Sircle Squad Intern: Morgan

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Full name: Morgan Forrest

Hometown: Marlton, NJ

University and Major: University of Delaware – Marketing major with a double minor in Advertising and Professional Selling

Year: Junior

Why Sircle Media?: Interning at Sircle Media has given me the unique opportunity to utilize my passion for social media in a real world environment. Capturing the voice of the brand and allowing them to tell their story and showcase their personality through social media is unlike anything I have done before. In my few months here so far, I have gained more valuable knowledge and experience in the field of social media marketing than I thought possible and I am so grateful to have this learning experience.

What do you look forward to during your internship?: Getting to work alongside my Social Media Manager, Lexi. She has so much knowledge and experience to share with me and I love having the opportunity to learn new things in the world of social media every single day!

What is one topic/skill that you’ve improved on so far during your internship?: During my internship I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about influencer marketing and the thought process that goes into selecting appropriate influencers for each individual brand. This is my first experience working with influencers and I’ve gained valuable hands on knowledge and experience that can be applied to my daily intern activities.

Most Likely To?: be online shopping

Favorite Move/Book?: Sweet Home Alabama

Appetizer or Dessert?: Dessert

Beach or Forest?: Beach

Favorite Client to Work On?: Real Food From The Ground Up

 

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Happy 3 Year Anniversary, Ticha!

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Recently, we celebrated the 3 year anniversary of Sircle Squad member and talented Photographer, Ticha Vichitlakakran. We wanted to ask Ticha a few questions to reflect on her time here at Sircle Media and find out what she’s learned along the way.

How did your journey at Sircle Media start? 

My major required me to have at least one internship and so during my senior year, I applied and got it! I was inexperienced and I had absolutely no idea what it would all entail or if I would be any good. I remember my first day very clearly in my head. I met Jenna for the first time and she had this amazing new tattoo and I just remembered feeling so welcomed by the whole team. That first day, Jenna had me standing on top of a table!

What do you remember as the best day at work? 

This is a tough one – being here for so long I can’t pinpoint a specific day but I can say that the days when the office is calm, Carlos is playing some tunes, and everyone is chatting all together (while working of course!) those days are the best! BUT if I had to choose ONE day… it has got to be my birthday 2 years ago when I had a MASSIVE pizza party.

What about the most difficult? What did you learn from that experience? 

One of the most difficult days in office was when I was working on a client that was not the easiest. Every call ended terribly and everyone seemed to be at a loss. The whole experience was tough but one of the most important things I took from it was that this/it is a team effort and when you need help – ask!

How do you think you’ve evolved throughout your three years on the Sircle Squad? 

Honestly, the Ticha from last year even is unrecognizable. Meaning I have progressed and grown so much, it is crazy.  I would not be the photographer I am today without having been here. From day 1 I was thrown right into it and every day since I have learned something new. In this kind of work, evolving is a must. Everything is constantly changing and faster than ever. You just have to keep up.

What is your favorite part about working at Sircle Media? 

My favorite part of working at Sircle Media is that since being here for such a long period of time – I have kind of grown with the company. I am grateful for this company and the team behind it. I’ve seen it grow tremendously through the last 3 years alone and I am proud to say that I have been a part of it.

What are you looking forward to in years to come?

I’m looking forward to seeing more progress and growth. As I said, I learn something new every day.

Thank you, Ticha for all of your hard work and for bringing such positive energy to the team! You’re a true SircleSquad member and we truly appreciate all that you do!

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Sircle Squad Intern: Eve Serfaty

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Hi! My name is Eve Serfaty and I am a rising senior at the University of Maryland studying Communications. Today sadly marks my last day as a summer intern here at Sircle Media. Interning this summer has truly opened up my eyes to the many different aspects of the social media world. Prior to this internship, I never realized how important social media was, to be honest. It has become an essential component for every brand and it involves quite a bit of work. I am grateful that I received the opportunity of being an intern here as a Social Media Manager and have learned a ton.

My supervisor, Lexi Levy, has been a great mentor to me and assigns me daily tasks that are not only challenging and rewarding but also quite enjoyable. I had the opportunity to assist her with a few cool, healthy CPG clients: Real Food From The Ground Up, RETHINK, and Bare Bones Broth. Some of my daily tasks included: building out influencer and brand collaborations, creating captions to accompany photos, videos and graphics, crafting tweets, joining in on client calls, and engaging with Instagram and Facebook communities.

Each Social Media Manager listens closely to their clients’ needs and gets a feel for their vision and end goals for the brand. Every brand has its own unique style and the Social Media Managers do an outstanding job of bringing their client’s personalities and ideas to life. The President, Adam Brown, has been a wonderful mentor and his warm and approachable personality has created an amazing environment. I look forward to keeping in touch with the Sircle Media Team and further expanding my knowledge in this field.

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We Are Sircle Media

We are Sircle Media. 

We are content creation, community management, and social performance.

We are photography, food styling, stop motion, live action, motion graphics, video production, photo shoots, web design, copywriting, Instagram/Facebook/Twitter Management, E-commerce, customer service, paid social, influencer management, brand collaborations, strategy, analytics, digital marketing and so much more.

We are your next social media management solution…

Let’s Go!

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What makes Sircle Media different?

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I saw an opportunity in 2011/2012 to capitalize on a white space in the market. There were tons of agencies, but most were not amazing and many provided terrible customer service and products. There was also this emergence of social networks and very few people, if any, understood them and their power. Having been on the client side for a decade I knew all too well how hard it was for SMBs to navigate digital, and social media took it a level further, with the non-static and conversational and social nature of it. You really needed a full-time employee to navigate it all and that person needed to be well versed in a lot of different disciplines. You cannot find one person who can do all of these necessary things at a high level (still have not met one to date) and therefore, you need a group of different talents to win.

The lightbulb went off for me, that if I could provide social media management in an outsourced capacity, with the look and feel of an employee mindset, but the prowess and multi-talents of an agency of individuals, I might be onto something. Add in “Four Seasons” level service and now you had an Agency who cared about service, hard work, and humans above all else. This was a totally different approach and not something most agencies wanted to tackle as they saw it as unscalable. I set out to do just that….scale the unscalable!

In order to deliver on that promise, I needed to run a company that was also different than most. To do so, I put my employees and our culture above all else, even our clients. This is why I have fired various clients over the years. Most service agencies would never do that, but my employee’s happiness and sanity are mission critical and more important than chasing around an unreasonable, unprofessional and/or unproductive client. By treating my team very well, providing solid work-life balance and constantly staying invested in and involved with their work, life, and growth, I approach things differently than most bosses. I think if they are happy and motivated, then they will deliver next level work and it shows.

All these years later we have grown so much as a company and improved in every facet of the business. The original thesis still holds true and is even more central to the client’s needs today. With the evolution of the marketplace, the addition of new social networks and nuances within each’s products, businesses need a team who can deliver at a very high level, against a number of different disciplines now, more than ever before. We deliver upon this promise every single day.

It is not all roses, trust me. Client services businesses are very difficult, defeating and unrewarding at times. Brand partners can be very demanding and often treat us more like an agency than an employee. It still remains a little abstract for some and as a result, it is harder to push thru and get the really great work done. I also have employees who don’t fully understand or value the opportunity and unique structure, and sometimes slip up and fall into bad habits and behaviors they either learned somewhere else OR it is just due to inexperience in the workplace. So, it is on me (and company leadership) to remind them each and every day of the importance of the work, the promise we have made to each client and how their efforts impact real business results for those brands. By humanizing it, I think it makes them want to work even harder for them.

So, when brands hire Sircle Media, they are not just hiring “someone to run social”.  They are hiring a very progressive business unit, with employee and client minded leadership, that is focused on delivering high-level work and outperforming our pay grade. We want to prove that we are a much better choice than any other option in the market, including internal hires OR external agencies.  We care more, work harder, dig deeper and have a better, more well-rounded understanding of social and what it really means for a business. I believe it shows in the work, in our renewal rates, in our partner referrals and our customer testimonials. That is the most rewarding part of it all!

Some feedback from the FAM:

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Sircle Squad Profile: Lauren Utecht

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Full name/nickname: Lauren Utecht. Sometimes people just shorten my name to Laur or Lau.

Age: 22

University & Major: Roger Williams University. Major – Journalism, Minor – Film, and Concentration – Spanish

What made you choose Sircle Media? I decided to apply to Sircle Media because after researching the company and looking at their website, I really liked their overall vision and POV on social media. At school, I was introduced to the power of social media and all things digital. I believe it has opened up a window of opportunity for brands to have conversations, develop relationships and show that they care about their customers by sharing personal stories and giving them an inside look at their company through the use of digital elements. Sircle Media really emphasized this idea and I knew it was somewhere I could enhance my skills. I always make sure I can believe in a company before I interview with them. Most importantly, I really liked the company environment as it seemed positive and productive. Everyone was extremely friendly, encouraging and I could see that there was a lot of opportunity for growth. That is why I ultimately chose Sircle Media.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here? The most surprising thing I’ve learned after working here is that brands don’t need to take their social media management too seriously. What I mean is that people don’t want a product being shoved down their throats on social media and most likely aren’t going to take the time to read a long caption explaining a product. I always knew it was best to keep captions short, but I’m really learning to have fun with my posts. It’s OK to be silly and make jokes and puns because it shows off the brand’s personality, explains who they are, what they stand for and breaks the ice between sellers and buyers.

What’s the best part of your job? The best part of my job is that it is not restrictive at all and I have a ton of autonomy. With social media, every day is different from the last and I get an opportunity that most new hires don’t, which is to have fun while learning new skills. Social media forces me to be creative, innovative and keep up with all of the latest trends. Social Media Managers have the ability to create content that can influence a culture and shape the future. That is really exciting and encourages me to be better.

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor? I’ve been working really closely with Sara Lerner on a few brands. Both she and Adam truly care about their employees. They help me believe in myself because they took a chance on me very early on in my career. They are now teaching me everything it takes to be a Social Media Manager, from building relationships with clients to managing day to day functions and even experimenting with audiences by promoting posts. They are always accessible if I need help and when I have questions, they get back to me right away. They are always reminding me that no question is dumb and are constantly encouraging me.

Advice to future interns/employees? My advice would be to ask questions and research topics you don’t feel comfortable with. It’s always better to make sure you’re doing something correctly than guess and make a mistake because you were too nervous to ask.

Bonus Questions:

What are three songs that never fail to get you hyped?: “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, “Levels” by Avicii and “All of the Lights” by Kanye West ft. Rihanna and Kid Cudi.

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?: My sister and I did competitive gymnastics since we were very young. I was always getting injured and eventually had to give it up at the beginning of high school, after my third broken arm because I fell too far behind on my skills.

What cartoon/movie character were you inexplicably afraid of as a kid?: I wasn’t really afraid, but I hated the “The Emperor’s New Groove” for some reason when all of my friends were obsessed with it.

Favorite hobbies? I love to travel and see new places around the world. I’m a firm believer that spending money on experiences rather than on material items makes you happier. I love to run, as I ran track all throughout high school and college. I like to cook and experiment with new recipes, read a lot and watch really good movies because film has always been another interest of mine. I also love playing with my dog and spending time with family and friends! :)

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Why I am the Derek Jeter of social media…

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I know this one is a stretch, but hear me out.

So we are both originally from the tri-state area and both were accepted to The University of Michigan in the mid 90′s. Granted he did go on to win the World Series and Rookie of The Year Honors in 1996, while I had a 3.0 GPA and countless hangovers. Despite the rough start, my gritty spirit kicked in and I rallied back to have a 3.7 GPA because I wasn’t going out like that. I digress…

So we both moved to New York and spent our whole careers here. Every single day we got up, put on our uniform and went to work.  We both have confidence but rarely brag.  Both of us are, “rip your face off” competitive, yet we always compete fairly and honorably.  We despise losing, but would never cut corners to win. It really is about legacy over short-term gains, and that is what ultimately earns respect and admiration from others. #Re2pect

Being “The Captain” of my team it is imperative to remain even-keeled. I never get too high when we win new business or receive referrals or accolades, and I brush it off when we lose a pitch or have a client leave the agency. When running your own company it is a long season so to speak, and you need to go in knowing you won’t win all of the games.  Just like batting, if my career average is .300 I am a Hall of Famer.

We both work in highly competitive industries and have tons of competition, but never really sweat them. We know that we just need to work hard, put in 100% effort and just do what we are expected to do, and the rest will work itself out. It really doesn’t matter what the others around us do, because if we play our game then we will win.

We both married supermodels (at least in my eyes) and we are both gentlemen in how we approach the women in our lives. We are excellent teammates and always have the backs of those around us. Life is a marathon and how you treat people comes back around for sure. Act as if…

I even love how he partnered with Jordan, (my childhood hero) for a brand deal. Both are fierce competitors, but if you want the benchmark for doing things the right way personally and professionally then I have to go with Number 2, the best that ever did it!

 

 

 

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On navigating highs and lows in business…

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When running your own business, you are constantly dealing with crap. Its just the bottom line, and not everyone is built for that.  I signed up for it and I choose to deal with it in a positive and productive way in the macro. That being said, the reality is that it can be very tough and tiring in the micro.

Being an Entrepreneur, especially at the helm of a service business is much more grind than glory.  You constantly have to navigate volatile and erratic market conditions, different (and often counter productive) client personalities and employee development and idiosyncrasies, while also maintaing an offensive mindset, despite being mired in defense on the daily. You must be razor sharp and always tweaking and improving, otherwise you can lose….quickly.

Just this past week our company signed on 2 new clients, both of whom came from referrals who are very pleased with our service. Good stuff, right?  In the same week however, we had to fire an irrational and unprofessional client (first ever, but probably not the last) AND we had one client notify us that they wouldn’t be renewing at the end of their contract, despite us executing on every original KPI, especially a 10 to 1 ROAS via paid social over the last 10 months. Completely illogical!

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We all face ups and downs each week and it is our ability to absorb, digest and adapt that makes all of the difference. You need to always remain on an even keel to win. Never let a good deed get you too high and more importantly, never let a misstep get you too low.  Maintain balance and take everything as a lesson and a chance to evolve on your journey.

Remember, “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” 

-Charles R. Swindoll

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Sircle Squad: Marisa Folsom

We recently sat down with Marisa, a (2 semester) photography intern to learn a bit more about her. Here is what we learned:

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Full name/nickname? Marisa Folsom

Nicknames: I don’t have too many, but a couple are Mari and Misa, but Mari only really makes sense in Japanese.

Age? 21

University and Major? Fordham University, and I’m double majoring in Visual Arts (with a concentration in Photography) and New Media & Digital Design.

What made you choose Sircle Media? I didn’t really know what to expect when I was asked to come in, but my first day at Sircle Media was so hands-on and I had such a great time shooting with Jenna and Ticha that I immediately wanted to intern here.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here? I think I was most surprised by the amount of trust and confidence the team has in its interns. I’m used to internships that have interns do smaller tasks, but I was surprised to be assigned real work immediately and to see my photographs up on our clients’ social media platforms so soon after!

What is the best part of your internship? Working at Sircle Media has really been unlike any other one of my internships. I love how friendly and welcoming the environment is, and how confident in my abilities my supervisors are. It’s great to be able to do some real hands-on work while simultaneously having fun!

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor? My supervisors Jenna and Ticha are awesome, and working with them has been equally as awesome. They’re both so welcoming and friendly, and I’ve felt part of the squad from day one, whether I’m shooting, editing, or in front of the camera. They give me great suggestions and directions for my photographs and edits, and I’ve learned a lot from them. Simultaneously seeing them do their work has been very informative, and gives me new ideas that I might not have come up with on my own.

Advice you would give to a future intern? Be confident in your own abilities! There’s a reason why you’re here and the rest of the team is confident in what you do, so show them what you’ve got.

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On the #SircleSquad

Sircle Squad Happy Holidays 2016

I love my team!

They are weird (in the best kind of way), fun, inquisitive, hard working and super amazing. Though I don’t personally celebrate Christmas, I am especially thankful today for the miracle of Sircle and for all that they give to my company each and every day.

When I hire, I always look for good people who seem to care and to have the “get it factor” when it comes to business and life in general. Ones who realize that hard work is not a bonus, but rather a foundation. Ones who understand that customer service is so important and that clients should always be treated fairly and honorably.  I believe if you put these type of people in a position to win, they will come out on top.

When you start a company from scratch and by yourself, you have many good and bad days along the way. During the darker moments, you might get discouraged and lose sight of why you started in the first place. It is my team (both at work and at home) that keeps me motivated to outwork and out hustle the competition, so I can provide for all of us. I like being in that position and I thrive when under that sort of pressure.

Winning comes down to working together as a team, with a common goal and vision for what you want to achieve. I set the stage, but these guys are the actors that make the story come to life. Together we make wonderful things happen.

If you have a team that motivates and supports you, let them know it.  They deserve the praise and the recognition more than you probably even recognize!

Merry Christmas.

 

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