understands the stigma that is associated with Black women that we’re angry, we’re aggressive, we’re too determined, etc. some of which could be used to describe a strong leader but we end up getting negative perceptions attached to our names.
So her thinking is the following; “I want those individuals who are determined, who are aggressive, who know what they want, who are ready to make an impact and make a name for themselves, to come along with me for this ride and know we are going to go together, and we’re going to make it together.”
For example, when her friend wanted to quit her job to create a website design business she told her to do it and when she would receive clients that wanted that offering she would hire her friend to do the work.
“They always say your network is your net worth and it’s not about what you know, but who you know,” said Monique. She makes sure her online presence depicts someone who is knowledgeable about the field. For example, she shares social media tips by going Live on Instagram.
“My clients are coming in left and right. At one point I was getting 3 to 4 clients in a week. So, I needed a planner and made sure I wrote down content deadlines for each client," Monique shared.
Her vision for the future includes being listed on the Forbes 40 under 40 list. Overall, Monique wants to help businesses grow their brand through social media because there is so much money left on the table by those who don’t know how to use it and get frustrated and go back to “older” marketing tactics. She believes if you have a product based business you have to stay online and go with the trends or you will fall behind.
Her three #SisStayReadyTips are:
All money isn’t good money in other words, not every client is supposed to be YOUR client (AMEN!)
Visit her website to see all the services she has to offer: https://www.jmariedigital.com/