The Social Media CEO Spotlight: Alaysha Vander Linden
Alaysha never thought she would end up as a Social Media CEO specializing in the wedding and beauty industries. But after an internship working with a wedding vendor, she quickly realized she had a knack for the social media side of the business. She was hooked, and knew her career was going to take an unexpected turn.
Fast forward a few years, and now she is the SMCEO of Linden & Co and works primarily with wedding and beauty brands. She has built up an all-star team to help her scale, and has big lofty (but totally doable!) goals this year.
Read on to learn more about Alaysha!
Tell us more about your social media business! What is your "elevator pitch"?
Linden & Co. is a boutique social media agency specializing in female-owned, service-based businesses... particularly in the wedding and beauty industries! We create impactful strategies based on relationship, connection, and trust which lead to higher conversion rates and increased buzz around our client’s brands.
How did you get started as a social media CEO? Give us a brief history, or your career trajectory --- what ultimately led you here?
I initially went to school to become a wedding planner and got an internship with a local wedding vendor assisting her with events... and her social media. The social media was a total afterthought but I got so dang good at it that people kept asking her who was managing it for her- thus the snowball of Linden & Co.! I realized I could make money and live a life of freedom through this business so I soaked up all of the knowledge that I possibly could and began offering my services to small, local businesses. It's really just grown from there!
What do you love about being a social media CEO?
I love the freedom that it allows me, and it's really taught me so many lessons that I can carry into anything else I may ever want to do. Sales, customer service, PR, design, copywriting, systems & processes, patience, trust, etc.
What is your biggest challenge as a social media CEO?
My biggest challenge is my own mindset. Remembering that the clients ARE out there, that my prices are fair, and that I'm doing a good job. However, every step forward that I take in my business leaves me feeling more secure and sure, it's a work in progress.
If you could give your younger self some words of wisdom, what would they be?
Trust your instincts, always. And remember that everything is happening for you, you just have to show up and do the work.
What are you most looking forward to in your business this year?
My big goal is to hit $10k/month and completely fill my client roster. Big, scary goals but they feel super doable! I'm just really looking forward to that feeling of being solid and in a really secure place (if that's even a thing as an entrepreneur haha).
You have gotten really clear on your ideal clients- with wedding & beauty professionals. What made you decide on these industries and how has it impacted your SMCEO business?
Well, I love love love working with service-based businesses. I'm someone that doesn't like "stuff" but I thrive on experiences and stories- which makes service-based businesses an obvious choice for me. As far as the wedding industry, I wanted to be a wedding planner and still love the industry dearly.
Wedding professionals are some of the most creative people that I've ever met, plus they always have so many stunning photos to work with! The beauty industry I actually worked in for a total of 5 years and know it like the back of my hand. The industry is fun, modern, and focuses on self-care, which I love! Getting clear on my niche has made me feel more excited about my business, and truly makes the work so much more enjoyable.
Our theme of the month is leadership. You have a team in place that supports your client accounts as well as your own business. How has leadership played a role in successfully hiring a team to help scale your business?
Outsourcing and building a team has been one of the biggest transformations in my business. My leadership style is definitely hands-off, which means it was important to find the right people. My must-haves in a team member are: common sense, the ability to know what needs to be done and doing it without me telling them to, and the desire to learn.
I make it very clear to my team that they can always come to me with any thoughts, suggestions, and even their failures. Trust and open communication on both ends creates loyalty and results... which has completely shifted my entire business in a positive way.
Give us three brands you are loving on social media right now!
@dirtybootsandmessyhair is always giving me life.
@fabfitfun is an account that I love, and I feel like they're always one step ahead of the social media game.
@businessbabesco I love their message and branding so much.
#RealTalk We like to keep it real & even though you’ve obviously been successful in your business, can you remember a time when shit hit the fan, or when something you tried failed miserably? How you were able to bounce back or what that incident inevitably taught you?
Okay so I've been practicing my sales calls because although I love people and I'm great at getting them to tell me about their business I'm not so good at actually asking for the moolah $$$ and I can be a bit too casual.
So I was on a sales call that I felt like I had in the bag, and they were being really silly and fun so I was thinking "okay, they're obviously very chill, I'll match their chillness". Then after I got off the call I sent them my standard questionnaire and they expressed that they felt I could have asked these questions during the 30 minutes we had spoken, and that we simply "weren't a good fit".
I WAS #SHOOK. These chicks had been goofing off, barely paying attention, and wouldn't give me a straight answer on anything the entire call, however... major lesson learned! Always keep your biz pants on and don't be afraid to take control of the meeting.
Anything else you want to add?
Something that keeps coming up for me is the advice that I've heard so many successful people give: don't give up. That's the big difference between those that "make it" and those that don't. When shit hits the fan, which it will, you have to keep going. And then keep going again. You've got this!
WANNA HANG OUT WITH ALAYSHA AND OTHER BADASS SOCIAL MEDIA CEO’S LIKE Her?
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