Single mom Ellie Diop was laid off in 2019. After applying to 53 different jobs without success, she realized she needed to get creative to provide for her children.
Ellie Diop decided to put her business, management, and marketing experience to work for herself and start her own business coaching company. But after being unemployed for a year, she needed money to get started. So when she received her $1,200 stimulus check, she knew just what to do with it.
Diop first researched which social media platform would best suit her business and audience for a month before settling on Instagram.
"I spent 45 days scrolling through Instagram every day, researching, following hashtags, before making my first post. It is important to look at who is having success in the field, analyze what they are doing that is working, and identify which needs they are not meeting," said Diop.
During her research, Diop saw an under-served market: Millennials looking to step into entrepreneurship. She also saw information gaps.
"I saw a lot of unanswered questions,” Diop said. “So many business coaches were either men or single women without kids or women in a relationship without kids. I did not see anyone who could offer my point of view, so I decided to become that person."
Accordingly, in 2020, she launched "Ellie Talks Money," her online coaching business to help Millennials set up businesses, build business credit, and obtain grants.
Diop views her business not just as something for herself and for the present, but as a legacy for her children. She also offers tips on how to create generational wealth.
Diop spent a portion of her stimulus check on business equipment. "I leveraged my experience in the corporate world to get started," she said. "I knew I would need good lighting, a website, and a tool to edit my visuals and create my first product."
She spent $170 on two ring lights, $145 to purchase the domain name of her website (which she built herself) and pay for a year of hosting, and $120 on a Canva pro membership. She also spent the first couple of weeks giving away coaching calls in exchange for testimonials to build up her business reputation.
In less than a year of hard work and showing up consistently (Diop would get on Instagram Live almost every day to connect with her audience), Ellie Talks Money has generated over $1 million in revenue.
"Be in front of your audience," Diop advised. "Your customers have to like you, trust you, so they can continue coming back. Show up as yourself."