The Social Impact Heroes of Social Media: “ I believe in teaching my fellow entrepreneur community to fish, so that each of them may eat for a lifetime” with Shaunda Necole and Candice Georgiadis
I’m passionate about empowering others to thrive in their talents. I volunteer my time at universities and women’s business centers to teach business owners effective strategies for successfully navigating in today’s digital marketplace. I’ve received community and economic development awards for my contributions. To keep the inspiration going, I publish motivational content on my blog and as a contributing writer for other media outlets. I believe in teaching my fellow entrepreneur community to fish, so that each of them may eat for a lifetime.
As a part of my series about social media stars who are using their platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shaunda Necole. Shaunda is a business coach, motivational influencer and entrepreneur. She is the creator of Get Your Name Out There Magic Marketing where she shares her secrets and insider tips- how she got over 100-thousand people to follow her in less than a year with big brands and media outlets taking notice! You can read more from Shaunda and get her secrets to success in The Ultimate Business Checklist on her blog.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
About three years ago, I decided on a whim to attend a luxury brand sample sale in New York. My entrepreneurial instincts guided me to open the trip up to shop for other ladies who were not attending, but also wanted to take advantage of the extreme savings. I offered my advice and made their purchases. It was a fantastic experience, and the Instagram account I initially created to enter a contest hosted by the sample sale grew to over 100,000 fans! I developed a website and blog, which opened the door for the brand collaborations and influencer work that I do today.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
About a year and a half into influencing, at what I thought was the height of my online career, my Instagram account suddenly disappeared! I thought his account was everything that my influencer career was made of, and boy was I with heavy heart every log-in attempt- one hundred and one tries after another. None of these attempts brought my account back. I still don’t have the answers to what exactly happened. Mark nor his Instagram team were ever within reach for support! I made a choice to pull myself out of a day’s worth of self-pity, vowing not to let a social media account be the definition of my self-worth and perseverance.
One of my successes in garnering a following of over 100-thousand is that I use offline principles online. In other words, I network online just as I do in an offline capacity. So many of my peers in the online communities I belonged to were instrumental in spreading the word about what happened to my Instagram page. The support of my community online, coupled with back-up apps that contained a list of all of my original account’s followers were instrumental in the recovery that I made on social media.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest and most ironic thing is that losing my original Instagram account was one of the best things that ever happened to me! It was a chance for me to put to work all the people and interpersonal skills that I’d learned and taught for decades. It also reminded me that these online platforms with our very own creative and curated pages, don’t belong to us! With that said, my recovery also included full concentration on inviting my social media community to join me as a member of my blog community. A platform that I have 100% access and control over.
A hard lesson, but in the end, I learned to trust the process and have gratitude for its tough lessons, too!
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?
I’m passionate about empowering others to thrive in their talents. I volunteer my time at universities and women’s business centers to teach business owners effective strategies for successfully navigating in today’s digital marketplace. I’ve received community and economic development awards for my contributions. To keep the inspiration going, I publish motivational content on my blog and as a contributing writer for other media outlets.
I believe in teaching my fellow entrepreneur community to fish, so that each of them may eat for a lifetime.
Wow! Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
One of my very first interviews as a social media influencer was with a wonderfully talented young lady for her travel blog. She was capturing my story as a Las Vegas pro in a feature article. In my typical fashion, I asked questions of the interviewer and learned a lot about her travels and career, and even offered advice to help her out in her future endeavors to take her career to the next level. She expressed sincere gratitude. After the article, we remained in touch, and I included her company as one of my affiliate partners that I share with my blog community. Her response to this was one of my all-time favorite, heart-melting moments. It was the feeling you get when you receive confirmation that you are working in your purpose. Her expression of gratitude came in a comment that, “Reaching out to you for that interview was one of the best decisions I have made.”
Was there a tipping point the made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 13 years, and I have grown to understand that the secret to success is meaningful connections. Bonding through reciprocity- giving more than what is asked. After contributing my time at local universities and innovation centers to assist new and aspiring entrepreneurs in getting started, I realized that this is where I want to add much more of my time, energy and focus.
As an influencer, I use my social credibility to motivate others and help them grow personally and in business. I choose partnerships with companies that share in my philosophy of helping others. Some of my favorite partnerships have included supporting celebrity Serena Williams investing in minority and women-owned businesses, Vote Together during the midterm elections and VA Arts Fest spotlighting artists and creatives.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
Entrepreneurs that I mentor often complain of a lack of diversity in state and federal contracts and procurement. If these types of government funding were to extend to smaller and more niche businesses, this would allow many businesses to have an opportunity to thrive in their respective markets.
What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for social good?
To keep the conversation going about entrepreneurs, I contribute as a source and writer to many media outlets that seek to address the plights and successes of business owners, entrepreneurs and influencers. I have been featured on Cosmopolitan, Forbes and Positively Positive where I share my advice. I offer tangible takeaways in a free resource I call The Ultimate Business Checklist. In this valuable guide, I’ve compressed decades of my business knowledge and research into days. I also created Get Your Name Out There Magic Marketing to reach entrepreneurs in a customized, one-on-one method, empowering and helping them find their way in today’s digital marketplace.
The fun part about the conversation and why I share what I do? I think my influence is possible for everyone!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
Ultimately, I trust the process. Things that I didn’t know years ago have made me a better businesswoman with stories of mistakes turned lessons to share with you today. But in the spirit of hindsight being 20/20, here are five things that I could have benefited from sooner, had I known!
1. I would have saved my money from a brick and mortar store and went into business online from the start. Ultimately this happened- just much later in the process. My business became the first one of its kind to secure a distribution deal with Amazon.
2. This is totally a real estate answer, because I’m an agent, too! But I would have invested in property in Culver City, California if I had the money back in the 1980s when it was a steal of a deal. If by chance the little girl me would have experienced a Tom Hanks Big moment back in the ‘80s- this could have totally happened!
3. I would have started a social media account sooner, to have become even more influential with a broader reach to inspire more people faster.
4. I would have left my corporate job sooner because when I did almost 15 years ago, I never looked back! Now I understand that courage means you’re scared, but you do it anyway.
5. I could have also saved a ton of time by learning to delegate tasks sooner. I once lived the tragic life of a perfectionist!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would inspire a movement of universities based on knowledge-based learning, where we seek higher education to uncover our purpose-driven lives, which is in whatever makes us thrive. Then we would intern, living in our purposes. Unlike traditional college, where the student often leaves in debt, it would be almost impossible to go broke when the students become the teachers by investing in themselves.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I was born a doer and a creator. I will stay up all night to finish a project that I start. My mantra is, “Innovation is rewarded, while execution is worshipped.” I would not be where I am today without effective execution. That’s always my goal.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
Michelle Obama, Arianna Huffington and Beyoncé if you are reading this, I admire you as positive role models, especially to women. I have great respect for your humility and your mission to always start from a place of service- doing the most good for the most people. It is said that there is no fear when you are focused on serving others. I regard each one of these women as fearless.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’d love to share more business inspiration and daily motivation with your readers! Please join me on ShaundaNecole.com and sign-up to receive my gift to you, which is also my most popular resource- The Ultimate Business Checklist. You can also follow me on Instagram @ShaundaNecole.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!
I find great joy in sharing- THANK YOU! (Also, the best prayer that anyone could say ;-)