Taylor Gaines is an absolute go-getter. She started her agency at the age of 21, and has scaled it to a quarter million in revenue in just 3 years. Now Taylor is looking at expanding the agency’s footprint through an event series hosted monthly called ‘Powered by Social Media’ launched early 2016 and social media software expected mid-2017! Read our interview with the lovely Taylor below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I found myself in a position where I unexpectedly got fired from my position at a national advertising agency. Internally, I was the only person allowed to do sales with the CEO and was indirectly running the digital department. I was going into the summer of my senior year of college and figured if I had sales experience, and was capable of doing the work, that seemed like the recipe to start a business! So I did. In two weeks I had clients and the rest is history.
Tell us about your business.
I run a full service digital media agency specializing in social media. It’s safe to say social media touches every aspect of digital from branding to public relation to search marketing and even business operations. We are experts in content development, brand building through social channels and growing communities for brands. We partner with other agencies that specialize in their respective fields to offer robust digital plans to clients.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We have a holiday special of $1,000/mo (3 month contract minimum) for clients interested in growing their Instagram account.
We grew by 100% between year 1 to year 2. Aiming for 400% growth in year 3.
Where is your business based?
All over. I’m from San Diego but now reside in Chicago. My business partner and media specialist are in Columbus, Ohio. We travel all over so we are everywhere at all times 😉
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Picked up the phone and started calling people. I knew I had the ability to deliver the work so my top priority when starting was to get clients. If I was looking to build my own agency, building a portfolio of my own became objective number 1.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Networking. During busy season, I’m at 3-4 events per week. It’s important to always have a presence, keep in touch, and ensure you are the first person that comes to mind for anyone seeking your services.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Balancing growth without sacrificing quality.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Finding your rockstar team is what is necessary to balance company’s growth without sacrificing quality. If you can find people you trust, it makes it easy to keep seeking new business when you know that current clients will remain happy and new clients will experience the same service.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My team. I have amazing people that I work with and we help lift each other up.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We have a business-first approach. When we approach social media it’s all rooted back to the business goals and objectives and defining that for our brands.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
That it’s okay to ‘slow down’. Anyone that knows me really well, knows I work at a lighting fast past. I’ve been told by a few people recently that it’s good to take time to reflect, and slow down. Enjoy the success!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Running a business is very different than freelance. If you’re serious about running a business, accept that you’re not going to be the one doing the work. Also, being a business owner means 24/7. Although I am my own boss and there are perks to that, I’m never truly ‘off’. If you make the leap, you’ll have to be okay with that lifestyle.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
MixMax integration for gmail. It will change your life. 🙂
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. Not really business related, but it was a great book!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m starting a software product that would help us internally and also be something others would find value in. More news to come on that 😉
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Next few months are going to be big networking months for me. Looking to gain 3-5 new clients in the next 6 months.