Postcards: An interview series on standing out from the crowd
Fast reads with service providers who know how to be memorable (& profitable)
Sabrina is building communities.
She started her company small, putting her sign up on the internet as a one-woman show offering social media management. She quickly grew, building up a small company of highly specialized social media experts.
Now as the owner of Be Truly Social, Sabrina has a unique take on what growth looks like to her.
And it makes her get noticed by more clients.
I interviewed her to figure out how.
First off - what do you do for fun?
I love enjoying time away from my computer, like grabbing coffee with someone or meeting up with friends.
In fact, we have a nice little neighborhood bar that knows my name!
Once a week a small group of us meet up there to talk about work and life. It’s almost like having an after-work drink with my coworkers. It’s so important to balance real human interactions with all of the digital ones I have in my work.
How do you help your clients?
I help my clients take the stress out of their social media.
My company, Be Truly Social, offers everything from working with companies to help figure out a good strategy to completely taking it over so they don’t even have to think about it.
What does that look like? Tell me a success story.
I typically work with mid-sized companies or personal brands ready to focus on social media and who already have a great product or service.
For example, I have a client that has an app with 100K+ downloads. They already knew they had a big customer base but had nowhere for their users to go and discuss the product.
My team became responsible for pretty much all of their content.
I started with their blog content and made sure it was distributed properly on social media. I handled influencer marketing and platforms from Pinterest to Instagram.
We really took over everything.
In the time we’ve worked together, Instagram has grown organically from 2k to over 10k followers (that’s a 400%+ growth).
We’ve really been able to build a community for their brand on social media — and that’s what my company is all about!
How do you balance all of the social media platforms?
A lot of people talk about how they are experts in all of the social media platforms - but that’s impossible.
When I reached a critical growth point I started to bring on contract workers because we needed to be able to work with multiple brands on multiple platforms.
I quickly realized I could either spend a lot of time figuring out Pinterest or collaborate with a contractor who was already amazing at it. The answer seemed simple to me. Contractors helped fill in my knowledge gaps so I could offer a better overall service for my clients.
It takes a lot of time on one platform to really be an expert at it. I truly believe that while a certain person can be good at Facebook, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be good at Pinterest or Twitter.
What makes you different from all of the other social media marketing companies?
My focus is on organic social media instead of paid ads.
While I do paid social sometimes, I focus more on organic because it’s as close you can get to community building online. And with my team being able to focus on multiple platforms at the same time, our clients generally see a lift across the board.
And how do you promote that?
Brands are attracted to my company because of my view towards social - it’s rare that a social media marketer doesn’t do paid ads.
I talk a lot about my philosophy and approach on social media. The kind of content that I'm producing lets them know what my brand stands for and how we’re different.
But I do put the majority of my effort into my clients’ social...so my profiles don’t get the time they deserve. I’ve built a strategy but I implement far less than I should. It’s the classic working “on” vs. “in” your business problem most entrepreneurs have!
What motivates you? Why do you do what you do?
I was never someone who thought “I’m going to be an entrepreneur when I grow up.” But when I was getting a divorce with 3 kids with autism, I knew I couldn’t have a traditional job.
I needed work that was outside of the ordinary.
My kids are my big Why.
My partner and I now have 4 wonderful kids, all with autism. I want to build something bigger because my kids will need care for their entire lives. I need my business to support them now and in the future when I’m gone.
It’s a big Why and it keeps me focused every day.
What are your growth plans?
My company grew really quickly and a lot of what I’ve learned is that everything is cyclical. It’s all too easy to stop bringing in new leads when you’re busy with a lot of client work. Inevitably some of your current clients drop and then you have to focus on new client acquisition.
Right now I’m focusing on stopping that cycle by making sure I have the systems and people in place to keep things moving in an organized way — so I can focus on building the business.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Take action scared.
Don’t wait until you’re not scared to do something.
If you did, you’d wait around for a long time for something to happen.
Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath, and even if you’re nervous or scared or unsure, you just have to step out and take the risk.