Discover the remarkable story of Doone, the founder of Female Startup Club, as she shares her journey from launching a podcast to building a 6-figure business. Learn how she identifies growth channels, embraces creativity, and leverages opportunities like TikTok to inspire and empower women in the world of entrepreneurship.
What is your company doing and how did you get started?
Hi, I’m Doone! Founder and host of the popular podcast, Female Startup Club. When I launched the podcast at the end of 2019, I didn’t have any grand plans or intentions for what it might look like in the future. At the time, I was reading Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans, and I noticed that hardly any women were featured. While I enjoyed the book, I wanted a space to hear that same energy from women.
I tried hosting IGTV interviews with female founders but quickly realized IG sucked! It had no discoverability, so I pivoted to podcasts. I reached out to everyone I knew with a story to tell, sat down with a mic on my bedroom floor, and started recording. I had no experience in reporting or journalism. I was not confident in public speaking (in fact, I was terrified!). But I also had nothing to lose and a whole lot of excitement when it came to amplifying these voices.
Despite my lack of experience or strategic planning, the podcast took off. Within just a few years, I’ve not only grown it into a show in the top 0.5 percent of podcasts globally, but I’ve also built a business around the podcast that makes multi-six-figures of annual recurring revenue from sponsorships, ads, digital courses and our private community, Majic.
How do you identify and prioritize new growth channels?
Let’s dive right into how I’ve learned to figure out where to put my energy for growth. It's been a bit of a wild ride because, like many of reading, I want to do all the things. But guess what? You can't. Lesson learned the hard way. I used to jump on every piece of advice like it was gospel, but that just left me overwhelmed.
I've learned to be picky about where I focus my energy. It's all about failing fast and being open to changing things up. Turns out, you can try a bunch of stuff, just not all at the same time. Pick a growth channel you’ve been wanting to take on, say TikTok. Give it your all, and see what happens. If it's not working in about a month, no biggie – take it as a lesson and move on to the next big thing. But if you start seeing some magic, double down on that.
Looking back, another thing that has helped the podcast was the point at which I started asking people how they found out about Female Startup Club. Around once a year I complete super casual customer research interviews to get a clear idea of who our customers are. The conversations that come out of these always bring a lot of value, but they have (coincidentally) also become the way to identify and prioritze new growth channels. For example.. when I started asking listeners how they found us, about nine times out of ten it was through organic google search.
This was super interesting. At the time SEO wasn’t even on my radar, but that was the golden ticket. So, I went all in. Transcripts for every episode, even the oldies. Boom, growth explosion. Lesson: always talk to your customers. And again, if you find something that works, double (or even triple) down on it.
What are your top skills as a founder? How do you work on it?
I’m an ideas person. Very creative! I try to be limitless with my ideas without letting the what-ifs and maybes mess with my flow. Running your own show requires a hefty dose of entrepreneurial optimism, and that's where I thrive. I'm all about embracing the craziness of ideas and believing they can turn into something magic.
Besides that, I’m strong with content. I’m a sucker for great branding (think: pink, and more pink), and I’m constantly online pushing our message out there.
Working on these skills is a constant journey of learning, experimenting, and not being afraid to pivot. I surround myself with inspiring people, soak up knowledge like a sponge, and always stay with a finger right on the pulse with all the latest trends - you never know what wave you can catch on its way up!
What is that one opportunity that had a significant impact on your company's growth or direction?
Our decision to leverage TikTok had a serious impact on our growth and the overall direction we were heading. The ability to showcase our brand in a creative and authentic way resonated with a whole new audience. It wasn't just about hopping on trends; it was about being part of a conversation in a way that felt real and relatable. I got into a groove of posting my personal journey on there; like the time I got this chemical face peel and it went completely viral. On TikTok, we weren't just a business; we were part of this vibrant, dynamic community. The ripple effect was insane – brand recognition skyrocketed, millions of people saw our content, and the energy around our company became contagious.
So, if you're asking me about that one opportunity that changed the game for us, it's definitely TikTok. It's not just a dance floor; it's a growth playground, and we're here for it. My advice to everyone that aspires to have a business one day is to pick something you’re interested in enough to talk about every day and start posting content on TikTok. The world has changed so much and you now have the power to build a community from scratch (for free) just with an iPhone and time. It’s pretty amazing.
What part of your business are you most proud of? Why?
The more women I speak to, the more apparent it becomes that women build businesses with people, the planet and profit in mind — not profit above everything else. If we can inspire, and motivate more women to keep going, and stop stopping, we can literally change the world. I’m incredibly proud of the fact we play a part in that story. From inspiring the founders and founders to be tuning into our podcast, to the women within our private community Majic building the incredible businesses of tomorrow.
On top of that, we’ve been so proud to support the Malala Fund in their efforts to give 12 years of free, safe, quality education to women and girls around the world. It’s an initiative I’m very proud to support and something that sits close to my heart.