Erin Cell, CEO and Founder at Socially Powered
How did you start out as a marketer?
I’ve been a ‘marketer’ since college.
I went back and forth between a marketing and teaching degree, finally deciding on a marketing degree.
I most loved learning what makes people buy from one company versus another.
Learning what makes people inclined to pull out that credit card or hit ‘buy now’.
However, after college, my path didn’t head straight into marketing.
I spent many years in customer service, which, in my opinion, helped me with marketing.
I know what customers need and how to make that happen for them, which is a key component of any successful business.
Looking back, what was your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
I’m in social media, which is one of the hardest marketing arenas to deliver results unless you are paying for ads.
If you are looking to hire someone to help you with social media and expect your followers to grow exponentially without spending any money, think again.
There is no quick and easy way to grow your social media accounts.
It takes time, energy, commitment, and consistent content.
You need to put in the work or hire someone else to spend the time engaging and connecting online.
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
My first client came from my announcement on Facebook that I was starting my own business.
It was so scary to announce! Wow, do I remember that day and pushing that button?
I was shocked when someone replied and said they may have someone I could help.
We chatted, and then I had to pull together my very first proposal. It took me so long, and I thought it was amazing.
I would probably laugh at it today, but everyone starts somewhere.
I helped them with all of their social media. I created all of their accounts and did all of their posts for them.
My business has come a long way since those beginning days.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
I have always and will always love helping people. It is the Virgo in me.
I’m a helper. If someone doesn’t know how to do something I do, I always offer my advice and assistance if I can. This makes my heart happy.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers. Aside from freelancing, how else can someone earn online? And what is your advice?
Freelancing is a great way to start and see if you can actually earn an income there.
I did it numerous times when business was slow. I’d go on UpWork and be hired to help others on their projects.
Affiliate sales are another great way to make extra income.
Find companies or people with courses, events, or offerings to share with your following for a revenue share or kickback.
This is easy income earned based on sharing someone else’s product you believe in. (Just make sure you believe in it and it aligns with your values.)
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again, what would you do differently so that you could achieve your dreams faster?
I would have started my business the day I graduated from college instead of thinking I needed to work “for the man” and build my experience.
I had big dreams back then but didn’t have the confidence to do them on my own. I ended up settling for positions within companies.
I was never satisfied with it, and it led to dissatisfaction in my career.
I always wanted more and didn’t want to be under someone else’s control.
It took some major life changes to wake me up to realize this life is short and you don’t want to spend it miserable.
So, I changed everything—I quit my job, went to Europe for 3 months, and started my own company.
It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
How is your typical workday structured?
My days are structured differently depending on the day.
Monday is filled with catch-ups and meetings.
Tuesday and Thursday I keep open for miscellaneous meetings, and I leave my afternoons open for recording my podcast, Socially Powered Digital Marketing Show. Wednesday is a meeting, and then I leave Friday fairly open.
I highly recommend having a ‘workspace’ if you work from home.
This was a game-changer for me. When I walk into my ‘office’, which is really a spare room in my home, I feel like I’m at work.
If you have a space that is designated for ‘work’ it helps you focus and concentrate. (At least it has for me.)
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort upfront and then wait a long time for success?
So many times. I put in a ton of time and energy when I’m bringing on a new client.
I do my research, prepare, compile, create, and present. If it is a client I want, I pursue it and follow up relentlessly.
Most of the time, it comes back to reward me. Be diligent in your pursuit.
Don’t stop following up. It may not be you; it may be something going on with them that is holding them back from making the move.
Even if you aren’t rewarded with the work right away, there will most likely be a time when the potential client comes back to you.
You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.
I don’t re-design the brand strategy. I re-design brand social media strategies, and this varies by company.
I can give you an overview of what we reviewed.
Social Profiles Are they consistent with the images and branding? Messaging? Links?
Hashtag strategy: Do you have one?
Call-to-Action Where are you sending people to connect?
What social media platforms are you actively engaging with? Are they the “right” ones?
How often are you posting?
Are you posting engaging content that your followers want to interact with?
Creating a social media strategy for sharing content
I’ve never re-designed an overall brand strategy, but I have re-designed a social media strategy.
This starts with reviewing all the platforms and determining if they are necessary.
Then I ask a lot of questions…
What are you sharing there? Are people engaging? How often do you share? Are you on the right platforms?
Are you branded? Do people recognize your brand? What about you?
How does your website look? Does it reflect your brand?
Have you updated your bios and descriptions? What about your images? Do people know what you do, or do you help them?
What is the best way to connect with you? What are you selling? Do you have any incentives?
There are a million things that go into a brand. You need to consider every aspect.
Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?
Well, that would be pretty much every day in my world.
I manage social media accounts for clients, virtual and live events, and multiple podcast productions.
I have days with no deadlines and others with multiple deadlines. This is where time management comes in.
I always try to prep and get as much done as possible.
What recently developed marketing strategy, technique, or tool interests you the most right now?
Agorapulse is my favorite tool currently. I have tried pretty much every social media scheduling tool out there, and Agorapulse is hands down the best thing I’ve ever used.
It is not only scheduling but also analytics (a must-have for me) and engagement with followers. I have stopped using anything else, and Agorapulse is my “main tool,” with the exception of Planoly for my Instagram-only clients.
I use Planoly for those clients that don’t need the full gambit Agorapulse provides and are focusing on Instagram.
What do you do to stay up-to-date with new marketing techniques?
I’m connected to and engaged in many community groups that provide me with updates and features.
I attend conferences throughout the year (pre-COVID) and plan to do so once we are past this.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
There are many projects I’ve worked on that I’m super proud of, to name a few. Social Media Marketing World Live Stage for 2 years, Bad Crypto Podcast social media and production of a top iTunes podcast, and World Crypto Con, one of the world’s largest crypto conferences.
Which one book or blog post would you recommend every marketer read?
The Social Media Examiner is my go-to resource for all things social media.
What advice would you share with other marketers who want to become more productive?
Outsource the things that don’t make you money or hold you back.
For me, it was bookkeeping, and I would spend hours trying to figure it out.
I finally decided to outsource, and it is worth every dime I pay to not do it myself.
Stop doing the tasks you don’t love, especially those you aren’t good at.
Find the experts to do it for you.
If there’s one marketing guru, you’d recommend who and why.
Ugh, I don’t like this question, as it’s very personal, I think.
I don’t have one person I listen to. I listen to many and take aspects from each of them.
If you forced me to pick one, I would probably say Seth Godin, as he was one of my earliest marketing heroes.