someone that could hear your dreams and figure out the steps to make them a reality.
(not toxic positivity, just a genuine belief that this will work)
(a deep drive to really understand your "why")
(it's my mission to see you reach your potential)
(talking is fun...but I want to see something done)
(guaranteed you won't go home empty handed)
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.
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.
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.
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...
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 programs...you name it. This business is my sandbox to play in.
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.
I live in Wilmington, NC with my sidekick Dune (a 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
The same combination of love and marketing strategy –
just with images.
i need photos too!