We recently connected with Stephanie Riel and have shared our conversation below.
Stephanie , thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Your ability to build a team is often a key determinant of your success as a business owner and so we’d love to get a conversation going with successful entrepreneurs like yourself around what your recruiting process was like -especially early on. How did you build your team?
When I first started my business it was very much a side-hustle. I was a solopreneur and a company of one. Behind the scenes I was creating everything for clients from copy and graphics to websites, automations, public relations and more. In fact, what is now RielDeal Marketing survived that way with me working nights and weekends for the first 9 years I was in business. When I first started building my team and finding help I used sites like UpWork to build key team members like my Operations/Project Manager. And from there we’ve used tools like Upwork, Indeed, LinkedIn and our own website to find talent for our growing team. Since we’re a small business, we don’t have the same stuffy, corporate interview process that larger companies have. We seek out some information on skills and also want to get to know our potential team members, too. More than anything, I’ve learned to follow my intuition and listen to it when hiring. Be clear and specific about what we need and if the team member will be the right fit for our culture and needs. I don’t like to live with regrets, but if I do wish I would have done anything differently it is that I would have hired earlier. We don’t have to build our business alone.
Stephanie , love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
Stephanie Riel is a brand strategist and marketing consultant and the founder and CEO of RielDeal Marketing. Stephanie started her first business at the age of 22 – before she had even graduated college. Since starting that first business, she has spent more than a decade supporting everyone from small business to Fortune 10 companies in the e-commerce, health and wellness, technology, real estate, fitness, beauty, and retail industries build and grow their businesses by crafting marketing strategy that drives visibility, generates leads and nurtures those leads to convert. Stephanie has a real passion for sharing small businesses stories and helping them gain visibility and leads that turn into real customers. In her personal time she enjoys taking vacations to the beach, focusing on personal development and wellness, and soaking up every special moment with her two dogs, Hops a rescue and Teddy the Schnoodle.
How did you build your audience on social media?
As someone who’s been building a personal brand on social media for over 13 years, I know that the true way to build lasting growth on social media is slowly and with consistency. When I first started my personal brand and business I wasn’t even legal to drink. I saw an opportunity to create an online presence and I went for it. And I’ve been slowly building that basis since then organically on social media by keeping to the basics of the medium: being social. Organic social isn’t dead but it does require discipline. dedication and diligence. Many looking to build an audience on social media these days want the “quick fix” or 15-minutes of fame. This has never resonated for me. Putting in the work and effort to engage and build for the long-term has served me better over my career than any other single paid strategy.
What else should we know about how you took your side hustle and scaled it up into what it is today?
When I started what is now RielDeal Marketing, it was a side-hustle. I started my first LLC as a way to learn as much real-world marketing knowledge – by doing – as possible. I turned my first few contractor/freelancing gigs into my first full-time role and continued to take on some consulting work in my “free time”. It wasn’t easy. Heck, 12 years ago people didn’t even know what side-hustle was. Most of my friends thought I was crazy. My family did too. I just knew I loved what I was doing and wanted more of it. I actually lived the side hustle life for 9 years, working on my business and client work during my nights and weekends as I spent my “full-time” days for many years working for other companies. In 2018 I hit a pivotal point in my career and started working briefly in corporate America, where I quickly learned it wasn’t the environment for me. In 2019 my new years resolution was to go “all-in” on myself, and my business, leaving working for someone else behind and focusing on my business. As cheesy as it sounds. I’ve not looked back. January 2019 I left a cushy corporate job and had zero contracts signed. Though I had a few prospects, I had nothing solid lined up. I didn’t let that stop me, instead it fueled me to figure it out. Fast forward more than 3 years later, we’ve grown consistently each year. I now employ a team of 6 and we continue to grow and serve some incredible small businesses across the US – which is my greatest reward of all for this journey.
- Website: www.rieldealmarketing.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rieldealmarketing www.instagram.com/rieldeal
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/rieldealmarketing
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieriel/
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/rieldeal www.twitter.com/rieldealmktg
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS0Fzo37r7JHkgjRZZH1kDA
Credit: Sarah Hoag Photography