We’ve got a series of questions for Milou to learn more about her journey & her successes.
Kulsoom: Hi Milou, thanks for being a part of our #ChampsLifeSeries. To start off, please introduce yourself.
Milou: Hi! My name is Milou Pietersz, Mil for short. I moved here to the United States from the Netherlands 7 years ago on a full scholarship as a D1 Athlete (Tennis). I moved to Austin, Texas, to be at the center of all things tech and innovation and for an environment that favors forward thinking.
Kulsoom: How did you get into the Social Media World? What inspired you to become a Consultant/strategist?
Milou: Honestly, I always knew I wanted to be in social media. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), every marketing agency I applied to out of college ghosted me. So, I decided to build my own. I was hungry, ambitious, and ready to take on the marketing world. Now, I run a multi-six-figure marketing agency with a team that I love. I created the work environment I sought for myself and everyone who works for me; that is something I’m extremely proud of.
Kulsoom: What were the struggles you faced at the start of your professional journey, and how did you overcome them?
Milou: I had two major struggles in my career thus far (and I’m sure there will be more). The first is the struggle every entrepreneur faces when they start their business, getting their first few clients. I funded my dream of Simply Media & Advertising by supplementing my income with Instacart and Uber Eats until I had enough experience and clients to raise my prices.
The second challenge was scaling. Advertising was my world, but I knew if I wanted to grow, I needed a team. I had no experience in leadership, delegating, or building a team-based foundation. I needed help. So, I took perhaps one of the biggest leaps in my business and sought guidance, hired a master in business operations, and made massive changes that have enabled me to be where I am today AND plan for a massive expansion in 2024.
Kulsoom: How important has it become for businesses to integrate Social Media into their digital marketing strategies, and how has this trend changed over time?
Milou: I may be biased, but I firmly believe that if a business is not on social at this point, they are leaving leads and sales on the table. It’s not that a business can’t be successful without social media, but how much more successful they would be with an online brand. Social media has become a go-to place to vet services and companies to build trust. With Instagram’s rollouts on SEO, people are searching for anything from hair stylists and photographers to restaurant menus and things to do near them.
Social trend shift and change as the consumer evolves. During my time running a Social Media Management Agency, we have seen a shift in consumers and audiences preferring authentic non-polished behind-the-scenes content to really connect with the creators and brands they love.
Kulsoom: As a Social Media Strategist, what advice would you give to new businesses that are just starting?
Milou: My biggest piece of advice is to know exactly what you need for your business before even looking for a social media manager. For example, pricing and services range drastically from one social media manager to the next.
Here is a quick breakdown to keep in mind:
- You need a social media manager if you already have a proven strategy and you just need someone to execute it to free up your time
- You need a social media strategist if you have not dug into your target audience and competitors or set up a content strategy
- You need a social media management agency if your business requires the WHOLE package. Such as graphics, copy, inbound and outbound engagement, and help with launches/campaigns.
Kulsoom: Who is your inspiration, both personally and professionally?
Milou: Personally, Heather Lawson-Bradfield. As I mentioned above, scaling and building a team-focused foundation was my second biggest struggle. That is when I met Heather, my COO. Aside from her helping me professionally, I have a huge amount of respect for her personally. When I met her, I thought, “Wow, she really is charging those big retainers. Maybe one day I can too.” She inspired me to aim even higher by being an example. I’m so grateful to have her in my circle.
Professionally, Sara Blakely, Spanx creator, is my inspiration. She was also a young entrepreneur who had courage enough to build her own empire without going into debt. She started in her apartment (similar to me in my dorm room). The real reason I admire Blakely is her dedication to her branding and how she infuses her personality into every creative that goes out.
I learned a lot from that and have always put my own branding first, no matter how busy we get with client work. This has led to leads, partnerships, and opportunities that I couldn’t even imagine when starting out. Sara Blakely is the definition of inspiration for a self-made woman, holding a seat in Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. I’m a lifelong fan.
Kulsoom: Stepping aside from work, how do you spend your free time? Anything in particular that helps you recalibrate and break the monotony?
Milou: Self-care has been something I’ve been working on, always. I enjoy a good spa session (floating therapy and massages!), my peloton, walking my dog, a night out with friends or family, traveling, etc. Really anything that forces me away from my phone.
Kulsoom: Now it’s time for our rapid-fire round
Rapid Fire Round
|What’s Your One Favorite Social Media Platform?||Instagram!|
|Tea or Coffee||Coffee (Double shot ;))|
|Your Ideal Travel Destination?||Last year I went to Fiji, which was on my bucket list, and I wouldn’t be mad if someone sent me to that exact same destination every year.|
And that’s a wrap! We are thankful to Milou Pietersz for her precious time and for sharing her stories and experience with our champ audience.