Executive's Corner

Make it Big 2020 Spotlight: The Secret to Building and Developing an Engaged Customer Community with Jaclyn Johnson

Beatriz Estay / 2 min read

A multi-million dollar business doesn’t happen overnight. During our Day 3 Make it Big 2020 keynote session, we sat down with Jaclyn Johnson, CEO and female founder of Create & Cultivate. During our conversation, Jaclyn shared her perspective on building customer communities, life as a female entrepreneur, and creating an emotional connection with consumers.

Jaclyn’s Key Takeaways

1. Every business starts with a simple idea

To kick off our conversation, Jaclyn takes us back to how her now decade-long entrepreneurship journey began, “I first started when I was 23 years old, with my own marketing and events company and ran that for seven years. Eventually, I sold it and launched Create & Cultivate — an online platform and offline event series for women looking to create and cultivate the career of their dreams — which was really inspired by my first company.”

Little did Jaclyn know that her early path to entrepreneurship would set her up for big success, “When I started my first company, I really had no idea what I was doing. When I looked online there was nothing that looked, felt or spoke to me as a young female founder. So, I decided to create it. I thought to myself, maybe there are other women out there that feel the same way I do, maybe they have the same questions or are looking for the same information. When I started our blog and a small event, I thought maybe a few people would show up — but, it turns out there are a lot of women launching online businesses who have a lot of the same questions I did when I was starting. And that’s really how Create & Cultivate started, it was a complete side hobby that took on a life of its own. Nearly six years later and we’ve now reached millions of women worldwide who are all looking to be inspired.”

While it can be easy to launch an online business, it’s not easy to achieve fast-track growth. Jaclyn’s advice to those looking to start their entrepreneurial journey is, quite simply, to get started. The secret to finding continued growth, however, lies in consistency.

“Having an idea is easy, executing it is much more challenging. If you are able to go out and execute on your idea every single day, you’ll be able to start a successful business.” – Jaclyn Johnson

2. The secret to scaling lies in an engaged customer community

Create & Cultivate is famously known for their highly engaged customer base, but it didn’t happen overnight. Jaclyn shared, “We are having a 365-day conversation with our audience, and I think that’s what really made us stand out.”

By engaging with their audience via email marketing, events, and social media, the female founder quickly learned that the company she built was far more than a blog and an offline conference. By tuning into what her customers were looking for, she was able to quickly adapt and create high value in many different forms — from her book and podcast, WorkParty, to Create & Cultivate’s vegan leather line and more. In our conversation, she challenged business owners to ask the question, “What are you doing differently in your category and what’s the value you’re providing?”

3. Customers are investing in more than a product

Once business realize their value and how they can better serve their customers, it comes down to creating an emotional connection between consumers and your products. Throughout the remainder of our conversation, Jaclyn shared how different marketing tactics — like experiential marketing and storytelling — brought great success to her business and how many other business owners can apply the same school of thought.

Lastly, with over ten years of entrepreneurship under her belt, Jaclyn had many accolades to share on being a female entrepreneur and key takeaways and tidbits for female founders looking to grow their online brands.

Stream Jaclyn’s Make it Big 2020 keynote session on-demand to learn more of her leading strategies.

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    Beatriz Estay

    Beatriz Estay

    Beatriz is a Content Marketing Manager at BigCommerce and the fashion and lifestyle influencer behind The Letter Bea, an Austin, Texas based blog. She holds a B.A. in Communication and Sociology/Anthropology from Lake Forest College and specializes in ecommerce, marketing and merchandising strategies, influencer and branding work, and social media. When she's not curating content, Beatriz loves to travel the world, share her journey with Type 1 Diabetes, and find Austin's most Instagram friendly spots.

    View all posts by Beatriz Estay

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