I met Charlie Nicholls, founder of KART Digital Agency around five years ago when she came to me for business coaching. She had been running her own business for almost ten years and was in the process of rebranding and launching her business as KART. I knew as soon as I met her that I would eventually engage Charlie in some capacity. She was kind enough to offer me marketing tips along the way and then late last year, the opportunity arose for us to work together when I was preparing to launch my new small group coaching program for women, The Confidence Course.
As anticipated, this was the best kind of collaboration. We were on the same page from the moment we started working on this project together and the entire experience has felt seamless and joyful.
You’ll probably gather as you read her responses that Charlie is intelligent, creative and incredibly talented at what she does. To give full credit where it’s due, the brief I gave her for creating The Confidence Course website was simple. I asked for the website to be clean and beautiful and the learning experience to be effortless for the user. She achieved all of these things and so much more.
It has been a dream working with Charlie and I’m delighted to share her work with you. I hope you enjoy getting to know her and I hope she’s able to help you bring your business to life with her expertise.
Can you share a little bit about KART Digital and the clients you usually work with?
I have been interested in entrepreneurship and starting businesses for as long as I can remember. In fact, one of my strongest childhood memories was creating my first business cards at the age of 7. As a child, I realised how empowering it was to bring ideas to life and loved pondering and working on concepts that made life easier for myself, and the people around me.
Of course, being 7, I wasn’t able to run anything officially, so I created and handed out business cards to friends and family offering to do everything I could from cleaning, cooking to mowing lawns, I started teaching myself design, multimedia, web development and digital advertising in my early teens and commenced freelancing when I was 14.
Another fascination of mine is learning, studying and analysing human behaviour, so when I left school I started a Bachelors in Social Work/Arts, and my focus areas were human rights theory, human behaviour and journalism. Outside of university, I continued to freelance and started my first small agency at 19, while also working at digital media agencies which gave me wonderful opportunities creating digital strategies, websites and running digital marketing campaigns for national and international clients.
A couple of years after all of this started, my agency took off and I decided to take the leap and run that full time. My agency is now called KART Digital, and we specialise in helping establish and grow start-ups, small businesses and social enterprises with simple digital solutions that increase awareness, engagement and actions.
To put it simply, I love combining my interest in human behaviour with my digital marketing skills to create simple user experiences that help brands and organisations grow and connect with their communities.
What do you love most about your working for yourself?
There are so many reasons I love working for myself, the freedom and flexibility is obvious. However, what I love most is the connections, conversations and relationships that I develop with inspiring and passionate entrepreneurs. Being able to hear their ideas, and collaborate with them to bring them to life and see them grow is incredibly empowering.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t think there’s such a thing, there’s no typical day from my perspective. I am an early bird and start every morning with some type of movement, whether that is yoga or a walk. However, after that, there is a non-linear cycle of client meetings, strategy development, sales, project and campaign management, implementation and optimisation, admin, accounting and reporting. Every day is different and I love it – it is one of the things I love most about the agency and working for myself.
What gives you a sense of purpose – in business and in life?
I find purpose in collaborating with others to bring ideas to life that make the world a more connected place.
Can you tell us about an interesting project you have been working on recently?
I am very grateful that we have been working with clients on so many amazing projects recently, it is hard to pick!
Humble Sampler is one of them, they are a social enterprise and advisory whose mission is to remove the barriers that stop small-scale, under-represented food makers from getting into the food industry and growing sustainable and successful food businesses.
We partnered with them to create a platform and online store for selling hampers featuring delicious products from these talented, local and artisanal food makers. You can check it out at humblesampler.com.
What is one business decision you’ve made at KART Digital that has been most meaningful?
Choosing to qualify clients and only work with ethical companies with shared values and whose mission was to create a social impact was the most meaningful business decision I have made.
It was scary at the time as there was a risk it would limit our client base and cause revenue loss. However, it has actually led to greater business growth and engagement as it has increased our passion, motivation, creativity and love for what we are doing and seeing the impact of our work and our clients grow is so rewarding.
Where do you go for inspiration, creative or otherwise?
There are so many sources of inspiration for me. One of them is simply by learning, chatting and sharing ideas with others. I find inspiration from having conversations with clients, as well as my friends and family. My mum and grandmother are both professional artists and being around their creative energy, and passion for creating creative spaces for the community inspires me.
I am also a competitive powerlifter, and find that allows me to tap into my inner mental and physical strength and find my sense of self, energy and motivation.
What advice would you offer your 20-year-old self?
- Be authentic, and focus on developing open and transparent communication.
- Set boundaries and honour your time.
- Switch off, you will be more creative and productive for it.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am currently reading a book called “The Body Keeps The Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk about understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society. I am passionate about human behaviour and mental health and read a lot of psychology books. I am about to commence a course in psychotherapy, to gain practical knowledge and skills and want to explore and develop digital platforms to make it easier to access mental health resources and support in Australia.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own business?
Trust yourself and focus on building organic connections with your network and providing value to them.
What’s one (or more) change you hope to make in the world through your work?
I hope to make it easier for people to connect with others and to access the resources they need.
Charlie’s contact details:
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