“Becoming an online marketing manager opened up a huge, previously unknown world for me”

Katerina Capellmann comes from a down-to-earth family. Her whole environment conveyed to her, “You can do whatever you want, but please work for a big company later.” That’s why she now works as an independent entrepreneur. Sounds paradoxical, but it fits perfectly. Because the native Rhinelander has never been interested in the easy way.

In the series “How do I become …?” atechbook talks to people who have very different professions. But how did they get to them in the first place? Here in conversation – Katerina Capellmann, online marketing manager.

Katerina Capellmann is an online marketing manager
Katerina Capellmann is an online marketing manager Photo: Katerina Capellmann

In her younger years, Katerina Capellmann found the digital world only moderately exciting. She did have a Gameboy, but then she preferred to spend most of her time outside in nature, on the horse farm, with her friends and her horse. “I had a gut feeling back then, though: this digital thing is going to change all of our lives significantly very soon.”

However, she initially lacked understanding, and above all, “I was still very afraid back then and kept blocking myself. I thought, working in the digital world, I can’t do all that anyway, I’m certainly not going to enjoy it and it’s only something for nerds anyway.” So she enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in International Marketing Management in the Netherlands. Just being a student wasn’t enough for Katerina Capellmann either, of course. So right from the start, she worked part-time and gained a lot of professional experience.

“I just didn’t want to just learn, I wanted to do something practical and try things out.” She also recommends this advice to all young people: “Try out companies, do internships and be open to new things. Just like Katerina Capellmann. She learned the basis for entrepreneurship almost exclusively in the beverage industry. “For example, I invented a new drink for Pernod Ricard: Ramazzotti Aperitivo Rosato. At that time, the entire market launch was still completely offline, only via on-site events.

Gripped by ambition

Facebook and Co. were of course already on everyone’s lips at the time, in the early 10s. But somehow, even the big companies still lacked the right door opener to make the online world work for them. That’s why Katerina Capellmann had set her mind on conquering the digital world single-handedly. “Through the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I became aware of Stefan Strauss’ online marketing offer and simply signed up.” Another course to become a social media manager was to follow later.

However, since Katerina Capellmann has always been very ambitious, she wanted to get something off the ground herself beforehand. “I spent hours watching any YouTube videos. Through that, I taught myself to craft my own website and set up a store.” Her husband works as a veterinarian in Remscheid, so Katerina Capellmann developed Carnilo, an indoor dog litter box. “In my husband’s practice I got to hear: Freshly operated dogs should rest a few days and move as little as possible. From that came the idea for the mobile dog litter box.”

Friends and family declared Katerina Capellmann to be completely nuts. But it wasn’t long before the first order for the dog litter box she developed was received via her homemade website and accompanying store. “It was like Christmas, Easter and a birthday all in one day.” And her new business took off before she even learned how online marketing and social media worked.

There is no one path to success

“I can’t even describe it exactly. The training as an online marketing manager opened up a huge, previously unknown world for me.” Applying the freshly learned knowledge had the effect of a drug on Katerina Capellmann. “Every day I developed new ideas and tried out new things. It’s unbelievably fun.” Today, says the self-employed entrepreneur, she would never want to be employed in a company again. In the meantime, Katerina Capellmann herself is responsible for five permanent employees and seven freelancers who live all over the world and are digitally networked.

“What I learned for myself: There is no such thing as the one successful path in the digital world. My tip: Be open and optimistic in what you do. Above all, don’t limit yourself and don’t let setbacks get you down.” She also says her studies have helped her find corporate jobs. “If you’re planning to start your own business in online marketing or other digital fields, then a degree is not essential.”