By: Wendy Pace, founder of Pace Setting Media.
If you had told me two years ago, that I would be running my own successful small business—a social media management company—with revenue closing in on $80,000 within the first year and a half of business, I would never have believed you. Yet, I achieved that success using the right tools and software, which you can also use for your business success.
My “A-Ha!” Moment
Social media management came to me serendipitously. A friend—a fellow marketing professional—explained that she wanted to outsource her social media. I was surprised; I thought that was something you hire an intern to do. However, many smaller companies without a marketing department don’t have that option.
This was my light bulb moment. I decided that if there was one company needing this assistance, then there had to be many others that needed it, as well. So, I set out to find those companies.
It didn’t take very long to understand, that not only was there a need for this service, but it was being sought after by many business owners, who were overwhelmed by all the hats they were forced to wear.
My Tool Kit
I quickly realized I would need a way to keep my client’s social media accounts well organized. I researched different software programs that would allow me to follow and keep track of every one of those company’s social media channels.
I selected Hootsuite as the vendor best suited to meet my needs. Hootsuite lets me decide how often I wanted to repeat a particular tweet or post. Other solutions only provide that level of control based on how often a tweet was reposted from my library. I am a bit of a control freak, so I wanted to make sure I always knew what was posted on any given account on any given day. I also like Hootsuite’s interface, because it’s easy to use. It not only makes sense to me, it aligns best with how I organize my clients.
My Networking Strategy
With the software in place, I had to expand my client base. I heard about a business networking and referral agency called Business Network International (BNI). In addition to joining BNI, which has over 200,000 members worldwide, I went to city business alliances, women’s network luncheons—wherever they would let me in the door.
Not only did BNI supply clients, but I learned valuable networking skills and the value of creating business relationships. The agency advised me on how to give a good elevator pitch, which is not an easy skill to master. Learning to explain what you do as a business in 30 seconds helps you sharpen your understanding of what it is you are trying to do, and who you are trying to be.
Like many women, I tend to understate my ability and skills. However, through my relationships with my BNI team, I was able to see myself and my brand as they saw it. They cheered me on and gave me the confidence that I didn’t always feel in myself, especially in the beginning of the business.
After joining BNI, everything progressed forward. I was only in business three months and had two clients at the time I started working with them, but by the end of the year—only four months after joining—I was billing out $2000 per month in invoices.
Six months into my new venture, I was billing out at $3000 per month in invoices and still growing. Currently, I have 19 clients, and I am on target to attain my goal of reaching $80,000 in revenue and only my second year in business. I feel that the future is bright. As I look back, I am still stunned at the growth rate.
I can’t stress enough the importance of networking and finding the right tools that effectively support your company’s operations. Using tools like Hootsuite to get a firm handle on your company’s social media strategy, platforms such as BNI to network, or just getting up to attend any small business event in your area can make or break your business goals—no matter what small business you have or may want to launch.
Wendy Pace is the founder of Pace Setting Media, a social media strategy agency. Pace holds a B.A. in Communications and Marketing from Hunter College. She credits her husband and children as motivation for getting up every day to face the world of social media.