Women Who Work: Content Marketer, Latoya James Torrance
The woman behind Endear Content is opening up about what she does and how she got there. She creates inspiring content for her clients. Want to know what it takes to have your own content marketing agency? Then pay attention to Latoya’s story!
How did you make the leap to your current role?
I actually came up with my business name nearly 4 years ago, but I didn’t make the proverbial leap until last July. I had my son 8 months prior and was working at a Fortune 500 company with no potential for growth. I remember getting to my desk one morning to check emails and having what felt like a panic attack, but there was no obvious trigger other than simply starting the workday. It was then that I knew I had to make a change or I was going to stay in situations that didn’t serve me. So, I waited until I had a decent amount of money saved and, with my husband’s support, I left to start Endear Content.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was always a writer. I got my first diary at the age of 7 (which I still have) and I haven’t stopped writing since. I wrote poetry, songs, and letters to friends and family. I loved the way words had the power to move and transform people. So, although I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be at the time, I believe my love for writing charted the course to where I am now.
What made you want to start your business? What or who inspired you to do so?
I’ve always had this pull to entrepreneurship as if it’s a part of who I am. I’ve never felt fulfilled in any of my previous roles. And I felt the “politics” of the office went against who I am and stifled my professional growth. I knew that with my own business, I had control over how quickly I grew and what direction I can take my career. My son also inspired me (kids have a way of putting things into perspective). He gave me the push I needed to finally stick to my guns and follow a dream I had for years. I didn’t want to simply tell him to “follow his dreams.” I wanted to be an example of exactly what that looks like.
What does your job entail? How do you explain what you do to others?
I help entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their brand through inspiring content. That means I help them build a strategy for creating consistent, valuable content that drives, or inspires, their audience to take a specific action. It also involves helping them understand who their audience is, what keywords they should use, how to plan and promote their content and how to measure it. All of these efforts are focused on helping them reach their broader business goals.
How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been working in some form of content marketing since I graduated college, roughly 7 years. I started freelancing a year ago and have been working for myself full-time for 7 months.
What is a day for you like? What is your routine?
I start my day around 6am to get a couple of hours of work in before my son wakes up. I’m a certified morning person, and I usually use that time to do most of my writing. Then, I spend roughly 2 hours getting my son up, feeding him and tidying up a little. I put on his favorite movie and that gives me more time to finish up work. He goes down for his afternoon nap and I’m back to work. Once he wakes up, I spend time with him reading, playing or going for a walk. Once my husband gets home in the evening, I get some more work in before calling it a day.
How did you go about starting your business? What were some of your initial steps that you took?
I had a freelance client prior to officially starting my business. That helped me put things in place initially like registering my business as a DBA, applying for an EIN and opening a business bank account. I already had a logo and domain, so I then set up a website, branded emails and branded social media accounts to begin building awareness.
What are your biggest responsibilities as an entrepreneur/freelancer?
Positioning myself as an expert in my industry. With a service-based business, you have to show proof that you have the skills, experience, and know-how to provide the best service to your clients. I do this by blogging consistently and maintaining a consistent presence on social media.
What has been the hardest part of your transition?
Time management has been my biggest challenge so far. And if I’m honest, it held me back for a few months after leaving my full-time job. I have my toddler at home and I never felt like I had enough hours in the day to invest into my business. Then, all of a sudden, I went into overdrive. It produced good results, but I know it isn’t sustainable for my lifestyle. So now my goal is to work smarter, not harder, in order to reach my business goals.
What has been the easiest part of your transition?
Switching from working in the office to working at home has been a breeze. I’ve always advocated for remote work because it’s most suitable to my working style. I do my best work and the distractions are limited.
What keeps you motivated?
Freedom is my biggest motivation. I value freedom in my life: to be present for my babies, to take a walk in the park in the middle of the day or to start my workday at 5 in the morning if I want. I also value freedom in my work: the ability to do work that’s purposeful and that I can be proud of. I know that I’m directly making an impact in my clients’ lives and, in that way, we both benefit.
How do you define success now?
Success, to me, is freedom, which is also my biggest motivation. The freedom to make a difference in someone else’s life through my work. The physical and financial freedom to make my family a priority. Right now, that’s what’s most important to me and it’s my indicator of success.
How do you prevent burn out?
I take a purposeful day of rest, usually Sunday. I shut my laptop off and refrain from social media as much as possible. I also aim to organize my days by tasks. For example, I’ll designate 2 days a week to writing, 1 day to social media marketing and management and 3 days to business development and client work.
What do you think is the most important characteristic to have for someone who wants to take a similar career route to yours?
I would say persistence. You have to be willing to work day in and day out, usually without seeing results. You have to get used to hearing no and staying persistent even when doors don’t seem to open. Until finally, you hear that “yes,” you celebrate that win and then get back to work.
What do you wish you knew before starting out on your own path?
I wish I understood how long it takes to build trust and authority with your audience. Of course, I knew that working in content marketing, but never fully understood it from a business owner’s perspective. But building trust means consistently delivering valuable content that helps them fulfill a need, and trust isn’t built overnight. And it’s worth the investment because once you have trust you have a loyal audience that’s primed for buying.
Did anyone help you in developing your own business or side business? Do you have a work idol? Is there a working woman or man out there that you admire?
I have two. First, Julia McCoy, founder of Express Writers. She’s killing the copywriting and content marketing game and she had a very humble start. One a lot of us can relate to. And she advocates for the importance of being consistent and focusing on your own journey.
Second, Maya Elious. I have been following her for a few years and I love how she’s evolved with her platform. She’s an excellent resource for anyone looking to run a profitable business. Plus, she incorporates her faith, which is a bonus for me.
What is your favorite thing about the industry you work in?
I love content marketing because, yes, the goal is to ultimately market your business and sell your products and/or services. But more importantly, it’s designed to add value to someone else’s life. The content we create should help our readers overcome a challenge or solve a problem that allows them to be their best selves. Also, I love working with small business owners and entrepreneurs because they’re just like me: they have a vision and they’re determined to see it through.
What do you have on your desk or working space right now?
My laptop (of course), phone, planner and a highlighter to mark off my to-do items (I’m old school).
What do you want other women in similar situations to know about your chosen career path?
If you’re looking to start your own business, whatever industry you’re pursuing, just put one foot in front of the other and go for it. Realize that you don’t have to be perfect, or even an expert, out the gate. Growth is incremental and as your experience and expertise grow, so will your business. But you have to first start in order for growth to take place. And, honestly, I let fear and my lack of confidence hold me back for so long. If I can do it, you can too.
Do you have any other additional key points that you think would be beneficial to readers?
Going out on your own isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. But if you’re being pulled to it, go for it! See for yourself what it’s about. You may love it and realize you were made for this. Or not. Either way, go after what works best for you and don’t be averse to pivoting or stopping something altogether in order to better align with your purpose (which is where you’ll thrive).