Interview with Cereal Entrepreneur

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I was recently approached by Cereal Entrepreneur to do a profile on me and they just posted it on their account today.  I am thrilled they wanted to chat and I hope my words are seen as useful and productive to those who read it.

Here is an excerpt from the full interview:

“I have been in digital marketing, e-commerce and branding since 1999. I spent a decade on the client side and felt very strongly that agencies were just missing the mark when it came to service and truly understanding what brands and SMB’s really need. I set out to create an anti-agency model that put service first, after which @sirclemedia was born.

I like working with businesses and learning their stories. I like helping owners and marketers craft their message and then present their unique selling propositions and reasons for being. Sales comes easy to me, because the passion and understanding are there and that creates a very solid foundation for working with clients.

I work both in service and in marketing because it allows me to help businesses sell their products and offerings to others. This is the path I chose, because it allows me to play to my strengths and provide an element that most brands are missing. It is one thing to believe you are great, but it is harder to get others to agree.

I’m convinced that if truth, honesty, hard work AND excellent customer service are your north star(s) then you will win in the end. The commitment to remarkable service cant just be on the surface, it needs to run deep. Ultimately, business decision makers want to trust a partner, who will have their best interest at heart and will work hard to advance the client’s needs before their own. That is where we focus.”
Q: How’s Sircle Media different?

A: Most social media agencies are looking to offer project work OR retainers that are itemized solutions and not solving the real problem. Businesses really need an employee mindset when running point on social media and we really work to fill that role in a unique way. I always say we are more of a staffing agency that an traditional marketing firm and we are filling a mission critical role, just in an outsourced capacity.

Q: What’s your advice to others entrepreneurs?

A: Focus on the important stuff and work hard, smart and fast. Don’t get too high or too low and just remain committed to and focused on moving the company forward and leaning in on the pros and on reducing the cons along the way.

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Sircle Sessions: Can you land PR/media opportunities through social media?

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Brands are constantly trying to find value in social media (many doubt there really is any) and are often looking at the wrong data points. It cannot be measured solely with a simple ROI calculation and/or traditional KPIs. Your efforts need to be looked at from a different POV and it is imperative to keep in mind that each individual effort is not necessarily intended to have a very specific result. It is more of a long game that needs to be played consistently and needs to pivot as the brand, industry or even social landscape does.

At Sircle we believe that social is not a marketing vertical and is more of a horizontal layer that touches all aspects of your business. By remaining committed to story telling and content marketing (which you should be if you own or manage a brand and want to win in mid-2016) and leveraging social networks, their audiences and amazing targeting and tools, you can do powerful things.

One such “thing” that brands are all thirsting for, is finding writers, bloggers, publications and/or media outlets to help them tell their story. They will shell out PR retainers to get these, and more often than not, they feel very frustrated or short changed by those engagements. It seems like PR has become a necessary evil and some brands see it as a set expense, or a cost of doing business if you will. It is amazing to me that brands will pay for this, which is so micro focused, in lieu of paying a social media retainer and/or an internal salary for social media management.  I would argue the latter brings much better value.

If you want to get coverage or gain influence, you need to roll up your sleeves, get to work and contribute content to the web. Posts, tweets, blogs, statuses, pins etc.. all create potential one-to-one exposure for your brand, which in turn can lead to bigger exposure if and when you come across the right set of eyes.

I was asked if I have seen opportunities surface through social media management and I shared my experience here. You can also click the image above to consume.  Enjoy!

 

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Win of The Week- Customer Service 2.0

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With social media, the sexy topics are content creation, influencer collaborations and even the paid efforts that lead back to measurable KPI’s and ROI’s.  Those are the things most clients and prospects want to talk about and will ultimately use to gauge whether social media efforts are working. While they are both important, they are more about talking than listening, and it is in the latter category where brands should be focused a bit more.

We believe that content and growth efforts are 2/3 of the puzzle, but engagement is where you really can set your brand apart from the pack. One of the most important roles that a Social Media Manager fills is – Customer Service Manager. In today’s day and age, people will chime in and comment about bad (or good) experiences and it is mission critical to have your ears open to the feedback.

Our client Bombas cares very much about servicing their community, referred to as The Hive. Like any brand they have had negative and positive feedback and commentary, and together we remain committed to auditing, listening and tackling their needs head on. Sometimes it can turn a negative comment into a positive one, or even a sale.  As you see here:

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Remember, your community is watching and sometimes they will chime in and have your back when others are complaining too.

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They appreciate authenticity and that a brand actually does care. This is the “blocking and tackling” component of social media and while it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard each day, it is everything if you want to win online.

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In general the commitment to being a great community and a brand who actually cares is a long play and not a short one. It is a daily grind and takes a lot of man hours and work, but in the end of the day it is all about creating something that is built to last.

 

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Win Of The Week: Accelerated Content Reach

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Fresh off the heels of our last post about Influencer Marketing, we had a nice little win for one of our clients that we wanted to share.

We reached out to the blogger, The Fit Mitten Kitchen as part of our influencer outreach program for one of our CPG clients. She was very interested, but upon review that client didn’t feel she has enough of an Instagram following and passed. Our team got together and decided she would be a great fit for our client Modern Oats instead and we set it up.

We sent some product to the influencer and she posted it on her blog as part of a delicious looking recipe, pictured above. She also pushed it out on Instagram and it earned 250 Likes and 35 comments, which is nice value for the price we paid.  The fun doesn’t stop there though.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 1.45.14 PMHuffingPost Taste then went ahead and regrammed the picture to their 100,000+ followers and it earned an additional 1474 Likes and 31 comments. Some of those followers went ahead and followed our client’s account immediately afterwards too, so add that as value on top. This accelerated reach and engagement were not the intent, but is an ancillary benefit of being in the game.

We also have some great looking content that we can now share in our feed and have developed a relationship with the influencer (on her way up) that we can/will leverage as we move along. #Winning

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First Hour: A Morning With Our Founder Adam Brown

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Here is a little piece on our Founder, Adam Brown in Creator Magazine.  It highlights his routine and how he approaches each morning. Enjoy! (Credit: David Grossman)

Adam Brown is a specialist in what might be considered one of the hardest writing styles imaginable: a relatable human being on social media. As the founder of social media strategy firm SircleBrown told Creator that one of his favorite parts of his job is getting “to play entrepreneur on various projects daily.” Below, the WeWork 42nd Street member takes us through the beginning of his day, shaping his morning decisions around his company’s various needs, his personal life, and Drake.

WeWork: Are you a morning person?

Brown: I am definitely a morning person. I firmly believe that an actively engaged entrepreneur’s brain never really turns off, so when my eyes open (to quote Drake) I go zero to a 100, real quick. My wife can’t stand my morning whistling and “chipperness,” but I just cant hold back. New days bring new beginnings, and I am always ready to hustle and make great things happen. On weekdays, it is get up, get focused, and kill it; on weekends, it is time with my daughters.

WeWork: What time do you usually get up?

Brown: 5 a.m. on Mondays and then between 6 and 7 a.m. the rest of the week. I have always tried to start my workday super early, and I try to get as much done as humanly possible by 9 a.m. I like the feeling of being ahead of everyone else who are just getting started.

WeWork: What gets you up every day?

Brown: On Mondays, I use my iPhone alarm clock, although 90 percent of the time, my eyes open before it goes off. I also have two built-in alarm clocks in my apartment, named Sydney and Riley, that take care of things the rest of the week.

WeWork: Tell us about your morning routine.

Brown: Wake up, spend some quality time with my family, check online channels, shower, dress, and walk out the door.

WeWork: What do you do during your morning commute?

Brown: I used to walk to work every day when I lived about a mile from my office, which was amazing for my health and for clearing my mind. Nowadays, I either take the subway or I travel to work by Via, answering emails and reading articles to get a head start.

WeWork: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at the office?

Brown: At 6:30 a.m. each weekday morning, a calendar alert pops up on my phone:

Monday: new product development

Tuesday: sales and prospecting

Wednesday: strategy and creative thinking

Thursday: company culture, HR, and processes

Friday: client accounts review

Things will always fly at me from all angles, so I find it helpful to be reactionary and address them as they come. Having a routine helps me make sure each area gets proper focus and attention.

WeWork: What’s your secret to not stressing out in the morning?

Brown: I scroll through my Instagram and Twitter early in the morning, and I try to read only positive stuff like uplifting quotes and pictures, or tweets about where my industry is going, etc. I do not read the news, and I stay away from email for the first 30 to 60 minutes of my day. I don’t want to see any fires or issues until I am in full stride.

WeWork: Tell us what you eat for breakfast.

Brown: Usually it’s some organic all natural cereal with almond milk or a natural bar, and always a black coffee.

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Mickey Lynn Trunk Show

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Here at Sircle Media, we do more than just manage our clients’ social media accounts. We’re willing to do anything we can to help them out.

Last Thursday, July 23rd, we had a trunk show for our client Mickey Lynn Jewelry. Our President and Founder Adam Brown had the idea for the client to help them sell some extra inventory they were sitting on, while also gaining social followers and coveted prospect emails.  ”This was just a make sense way to use their extra product to help them further other marketing initiatives” said Brown.  He and his team worked hard to hype it by creating Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts to promote the event, as well as making flyers, and hand delivered invitations to a curated list of WeWork members.

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The event was a huge success, with about 75 people showing up to check out the beautiful, handmade jewelry pieces and 39 unique purchases. There were different styles of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets available for purchase–some were even up to 80% off.  Some of the people at the trunk show were even seen FaceTiming friends to show off some of the pieces that were on display. To top off this event, there was even a necklace giveaway to one lucky attendee. The tradeoff was a simple email entry, which brought new eyeballs and targets to the client for future marketing purposes.

We love being able to do things like this for our clients and going that extra mile really pays off. Social media is just a new term for the internet and it is mission critical to find unique ways to think and advance your online agenda. Stay tuned in to our blog and social media platforms, for more events and unique strategies coming soon.
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Sircle Media Showcase


On Tuesday, April 8th, Sircle Media held a showcase promoting 4 of our Consumer Package Goods brands; Modern Oats, Avitae Caffeinated Water, ginnybakes and Veestro. Modern Oats, the modern take on old-fashioned oats with a burst of flavor is gluten-free, vegan, and non-gmo. A healthy breakfast option with six different flavors. Avitae, a purified water with natural caffeine, with guess what? Zero calories is the best way to wash breakfast down and give you that extra energy for the day. Everyone has a sweet tooth, right? So indulge mindfully with a crunchy, yummy, and healthy snack, ginnybakes, which is also gluten-free and organic. Ready for lunch? Try Veestro, all-natural, preservative-free food that’s high in protein and fiber, packed with nutrients and simply delicious – straight from your refrigerator or freezer.

We held the showcase at the WeWork 42nd street. The communal working environment that WeWork strongly promotes gave us the ability to enlighten and introduce these brands to working men and women. Each brand was a huge hit amongst members and we are happy to say that sales were made. We were thrilled to see people taking to social media and the internet to highly praise our products like Giorgia, who fell in love with Ginny Bakes!

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Because of the great deal of success from our first showcase, Sircle has decided to host other events at different WeWorks! Stay tuned to our blog and social media for updates and information!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RESCUE Skincare PopUp Shop

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One of our favorite skincare lines RESCUE, is holding a PopUp Shop from November 12-17th at Wallplay on the Lower East Side. RESCUE is launching a new skincare line and asked Sircle Media and Amy Marietta (ViviereBella) to help produce the event.

Sircle and Amy are helping with event coordination, influencer outreach, social media management and content creation. We are super excited!

To promote their new skincare line, RESCUE is also holding an Instagram/Twitter contest. The two best Instagram/Twitter posts that tag @RESCUESKIN or use the Hashtag #RESCUESKIN will win $500!

 

The PopUp Shop will be open from 8am-8pm daily and is located at:
118 Orchard
New York, New York, 10002
(corner of Orchard & Delancey)

You can find more information on the event here and more about RESCUE Skincare here.

We hope to see you there!

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Jinna Yang: An Influencer We Love

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In the world of social media it can sometimes be hard to stand out amongst all the noise. Jinna Yang is one influencer who has been truly successful at it.

Her blog, Grease and Glamour, receives thousands of unique visitors each day and has a loyal band of followers on Instagram — over 17,000 of them!

She is most known for traveling the world with a cardboard cutout of her late father.

Jinna is inspired by creators all around the world. “Photographers, videographers, content creators. Thanks to the media, I get to be inspired by the work that’s shared and their messages are spread to people around the world. I’m also so inspired by my readers, who motivate me to continue doing what I do everyday,” she says.

While Jinna Yang is her true passion, she is also a writer for Condé Nast Traveler. “When I am hired by other brands I do my research firstly — it’s important to understand what their brand represents, and what their company stands for. I try to find the best way to stay true to their message while retaining my own voice to ensure that it’s a win-win for both of us.”

Social media is a constantly evolving platform that brands both big and small are still trying to figure out. Nobody knows what it will look like in the next 5 years and as Jinna says, “That’s the beauty of it.”

You can find Jinna on E!’s new reality T.V show House of DVF.

Learn more about our friend Jinna here.

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Sircle Media Partners With ENK Shows

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We are so happy to be teaming up with ENK Shows as their Social Media Partner. Sircle will be at their Intermezzo Event on January 6-8th hosting their first ever “Social Media Lounge.”  This is going to be a great opportunity to interact with their impressive roster of exhibiting fashion brands at this major event.  We are joining forces with our partners over at Janine Just Incorporated to help bring an even more comprehensive suite of services to the sessions. Hopefully we can better explain where PR, Social and general Digital Strategies should intersect and collide.

The fashion vertical is one which relies heavily on the visual nature of social networking to grow their following online. Brands are constantly trying to leverage these tools to stand out from the pack, yet very few know how to effectively story tell by platform.  We are hoping to shed some light on how to do so, to help them cut through the clutter and reach their desired audience.

We will have a lounge setup near the registration area and will be interfacing with brands directly over the course of the show.  If you will be there, be sure to stop by and keep it social!

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