Sheena-Leigh Kennerley is the Co-Founder at Atlas Online Solutions/Creator Atlas Agency Launch Lab.
She tells us that, “After I moved to the USA, and met and married my husband, Zack, I stayed in the workforce trying the best I can. Zack had been learning marketing in the evenings for years by the time I met him. He had so many courses and each evening, he would spend hours throwing himself into it. He had some clients but nothing that could be called an agency. When I was pregnant with our daughter, it became life threatening and I was struggling to get through the day. I was working 70+ hours a week. At a certain point, my maternity health team and I made the decision to put my unborn child’s health and mine ahead of my career. We wrote a note to my company and got me out on early maternity leave. I was so stressed. My husband and I were not financially prepared for this. Our new house was in escrow and I was entering my 3rd trimester. My husband gave me the login information for all his courses. I am blessed to learn quickly. But, soon, I found that most of the information I had learned contradicted itself or wasn’t working. When I researched a bit deeper, I found that the guru’s we were learning from weren’t agency owners. Or, they had been, but only had some clients, then started coaching and called their coaching an agency. Thankfully, I figured it out, learned what works, and what doesn’t. And 6 months later, we had a team of people working under us. We were earning enough to pay the bills, and formed relationships with agency heads who were generous with their information on what was working in today’s landscape and what wasn’t. Fast forward to now. We are in these “guru’s” groups and I see how many people are saying “I quit my job today to focus on getting my first client full time.” Or, “My wife is pregnant and I bought this course to build an agency so my wife can be a stay at home mum.” These situations break my heart. I was there once. People spend thousands of dollars on a dream, and I know it won’t work with some of the routes they are taking. So, inadvertently, we have become mentors to many people to help them avoid the stress and financial hole like the one my family and I went through. So I created the Atlas Agency Launch Lab. This isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill course – oh no, it’s a dynamic collaboration that combines expertise, community, and cutting-edge strategies to elevate your agency beyond your wildest dreams. 🚀📈 📚 A Curriculum Tailored for Success Our 12-module curriculum is designed to build your agency’s foundation, refine your targeting strategies, master the art of landing and closing deals, advance your client relations, and showcase your agency’s remarkable growth journey. 🤝 Community, Support & Accountability You’re not in this alone! With weekly one-on-one coaching sessions, group coaching, and guest speakers, our community becomes your powerhouse. Share your successes, tackle challenges together, and emerge as leaders in the digital marketing arena. 🌐 Module 1: Overview and Onboarding 🌐 Welcome to the Launch Lab! In this exciting kick-off, we’ll guide you through the course landscape, ensuring you’re all set up for success. From understanding your agency’s core to mastering revenue generation, we’re here to show you the ropes. Plus, discover the power of our cutting-edge techniques like Brainspotting to unleash your full potential! 💼 Module 2: Agency Foundation Unleashed 💼 Lay a rock-solid foundation for your agency’s success. From crafting a compelling brand identity to setting up a professional online presence, we’ve got your back. Get hands-on with logo design, domain setup, website creation, and essential templates that ensure your agency’s compliance and functionality. 🎯 Module 3: Targeting Success 🎯 Discover the secrets of successful client acquisition funnels that work like a charm. Dive deep into targeting strategies, niches, engagement posts, and learn to identify low-hanging fruits to take your agency’s growth to new heights. 💥 Module 4: Landing Success 💥 It’s time to master the art of landing and closing deals! We’ll guide you through tailored engagement scripts, email templates, and LinkedIn strategies. Get ready to nurture leads, conduct discovery calls, and learn the science behind winning proposals. 🚀 Module 5: Advance and Excel 🚀 Elevate your agency with CRM setup, automation, and pipeline management. Embrace the CEO mindset, lead your team with finesse, and explore strategic outsourcing to keep your clients “sticky.” 🌟 Module 6: Showcase Your Prowess & Expand 🌟 Learn the art of professional platform prospecting, video outreach, and how to shine in live masterclasses. Plus, harness the power of newsletters, database building, and leverage your agency’s growth story. 📈 Module 7: From Expenses to Impressions 📈 Navigate the complex world of business compliance, marketing laws, and tracking expenses effectively. Unlock insights into tax planning, and get ready to transform your agency’s social media presence. 🔄 Module 8: Catch-up Week 🔄 Review and reflect on your agency’s progress, identify blocks, and gear up for upcoming events that keep you aligned with your goals. 🌐 Module 9: Marketing Arsenal Unleashed 🌐 Unleash your sales funnel and dive into DFY paid advertising, webinars, influencer shoutouts, and more. Package your agency’s offerings with pitch decks, brochures, and business cards to attract clients. 🔝 Module 10: Showcase Your Brand and Leverage Growth 🔝 Upsell training, referral pipelines, partnerships – we’ll empower you to showcase your brand’s strengths and leverage growth opportunities. Dive into lead magnets, case studies, testimonials, and become a true agency authority. 🚀 Module 11 & 12: From Concept to Conversion + Achieving Cohesion and Excellence 🚀 These final modules are all about refining your strategies, scaling your agency, and solidifying your journey. We’ll assess your progress, refine your action plan, and ensure your agency journey is set for long-term excellence. 🛠️ Choose Your Tier: Done For You, Done With You, Do It Yourself 🛠️ Tailor your experience with our tier options, each offering a unique level of support, coaching, and resources to suit your agency’s needs. ✨ Dream Big, Dream Atlas.”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your professional journey/venture/initiative and what inspired you to choose this career.
I grew up in NZ and moved to the USA in my early-mid 20s. The beginning of my story is probably different from yours but you will, no doubt, find that before I became a successful agency owner, you and I are very much alike. I grew up in a religious cult-like environment in a family with a single mother. Dreams felt very far away. I attempted to escape it once but was brought back to it and back to the abuse that was rife. This was an environment where I was taught that the only way I would ever have a professional life was to marry a man who needed me to work in his business. I left at 16 and put myself through college and was determined to be my own woman. I was only 21 when my marriage ended right before my son was born.. He has autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy. I struggled to return to the workforce as a single mum with his high health needs. I jumped from one marketing research and MLM business role to the next, trying to earn enough money to leave my 9-to-5 career to be home and provide him with the care he needed. Although I found fulfillment and was very successful in my career in disability services, being home is where I was needed. My roles in my career not only fulfilled me but they instilled in me the leadership skills that have allowed me to become a successful agency owner and mentor. I moved from a contractor role in Disability services to a full time position as a Residential Manager 2 reporting directly to the assistant director of the NYARC. I was responsible for 2 residential adult homes for adults with disabilities requiring 24/7 support to care for themselves. Aside from my role managing up to 19 employees and being on call to manage 12 houses, the employees involved, and the people that lived in them, my driving force was to mentally support and encourage the adults receiving this care to no longer need this level of care. My team and I mentored them with the skills they needed to live a mainstream life. We cultivated their ability to move beyond needing this level of care with the goal to live in society and pushed the boundaries of what their current potential was. Having had the privilege of being in this role, working alongside people to reach and surpass their goals is my passion and purpose.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
I invested 6 months into doing everything their “guru’s” in these marketing courses said and trusted their word and their systems. But we got to a point where savings ran out while we were trying to make it work. We were beyond strapped for money, exceeding credit limits. Our baby daughter was admitted to the hospital with kidney issues and the mortgage was due.
Tell us about your goals, interests, and role models.
My goals are to set an example for my children that the sky’s the limit. If they choose to be a stay at home parent, they can also have a successful professional life. My goals are to help entrepreneurs reach their goals without having to learn by mistake. My goal is to eventually return back to NZ with my family and watch my children embrace an outdoor culture that I enjoyed as a teen.
Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?
Struggle: raising a young family and being perceived as professional. – Solution: strict time management. Struggle: being overwhelmed with work and or family life and feeling that bleed into each other impacting both negatively. Solution: Brainspotting. Allocated hours to throw myself into nature and my children. Struggle: Feeling less than or like an imposter. Solution: Brainspotting, community support
What impact do you feel you have been able to create with your work so far and how would you want to grow in the next few years?
Impact has been helping LGBTQ+ businesses, family run businesses, woman owned businesses to succeed and shine. Next few years, I want to bring more women into the marketing space and assist them in breaking the glass ceilings.
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
Personal: I was living in the USA. My family was on the opposite side of the world. It was scary. I was running daycare from my home at the time and shut it down because I was worried I wouldn’t forgive myself if they were exposed and injured through coming to my home. Financially that was stressful because I had a young son to care for who was struggling with attempting to school from home. I also married my husband during covid, and we felt isolated during our engagement, newlywed, and then pregnancy due to covid restrictions. As entrepreneurs we struggled with the uncertainty and rapidly changing business landscape.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
My Agency is BBB accredited, I am a mother to 2 beautiful children.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
The change I would love to see is a culture of self love, belief and opportunities to excel no matter the race, economic status, or gender we have.
What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
Personal motto- Say what you want to say with love, integrity, and acceptance. but always say it. Keeping it inside will cause hurt, ugliness and limit growth. Saying out loud through words or actions will bring light, success, and growth.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
Women are made to lead. That is why they have been traditionally celebrated in their home roles because the skills they inherently have are the intuition, unfailing determination and the exact skills needed to navigate the multifaceted roles such as a family, management, and leadership. Now they are finding freedom and light in the corporate world also and you can see that the success rates of these corporations are skyrocketing because women are built to multitask, nurture, and make dreams reality.
With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
Hunni, your dream is not impossible! I went from a small girl hiding under the covers, scared of what would happen in the next hour, powerless to stop it, to a teen scared of her own shadow, sitting in the bottom of the shower trying to control my emotions enough to walk to work in the freezing rain just so I could pay for my classes- to a woman who starts up to 120 new businesses annually on behalf of my students, runs 2 businesses of her own, is recognized and respected by the thousands who listen to her live events, and leads successful, respected teams every day. You have that power inside yourself to change your entire circumstances. It will hurt, it will be scary, but you have it inside yourself to make the world sit up and take notice. I believe in you with every ounce of my being.