When Lauren Becker was 16 years old, she took her love of books online and began her popular YA book review blog, Shooting Stars Mag. At 19, she decided to turn her passion into an actual business idea and launched her book promotion company Shooting Stars Promotions. Today, at 21, she still runs both her blog and her business while attending college. Guess you could say it’s been a busy five years for Lauren!
Read our exclusive interview with Lauren to find out how she got started, what she loves about being entrepreneur, and what she wishes she’d know from day one:
Like a Boss: Can you describe your company, Shooting Stars Promotions?
Lauren: My company is all about spreading the word. I’ve worked with authors and small businesses on publicity for their product. For example, if you’re an author, you work so hard to write and publish your book, and then you’re asked to do most of the marketing? It can be tough work, and it also takes a lot of time. That’s where I come in. I work with you on trying to reach the best platforms for your product and hopefully put it in front of a bigger and more diverse audience.
Like a Boss: How did Shooting Stars Promotions come about?
Lauren: I’ve been a blogger since 2007, and during that time, I’ve come to love certain books where I want to do anything and everything I can to get others to read it. Sometimes it works really well, but other times not. It always takes a lot of time though, and I figured if I started a business to really focus on this sort of thing…it might become more worthwhile for me and the author/business. So in May of 2010, I started Shooting Stars Promotion, which is a play off of my blog’s name, Shooting Stars Mag.
Like a Boss: What kind of research and planning did you do when you were in the early stages of developing your business?
Lauren: A lot of my research on what to do came from working with authors in the past, but I did talk some things over with one of my first clients, Linda Gerber. She was really a great help in figuring out the prices, promotion packages I offer, and even just the types of things that I can do for a client.
Like a Boss: What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
Lauren: Obviously, I love being able to work for myself on something that I really love. I can think big without someone telling me an idea isn’t worth it or would be too difficult. Sometimes you just have to try in hopes that it will pay off for your client.
Like a Boss: What would you say is the toughest part about being an entrepreneur?
Lauren: The positive of working by yourself can also be a negative, because you don’t always have someone to bounce ideas off of or even just help with some of the “leg work” so to speak on spreading the word. In time, I might be able to add an extra employee but for now, it’s just me.
Like a Boss: Can you describe the most exciting first you had as the creator of Shooting Stars Promotions?
Lauren: The most exciting first I had as the creator? I suppose having someone email me for the first time in hopes of becoming a client. I did, and still sometimes do, email people I’d be interested in working with just so they know I’m here, available, and willing to help if they need or can. However, the first author that wrote me was Courtney Rene based off a guest blog I did. It was great, and she’s still a client of mine.
Like a Boss: What is one thing you know now about running your own business that you wish you’d know from the get go?
Lauren: This is a tough question! I guess something I’ve learned as time went on is that you need to make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many clients at once. Also, if your client is an author…it’s always best if they start working with you before their book comes out. I still take authors during and after their release, but pre-release can help them out more in terms of promotion opportunities.
Like a Boss: What advice do you have for teen girls who are interested in launching their own business?
Lauren: My advice would be to never give up. Try talking to other people who run their own business or know something about what you want to do. Don’t just jump into a business right away. Try doing it for free, if you can. That’s what I did for a while with certain authors before I ever decided to make it a full-fledged business. It gives you a chance to develop ideas, relationships, and for me, it gave me a way to have testimonials on my website of people I’ve worked with from the get-go.
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