Stephanie Olson Is Reinventing The Agency Model

Stephanie Olson - We Are Rosie - Social Stylate

Stephanie Nadi Olson’s open agency, We Are Rosie, is changing the status quo.

Social Stylate is thrilled to be working with We Are Rosie, an Atlanta-based agency that helps businesses with their traditional and digital marketing, strategy, advertising, media, and more, with an employee-first focus. We Are Rosie‘s owner and founder, Stephanie Nadi Olson, launched the company to connect people looking to work in non-traditional ways with meaningful work. Based on a client’s objectives, Stephanie assembles powerhouse teams of diverse, talented individuals who all work remotely. Why? Because she believes that work in a way which provides work-life harmony, will deliver superior results.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
Professionally, I am the owner and founder of We Are Rosie, a digital marketing agency that connects companies to expert talent. Previously I worked for media companies like Microsoft and OATH (formerly AOL). Personally, I am a wife and mother of two children and two rescue pups. As the daughter of a refugee, I whole-heartedly believe in giving back and am passionate about human and women’s rights, domestically and globally. I am heavily involved with the Atlanta Birth Center, Atlanta Humane Society, and am the founder of the Atlanta Refugee Supper Club, an organization that pairs recently resettled refugee families with American hosts for a supper club, benefiting refugees.

2. What prompted you to launch We Are Rosie (WAR)?
I was hearing from a lot of people who had absolutely incredible talent and experience, and who wanted to work in non-traditional ways. I thought that I could be the person to make this happen. I created WAR to offer our clients and consultants a human-centered way of connecting with the right teams of talent to move their business forward.

3. You went to Georgia Tech to be an engineer. When and how you did you fall in love with digital media?
Funny story actually. I went to GT to become a Biomedical Engineer. I didn’t even know what that was when I signed up for it, but it sounded mildly more appealing to me than Electrical or Mechanical Engineering. After I received two D’s during my first semester in Calculus 2 and Computer Science, I was horrified. I went to my professors and convinced both of them to change my grade to a C. Then, I promptly changed my major to Business Management to avoid those types of classes in the future. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

When I graduated from school, I was selected as the first person to go through Microsoft’s College Hire Program for their digital sales team. It was such an honor and I had the privilege of working alongside some rockstars. I never looked back.

4. Were there any challenges when starting WAR?
Only a million. There was the really basic stuff that I had no clue how to do: incorporating a company and registering it with the state, getting business insurance, registering as a certified women-owned business, negotiating a lease, marketing, hiring, sales, accounting, setting up business accounts for everything from Slack to Google to DocuSign, deciding where and when to invest money for growth, positioning, and on and on.

I tell people that I feel like I earned an unofficial MBA in my first 6 months.

I don’t say this to scare anyone away. Every single challenge was worth it and has made me stronger, faster, and smarter. Throughout all of these challenges, I have built the most incredible network of supporters, mentors, and brand advocates. Asking for help is the single most important skill any entrepreneur can have and I certainly didn’t do any of this alone.

5. How has the advertising/marketing world changed since you started in the industry?
When I first started in the industry, everything was managed service (no self-service platforms to be found) and digital teams were still working to prove their value within marketing organizations focused on traditional media. I remember meeting with an SVP of one of the largest hoteliers in the world and telling him how important remarketing would be to driving conversions. He looked me square in the face and told me he would never allow remarketing. This was in 2007. Today, he has an entire team within his organization focused on retargeting, audience segmentation, and data management.

This story illustrates the massive shift in mindset to digital. It also highlights the way data has transformed our business. With the rise of digital, we are able to learn more about consumer behavior and patterns than ever before. Marketing teams are able to harness this data to build better connections.

6. Describe a typical workday.
I don’t think I really have a typical workday. It can vary wildly from one hour to the next and certainly from day to day. For the sake of illustration, I will run down my to-do list today:
– Wake up with 5 year old’s feet all up in my face. Then our rescue mutt, Christmas, climbs up and begs for belly pets.
– Shower and get dressed while my amazing husband gets the kids fed and ready for school.
– Drop off my 2 year old at school. Read her a story before hitting the road. She cried today when I left. I almost did too.
– Call consultants who have started projects this week and see how everything is going from the car. I am always on the phone in the car, trying to tackle pieces of my to-do list.
– Breakfast with CSO and President of agency holding company. We discussed a larger partnership. Exciting!
– Meet with my Marketing team leaders to discuss updates to our strategy across all platforms.
– Review our social strategy and provide feedback.
– Begin scoping 3 new projects for new partners.
– Interview consultants wanting to enter our network on the phone.
– RSVP to my brother’s 40th birthday party.
– Introduce some people to each other who I think can do some cool shit together.
– Talk to Women In Wireless about an upcoming speaking engagement. I can’t make the date. Introduce them to one of my badass friends.
– Run to pick up my 2 year old from school as we don’t have childcare today.
– Call my Assistant from the car to discuss travel arrangements for the 3% Conference.
– Collect my 2 year old, review her art creations, drop her off with grandma. Spend 5 mins cuddling my 5 year old before heading back to the office.
– Meeting with my Operations lead and Account Management lead to discuss process improvements.
– Review research provided about Salesforce vs Bitrix24 as a pipeline management tool
WTF is this wheel of death on my computer?!? Call my husband in a panic.
– Call with friend to help her negotiate a fair rate for consulting.
– Reboot computer; wheel of death resolved.
– Internal team call for our largest client.
– Respond to inbound emails from prospective clients and consultants
– Call with one of our tech partners to share feedback for system upgrades we need to continue using their platform.
– Spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get our logo to the right size in my email signature- GAH!
– Back and forth negotiation on MSA terms for a new client.
– Planning meeting for our neighborhood Halloween Parade.
– Complete this interview
– Handwritten thank you notes to some people that really helped me out in a big way today.
– Sign up for something to bring to 5 year old’s school Halloween party.
– Catch up on 30 texts I’ve neglected throughout the day.
– Phone turned to silent.
– CRASH

7. What are your favorite work tools, websites, apps, etc.?
We love Slack and Sococo for workplace communication. I love this website Maisonette for the kiddos, I read The Hustle to keep up with the world and CNN to keep up with the news, when I can emotionally handle it. Netflix is my go-to for unwinding at the end of the day.

8. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
I am inspired by the boundless possibilities of how many lives we can touch with this business. Simply put, I want to change the world and the way people work. We’ve had so much traction since we launched and it’s really pushed me to imagine what is possible. And it’s really f*cking exciting.

9. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Take time to think about your core values as a person and ensure they are aligned with your business goals and objectives. Get advice from people smarter and more experienced than you, and then follow your gut. Ask for help.

10. Who is a #BossLady that you admire and why?
My mom, Patricia Nadi. She skipped college and jumped right into the workforce. She raised 3 kids while hustling her way up a corporate ladder that was even less friendly to female leaders than the one we experience today. She never complained and, to this day, is one of the hardest working women I know. On top of her incredible accomplishment in business, she is devoted to her children and 10 grandchildren. She’s the true definition of a boss

Just for fun…
1. I love it when Hypnotize by Notorious BIG comes on the radio.
2. Favorite thing to do in the fall: Watch football, be outside in the amazing fall ATL weather.
3. I could read Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur over and over again.
4. Longest I’ve gone without checking my email: I don’t want to answer this.

 

For more on We Are Rosie
Instagram | Linkedin | Twitter

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month x Alexis Kletjian

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Alexis Kletjian Jewelry - Social Stylate

Alexis Kletjian Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month By Donating 20% Of All Pink & Rose Gold Jewelry To Susan G. Komen

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, inspired by a client and friend who just began her battle with breast cancer, Alexis Kletjian is donating 20% of everything pink sold during the month of October to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Susan G. Komen is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives by “ensuring that all people receive the care they need, and finding breakthroughs to prevent and cure breast cancer.”

Looking for some rosy inspiration? Think pink with garnet jewels or rose gold metal in bangles, charms, and necklaces. Whether it’s a Diamond Skull Stacking Ring, a pair of Garnet Lotus Earrings, or a Snake Star Bracelet in rose gold, you can’t go wrong with any piece of Alexis’ gorgeous jewelry.

The holidays are just around the corner and it’s a good time to start thinking of gifts, birthday presents, or even a little something just because. Tell your friends, tell your mom, and tell your spouse, especially if there’s something in her gallery you’ve been coveting! Purchasing something pink from Alexis this October will not only gift something unique and truly beautiful to a loved one but will help support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the process.

Breast cancer affects people around the world, in our country, in our community, and in many cases, in our own families. Because of that, we’re dedicated to doing what we can to support those affected and those who are striving towards a cure. Your purchases and Alexis’ donations will help Susan G. Komen continue their breast cancer fight on multiple fronts, including research funding, worldwide outreach, advocacy, and community health.

Click here to shop for all things pink and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month! (Thank you, The Review Wire for the shout-out!)

Nicole Miller Philadelphia is also supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Read about it here.

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Boss Lady: Olivia Bossert

Boss Lady - Olivia Bossert - Lifestyle Photographer - Social Stylate

Interview with Marketing Photographer Olivia Bossert

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Olivia Bossert, a UK-based photographer who works with brands (like Barbour and Joules!) to help grow their audiences, sell their products and inspire their followers. In addition, Olivia offers coaching services to fellow photographers and hosts a podcast with tips for other creatives.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I’m a 26-year-old Swiss and British female fashion photographer, based in the UK. I first picked up a camera when I was 15 and accidentally stumbled on the website Flickr.com whilst working on a school art project. I have no idea why, but photography had never really occurred to me as an art medium. I’d always been creative, and loved fashion, but struggled to find a place for myself in those industries. That all changed when I found photography.

2. What prompted you to start your own business?
The need to create, mostly. I’m wired to make stuff, all the time. When I left school, I knew I wanted to study fashion photography, so that’s what I did! After finishing, I ended up focusing on the magazine I’d co-founded, “Atlas Magazine” before eventually coming straight back to where I’d started: with photography. I worked for a few companies here and there and interned as well, but the moment I was able to work for myself, I took it. I absolutely adore being my own boss, choosing the work that I take on, and running my own schedule. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

3. Your blog and podcast are huge resources for other photographers and for businesses. How do you decide what information to share so you aren’t giving away too much?
Thank you so much! That means a lot. Honestly, I don’t really hold anything back. I believe that there is more than enough work to go around for everyone. In sharing what I know, I help others, which in turn raises up the industry as a whole, and ultimately creates more work in the long run. The more you give, the more you get back. I also just really, really love sharing. Connecting with other creatives and talking about work, creativity, and life is so inspiring to me, that I wouldn’t have it any other way!

4. Earlier this summer you wrote a blog post about your decision to stop photographing weddings. Was it hard to walk away from that side of the business?
Honestly, it wasn’t. I knew very quickly that wedding photography wasn’t the right choice for me, so I walked away. Sure, I had a moment of doubt here and there, but whenever that happened, I went back to myself and got super clear about where I was going and what my goal was: to make my career as a fashion photography succeed. Going back to that goal made walking away from weddings very easy.

5. What is Olivia Bossert Photography’s most successful form of marketing?
It varies if I’m honest! Sometimes its Instagram, sometimes people find me through a Google search and read a blog post. Sometimes it’s through Pinterest. Sometimes it’s word of mouth. I think that all the marketing I do works together quite well. There’s no one thing which is better than the others.

Boss Lady - Olivia Bossert - Lifestyle Photographer - Social Stylate

6. With iPhones, editing apps, and the popularity of Instagram everyone seems to think they are a photographer. Does that affect your business at all?
No, it doesn’t. I’m highly skilled. I know how to manually take a great image. I can manipulate light, I’ve spent years honing my craft, working on composition, creating my own editing style. I love that everyone has such immediate access to photography these days! It’s wonderful that everyone gets to be so creative. But just having access to a smartphone doesn’t suddenly make you a photographer. My clients book me for my vision, my style, and for me as a business owner and person.

7. For those trying to build their personal brands, it can be hard to think of photos to take, especially when we aren’t traveling or doing anything super exciting. Any content suggestions or tips?
I’m going to make a shameless plug here, because the ebook I just released, “How To Take Beautiful Instagram Photos” has a whole chapter dedicated to popular Instagram themes and lots of ideas of photos to take! I’ve created a discount code, just for BossLady readers: BOSSLADY001.

But to get you started, I suggest trying this exercise: Pick a theme. Perhaps it’s the color blue. Grab your camera or smartphone, and head out for a walk for an hour. Along the way, keep an eye out for the color blue. What do you see? Do you notice anything new? Take photos along the way of anything and everything which inspires you. You might come away with nothing at all, but you might also randomly take an image which you otherwise never would have! It can open your eyes to something totally new.

8. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before you started your business, what would that be?
To trust myself. To go with the flow. To not worry about what other people might think, and do what works best for me, not what I think other people want me to do.

9. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Nature, without a doubt. Going somewhere new. Getting out of my comfort zone. But also, fashion! I love clothes so much. They inspire me massively.
In terms of fuel for my creativity: I need space. Time to myself. Time to reflect. Calm. Quiet. Time away from work can be hard, but always fills my creative fuel tank right up! Surrounding myself with other creative people who inspire me, that’s also incredibly inspiring.

10. Who is a #BossLady you admire and why?
Oh gosh, so many. My best friend, Anna Clark, she’s an incredible creative and human being. Estée Lalonde for being such a powerful woman. I’m loving Alex Beadon right now. Her podcast is incredible. And my mum and grandmother, always.

Just for fun…
Favorite time of day to photograph: It’s so cliché but it has to be golden hour.
One item I can’t live without: not an item, but my dog.
Photographer idol: Paolo Roversi
Cocktail of choice: I don’t drink!
This Disney princess hair I most covet: Rapunzel, always.
If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I’d be in: right where I am, now.

More about Olivia
Website | Instagram | Podcast

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3 Email Marketing Tips

Are you a business owner who’s looking to refocus your marketing strategy? A great place to start is by creating a vibrant email presence. Email marketing is a personal and effective way to speak directly to your customers. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, are constantly changing their algorithms, so email is a great way to get right in front of your readers. Your customized message will be delivered directly to their inbox so they can refer to it whenever they want, and it won’t get lost in the mix of a busy news feed.

If you’re still on the fence, according to HubSpot, “86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly.” If they’ve purchased something from you in the past, there’s an excellent chance they want to be a repeat customer. Give them that opportunity by creating engaging emails!

Here are a few tips to get you on your way:

1. Keep emails 90% educational and 10% promotional. You have something unique to share with your customers and they want to hear it. Focus on what you can show, tell, or teach your readers and they’ll love you even more, then throw in that quick promotional bit at the end and don’t forget a call-to-action! A great example is Kirna Zabete (see below). They show their customers what’s new in the store, feature call-to-actions (“shop new arrivals”), and include a promotion.

Email Marketing - Example Email Blast - Kirna Zabete

2. KISS- Keep It Short & Sweet. If you give your customers just a hint of what you want to share, it will make them interested in finding out what else you have to offer (like the latest fall fashion

3. Experiment! Creating dynamic material can be your make-or-break email marketing moment. Don’t be afraid to shake it up and try something new.

There’s more to email marketing than this short list, so if you’re interested in learning about the rest of our tips, contact us! We’ll chat about marketing strategies and help you to grow your business into exactly what you’ve been working towards.

P.S. Take a peek at this blog post on “The Email Blast Done Well” from 2012. These brands are still nailing it in email marketing.

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