Today we’d like to introduce you to Catherine Kolkoski.
Hi Catherine, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I graduated from The University of Arizona with a degree in Speech Communications. After college, I worked with my parent’s business development company in Scottsdale, AZ, as VP of Marketing. We had one of the first Macintosh 512’s in Phoenix. I taught myself graphic design on that little machine and created a newsletter and promotional materials for direct mail campaigns. I also gave presentations on internal marketing to small business owners.
In 1997, my husband and I moved to Kansas City. It was one of the five best decisions we ever made.
In 2011 I found my way into the online marketing space with a start-up agency looking for ‘seasoned’ team members. When internal communications and customer service seemed to suffer due to accelerated growth, I decided to start my own business.
In 2013 I started A2 Online Marketing with one client. My niche was and still is small business. I invited another seasoned professional to the team as a partner. In 2016 we added a social media manager. The first few weeks of the Covid shutdown were hectic. We guided our clients through this time by creating Covid Protocols and communicating with their customers through website and social media updates. Some clients had to stop business operations for a time. We did our work for them, gratis. Why? Our clients had always been there for us, and we were going to be there for them.
I am service minded and have a passion for using my skill sets to give back. I joined the Parkville Chamber and served on the Board for 6 years, the last two years as Vice President. In 2020 I joined The Board for Hillcrest Platte County (https://hillcrestplatte.org/). My team and I combined their two websites into one that was more purpose-driven to their needs. I recently accepted a board position with Missouri State University and their “Women in Leadership Program.” (https://wil.missouristate.edu/) My role is to assist with curriculum development and coach other women leaders.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
For me, recognizing an ending and the opportunity for a new beginning has been significant. One of my favorite books, “The Principle of The Path” by Andy Stanley, helped set the table for me to make better decisions and pay attention to the “red flags” in my professional and personal life. It helped me see things as they are and not how I wanted them to be. And looking back in my life, the challenging times didn’t last, and there was always something better when a door closed.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
A2 is an online marketing firm focusing on the small business niche. We work with brands from a wide variety of industries. We don’t pit clients against one another in search, so we will only engage with one client in an industry in one geographic region. (For example- one plumber in Kansas City).
We create websites (through a strategic business partner), execute social media, SEO, organic search, paid search, email marketing, and business development consulting. Technically, I only manage one person, and how I treat that person is critical to me. I want her to feel appreciated, valued, and essential.
Claim to Fame
A few years ago, a client had a TV series on the CW network. We were live tweeting during the show as our clients’ character and responding to tweets from viewers on his behalf.
Proud facts: the first two clients I started my company with are still clients. We all do whatever it takes to serve the client. We take photos at events, create videos, and even model!
It’s been my experience that being a mom and having a career can be challenging. So, what may set us apart is my business model where the women in the organization can have a family life and own their own small business within the framework of A2. We all support, encourage, and when we need to, we problem-solve with one another. Teamwork does indeed make the dream work!
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley https://www.amazon.com/Principle-Path-How-Where-Want/dp/0849946360/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2B9U7LGOZI635&dchild=1&keywords=the+principle+of+the+path+andy+stanley&qid=1635449031&sprefix=the+principle+of+the+path%2Caps%2C204&sr=8-1
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- Website: https://www.a2onlinemarketing.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A2OnlineMarketing