My Business Story: How I Got Started as a Social Media Content Strategist

May 03, 2021

Hey everyone!! πŸ‘‹πŸ»

Welcome. I am absolutely thrilled to be venturing into the world of blogging.

Thanks for joining me here. 

For those of you who are new around here, Hi! I’m Amber and I am a social media content strategist who has dedicated my entire business to helping other womxn who own small businesses in the creative industry. 

I love my job, I love my clients, and I especially love spilling all my social media secrets.❀️

SO if you are looking to learn all about social media content creation and small business tips, tricks, hacks you are in the right place.

For my very first blog, I wanted to give you the full run-down of my own business story. My trajectory in the social media industry is not like most, so maybe you’ll see some of your own story in there! 

Without further ado let’s get into it!πŸ‘‡πŸ»


I Started an Extremely Random College Degree 

I’m going to take you back to the beginning.

I graduated high school in 2010. I had quite a few college offers but ended up settling on something close to my hometown for the sake of my finances. 

So I ended up at the University of Southern Florida. 

Wanna try and guess what my major was? 

Hint: It has NOTHING to do with social media marketing.

I actually started going to school to become a physical therapist.

Yep! Weird right? πŸ˜‚

The truth is that graduating right at the end of the recession made job opportunities in the creative field extremely scarce, so I thought, “Why not try physical therapy? I like biology enough and anatomy, let’s give this a go.”

To make a long story short I took my very first chemistry class and walked out thinking, “there is NO WAY I can do this.” ❌


I Changed My Major

Surprise, surprise I ended up changing my major. 

And this time, I studied something waaaaaayyyy more related to what I do now. I changed my major to Business, and specifically to marketing.

And yes, although it makes way more sense for me than physical therapy, I will say that there was ZERO curriculum that covered social media at the time. I went to college from 2010 to 2013 and although social media was a thing, no one was really teaching it in schools.

I was disappointed by this huge blind spot in my education because I just KNEW there was something special about social media marketing. 

Luckily, my university had a huge research focus, so I finished that degree with a ton of research experience and a solid understanding of the math side of business which I am so grateful for to this day.


I Joined That Corporate Life

At the ripe age of 21, I landed an internship to join a corporate marketing team as a proposal writer.

To be honest, I was making WAY too much money for a 21-year-old. No wonder I got hooked on corporate life back then. πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

I don’t wanna bore you with all the ins and outs of that job, but I was basically working as a ghostwriter. I worked my way up there from an hourly temp employee, and eventually became a salaried employee. 

For those of you who’ve come from a corporate background, you already KNOW how insane working in a marketing department can be.

While I was brought on as a proposal writer, they soon started asking me to do a TON of other marketing projects: photography, graphic design projects, and so.much.more.

I went from loving my job to being completely overwhelmed by the amount of pressure being put on me. 

And not to toot my own horn, but I was GOOD at my job. In fact, I was so good at my job that they had me doing about TEN different jobs all wrapped into one. Nevertheless, it was stressful AF to say the least!

I wasn’t happy with the corporate culture, I wasn’t happy with my job and I didn’t have any creative freedom. I knew something had to change. 


I Had a Side Hustle All Along

You might be feeling like, “Okay Amber we get it, you’re just another person complaining about their 9 to 5 😴 ”

And yeah, maybe that’s true. But if you know me, you know that I am NOT a nine to five kind of gal. 

I never was!

In fact, the entire time I was working my corporate gig, I was also running a photography business. 

That’s how I kept my creative spark alive through it all. I photographed portraits, weddings, babies, families - you name it - I did it.

You see, the problem was, I had a corporate job that made me miserable, but made me enough money. And I had a creative career that made me happy, but didn’t make me enough money.

I needed to figure out how to combine the two. 

This dilemma is what led me to start freelancing in the social media marketing world. 

I had already seen the power of social media through my photography business. I was amazed at the results myself and others were getting by marketing ourselves and sharing our work on Instagram.


I Said Goodbye to Corporate

So you probably already guessed this, but I left my corporate job.✌🏻

And lemme just say, I have never ever missed it a day in my life.

Once I left corporate, I started working as the marketing manager for a small clothing boutique in Jacksonville Florida. 

Keep in mind that I still had my photography AND freelancing work on the side.

Let’s just say...the only time I was ever NOT working was when I was sleeping - and I BARELY slept.

I never had a single day off for 4 years. 

I am of course grateful that I had this opportunity that eventually got me where I am now, but that constant hustle lifestyle got old REALLY quickly.

The shift from working on a marketing team of 60 people to being the ONLY marketing person was a shock, to say the least.

In my new position, I was doing allπŸ‘πŸ» the πŸ‘πŸ» things πŸ‘πŸ».

I was flying solo doing all the social media, content creation for both photo and video content, running ads, doing outreach, running the brand ambassador program, I even worked the floor when other people didn’t show up! 

Anyone else tired just thinking about that to-do list? 😫

So while I was finally closer to marrying the creative side and the marketing side of my skill set, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be.

I still didn’t have creative control I so desperately craved. It wasn’t my brand, it wasn’t my business, I simply wasn’t invested. And THAT, my friends, is when I realized I needed to do my own thing.


I Took The Leap

Luckily, this whole career crisis happened at the exact same time that my husband and I decided to move back to our hometown in Tampa, Florida.

This gave me the perfect reason to start focusing on entrepreneurship full-time.

I’m gonna be honest with you, it was a very, very scary decision to make.

I had always had some kind of stable income that I subsidized with my freelancing endeavors.

But I knew that I didn’t go for it right then and there, I would never go for it.

It was around 2018 when on a whim, I created my current Instagram account. 

I chose the name completely randomly and I used it as an experiment.

From there I took a...non-traditional route.

Instead of saying “I’m open for business!” I started from the ground up. I wanted to find out how quickly I could gain a following using various social media marketing strategies and test out which ones got the best results.

Then, every single day I would post the results for my community to learn from.

Every day I would post something using a new tactic and I would share how many followers I had gained or lost by doing this.

After doing this for 30 days I had cultivated a completely new audience of 500 followers that were so excited to engage with my content.

And honestly guys, it was SO fun. 🀩 

I loved this project and it was what gave me the confidence to fully dive into the social media marketing world.


I Got Some Momentum

So at the beginning of 2019, I finally opened the doors to A Creative Co. (The digital doors, of course!)

I called up all my freelancing clients and told them that I was transitioning into a full-time business owner.

I lost a few clients, gained a few more, but I ended up having enough clients to make a full-time income.

When I finally matched my passions with my expertise, I actually found it easy to pick up clients quite quickly.

At this point in my business, A Creative Co. did it all.

I would shoot videos, create the content, make graphics, assist people with every kind of social platform...and guess what happened?

You guessed it - I burnt out. 😡

I was so frustrated. I was like, “UGH this is literally my dream job, why do I keep burning myself out like this. I thought I would leave burnout behind when I became a full-time freelancer.”

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

For all of 2019 working as a solo entrepreneur, I worked 14 hour days including weekends, and never took time for myself.

So yet again, I needed a change.

First thing’s first, I closed my photography business.

Yeah - remember that old thing?

I was STILL doing that while running a biz full-time. When was I supposed to work as a photographer? Who the fuck knows, but needless to say, that biz had to go.

The second thing I did was change my business model. 

I decided to focus solely on helping clients with content creation and organic social media marketing specifically for Instagram and Instagram ONLY, with the intention of growing their following.

The third thing I did was hire some experts. 

I’d already brought on an intern, but I realized I had to bring on even more team members to keep up with the growth of my business. I hired a business manager, a social media strategist, as well as went through a complete rebranding. 

I maintained this model all the way through 2020.


I Made Some Major Pivots

I was headed towards really becoming a social media agency with 40 or 50 clients with a ton of employees working under me. 

And at that point, my business growing faster than I could handle πŸ“ˆ

The more people I brought onto the team and the more clients I signed, the farther away I got from my original mission of having a small boutique business that offers personal and high-quality service.

The bigger I grew, the more expenses I had and the less I got to serve the kind of clients I LOVED working with. I didn’t want to help big corporate companies - I wanted to serve small, womxn-owned businesses!

So again - I went through a transformation.

I completely niched down, yet again, and am now ONLY working as a content strategist.

Gone are the days of designing graphics and scheduling posts.

I am completely focused on serving small business owners through helping them develop a personalized content creation strategy.

⚑ And THAT is what A Creative Co. looks like today. ⚑

What’s Next For A Creative Co. 

Here’s the thing. Even though I feel like I have FINALLY found a model that keeps me from burning out, I still have so much room to grow.

So - just this month I have started my own content journey. 

I already have a beautiful community on Instagram and TikTok and I’ve decided it’s time to branch out!

Which is why I’ve started blogging AND I’m excited to announce that I have also started a Youtube channel. πŸŽ₯

I wanted to add even more ways to share my knowledge and give back to the entrepreneurial community that I love so dearly. 

That being said, I would love for you to check out my shiny new Youtube channel. I would love it even MORE if you went ahead and subscribed to it, to stay updated on my weekly content.

I’m gonna be on there answering all your burning social media marketing questions and giving you all my best tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way.

πŸŽ‰ Can’t wait to see you there. πŸŽ‰




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