Episode 21: She took a chance on socials & created a 330k + audience in the process with Kristy Campbell

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330K social media followers & counting…far too often we shy away from putting ourselves out there for fear of what others might think. In today’s episode, I chat with Kristy Campbell about how practice, showing up and just doing it, “makes perfect” & creates an epic brand with a cult following in the process.

Links

Kristy Campbell Instagram
The Pink Pony Creative
Hayley Osborne Instagram (Social Soul)
Hayley Osborne Facebook


Kristy Campbell’s Bio

Introducing today’s guest for the Hayley Osborne show. Kristy Campbell from Pink Pony Creative a brand and graphic design agency. Kristy started off her business in 2019. With 100 day social media challenge, she decided to get creative and showcase what she did best through her Instagram profile. Before the challenge ended, she knew that she had tapped into a market that she previously hadn’t known existed, wonderfully creative in her approach to utilise bold colours and aesthetics.

What separates Kristie from others is how she successfully branded Pink Pony into becoming known as the go to design agency for adding spice when it comes to creating new graphics and brand design for your business. describing her branding style in two words, which is bright and bold, Kristy states that her strategy includes coming up with something unique and different for each client to ensure their business stands out in a vast sea of other companies within whatever industry she’s working in. She has built over two years 87,000 Instagram followers, and 270,000 Tiktok followers, and growing. Wow. So guys, welcome to this awesome podcast interview.

Transcription

Hayley Osborne:

Welcome to the podcast. Kristy Campbell. How are you this morning? Thank you so much for joining me.

Kristy Campbell:

I am great, Hayley. Thank you so much for having me on the podcast. I’m very excited to chat with you today.

Hayley Osborne:

So I have just read out your very impressive bio to my listeners. And I think they’ll be happy to hear from you too, because you have a super amazing story. Again, you’re a brand and graphic design agency called Pink Pony creative. But in your own words, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Kristy Campbell:

Of course. So I’m Kristy Campbell, a 29 year old graphic designer from New Zealand all the way in New Zealand. And I own a brand and graphic design studio called being fairly creative. Like you said, we’ve been going for about two years now. And we create everything from branding for influences, like fashion labels, beauty brands, restaurants, pizza trucks, there’s a whole lot of stuff. And we also do a whole lot of stuff for just graphic design in general. So maybe that’s vehicle sign writing. It could be flyers, social media graphics, and also just started doing some social media management, which is really cool as well. So that’s a little nutshell into the business.

Hayley Osborne:

Nice. So in this business, can I just say you have a very impressive social media following that you have built over the last two years. So just to read out the stats here, you’ve got over 87,000 Instagram followers, over 237,000 Tiktok followers. I’m not sure combined when I add in your Facebook and your branding page, but it’s almost 400,000 followers.

So oh, my god, this is really crazy. Two years in business eight years industry experience. I guess the first thing I want to ask you is what made you decide to work for yourself? At the very beginning, what was that pivotal moment because I know with my listeners like you know some of them are still like juggling that hustle of full time job. Not sure whether to go all in like what was that point for you?

Kristy Campbell:

I love this question. Because I think throughout my like career, you know, following university, when you first get your first job everyone says do what do you want to be and where do you want to be in five years and I always used to say I’d love to own my own design studio one day, but I honestly never thought it would actually happen. I don’t know why I thought it would actually never happen. I think because I got in this routine of working for other people when I worked for about three different businesses for a good seven or eight years. And then the last job I had was a great job because I learned a lot, I was doing a lot of things that I wouldn’t didn’t necessarily know have the qualifications to do to be honest.

But I learned a lot. But during that time, I felt really creatively drained. I wasn’t pushing myself creatively. And that’s just what I love. I love everything creative, colour, bright, bold, all that kind of stuff. And it was for businesses that had it was like a one brand new business. So I was designing and green every day for two years. And I was just getting really over it. And so I thought, at that time, like every day, for a good year, I was like, I can do so much more with my life, what am I doing?

So I thought maybe I should try and get more creative and figure out a way that I can be creative. So I did this 100 Day Design Challenge, where I posted every day for 100 days, got creative. And then from there, I had an inquiry through Instagram, and someone said, hey, you know, could you design a logo. And that’s when it kind of sparked this idea of, Wow, this can really be more than just a challenge. And I could actually create a business out of this. So I like went for it started getting more clients on Instagram. And then it slowly became a business, which was really cool. I didn’t really expect it to become a business. And I think that’s why I call it a Pink Pony Creative because the name is very random. From there, I was like, it’s kind of stuck. So I’m here for a while Pink Pony Creative is here to stay.

Hayley Osborne:

That’s awesome. And you hear a lot of businesses, especially, you know, when you’re really passionate about something, they just start from doing something really random that you never thought existed. So you did 100 day challenge on your personal Instagram account, just for your creative soul to thrive. And then solely from Instagram, let’s just say you got an inquiry for work. That is awesome. And they are the opportunities that a lot of us don’t realise as business owners that when you go like all in and you put yourself out there, you know, like you never ever know what’s around the corner for you.

So a big question, did you have a mentor at the time? Do you have a mentor? Did you buy a course? How did you go from the point of zero to all in? What was that pivotal point for you?

Kristy Campbell:

So I was really lucky. Because that last job that I had, were actually they were so good to me, they were probably the best that I could ever have wanted at that point. Basically, when I realised that I wanted to do this as a business, I pitched the idea to that company that I was working with, Hey, I’d love to go out on my own is there any way I could drop from five days a week to four days a week?

And so I literally did that slowly. And eventually I went to like three days a week working for them. And then two days a week, I was working for Pink Pony. And then you know, after four months, I was doing only a day with them. And then working four days a week with Pink Pony. So it’s a really easy progression. I was so lucky in that way. And I think a lot of people wouldn’t get that opportunity. But I was stoked that I could do that.

Hayley Osborne:

Okay, so you are at the point where you’re working two days a week for yourself and three days a week for your day job, so to speak. So I feel like too you said you were really lucky, it was a great opportunity. And not many people have it but I feel like as well that you generate your own luck. So a lot of people would actually be afraid to ask and you know, that’s kind of been the motto behind my business too. If you don’t ask you don’t get and I’ve like interviewed some amazing people. And you know, I have reached out and just asked and they have said yes. Or you just ask you what you ask for.

And if you don’t put your hand up, I feel like that’s also considered a wasted opportunity. Okay, so then you went out on your own and you decided like a lot you did 100 Day Instagram challenge you showed up authentically as yourself. So how did how did you put yourself in that position to show up authentically, and what goes through your mind because I have a lot of clients say to me, oh but I’m such a private person, I don’t want to let people into my life. So i’ve been kind of teaching people how they can do that while still keep their private life private. So what’s your secret?

Kristy Campbell:

For sure, and I love this question, I think it would be very much. Remember to take it a step at a time, you don’t have to put your whole, you know, day to day experience online, you’re not posting on your stories all the time. But every little thing that you’re doing, and yeah, just take it slowly. Because I think that’s the biggest thing, looking back on my journey, especially in those early days with social media, I wasn’t really doing stories, I think I did my first story and I was so awkward. And I stumbled on my words, and I was so weird on camera. And just slowly, eventuall I would do it more and more and more.

And your kind of your barrier of worrying about what you look like and you know what you’re saying kind of you just let that go a little bit. Because you’re just you get used to it, and you start to not necessarily care what people think. But you just feel confident in your own self to actually be authentic, and that people genuinely care. Because I also think it’s important to remember that being relatable is so important. And if people see you stumbling on camera, that kind of stuff, they can relate to you and go oh my gosh, he does as to you know, she’s normal. So I think that’s a really nice thing that I’ve learned along the way being relatable is so important, especially on social media. It’s the key little tip that I like to remind people for sure.

Hayley Osborne:

Absolutely I feel like you don’t wait until you’re confident to show up, you become confident because you start showing up. It eats you alive. But that’s kind of what happened to me as well. But with you I think, how did you showing up? It’s basically transformed your business?

Kristy Campbell:

Yeah, for sure. 100%. I feel like as well with social media. And I think you mentioned that earlier, you know, you don’t realise the opportunity that you might get, whether that’s new clients, whether that’s opportunities within your local area or all over the world. And the biggest thing that I’ve noticed with social media is you have no idea who’s watching, which is so exciting and so cool. At the same time. Even if you’ve got 1000 followers, or if you’ve got a million followers, you have no idea who could be watching you, because I’ve had some really cool opportunities that I would never have thought would have happened to me because people are watching and they’re interested and people are curious, and they would never have reached me if it wasn’t for social media.

Hayley Osborne:

So I looked and some of your Tik Tok videos clock over a million views. That’s massive. That is exciting. And then some of them get less like, how do you yeah, I guess you just don’t know. Like, I’m talking like, you know, a couple of 1000. And then a million like, you just don’t know what is going to be like the viral piece of content. And you know, that’s why you just have to keep going at it. So being really nosy here. What was the biggest opportunity you received from being consistent name brands, if you want in marketing your brand, and obviously putting yourself out there? Because I feel like you know, when people have real life examples it makes help them think that they can also achieve amazing things.

Kristy Campbell:

Well a couple of my favourite and biggest achievement, I guess with last year, I worked with Adobe quite a few times. And I mean, we all probably know Adobe products and Photoshop and InDesign and looking back even at university that would have never been something that I ever thought would have happened. So like collaborating with them and doing these things called Adobe lives. We were kind of teaching on a live camera online, it was such an awesome opportunity. And just being in front of those people is epic even have my name next to Adobe. I’m like, hell yeah. It’s amazing.

Hayley Osborne:

But if you had gone and emailed them and said, hey, I’m a graphic designer, I would love to work with you. That kind of wouldn’t have worked because, you know, the connection comes through social media and you know and yeah, you never would have imagined that the head of marketing or brand or whatever it is that Adobe would be following you. You just don’t know.

Kristy Campbell:

100% even some of the clients that I’ve worked with, I got an email last year, and my sister doesn’t know much about my work. So she messaged me was like, Did you see who just inquired with you? And it was I don’t know if you ever watched Teen Mum? She became one of my clients, I’ve worked with one of the girls from Teen Mum and I worked with her on quite a few projects now. And she’s got like a massive following on Instagram and has a lot of connections. Yeah, so even that is like, what the heck, it’s crazy.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah. And like those people who have huge connections, and that’s what helps to build your business. And that is, I guess, the unseen things is, by not marketing yourself, you are wasting all these opportunities that you never would have known existed. So, okay, you’ve worked with like wicked brands, you’ve got a lot going on. You’re not just you anymore. So how did you go from just you to hiring a team? And like, that’s a scary process. I have a full time staff member as well, in my business. But what were the steps that you did to do that, because there’s a lot of people that would be listening to you that are going, Oh, my God, I’m so busy. But I’m so scared to hire someone tell us about that journey for you.

Kristy Campbell:

It can be such a scary step. And I never thought it would happen to me so quickly. But it was really the point where I was working my ass off, like all the time, I was, you know, working a full eight hour day, but then also going home and working about three or four hours. And then even on Saturday mornings, I was working, it was a lot. And I think at that point, you have to kind of look, you know, and I was doing work that was purely client work. I was never really developing the business either.

So I did look at the company and think I can’t even develop the business at this point. How can I put processes in place, things like that. And it was to hire someone and you kind of just have to take a leap of faith and hold your breath and really hope it’s all going to be okay. But I think if you think at that point that that’s something you can do. You’re probably you’re already past the point of yes, you can do it and you can 100% Give it a go.

Hayley Osborne:

So as a brand builder and graphic designer and epic creative lady, who are they and what do they do? Because that’s yeah, I’d love to know that because there’ll be like people asking if I’m curious,

Kristy Campbell:

You know, for sure. So basically, I just gonna stop here again. Can you hear the noise in the background?

Hayley Osborne:

No, I can’t. Maybe I’ll just leave that in. Because you know what, like, being raw and real iso good. I can’t hear anything in the background. So don’t worry about it. But yeah, just tell me about your team.

Kristy Campbell:

Okay. So my team, they two amazing girls, I’ve got them on as junior designers, or they pretty much intermediate designers now. And they really helped me out day to day with all the graphic design services that I offer, they have quite a lot on board on his shoulders, actually, they really take on projects themselves and lead the way and pick their own creative direction for projects, which is awesome. And that’s actually why I’ve started a new agency Instagram, because everyone kind of knows me as Kristy in Pink Pony. And I think some of the time for a while, they thought I was the only designer. And I was but then now with a bigger team, I want to actually showcase to us as an agency as a business. And we’re so much more than just me now. So I really want to celebrate that.

Hayley Osborne:

And that also, I guess supports your staff in like their career life trajectory as well. And as you said, obviously, you hired them in as juniors, but now they’re like, evolving into so much more, which is, like a lovely place to be because I mean, and you don’t have to hire this way. But then, you know, they get to feed off of your, energy juice and creativity. And then not become versions of you, but it’s a nice way to morph someone into the business. So for everyone listening, that’s a really good way especially if you’re a creative because you know, it’s nice to keep that kind of open and fresh.

Kristy Campbell:

Definitely yeah, and I think Pink Pony itself has quite like a very distinct style so I was really keen for that to continue I didn’t want to lose that because I think that’s why people do come to me for branding and things because of my bright bold kind of crazy.

Hayley Osborne:

Oh I loved your like your whole aesthetic is super cool. And I see you have a neon too is that is that yours in your social media because I don’t know like I’m, I have a neon in my office as well. And that’s kind of like my brand aesthetic is a tap into that neon vibe. I love that so much.

Kristy Campbell:

It’s so good. Do you mean the neon sign? Is it the pink pony? Yeah I actually got given that gifted as a promo thing for the business. I was so happy. It was like one of those things that you think for your business shit, that’d be cool to have one day. And then I got gifted it and I was like, yeah.

Hayley Osborne:

That’s so good just another like opportunity. I guess you never thought because, you know, if you want to buy neon, they’re a little bit expensive until it’s on brand for you. It’s like beautiful pink. I think they like that, you know, I guess what you surround yourself with also helps you to be creative and think clearly and move in the direction that you’re meant to. So I strongly believe that your like office esthetic, wherever you are, helps you to, like show up as your best self.

Kristy Campbell:

Definitely, yeah. And I can really resonate with that. And even went from I think I worked at home for like, a full year by myself. And then I was just feeling a little bit uninspired, because even talking to people, you know, when you go on your coffee or your tea, it just picks you up a little bit. So now being in a shared office space, it’s a lot more inspiring, and you feel energised. I totally feel that about the space, though.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah, the space just plays such a big role. Okay, so we’ve obviously talked about your following and how it’s like being authentic has helped you. But building a big audience is all like very well and good. And the thing is, though, if they’re not engaged with you, it’s basically vanity metrics. So you have a very engaged audience. And they are like, commenting, and you know, like, there’s a lot going on on your socials. So I don’t want to call it a secret. But, you know, does this kind of float on from being authentic? And, you know tell me that story?

Kristy Campbell:

Yeah, for sure. I really think it follows on from being authentic, relatable, and just trying to do things a little bit differently. You know, especially with social media, there’s so much stuff out there. And I’m sure it’s the same in a lot of industries as a creative, you know, there’s people, everyone’s got design Instagram accounts. Now, when there’s so much work out there and you really compare yourself to others. And you sort of think, should I be doing that, or my work doesn’t look like there’s, but you’ve really just got to stick in your own lane, because that’s really what makes you you and like you said, authentic.

And for a while, I didn’t post like the bright, bold branding that I truly are. And I look back on the feed, I’m like, oh god, that was so not me. And I think people realise that. So it was really just trying to find what you’re really good at, and what makes you stand out as well. And, you know, putting your face to the business and showing up like you were talking about before. And you’re just being relatable, like, even I get a lot of university students talking to me and asking me, you know, did you ever feel really lost at uni? Did you compare your work to others? And, and of course, I did. Like, I really didn’t feel like I was great at all at university. So I recently did this post, and I shared my work from university and it was really shit to be honest. They were like, Oh, my gosh, she was just, you know, she’s like me, she wasn’t that good at university and, and now she’s doing cool things. So it was really awesome for them to see that.

Hayley Osborne:

All right, going back to something from earlier. So you obviously, you know, yes, you’re the graphic designer, CEO, but you have to wear a business hat. So in doing that do you have a mentor? Have you like, invested in a course like how what does that journey look like for you?

Kristy Campbell:

So in terms of like the business stuff itself, you know, how to run a business, accounting and all that stuff. But I had no idea about, I very much just jumped into it. In the deep end, I didn’t have any training. I didn’t have a mentor, actually in saying I do sort of have a mentor. And that’s probably my dad and my husband. My dad was a very successful businessman. So having his ideas and someone to bounce my thoughts on and even like how to do this, or where should I go to here has been amazing along the road. I like to call them and I say, hello, my business consultant, and we love them.

Hayley Osborne:

Yep, honestly, it’s the best.

Kristy Campbell:

Yep, it really is. Even they know us so well. So it’s really nice for them to actually give advice that they feel that we can really take on board and my husband’s sort of similar he kind of runs the business. So that’s amazing to have his support. But other than that, I’ve really just kind of take the, you know, what do they say?

Hayley Osborne:

Take the bull by the horns. Yeah. I love it. And you know I think that if you have that really supportive network around you, it definitely helps. I know that my husband’s my against advocate so to speak that cheer you on. But yeah, like, oh, yeah, very nice to have such a nice following. So all right. Another question for you. Well, this may actually follow on from that one. But is there one thing or one person that’s been most influential in your business? Now when I asked that question, some people you know, reel off, like different names of other really successful business owners. Is that more like family for you then?

Kristy Campbell:

Oh, yeah, definitely family would be one. I think there’s a couple of people online that I follow that I really look up to. Like, there’s a a guy he’s a designer, but also leadership mentor almost now and just the mentor and life. His name is Chris do.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah very awesome. Yes, yes.

Kristy Campbell:

Got some amazing advice. And even just the more, I said, before, relatable people like there’s a girl I follow called Abbie Conrad, and she’s another designer, but she’s just incredible as well and does her own thing and isn’t really blindsided by what other people are doing. And you can actually definitely tell when someone is like that, which is really nice. And that’s why I love to follow people like that, because they’re so just in their own lane doing their own thing. And it’s, that’s when they really shine.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah, there’s a lot of noise on social media these days. But I still feel like, you know, that nobody can ever be you. Right? So you are your own person. And regardless of all the noise, no one can ever be you. So that’s where the cut through is. Because I don’t also think that it’s ever too late for someone to start, if they don’t have any social media presence to start because you are your own person. And that’s your X Factor really.

Kristy Campbell:

Yeah, for sure. Even like thinking about what you do as a career I started posting almost, you kno day in the life and that kind of thing, something that you find boring, and maybe it’s quite mundane, and your business is going to be exciting to someone else, because they probably never seen it before. So it’s really important to remember that and just to post stuff like that, because someone’s gonna find it interesting somewhere.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah, that’s right. Have you ever had a point where you’re like, oh, this doesn’t fit with me anymore? What does that look like for you? Because I know that, you know, after I had my first child, before that I was just in, it was easy. There was that point where I was like, I don’t know myself anymore. And I don’t know how to show up now. And I’ve changed and what does that look like? And now I’m on the other side of that. And it’s, I’m kind of in full flat again, have you had like one of those moments where you’re like I just feel stuck? It feels hard? And if you have how did you overcome that?

Kristy Campbell:

To be honest, I actually think I’m going through that a little bit now. I think you know, with growing a bit of a platform on social media, it was really fun to start with. And you know, my business was busy, but I wasn’t, you know, I didn’t have two staff back then s it was a different type of busy. Now with two staff I do find it difficult to show up a lot, because I’m busy, you know, working with them and teaching them things. And I’m trying to get enough work for all of us to keep busy.

So that is the bit that I’m finding really challenging at the moment and still trying to stay up to date with social media, keep posting. But I love to put it in the way that for me. At the end of the day. Social media is definitely fun. And I love connecting with new people, but it is majority about getting new clients and also trying to get these epic opportunities. Not that I know what they are.

Hopefully still coming. But I’d love to think about it in the way that back in the old days when there was no social media. If I was trying to market my business, it would be you know, one of the ways I’d be marketing, it would be handing out flyers. Now just because maybe I’ve got clients the next month doesn’t mean I’m going to stop handing out flyers, I’ve got to keep going.

So I almost try and look at it in that sense where you’ve got to keep going. Because if you fall off the bandwagon, your business could, you know, slowly get less and less clients, you’re going to look like you’re not doing as much and people might not be as interested. So even if you lose a little bit of passion and try and keep going maybe it means you’re not posting as much or maybe it means you’re not on stories as much, but just staying a little bit up to date can kind of get you through those moments.

Hayley Osborne:

Yes. So you know, it’s not just about social media. Is that what you’re saying? My background is marketing and brand management for some of the biggest alcohol brands in the world. And it’s not just about socials as there’s a lot of other marketing avenues that you can go down. So I really want to send the message that, you know, yes, social is a very powerful platform. But it’s not the only way to drive and have a successful business. I love that you sent me flyers.

Kristy Campbell:

I know flyers the old printed flyers that no one does anymore. No 100% agree with you there and even trying to find different ways to, you know, so you’re not just got your eggs in one basket, you’re trying to do different ways to market yourself. And it’s really important to continue those.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah. All right. So where do you see your business in five years time?

Kristy Campbell:

Oh, I see my business. You know, at the moment, we’ve got a shared space two girls working with me, I would love to eventually own my own studio, where it’s, you know, pink, and I’ve got, you know if it’s nice to work and cool lights, all that stuff, and have a few more employees. I’m definitely not someone who would want like a massive company, because I’m quite low key. And you know, I grew up on a farm and things like that. So I just love a casual laid back lifestyle. And I think that all truly made me happy having that balance. So yeah, that’s where I want to see it in five years. Inspiring people and getting new clients that are all over the world.

Hayley Osborne:

The beauty of the internet as well. And as an end question, what’s the number one piece of advice that you would give business owners right now?

Kristy Campbell:

Ohh the number one piece of advice. I actually posted about this, it was a little quote, a couple of weeks back, and the quote is, “you’re far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way”. And I just love that. Because I feel that most of the time people are literally the only thing standing in the way so they’re too worried about you know, I’m not gonna know how to do this. I shouldn’t do that. Because I’m not good enough. But you can’t think like that. Just give it a go. Yes. Give it a go. Three years down the track If it’s not something you want to do, if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ve tried. Yeah, I think that would be my little bit of inspiration.

Hayley Osborne:

I love that get out of your own way everybody because you again, don’t know what’s around the corner. I love chatting with you so much. You’re an inspiration. And I’m going to stalk you like crazy. And I look forward to watching you grow more and more and more. And yeah, the journey I guess two years in is just beginning for you. So congratulations on building such an epic business. So if people want to follow you and connect with you again to wrap it up, like tell us how they can do that.

Kristy Campbell:

Sure thing so on Instagram and Tiktok it is just Pink Pony creative. I do have my larger personal design account, which is kristy The Pink Pony. So follow me on there. If you want to have it like you want to talk about anything that we’ve spoken about today. I’d love to chat but no, I’ve loved being on the podcast. Thank you so much for having me. It was an absolute pleasure.

Hayley Osborne:

No worries. Thank you. Okay, bye

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