- Vix Reitano turned her marketing business into a full-time business in six weeks.
- Last year, she used her connections to secure an annual contract and $100,000.
- She shares her tips for expanding a side business, finding clients, and selecting opportunities.
When Vix Reitano decided to start a side hustle, she was following her journalism and public relations career path. At the time, she was working for a marketing agency. But a freelance consulting opportunity, coupled with her toxic corporate work environment and unsustainable workload, led her to build a self-supporting business.
She started Agency 6B in her free time, evenings and weekends, where she took on tasks like writing client emails, building websites, and developing marketing strategies. After six weeks, she had amassed five annual contracts totaling more than $100,000 and quit her corporate career.
Agency 6B, which officially launched in August 2015, generated more than $400,000 in sales last year, according to documents verified by Insider. She attributes this to her unwavering ability to translate brand messages into consumer behavior.
Reitano, 34, spoke to Insider about expanding her side hustle into a full-time business, leveraging the network, and developing an effective leadership style.
Take advantage of your network
Before starting Agency 6B, Reitano worked in print journalism, TV production and advertising for over five years. Each experience broadened her professional network, which she tapped into when she started her business.
She created a process that she frequently follows today, dividing her contacts into three groups:
1. People who can hire you
These people should be your primary target and should be open to one-on-one communication. Tell them what you’re doing and ask them if they need any of your services, she said.
2. Know someone who can hire you
Send general information and announcements about your new business to this group via mass email or other forms of one-to-many communication. Ask them to connect you with people in their network who need your services, Reitano says, even though they may not need your services.
3. People who can promote you on social media or in circles
This group includes any viewers or followers you have on social media or otherwise, as well as past clients and peers. Through testimony and public support, this will help increase your legitimacy as a business owner. Also, if you want to have any feedback on an initiative or project, please test it out in this community, she said.
make room for opportunities
Once Reitano has an influx of clients, work that will help her move the company forward financially and project type should be prioritized, she said. That means turning down certain opportunities to make room for those who are more exciting to her.
As soon as she quit her job, she started rejecting the email assignments and one-off projects she had originally used to build the business. Instead, she prioritizes work that falls under her full-service package — including production and marketing.
“I said no to some of the contracts I initially signed so I could bring in those contracts that I knew were closer to what I wanted,” Retano said.
She said she also changed rates to value-based pricing, charging clients based on the size and impact of the project, rather than hourly rates.
While she initially focused on annual contracts, she later restructured to six-month contracts, giving her and her clients more flexibility in the changing economic environment.
Find a leadership style that fosters growth
Retano cultivated a
A practice that has helped her grow professionally and personally. Her main focus is advocating for other women, helping them build confidence and clarity, and encouraging them to make the changes in their lives and work that make them most comfortable.
Reitano says starting a business based on these values has allowed her to build a high-performing team and prepare for opportunity. In the coming months, she plans to continue to expand the company’s product portfolio through intellectual property content, software-as-a-service offerings, availability of production studios, and marketing services.
“I want to go to the table and put my elbows aside so other people have some space,” she said. “It’s not just about me, it’s your scale – you look for other people, for other pieces of the puzzle.”