SDH 010: Social Media Effectiveness with Nicole Regan

Nicole Regan is the Editor and Creative Director behind Cedar & Rush – a girl’s handbook and guide to Chicago. In addition to blogging, Nicole is a Social Media & PR Consultant; Founder of the women’s network, Garnish & Glam; and Contributor to the popular online magazine, CheekyChicago.

Following Nicole’s college degree in business finance, she began her 7-year career in Corporate America. She did well, climbed the ladder, expanded her network, but she was unhappy…

“I think my soul hurt”

She began her blog as a passion project, on the side, as a creative outlet – something she undoubtedly kept suppressed during the workday.

“There are different compartments of your life and I was very depressed in my career department”

  • Enter: Cedar and Rush (formerly known as “Great Dates in The City”)

Through her blog, networking, meeting people in PR, within companies and business owners, Nicole became exposed to the need for a Social Media consultant. She started getting experience with collaborating with other companies and getting her name out there. She leveraged her job to pay the bills while she became social media and networking savvy.

“I was going to take any opportunity I could get to get out of there”

Started getting great recognition through larger brands – companies reached out asking for help on social media. Gained experience setting up social media awareness and discovering which social media outlets work best for different companies.

Social Media Strategy: Set the expectation up front, understand the brand and the direction the business is looking to go, then execute.

“Having a definitive goal and making sure everyone is on the same page, up front.”

Nicole’s Biggest Challenge: Sales! – It’s all part of falling on your face first, but getting back in the hopper. Eventually, you feel good about yourself and you have your pitch down.

Insider’s Tip: Utilize your network to expand your client base.

“By letting people know that you’re looking for business, you immediately come to mind when something does come up for them.”

The Pitch: You learn to have the conversations upfront, asking what the client is looking for, what does it look like, what kind of story they want to tell. Understanding what they want upfront first, then you can customize your pitch and proposal to their needs.

“Whether you’re looking for love, or a job, or something else; people don’t know that you want that unless you put it out there.”

Every night before bed: Emily Ley, The Simplified Planner. Looks at everything she has outstanding at the end of the day and prioritizes what she needs to get done for the next day.

Every day is different: It’s most helpful for Nicole to schedule all her meetings in one day.

“Work smarter – not harder”

In one year: “I’ve realized so many changes in a year, it’s mind-boggling […] I want to feel confident about where I am.”

“It’s about massaging your ideas, getting out there, and getting comfortable with change”

The OSM “Oh Sh*t Moment”: Low on work over the holidays, people don’t have the budget and aren’t looking to put on new gigs. There was a little bit of a dry spell from the referrals and word-of-mouth marketing she was using. She had to step it up, get creative, reach out to her network and remind people, and do it all by herself because no one was going to do it for her.

“You just push through those low times like everything else”

Book Recommendation: The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

Advice: “There’s going to be a point in time where your life just sucks, and you feel like everyone else has got it figured out except for you, but just keep pushing through it, and I promise it’s right after those low points, that’s when all the good stuff happens.”

:: Don’t forget Twitter & Instagram! (@cedarandrush)::

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