When Sam asked if she could interview me it was a hard YAAASSS! I realized how valuable the questions she asked me are & I’ve always felt interviews were a great source of knowledge. There is so much opportunity in this world to constantly be learning and improving upon, nothing is ever perfect, but that’s the beauty of the entrepreneurial journey. Love the awesome questions she asked me here on how I started Socially Steph LLC. Keep reading … 😃
Q: When did you “discover” your love for social media for brand building?
STEPH: In college, I was working front desk for The Dailey Method in my city and they always asked for my suggestions on their social media marketing. Along with many other businesses always picked my brain on this. My parents have owned businesses from car washes to restaurants to a beauty salon & I always enjoyed helping my family with their own branding & social media management. I have always had an eye for creative & it’s something that lights me up. I have a ton of fun in this space which is why I love it. Having fun in what you do is super important to me.
Q: What led up to the creation of Socially Steph? (past jobs, etc)
STEPH: Socially Steph came about in 2017 when I was working in corporate land & desired to be more creative. I wanted to start writing more and creating things I love. I also enjoyed interviewing people who started something they love and empowering others to do the same. I felt the name really resonated with what I was creating being more social with brands, businesses and people. My career path had also been deeply rooted in the social media space for 9 years. The name just felt like me and that’s the best route to go when branding yourself, in my opinion. It has to come from your heart and always be genuine.
I had dreamed of meshing what I love into a career but I never found the right company and one day it hit me that I could create my own company and be in a space that helps me to thrive 💫 vs. drag me down.
After I up and quit my 9-5 a month later, I took an opportunity to present myself at a real estate agency and I was being called “Socially Steph” on the microphone across the company … I actually started laughing out loud because I didn’t think anyone would take me as “Socially Steph” serious, but they loved it!! The presentation went great and I got my first client off the bat. That same Monday evening I went to teach my group fitness class and found out my Grandpa was in extremely bad shape, he ended up passing away right in front of my very eyes & holding my hand till his last breath. This moment was life changing for me. Never had I experienced death and how could this be? My business was born the same day my grandpa passed away. I was extremely overwhelmed. He left me with this in which I carry with me daily,
“Whatever you put your energy into you’ll be successful.”
Energy is in everything we do and it’s the first thing that introduces you before you even speak a word. I believe it’s super important in all aspects of our life and career.
Q: While you were working in corporate America, you also taught group fitness classes. How has fitness played a role in your life? This seems like maybe the first “step” into entrepreneurship for you…
STEPH: YESSSS!!!! I have been teaching fitness also since 2010. When I left my job I actually launched both ELEV8 my group fitness class & Socially Steph LLC and ironically they both made the same amount in month one. ELEV8 is a group training class comprised of cardio, strength, yoga & meditation. The one thing I felt challenged with was not having a focus.
Once I took a trip to New York it kinda hit me that I needed to choose my career right now around the lifestyle I wanted. My dreams of owning a fitness studio started to fade and exploring Socially Steph became more interesting to me. I enjoyed that I can still get my work done and be anywhere in the world. I love to be able to see new things and travel so at this point in my life I didn’t want the overhead of a studio to hold me down in one location.
Q: Can you talk more about the process of creating your own group fitness program?
STEPH: The process was simple. I have a strong background in gymnastics starting at age 3 and many years of hardcore training. In HS I decided to move into dance & then I actually trained for a fitness competition. Fitness has always been a huge part of who I am. When I attended College at Elmhurst College I also received my 200 hour RYT from Corepower. After accepting a group fitness position with La Fitness I realized I really had my own sequence I created.
From there I was gaining a small following of women and they had been asking me to teach more and more I felt the only thing that made sense was to rent a space and provide more opportunity for them to take class with me. So I tried that whole thing. I wouldn’t say it failed, but I just didn’t have the focus or time to execute it like I would. I did decide to put that on hold and focus on Socially Steph LLC. I’ve thought of other ways in which that part of my life or business can come to life in the future. But, we can’t do it all at the same time.
Q: What were the fears in taking that leap of quitting your corporate job?
STEPH: Losing my insurance was on my mind, a steady income and that’s about it. I didn’t see it as losing much because I don’t want to life my life with regrets of not trying. I had all the confidence in knowing I can create something greater or bigger, but it’s a scary move to make. You’re placing all bets on yourself and its’ only you day in and day out. Before I really took the dive I was still jumping on phone calls with recruiters and that brought even more clarity that I really wanted to start my own businesses. All of my experiences have really been a huge blessing for me in my life and my energy has constantly led me into the right direction.
Q: What are some of the things you thought would be different than they actually are in this new entrepreneurship journey? Reality vs. Expectation?
STEPH: You have to be driven, disciplined, willing to learn and it’s important to always tap into your intuition. I expected this to be challenging, but I didn’t expect how mentally draining it can all be and the amount of hats you have to wear was many more than I ever thought. I didn’t take a business class, I just dove in. It’s a lot of self teaching and learning that it’s okay to ask for help is a good reminder for anyone.
Q: How do you disconnect from social media..do you find it necessary?
STEPH: Oh yes, it’s extremely important to find balance with technology and social media. I find the more and more it grows we need more education for ways in which you need to take action in your own life. It starts with awareness and knowing when it’s actually consuming too much of your life and wrecking havoc more than making you happy. It’s super hard for me being in the social media space, but I have learned that no matter what business you’re in – health is the real wealth. So knowing when you’ve crossed that line and it’s affecting your sleep or body has become so apparent.
Q: What are some of your best social media tips for anyone trying to build their brand? I know you talk a lot about not stressing over the follower count and I LOVE that.
STEPH: Be yourself, use the space to connect vs trying to gain the wrong attention or mass followers (don’t buy your followers because there’s absolutely no ROI in that.) I really stress the importance to my own clients about why we’re on social media which is mainly to build exposure, build strong connections, communicate, share educational and valuable information, and grow a community; which would take years to do if you stood outside right now on the street yelling at people about your service. It’s an extremely important tool you can be leveraging right now if done right.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you can give to the STRONGirl community?
STEPH: Do what lights you up in life & shine bright! Surround yourself with good energy and trust yourself, you know more than you think! The key to getting ahead is getting started. Let’s do more things we love ❤️. That’s it peeps!
Hey, so there you have it! Awesome questions by Sam & I hope you enjoyed the Q&A. Let me know in the comments what stood out or what resonated with you. I’d love to hear from you.