What you’ll learn in this interview:
- The free website this agency owner uses to make stunning social media graphics for brands, no graphic design experience required
- The 1 book (authored by the former PR girl at DKNY) that helped shape her work ethic
- The underrated app she’s used to manage over 100 social media platforms while on the road
- Her secret to waking up early and getting the day started
How This Agency Owner Runs Her PR Business Behind The Scenes
1. What do you do? Who do you help?
I’m the founder of a boutique social media agency called prettySOCIAL PR, where I create content strategies for brands in the beauty and wellness space. My goal was always to take being a social media manager a step further, but found there wasn’t really a leader in the space.
I created prettySOCIAL to help brands tell stories visually on social media. Have you ever screenshotted a brand’s Instagram post that was so clever or funny, you instantly felt loyal to the brand, or connected in a larger way? That’s my job.
Essentially, I design social media content that pushes the envelope and gets people talking – or, ideally, laughing. I’m a digital storyteller, first and foremost.
2. List your favorite business tools.
- The Pages App by Facebook – It’s been a game changer for flipping back and forth through client accounts, scheduling content, and managing communities when I’m away from my desk or traveling. It’s perhaps the most underrated app for social media managers, but an essential one.
- Unfold App – I use this app to help brands design eye-catching Instagram stories. User-Generated Content can sometimes be off-brand, so having a place to upload assets and give a quick branded facelift has been life-changing. The app has beautiful fonts, frames, and minimalist collages that make even the most unsightly UGC look curated.
- Klaviyo – I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this year, which has step-by-step video tutorials built in for anything you need. Personally, I’m a big fan of superior customer service and content joining forces.
- Adobe Products – I was a late bloomer in terms of graphic design, and didn’t even learn how to adjust a layer until I was 26. That all changed when I started my own business and went from having designers to being the designer. Adobe Illustrator is the best thing I ever invested my time or money in.
- RocketReach – finding up-to-date contact info for editors and influencers, all through their LinkedIn profile, has made getting in touch with the right people for large-scale campaigns a breeze.
- FreshBooks – invoices are important, but sending branded invoices are even better. Every detail of your business should be branded and being able to upload your logo and your own fonts to your invoice should be no exception!
3. What is a good course, website or book you would recommend and why?
- Prism by PR Couture – a must-take for new PR professionals or those needing to sharpen their skills.
- Photofunia – online photo effect service which I’m (admittedly) stupid in love with. If you can get past the cheese face-in-hole options, there are gems of photo effects dying to be made into social media content – billboards, street signs, and truck advertisements just yearning to have branded content on them.
- Did you ever follow @DKNYprgirl on Twitter, back in its hilt? That PR girl was Aliza Licht, a PR mastermind and yes, really the PR girl at DKNY. Her book, Leave your Mark! is hilarious and should be required reading for all new grads. It really helped shape my work ethic early on in my career, as well as about my outlook on hard work vs. entitlement in your career. It’s a wake-up call for anyone that thinks virtual means easy.
- Crush it! and Crushing it! – Anything by Gary Vee. Both books are both on my bedside table. If you’re an entrepreneur or an influencer, it’s a must-read.
- The Purple Cow by Seth Godin. Every cow (aka brand) looks the same from the road. But when you see a purple one, you’ll never forget it. How do you make your brand the purple cow? It’s a great guide to setting yourself apart from the competition.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
- Don’t take it personally.
For me, this is a lifelong lesson, and something I’m still working on.
As creatives, it’s really easy to take clients’ criticism to heart since the nature of our work is subjective. In that sense, it would be much easier to be an accountant; at the end of the day, you can’t argue numbers.
As a content creator, it’s not fun to hear your work didn’t totally nail it. Sometimes I go a little too far out on a creative limb, or maybe I just didn’t nail it. If a client doesn’t like a design, it’s just not personal.
- Also, makeup wipes pull on your skin and cause wrinkles.
Use coconut oil and a cloth instead.
5. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
- For. Free.
When my career in social media was just starting, I didn’t have a degree and had zero experience managing a social media account other than my own. I did everything for free and didn’t make a dime.
I contacted household name brands and offered to write free blog posts, did free social media management, and even creative directed a photo shoot for lunch.
Now, obviously, I don’t need to work for free, but still do. If there’s a brand I want to test out a campaign for but don’t have experience in that particular space, it’s not unlike me to reach out and offer a one-month campaign pro bono.
It hurts a lot less to make a mistake your first time on a gratis campaign, and it’s always nice to give back to brands you believe in.
6. What is your beauty and/or fitness routine?
- I hang a fresh eucalyptus plant upside down from my shower head. When the steam hits it, it’s the absolute best elixir to wake up to, and it’s great for your skin.
- I’m a bona fide psycho about my skin, so I wear an SPF and a hat every time I step outside.
- I have a personal trainer I see once a week, and then supplement the rest of my days with my ClassPass membership. I try to take at least 2 pilates classes a week and do SoulCycle twice a week – all in the morning and as early as possible. I also don’t drink any alcohol throughout the week, which helps me get up early and into a class.
7. List the products or items that are indispensable in your life.
- My iPhone’s portrait mode. I don’t even use a DSLR anymore.
- Being an entrepreneur is lonely sometimes. I love being able to get away from my desk whenever I need to for a random stretching or yoga class.
8. Which female entrepreneur(s) do you look up to and why?
- Jen Berson of Jeneration PR is an incredible publicist and coach who gets agency owners out of the mindset of being a freelancer and into operating a 6-figure business.
- Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential. I respect a woman who shares her secrets to success so other women can duplicate them. She’s a true gem of our industry.