Megan Brame

Author of “Day 1: A Practical Guide to Launching Your First Business”

Megan Brame is a nationally quoted Marketing Strategist, author of the new book Day 1: A Practical Guide to Launching Your First Business, a popular podcast host (Stop Sucking At Business). She is also a five time award-winning entrepreneur whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Refinery 29, Organic Spa Magazine, Bust, Baltimore Sun, Raechel Ray, Time Out New York among others. Megan is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and bloggers take their businesses to the next level with the value-based “High Performance Marketing Coaching” she is well known for. Via one on one coaching, mastermind group coaching, and online courses, Megan works with clients at all stages of entrepreneurship – whether they are just starting out or are ready to grow. She also specializes in helping bloggers monetize their blogs. Frequently speaking on panels and podcasts, educating entrepreneurs and executives on how to “create die-hard customers who follow you for life by creating high-impact marketing strategies” that will “build their businesses into profit-making machines.” Personable and fun as well as savvy, smart and skilled, Megan is also the host of the Stop Sucking At Business Podcast which presents listeners with “on-the-go insights into marketing, business strategies, and stories from other successful entrepreneurs.”

Where did the idea for your company come from?

Meve Media, the canopy under which most of my shiny object ideas operate, is a portmanteau of my name and my husband’s name.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’ve learned that I needed to stop trying to fit my life into an 8 am-5 pm corporate model, and instead adapt my time to capitalize on what works best for me. I wake up around 8 am, take the dog for his walk, eat breakfast, putz around on Reddit (and Animal Crossing if we’re being totally honest) and then get started around 10 am. My client work gets done first, then emails, then my content or marketing. I’ve found it best to group things together and reduce the friction as much as possible. I group podcast interviews together, video creations get done in bulk, email power hours, etc.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Where there is a whiteboard there is a way! If something starts running around in my brain then I try to think it through on my whiteboards: what’s in it for my audience, is it something that’s actually beneficial or this is just an ego thing? What’s the transformation I want to happen for my student/reader/customer/etc? Can I prove that can happen? From there I start creating a timeline that begins with the launch date and works backward…and then I pad another 2 months in because let’s be real, nothing ever is as fast as you think.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Oh man, I am so here for self-care being a priority. I lived through the Hustle Culture of the 2010s where it was seen as a weakness to not be working 25/8. Now with so many entrepreneurs setting boundaries and normalizing “off-hours” as a priority, I’m seeing a new generation of entrepreneurs come up with way fewer dark circles under their eyes.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Batching and using schedulers to help me get things done. I understand the apprehension some have when it comes to front-loading social media and videos, but I know the way I work and if I had to do everything “live” then it wouldn’t get done. Leaning into knowing what my weak points are and finding tools, people, and apps to solve those has saved me so much wasted effort and frustration.

What advice would you give your younger self?

It’s okay if not everyone gets you because trying to please everyone is exhausting. Love those who love you, and then love them some more.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Erm…that you don’t actually know marketing unless you are a marketer. If you’re an accountant, a librarian, a firefighter, whatever…that’s great and you clearly have a skill set that I do not, but you don’t know marketing. When I was a Director of Marketing and Communications, I got into fights, like “go cool off” level fights with people in other departments who thought they could do my job. They’d want to be on Instagram even though our customer wasn’t on there for our services, and would refuse to listen to my reasoning. Then they’d make an Instagram account, realize they don’t know what it takes to be consistent or how to create conversions for a platform that isn’t where our customers are, and then suddenly we had dead accounts everywhere.

I get that marketing seems easy, “post some inspo quotes and expect 10k followers within the week which then generates $10,000” and I would LOVE if that were the case. But the reason I get paid to do ONLY marketing strategy for clients is that I know the nuances and where the effort should go to be the most effective. So don’t try to be the Account-who-also-does-marketing, do the accounting (please, I really need you in the world), and let the marketers do their jobs.\

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Tell people what to do. Which I know sounds ridiculous, right? But I try to have a call to action for every piece of content I release out into the world. Don’t leave things ambiguous as people are busy and have short attention spans so tell them where to go, what to do, and what problem it will solve.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Culling my offerings. When I started I wanted to do it all! Be the Business Coach who also ran a DIY blog and had sponsorships and brand ambassadorships, who did content about business and DIY, and cooking, and home decor, and travel. I put the lifestyle part on hiatus, as well as the “general business coach” part, and focused solely on what I inherently know how to do and can teach others: marketing.

Now I have less stuff in my brain and way less content to create. The amount of overwhelm I feel has diminished so much and now I can actually feel like things are in a state of “done.”

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

My first business was an industry darling: it won a bunch of awards, got my name in the New York Times, and earned me a comfortable living. But I refused to give up control of anything related to it so I did the packaging, the packaging design, the social media, the shipping, bookkeeping, customer service, sales, production. At the time I said that the reason I did this was that there wasn’t “enough” money to outsource these things, but looking back I know the truth is that I was scared to let people in to see the mess of an operation I was running. I ended up turning that business from a dream career into a job I hated and eventually closed it and walked away.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The most brilliant entrepreneurs I’ve met are the ones who looked at something that was a standard way of doing things and said “nope, not good enough.” Look at businesses like Planoly, Tailwind, TubeBuddy, etc. These brands looked at the slog that is growing a brand and said “this is dumb, let’s fix it.” So rather than a specific idea, I’m selfishly asking you who are looking for a business idea to create a business that makes life easier. What tedious thing do you do day in and day out that doesn’t have to be so dumb and tedious? Look to AI and all the crazy stuff it’s capable of doing, then build a better thing. As an example: if you created a business that made it easier for me to create blog content (so that 1,500 word blog posts that need to be optimized for search engines didn’t make me want to pull my hair out) then you’d be my new best friend.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

This is totally nerdy and shows how much I am willing to lean into being an old lady now, but I dropped a ton of money on yarn, crochet needles, and a crochet teacher. The yarn I sourced from Goodwill (I love the “we have no idea where to put this” aisle) so it could’ve been way more than $100 if I hadn’t gone thrifting, but I am INTO IT. It’s the first time in a LONG time that I’ve had a hobby that was just for me and didn’t involve trying to flip it into a business so I’m pretty excited about it (and am actually enjoying how bad I am at crochet!)

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Oh my god, RelayThat is my favorite thing ever. It takes an image and “remixes” it so that the image is optimized for different platforms. I’m able to create youtube thumbnails that match my IGTV cover, which matches my Pinterest pin SO much faster than if I was just using Photoshop.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I think it may have fallen out of favor lately, but I still have a soft spot for The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I read it right out of college and that book helped me realize the value that is my time and that I wasn’t winning any awards by trying to do everything on my own.

What is your favorite quote?

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win…” -President John F. Kennedy

Key Learnings:

  • Embrace automation and stop trying to do it all
  • Don’t leave selling up to ambiguity – tell people what to do
  • Build a business that transforms your customer, not one that strokes your ego