Stephanie Abrams Cartin is the Co-CEO of Socialfly, a New York City based Social Media Marketing & Influencer Agency. Stephanie is also the co-author of “Like, Love, Follow, the Entreprenista’s Guide to using Social Media to Grow Your Business.” A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Stephanie began her career in sales at Marriott International & Hilton Worldwide. While helping friends launch entrepreneurial endeavors, she recognized the tremendous positive impact social media could have on a business’ sales and marketing efforts. Soon after, she teamed up with Courtney Spritzer to launch Socialfly. Since then, Socialfly has successfully helped 200+ brands successfully enhance and leverage their online presence to grow their brand.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
My business partner, Courtney Spritzer and I, launched the agency on May 4th, 2012, when we mutually decided to quit our jobs in Corporate America (I was with SpaFinder and Courtney at American Express.) We knew even in the earliest days of social media that it was the new direction for marketing and how essential social media was becoming to brands and businesses.
Tell us about your business.
Socialfly is a full-service social media and influencer marketing agency in New York City. We provide strategic social media solutions for clients by pairing creative content and analytics that deliver measurable results. Our team works one-on-one with clients to develop and execute effective social media and influencer marketing strategies designed to increase brand awareness and elevate online presences on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We run contests every week on our Facebook live show, #SocialLIVE. Tune in every Wednesday at 10AM on the Socialfly Facebook page.
We are extremely proud to have been recognized by Smart CEO Magazine for their outstanding Corporate Culture Award and Best Female CEO. One of the accomplishments we are most proud of is the culture we foster at Socialfly and the strategies we implement to motivate and encourage our all-millennial office!
Where is your business based?
New York City.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and to run?
We started Socialfly as a side venture in 2011, but soon began growing too fast to maintain both our day jobs and the agency. We knew that to reach our full potential and make an impact on the social media world we needed to focus wholeheartedly on growing the company which led us to quit our jobs on the same day. Just three months later we turned a profit, and we have experienced double-digit growth every year since.
What has been the most efficient way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
We are a firm that practices what we preach as we frequently receive business inquiries from companies that have discovered us as a result of our social media strategy. Maintaining and expanding our social media presence has been critical to growing our client base.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The original name of our company was Collective Media. Due to the successful strategies we use to optimize our website and social media, we instantly started ranking on Google. These results led to us receiving a cease and desist letter from a company with a similar name that forced us to rebrand.
How did you overcome these challenges?
While this problem early on was scary, it turned out to be positive! We took the opportunity to rebrand and create a name and culture that is recognizable and highlights what it means to be a Socialfly.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
We were never intimidated to ask for advice, and as a result, we have been lucky to build an incredible network of support over the years! To this day we turn to other entrepreneurs who are now close friends for advice and have learned that when you inevitably make a mistake, learn from it and do your best to evolve and grow.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We distinguish ourselves from competitors by making our agency’s social media platforms a priority. We have found that consistently posting across all social channels increases awareness for our company and we often receive inquiries from potential clients that first recognized us on Instagram or Facebook!
What is the best advice you have received recently?
All you can do is the best you can do each day. Although my to-do list seems never ending, I try and remember to give myself credit for the great things I have been able to accomplish. The little things can add up and make that challenging, but I have found that making a list, breaking everything down, and achieving what I can that day is best.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
If you’re starting your own business, make sure you are extremely passionate about your line of work. In the early stages especially, you are working non-stop, so make sure you love and feel dedicated to your field. Also, surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, self-starters, and business owners. Not only will this keep you motivated, but is an incredible source of support as well!
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Instagram is a fantastic tool to reach new audiences. We frequently see people tag our book on Instagram and do our best to reach out and give them a thank you or feature their photos on our feed.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Since I am constantly on the go, I have been listening to tons of podcasts. I love listening to the “How I Built This” podcast about innovators and entrepreneurs who turned their dreams into successful brands and businesses. They recently featured the story of Sara Blakely, how she started Spanx, and how she became the youngest female billionaire in America. It was incredibly inspiring.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We launched Socialfly Studios at the beginning of this year as a result of our creative team of girl bosses! Investing in creative capabilities is key to being successful on social media, and we have certainly seen the value in expanding our internal capabilities to create compelling content.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Our influencer division is exploding, and we are hiring new members of the team every month.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Instagram @Socialfly, @stephjillcartin
Twitter @SOCIALFLY, @stephjillcartin
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