This single American mother used $1,200 government check to build a $1 million business in 10 months

After she was fired in 2019, Ellie Diop applied for more than 50 job openings, but was rejected everywhere. She then realized that she needed to get more creative in order to earn money for her children as a single mother. But after a year of unemployment, she ran out of money to invest in startup costs for her own business.

When Diop, like most other Americans, got her check for $1,200 last year, she saw it as an opportunity to invest in herself. She decided to use her experiences in business, management and marketing to start her own coaching company.

She had noticed that during the pandemic, many millennials were wondering how to start their own businesses. “I saw a lot of unanswered questions. And many business coaches were either single men or women without children, or women in relationships without children. I didn’t see anyone who could advise from my situation, so I decided to become that person myself.”

Also read: 6 ways to find out if your side hustle can pay off in the long run.

Spotting that gap in the market, she started her online coaching company Ellie Talks Money in 2020 to help millennials start their own businesses, build business credit, and secure financing. Ten months later, her company has already made more than a million dollars in sales, according to financial data that Insider has seen.

Diop was able to convert her incentive check into a multi-million dollar business in a short period of time.

She used part of her check to pay for her startup costs

Diop was looking for a social media platform where she could offer her products and services at low cost. After researching several options, she turned to Instagram. In her previous job, she was responsible for the Instagram account of the company she worked for and had learned how to create a visually appealing page at a relatively low cost.

Also read: 6 personal assistants talk about the weirdest assignments they ever got from their boss.

“I used my business experience to get off to a good start,” she says. “I knew I needed good lighting, a website and a photo editing program.”

Diop spent $170 on two ring lamps to create visually appealing photos. And with the little money she had available, she decided to build a website herself and spend $145 on domain name registration and hosting costs for the first year.

After searching for a suitable and affordable photo editing tool, Diop opted for a pro membership to Canva for $120.

She kept her marketing costs low

Diop spent a total of nearly $450 to get started.“It’s important to see who is successful in this area, to analyze why what they’re doing works and what needs they’re not meeting.”

Also read: These are the most popular employers among Dutch students in 2021: Central government, Tesla and Apple.

She posted free content that would attract potential customers and on a budget of $150 she also posted sponsored posts. Once she had the necessary interested followers, Diop developed her first product using Canva. She didn’t have much money to spend, so she offered her course and services to a few ideal clients for free in exchange for reviews.

“I also offered people free coaching calls for two weeks before switching to paid coaching calls. That’s how I got my reviews in the beginning,” she says.

When Diop started selling her first product, she could be seen almost every day for her followers on Instagram Live. It was an opportunity to do free marketing. Even now she continues to appear regularly on Instagram Live.

Also read: A negotiation coach explains how to ask for a raise – and how to best take advantage of an offer from another employer.

“Be visible to your audience,” she advises. “Your customers need to like you and trust you so they keep coming back. Show yourself as you are.”

  • Her teacher said she couldn’t solve a problem because she’s a woman, but when she was 23, Cristina Aleixendri founded a startup that now makes millions
  • This divorce attorney helps New York’s elite divide their millions and faces revenge attacks and cheating partners – this is what her workday looks like
  • 5 current and former young bankers on Wall Street tell what a grueling 95-hour workweek looks like in practice
  • These 3 artists quit their jobs at a supermarket, call center and university – that’s how they became successful with their music on Fiverr.
Author: Jobly