Maggie Sellers’ goal is to create content that inspires people to go after their business goals and build dream lives—not unlike the way she built her own.
Maggie is an angel investor, content creator, and founder of Hot Smart Rich Media and HSR Ventures. Her specialty is working with consumer brands and technology companies, and she’s invested in brands like De Soi, Deux, Allara, and Mixlab and Upkeep Beauty.
Every day, Maggie shares posts such as tips for getting started in angel investing, brand marketing case studies, and day-in-the-life videos with her more than 100,000 TikTok followers.
Ahead, Maggie offers her advice for taking your business to the next level in 2024.
6 expert tips for building your brand
Ready to take your brand to the next level? Maggie has helped many brands level up. Here’s her secret formula.
1. Dream big
As an investor, Maggie says she’s always looking for a founder’s mission or purpose. “I’m trying to nail down why this founder is sacrificing everything, sacrificing a paycheck to build this,” Maggie says.
Getting clear on your “why” can help guide you in many aspects of your own business. Not only will it help you sell your idea to investors, but it can help you prioritize your goals, focus your content creation efforts, and narrow in on your target audience.
2. Create content around a lifestyle
Whether you’re building a product or a personal brand, you’re probably not doing enough content. Maggie says small businesses and new content creators have an opportunity to cut through the noise with organic marketing, but you have to be intentional about what you’re selling. “Don’t sell me your features and functions,” Maggie says. “Sell me the lifestyle. Sell me the ecosystem.”
3. Budget 10% to invest in yourself
Maggie encourages her audience, especially women who follow her, to get involved with angel investing to build wealth, learn more about business, and grow their network. She even came up with a new variation of the 50-30-20 budget to emphasize the importance of investing in yourself. The HSR 50-20-20-10 budget sets aside 50% for needs like rent and groceries, 20% for desires, 20% for savings, and 10% for goals.
Those goals don’t have to include angel investing. It could mean setting aside 10% of your income to put toward your side hustle, take classes, or get a membership that will help you build your network.
4. Play the numbers game
If your goal this year is to get better at networking, be prepared to cold email and cold call. You will probably get a lot of rejections, but Maggie says not to take it personally. Her advice is to set goals for the conversation and, more importantly, know the value you can provide in return for that person’s time and knowledge. This is where research about the person and their company can come in handy.
5. Develop your leadership style
No matter what stage of business you’re in, leadership skills are crucial. When Maggie evaluates a startup, she looks for a leader who is open to feedback. It’s a balance of being able to receive and act on feedback and having a clear vision, so you won’t easily be swayed by too many opinions.
“Trying to emulate characteristics of successful leaders is going to put you at an advantage when you’re trying to cultivate a real leadership perspective as a founder,” Maggie says. She recommends reading books about great leaders from history.
6. Get comfortable with being controversial
In an age when it’s hard to stand out, challenge yourself to stop being like everyone else. “You have to be OK with ruffling feathers, you have to be OK getting hate comments, you have to be OK being misunderstood,” says Maggie.
Maggie’s videos about being a “hot, smart, rich girl” are polarizing on purpose, because it gets her brand talked about. And the audience that resonates with “hot, smart, rich” knows Maggie’s mission goes far beyond the label.
To learn more about Maggie’s background in startups and hear her advice for founders, listen to the full interview on Shopify Masters.