12 Sep Interview with Digital Strategist Sarah Evans
This month on Champ Life Series, we have Sarah Evans.
Sarah Evans is a social media expert, digital correspondent, and strategist and owns her own digital agency.
She has worked with many companies globally. She creates and improves social and digital strategies for brands, advises them on marketing, and public relation.
Let’s see what advice she has got for all the newbies in digital marketing.
Tell us briefly about how you started? What inspired you to step into digital marketing?
At a very young age, I was planning tea parties and putting together events for family members. And I realized what I loved the most about doing this was two things:
- the thrill of inviting people; and
- bringing people together around a shared interest.
At its core, that’s what I feel like I do.
Whether it’s in front of the camera as a digital correspondent or behind-the-scenes as a digital consultant, I invite and bring together.
Building my own company has been a constant evolution! I’ve pivoted a few times and, perhaps, just now have found my “Hedgehog Concept” (i.e., the thing I’m the very best at). One thing is for sure — I am ALWAYS learning. I’m in awe of the brilliant makers and creators in today’s digital landscape. So much has changed since I first came into the field 12+ years ago.
How is your entrepreneurial journey so far? And what made you enjoy it?
It’s just that, a journey. There have been many, MANY ups and downs and learning opportunities. It hasn’t been one, easy, and consistent path.
When I started my company, I had one idea of what I thought it would be, but what my clients wanted was something a bit different. Over the years, I’ve changed and evolved to meet market demands and, of course, to meet the demands of my awesome clients.
The companies I work with have made this journey the most enjoyable part. It’s such a tremendous win when you work with people that share a similar vision and create outstanding work because you’re all in it together.
I love the ability to collaborate with so many different teams around the world and learn from them. These are the lessons and opportunities that help me grow.
What’s the toughest part of owning a company? What’s the coolest part?
The toughest part is that you play every single role: CEO, CFO, accounts payable, janitor, etc…
As I’ve grown I am able to outsource things that aren’t the best use of my time, but for the first several years I had to do it all, and it takes time away from the core business. It’s a very tricky balance when you have to wear every hat.
I admire anyone who runs a startup or is a solo entrepreneur – I know the pain.
What’s the most significant factor that has helped you be successful?
The belief in abundance.
It’s the single most important part of my work and personal life philosophy. I have to believe that there will always be more than enough. This means that I believe there is more than enough business for everyone. This shapes the way I share information, refer to others, etc… By not being selfish or a gatekeeper, I’m able to achieve more through partnerships and collaborations.
Abundance applies to most things I do so that I remember to do good business without the fear of things running out (and not operating out of fear).
As a social media influencer and female entrepreneur, what was the hardest decision you ever had to make?
I guess I’ve been relatively lucky in this aspect. The hardest decisions I ever had to make were when I was in the corporate workforce. From experiencing sexual harassment to age discrimination – I had to find a way to stand up for what was right at a very young and inexperienced age. Now that I’m older, there are things I would have done differently, but it resulted in me creating a goal to one day work for myself — and 10 years later I’m still going strong.
What’s your favorite social networking channel?
I have two favorites.
Twitter: a professional commentary.
Instagram: a real-life glimpse into my everyday life.
As a leading digital marketing consultant, what do you think “Content is King” exactly means?
“Content is King” is evolving. We are moving into a time of Content Performance Optimization (CPO) where we create based on both art and science. This means we can still have our brand, our tone, and REAL words/images/videos, but also created with the Google “brain” in mind.
In fact, I’m working on launching a platform (very soon!) that will help everyone who writes, write better, and rank higher.
What according to Sarah Evans, is the most important element one should add in their content marketing strategy to make it successful?
A well-laid plan helps everyone work smarter, not harder.
I love working from an editorial calendar and scheduling system that lets me collaborate with my team and manage social media (e.g., listen, report) all from one place.
You’ve quite an active profile on Twitter. How do you manage that?
I use the same organizational structure for myself as I use for clients. I treat my personal brand online as my guinea pig – I can test and trial tactical concepts before offering them up to clients.
Does Sarah Evans believe in being omnipresent when it comes to social media marketing?
No, I don’t believe in being omnipresent – unless your customers are.
What do you think about social media automation tools? How do you believe a social media automation tool like Social Champ can help digital marketers and social media influencers in 2019?
Social media automation doesn’t need to have a negative connotation. It’s a great tool for evergreen content that you need to share in different ways.
We expect that social networks, like Twitter, will begin to penalize repeat content, so content marketers will need to work harder to find different ways to share the same content — which they should have been doing all along.
Lastly, we would like to know the advice that stuck by you in your journey and what’s your best advice for the newbies in digital marketing?
- Don’t underestimate your value, regardless of age – This one has come full circle, as I experienced insecurity directly out of college and then again as a new mom coming back from “maternity leave.” The landscape changes so fast, but it doesn’t take away from your natural talents and abilities.
- Listen, laugh, and learn — Funny enough this is the mantra I recite to my children before school each day, and somehow it’s crept its way into my professional life. If I’m not doing all three things, then I’m not doing my best work.
- Find what you’re the best at and focus your energy there — I have lots of interests and hobbies, but it doesn’t mean I’m great at them. Like Liam Neeson, I have a very specific set of skills, and I stay in my lane.
- There’s more than enough business — If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that there’s enough business. It’s why I’ve never shied away from sharing tips and tools. I expect the same in return.
- Build a network when you don’t need anything — There’s nothing like a REAL relationship built on giving and sharing. Growing your professional network takes time, but social media can expedite that process. Save your ask for a time when it’s worthwhile, and the relationships you’ve built will be there.