Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cheryl Lawson, Founder of Social Media Tulsa, located in Tulsa, OK, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Social Media Tulsa. We specialize in Social Media for events. I learned from planning my own social media conference for 10 years that no matter how good you are at social media, it is impossible to handle both the logistics and operations of an event, conference, or festival and also cover the event via social media effectively. We started social media teams for our own events, and now we send teams to help other events and festivals.
Tell us about yourself
I've been called a boomerang after moving back to Tulsa. I grew up in North Tulsa and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. After graduation, I attended the HBCU, Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I received a scholarship from General Motors. I worked in marketing and sales for General Motors, where I earned my MBA while living in Florida. After being recruited by Fleetwood Enterprises, I relocated to California. While in Southern California, I was part of the emerging social media community that grew from the 140 Conference and the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The economy and family aided in my boomeranging back to Tulsa. (2009-2010) Tulsa has always been home, and it is good to be back. I now live in the same home and neighborhood where I grew up. When I arrived, I didn't see a social media community here. So I started it. It's called Social Media Tulsa. What started as a community of geeks like me is now the go-to source for social media marketing know-how. If there was one piece of advice I would share, it's this. If you don't see what you want, start it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment has to be the social media conference SMTULSA that we hosted for 10 years. During the conference's 10-year run, Social Media Tulsa helped countless local businesses, entrepreneurs, and aspiring artists master social media tools and the digital web. We now bring the success we had running our own event to help other events, festivals, and local businesses tell their stories online.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is knowing when to say no. Just because you can take on extra and do that extra project doesn't mean you should. Burnout is real for entrepreneurs; we all need to take care of ourselves by not trying to be superheroes.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get a good Attorney: Make sure your business structure and your contracts are solid. Copywriting and Trademarks should also be considered early on.
- Get a good Accountant: Make sure you set your financial accounts up for success in the beginning. Don't wait until tax time.
- Get a good digital marketing team: I'm a little biased here, but one of the things we often hear from businesses is that they are too busy doing the business to market it. Even if you start with a small team, have a plan to tell your business's story online. Schedule specific days for content creation, Create easy ways for your customers to share their experiences with your business and Empower your employees to be involved in telling your story online.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Once you have success. Share it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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