How Kat Gaskin Built a 6-Figure Biz Selling The Content Planner

How Kat Gaskin Built a Freelance Graphic Design Business

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Kat Gaskin is the founder of The Content Planner, the first and only physical planner for planning online content. When Kat first launched her company in 2016 she made $0, the next year $12,000, and then in 2019 she built it into a 6-figure business. These days, The Content Planner is in the hands of thousands and thousands of women.

Kat is now also running powerful online workshops for creatives to plan out their content. The Content Planner Virtual Workshop is a live online webinar training for business owners to master their content planning. The workshop is based on Kat’s personal experiences with content creation, social media, blogging and eCommerce.

What did you do before launching The Content Planner?

“I am the founder and designer of The Content Planner.” Kat begins, “I’ve been working for myself since 2012, so I’ve been in the game for a while, but I came from a 9-5 corporate desk job. It was there that I made the conscious decision to quit my job and become a freelancer. My initial goal was to work less and travel more.”

In 2012 Kat created ‘Salty Pineapple’, her freelance graphic design business. Over time she started to leverage Instagram to build up her personal brand and voice. “When you’re a graphic designer you work so hard on creating for other clients, and it’s really boring. The first company I worked for was the college of physiotherapists, looking back now I’m like ‘What the hell was I doing?’

That’s when my inner intuition whispered to me, ‘You could be using your creativity so much better and right now you’re being under-utilized’. So I started out doing freelance graphic design.”

Kat’s love for Instagram and the creative escape it provided encouraged her to pivot from Graphic Design into Content Creation, but after a few years, she had another calling.

How pivoting from freelance content creation lead to a 6-figure business empire

“I realized I was back at square one and at the mercy of my clients.” Kat reflects, “I wasn’t making money if I wasn’t working, so my goals changed. I’d achieved my goal of working less and traveling more but then I wanted the next step; a product business that gave me something tangible to sell online. And, of course, make money while you sleep which is the ultimate goal for a lot of entrepreneurs.”

The concept of The Content Planner came from Kat’s need for a place to write down what she was going to post on Instagram. To take all the strategies and knowledge she’d learned from her personal brand and account and create a tool that would allow her and others to plan away from phones, laptops and online distractions. “I went on Google and searched, but nothing like what I needed existed.”

“Being a Graphic Designer and someone who’s very self-motivated I thought ‘I’m gonna create one!” And so, Kat’s very first eCom product was born. “I had no idea about manufacturing, fulfillment, shipping a product, or Shopify! I’m essentially self-taught.”

“I bootstrapped my business to invest in my first round of planners and I’ve now grown it to almost half a million dollars with one product, almost 4 years later!”

What would you recommend to someone who wants to create their first product, like The Content Planner?

“The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want your product to be,” Kat advises. “You have to figure out, as the business owner, exactly what your product is going to look like. If you don’t know those specifics, finding a manufacturer is going to be way harder!”

“Nor should you go on Pinterest and look for ‘inspiration.’ The reason The Content Planner has been so successful is because there is nothing like it on the market. I created it from my brain and my own creativity. If you want to feel unique, feel original and stand out from the crowd you almost need to put on your blinders.”

“Ideas are very original to you and you have to believe in them. If I didn’t believe in The Content Planner, how could I expect my customers to do that!?”

How did you tap into your audience to determine that The Content Planner was going to sell and be successful?

“Nowadays, to test your product you can post it online!” Kat celebrates, “You can use social media and get feedback within 24 hours! When I first started I didn’t have access to those features. Since then, up until today, I’m still asking my community, ‘Hey what do you think about adding this new feature?’ Or ‘What would you do differently if you could launch The Content Planner? Community feedback now is gold.”

“I think a misconception with followers is, mine didn’t all transfer over to The Content Planner. So my advice would be, if you are starting from zero, like everybody else in the entire world, to pinpoint who you’re serving with your product. For me, I gave her a name, I know what income she has and what brands she likes to wear. Every time I create a piece of content I think of my ideal customer.” (You’ll need to tune in to the episode to hear Kat’s avatar’s fun, sassy name and attitude!)

“I think what a lot of businesses fail to do is, they’re not creating for an actual person. They are just thinking about the bottom line. Don’t start a business if you just want to make money, first of all.”

How did you increase your customers and grow The Content Planner’s revenue to 6-figures?

“This shit takes time! Everyone is in such a rush to make their first six figures when they haven’t even made their first four figures yet, and they don’t even know their target customer.”

In the episode, Kat shares how much value she holds in creating a quality product, content, and experience for her customers. It’s this core value that has helped her build the successful business she has today.

“In terms of The Content Planner, I started slow. With my first launch, there were crickets. Nobody bought my product. My Instagram had a few hundred followers and I was just getting my feet wet with eCommerce, so my strategy was just to grow my community.”

“I tried not to be too hard on myself the first year. I just wanted to get it out of the door and I wanted to make my first sale. In the first year, I made zero dollars. I was lucky, I worked my ass off, showed up on Instagram every day with high-value content so began to grow my community and got my first few people on my email list.”

Fast forward one full year after Kat’s first launch and she decided it was time to devote everything to a strategy that would sell The Content Planner. “My goal was $10,000 in one month and my sale was $12,000! I was like, ‘Holy crap! This could actually be a thing!’

The Power of Planning

“It’s really powerful when you have a plan written down and you actually execute on it. That’s when it clicked for me. I’m so obsessed now with launching, planning and writing things down.” Kat admits.

Kat’s next launch saw her double her revenue to $32,000, and on her most recent one to $100K! Listen in to this episode to hear the steps she took to do that. Kat also shares so much more in this episode of Her Life, By Design, from how to find a manufacturer and build that relationship, to how to plan your content and your product business as well as what she teaches in her amazing virtual and in-person workshops.

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relevant links:

The Content Planner’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecontentplanner 

The Content Planner’s Virtual Workshops: https://virtual.thecontentplanner.com/

Kat’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/katgaskin

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