So why is McKinney a thought leader in her industry? It’s because of her work in demystifying digital market success. McKinney says there are more than 20,000 marketing technology tools available, like MailChimp and HubSpot, and this space is often overwhelming to business owners. In 2016, she decided to develop a proprietary system that could provide a solution. The result is SOAR, which stands for Strategy, Organized, Accountable and Repeatable. McKinney says the system identifies her customer’s most ideal client and then uses content to drive predictable and sustainable lead generation. The system has been so successful that McKinney says Little Bird no longer searches for clients. Instead, clients are earned through brand visibility and targeted content.
It’s safe to say McKinney’s built a well-run machine, but that’s not to say she hasn’t stumbled. One of her missteps came shortly after acquiring Branson-based Clear Entertainment and Marketing Group in 2019. McKinney says her intent was to diversify her portfolio, which led to the purchase of the travel and tourism advertising agency. But 2020 was a tough year for that industry. “I opened myself up into a new industry which basically suffered a major collapse in the next year,” McKinney says. Nevertheless, it was a learning experience, and one that was, in the end, still prosperous. “The clients we work with had a record year, even in 2020,” she says. “You have to be able to manage that scale and be very quick to make decisions.”