Chloé Watts is the inspirational woman behind chloédigital, a unique business that offers web design, technical support and strategic advice to influencers. Chloé is one of those people who exude positivity; she’s smiley, friendly and ever so welcoming. We’ve met a few times over the years and I’ve always been impressed by how business-savvy she is whilst also being incredibly relatable; perhaps this is her formula for success. She is always happy to share ideas and advice without any expectation of what she might receive in return. CD World, her latest venture under the chloédigital umbrella, echoes this approach with a free-access knowledge hub, full of incredible advice for content creators.
I really wanted to discover how Chloé manages to remain so positive all the time, especially whilst being a black woman in a male-dominated and challenging industry. I hope you learn something new from Chloé in this interview, something that will help you make your life more positive.
Could you please tell me about yourself?
I’m Chloé Watts, the Founder and CEO of chloédigital, the leading tech partner for influencers; offering web design, tech support and strategic consultancy to help influencers scale their business. I am a black female CEO, a role that has been challenging yet rewarding over the years. I am highly organised and a natural leader so, although challenging, I enjoy my job.
I would describe my personality as reliable, ambitious and honest. As well as chloédigital, my biggest passion and one of my greatest achievement, my other passions include my friends, family and fiancé. I love health and fitness, and find time for myself as often as possible.
What motivates you to keep pushing forward and evolving as a person?
My mission is to empower women to build the life of their dreams with technology and this focus keeps me motivated to keep growing and improving our services for our clients. Building a business that remains authentic to me and my values is at the centre of everything I do. Building chloédigital and seeing what my company; plus, what my clients have achieved through their blogs; has been hugely rewarding.
What traits do you believe make a woman strong?
Resilience and determination. There will be times when jobs are challenging but if you persevere and keep going you will be so rewarded. It’s normally the most challenging tasks that turn out to be the best/most rewarding and growth comes on the other side.
How do you think your friends would describe you?
Feel-good energy and enthusiasm. I always maintain positive energy, which carries me through both difficult situations and demanding days. I run on good vibes which I believe has an impact on myself, team and business.
Was there an experience that led you to create your business(es)?
I was always into tech growing up, my love for it started when I was around 15. I had a MySpace page which needed to be coded to make it look more appealing, so I used to play around on there and loved it. I then began working with start-ups and newly launched businesses to create their websites.
I went on to work full-time as a developer but always had freelance clients on the side for design work. I became known as chloédigital; the go-to girl to help you with your website. I also had a lot of friends in the space who blogged and they use to come to me for tech support and help – fixing glitches and also translating tech to them in a way they could understand, to help them better their websites. Through this the idea for chloédigital formed, originally a membership programme that offers ongoing tech support and digital strategy for influencers.
The business has evolved a lot since then and now I work with hundreds of influencers in our community, either through paid services or our free-access business-tech hub, CD World. The platform allows influencers to access our knowledge but also gives them access to perks from brand partners that will help them grow their business – mainly tech tools but also some for self-care.
What is your morning routine?
I get up early most days, 5.30-6.00am. It’s really important to me that I have time to myself and for myself before the working day. This involves movement – during lockdown that was at home but now I am thrilled to be back in the gym. I will listen to a podcast while I work out. Then I head back home and eat breakfast. I read a chapter from the book ‘Confident Woman Devotional’ every morning and also read an affirmation every day. I then get dressed and start getting into work mode.
What challenges have you overcome, personally and professionally?
Overcoming limiting beliefs. I have always found this challenging, and it took the movement of 2020 to see that I had been restricting myself with limiting beliefs about what I was capable of achieving. Recognising that, and making a commitment to debunk it, has really shifted my mindset, and enabled me to progress at a different velocity than before. My personal and professional experiences blur into one, growing and gaining life experience has been a big factor on the way I work and deal with obstacles. The challenges I had when I first started chloédigital compared to now are very different. It taught me how to deal with challenges with a positive mindset and not let the small things defeat me.
What do you do when things aren’t going well, and you need a lift?
I believe in the importance of self-care. When I am down, I do like to go to the gym, I love facials, too. Having a break just makes your head clearer and helps you take a deep breath before you carry on, a quick walk round the block or a bath normally helps. I also find writing a to-do list helps when things aren’t going well. There is something very satisfying when you tick a job off, it also helps you to plan out your day, to make a lot of tasks less daunting.
What do you do daily to take care of yourself?
I love going out for dinners with my family and friends (when we can), trying new restaurants and spending quality time with the ones I love. Lots of my friends are currently in the process of building their own businesses too, so I book dates with them to chat and talk through business challenges, etc. to motivate and coach each other.
What does balance look like to you?
I love what I do and it’s more than just a job – the lines are so blurred that work/life balance doesn’t really exist to me. Consistent work on my mind, body and soul is crucial for me to be working and living my best life.
How does what you wear affect how you feel?
I often wear black as it emphasises power and strength which enables me to feel grounded and strong in my leadership. I LOVE a statement accessory (either handbag or shoes) it really does create a bold feature on a neutral colour outfit and shows you mean business. When I go for meetings I think my clients look out for details like that and bags are always the best conversation starters!!
What do you wish you had known when you started your business(es)?
That business is hard work! Always listen to your own intuition, as I have been side-tracked by people who didn’t understand my vision. Authenticity and clarity are important to our business. I now have mechanisms to check in on myself to keep us on track. Remember why you started and that a path you take will never be straight, lots of twists and turns over the years but be consistent and passionate, trust the process and you will be fine.
How many hours a week do you work? Has that changed over time?
I tend to work the usual full time hours, 37 hours, sometimes it’s more depending on if I need to get more work done. My days and hours do tend to vary. For example, when there is a launch coming up (like our recent launch with Lydia Millen), I would say an average day would be around 10 hours, or more. I just want to make sure everything is perfect before a big launch; overtime when it’s your own business is just part of the CEO life, my clients’ businesses and my own mean everything to me.
What have been the highs and lows of your business, so far?
There are some days where things tend to go wrong and as you can imagine tech and technical issues are real… The highs are seeing our clients succeed. Many clients have now reached milestones like buying their dream houses, hiring employees, or going into full-time self-employment, all because of the freedom their business gives them.
What worries do you have about the future?
I try not to have any worries; I try to always have good energy and good vibes throughout. It’s important for me to be optimistic, bad energy is noticeable. Good energy reflects onto my team and me. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, so therefore no need to worry as everything that happens is meant to be.
Who or what makes you happy?
My family and friends. I have a great supportive team around me and I’m grateful for all of them. Holidays also make me happy, I have a lot of clients who are in the USA, specifically LA, so travelling there makes me happy; plus, LA weather is just incredible, who doesn’t love being in the sun?
How do you give back to the community?
I donate to Girls In Tech – there are programmes women can take part in to help them further or start their careers in tech. My aim is to generate more awareness for chloédigital and show young women and girls that a career in tech is possible. As a young black woman I have a responsibility to shine a spotlight on myself, even if it’s uncomfortable at times.
Which book has had the biggest impact on your life?
I read less now but am an early riser and (as I mentioned before) start my day with the book, ‘Confident Woman Devotional’, I read a chapter every day which balances me and starts my day right.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of chloédigital and how it has developed. We are turning seven this year, I can’t believe how far we have come. Seeing clients progress and my brand expand has been amazing. I’m also proud of the domino effect of my brand; I have generated bigger businesses and more money for my clients.
Which women inspire you, and why?
Women inspire me! Since the start of time women have had so many limitations put upon us, so seeing all the amazing things women are doing today, being working mums, or CEOs, or whatever they do inspires me everyday. The one specific inspiration would be my mum, she has always said “you only fail when you stop trying” – that quote has always stuck with me and shifted my mindset growing up.
If you would like to be inspired by more incredible women, who have learned to balance success with self-care, please take a look at the other Women Who Inspire interviews.