Do you ever wish you had someone who could just get inside your head and make it all make sense?

someone that could hear your dreams and figure out the steps to make them a reality.

Over years of helping build and grow businesses, I've had my hands on virtually every part of the marketing, sales, and client experience process.

I believe helping you make money off your talents is what I was born to do.

In fact, my top 5 strengths are:

(not toxic positivity, just a genuine belief that this will work)

1. optimist

(a deep drive to really understand your "why")

2. empathizer

(it's my mission to see you reach your potential)

3. coach

(talking is fun...but I want to see something done)

4. catalyst

(guaranteed you won't go home empty handed)

5. deliverer

Believe it or not...I've known I wanted to do this since I was 13.

Of course, back then it looked like wanting to design billboards for small businesses.

Now I'm just doing that on a much, much bigger stage.

The timeline

From sororities, to startups, to marketing agencies, I've used lessons and skills from every season of my career to build my business brain.

While attending UNCW, I studied marketing...and learned that a lot of people in business are a lot of talk and no action.

I took a hobby that I did for fun and started making money and Dakota Hersey Photography was born.

I also became a founding member of Alpha Chi Omega's Kappa Pi chapter and served as the VP of PR and Marketing and Chapter President. 

I learned a ton from these "start ups" about how to grow a reputation, stand out from the competition, and manage a team.

start by the sea...

lessons learned:

  • The best way to learn anything in business is to just get out there and do it

  • People will pay you for your talents, even when you're just beginning

After working so closely with our national organization, I made it a mission to continue working with Alpha Chi beyond graduation.

I spent my first "adult" year working with a chapter that had just opened at Southern Miss. This may sound like I didn't want to let college go...but I learned more about communication from this position than any other. 

You'll learn how to strategically structure any pitch when you're trying to get BOTH collegians and elder southern alumni to back your ideas and decisions. 

wait, so you're like a professional sorority girl?

lessons learned:

  • How to ask the right questions to get to the root of what's really important to someone

  • Pay attention to the dynamic in different cultures so you're targeting the right people

After moving back to Wilmington, I started my marketing agency journey. It was a wild one that I can tell you more of the full story over a few cocktails, but here's where I learned all of my tactical skills.

Websites, email campaigns, paid advertising, launch strategies, design, sales operations, SEO, etc. We did it all. 

I went by the titles of Inbound Strategist, Director of Sales Enablement, and eventually, COO.

It was a wild, fun ride but then I learned I hate being on a teams where I didn't have a say in the direction and felt like we weren't serving in our best capacity...

the real life Mad Men era

lessons learned:

  • Some of the best marketing strategies come from completely unrelated industries

  • Everyone can sell – actually, customer service roles are the best sales people

Like most side hustles, it got to the point where I had to make a choice: keep growing my photography business or quit my agency career.

With very little planning but just enough belief in myself, I made the leap to be fully self-employed...

Then I tripled my revenue and matched my agency salary within the year.

I have evolved and adapted my photography business, including maneuvering through a pandemic while still growing year after year. I've experimented with new services, marketing tactics, referral name it. This business is my sandbox to play in.

betting on myself

lessons learned:

  • People love the journey and want to feel like they're part of your story

  • Not everyone who is creative is successful at running a business

I've learned so much along the way about marketing, sales, and business in general.

I've also learned how many talented and creative people there are who I want to see serve the world with their skills AND build a life they love.

I'm passionate about being your guide and sounding board to discovering how to grow a business that fits with your lifestyle and connects you with the right people.

enter: More Than Creative Co.

This business was born out of conversations about the things that hold you back from feeling like you're thriving in the business world, and how I can help with ACTUAL strategies to implement...immediately.

All in all, I love seeing people serve the world with their unique gifts.

I believe this is mine.

I live in Wilmington, NC with my sidekick Dune (a 3 year old Australian Labradoodle), who will undoubtedly pop up on our calls.

When I'm not soaking in the sun at the beach or working on a house project, I'm thinking of the perfect strategy to take revenue from "fun weekend money" to "build a life" money.

I've consistently turned my crafts into cash, and I'm ready to do that for you too.

yes, I need you in my life

meet my other business baby,

Dakota Hersey Photography

The same combination of love and marketing strategy –
just with images.

i need photos too!