Anna Elizabeth Sullivan
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
When I started with a degree in consumer and retail studies in college, I was really intrigued by the marketing and consumer side, like why people buy what they buy, and how to encourage sales with placement of products and words. In college, I took a job at a local boutique and had the opportunity to start their social media accounts. This was a lot of trial and error but I loved learning the ins and out and testing what works. From there, I took on freelance social media clients for local clothing stores and retailers, started teaching my own social media and personal branding workshops to classmates. After college, I knew that is what I wanted to do full time. So, I took a couple of agency jobs to gain more experience and learn more about client relations, what an RFP was, and all that jazz. About a year and a half after college, I finally launched my company, The Creative Exchange. I love my job!
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
I have found that you have to be super organized, a self starter, and super creative. In the social media world a lot is going on. Things are changing day in and day out and you have to stay on top of that. Not to mention making sure you are checking client accounts, scheduling content, taking advantage of trending topics, etc. It's seriously a lot and it's not for everyone. However, the strategy and more creative side of the job is the best and makes it all worth it!
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Currently, I am working to expand my team and gain new clients. This is such a referral type of business and that means I have to make (and take) the time to network! Not being in a larger city, it's a bit harder to connect with the clients I want my business to have. So I guess that means more travel for me!
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I love thinking outside of the box and creating very aesthetically pleasing content. My current clients are a bit more traditional and have different audience targets. However, I have been having some fun studio shoots with a couple of clients.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Within the social media world, I normally work with smaller brands and startups. However, I have really been focusing on restaurants, consumer goods, and retailers.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
With running a business full time, I am doing all the work from accounting, to new business, to scheduling social posts, and creative direction. I have come to find more tools to help automate different things, but it is still a lot. What I really find myself doing last at the end of the day (or pushing back in my to-do list) is actually scheduling content and reading more articles.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Ohh yesss, this would be great. I would love to have someone help with content creation, scheduling, and community management. These are fun at times, but once you do it everyday, almost all day, it can be a lot and really draining of your creativity. It's basically data entry.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I am happy that I created great relationships with people in college. However, after college I didn't do as much networking and meeting people, or holding relationships with the people I did meet. Like I said, my business is mainly referrals and that comes from great relationships. I feel like I just realized this and am looking for more events and networking opportunities to take advantage of. I totally slowed down in that department after college.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would love to talk to someone who runs a large creative agency. I am still wrapping my head around attracting clients outside of referrals and need some insight there on how to go about those conversations.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I am looking to work with brands and businesses on their content creation and social media presence.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
My ideal situation is working with a brand that is open to creativity and thinking outside the box. Where my team and their team are here to collaborate or let my team take free range. I would love to implement a large campaign (like I did at my old agency jobs) where we do strategy, create the content, work with influencers, run paid ad campaigns, the whole shebang! It is so rewarding when it's completed and feels so good shebang a part of the full-circle process.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
All depending on the client and their needs our prices vary. However, if someone is interested in strategy, those packages look anywhere between $750-$5,000. For monthly community management services, our pricing starts at $500 per month. Most other work is hourly rates, depending on the job.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Reading, Writing, Shooting, Seeing, Being
This member profile was originally published in June 2017.