Photo Credit: Tanya Malott
This week in Booming, we learned more about the future of social media with self-starter and young entrepreneur Danielle Gingerich. From NYU to big brand companies, all the way to her own business, this sheBOOMer provided us with some great insight and advice on how to start your own business at a young age and pursue what you love.
Why did you decide to start your own business rather than “taking a job” when you graduated?
During my senior year at NYU, I interned at CBS and was assigned to manage the social media for Star Trek. I was challenged with the task of engaging with millions of die-hard fans each day, even though I had never seen the TV show. Fortunately, I discovered my inner “Trekkie” and managed to boost the number of followers while increasing product sales.
Upon graduation, I was on the brink of accepting an offer from the esteemed ad agency Ogilvy & Mather in NYC, when a popular Hamptons Beauty Salon asked me to manage its social media. Although I was excited to work for a large company, I realized that I had a yearning to start my own brand, as I had watched my mother profitably run her own business for years.
I turned down the offer from Ogilvy & Mather, moved back to the Hamptons, created a Facebook Page for my business, and the rest is history! I invited all of my friends and my parents’ friends to like my page (many of whom own local businesses) and I immediately had 10 clients. I have now had 50 clients in the Hamptons & NYC since I started my business, Danielle Gingerich Social Media, in June 2014. The power of social media. 🙂
What do you attribute your success to?
Hard work, dedication, a great education, and some sacrifice! I also couldn’t have done this without the help of my mentor, my mom. Her motto has always been “It’s all possible. Just do it.” And she has led by example!
What have been the high points? Low points?
I wouldn’t trade having my own business for the world, but there are many long nights. Sometimes I have been envious of my friends who have 9-5 jobs, and are able to have their evenings and weekends free. I just won Dan’s Papers Best of the Best award for Best Ad/Marketing Agency and Public Relations Firm in the Hamptons for the third year in a row! Working alone can be isolating at times, but the highs make everything worth it. I love the feeling of accomplishment, working with wonderful clients, growing as a person (I am a lot less shy and more confident than I was before), and helping businesses that I really believe in grow their followers and customers.
What advice do you have for other young women entrepreneurs?
If you have a passion or a desire to start your own business, seek advice from trusted mentors and others who have succeeded at their careers. Be cautious when sharing your ideas, as others might be tempted to copy them (this has happened to me). Try to overcome your fears and insecurities and realize that your opinions and dreams are valid and significant. Begin slowly – don’t overextend too quickly – and triple check your work. Learn from mistakes. Try to maintain a sense of humor and be positive. Don’t give up!
What do you see as the next big things in social media and PR?
I think VR and interacting with people virtually is the next big thing. Facebook recently demonstrated how the Oculus Rift (Facebook’s VR system) could be used to allow users to “meet up” in a virtual space (London, for example), jump into 360-degree photos, or even share a VR selfie. I know this is just the beginning, and much more is to come!
I feel extremely fortunate to be running a successful business at my age. I am gaining great experience about strategic planning, marketing and branding, and I am learning about myself. I encourage everyone with the drive to follow suit!
Are you a sheBOOMer? Do you know one? Tell us your story! Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org.