Maggie Fox, Founder/CEO of SocialMediaGroup
Maggie Fox’s BIO
Social Media Group is one of the world’s most highly respected independent agencies helping businesses navigate the socially engaged Web.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. What prompted you to start the Social Media Group?
Maggie: I had been using social media since the tools became widely available in 2004 or so. I was in a client meeting in early 2006 (I worked as a freelance web producer at the time) when an executive remarked that they were very interested in how companies were starting to use these tools, like blogs, to talk to their customers. It was literally a lightbulb moment. I chose the name Social Media Goup, bought the URL, got a logo and we were open for business by August of that year. Our first client, Yamaha Motor, was landed in November.
2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Maggie: I usually start the day by reading my Twitter stream and any industry news and business-focused articles that surface there or in my inbox. I also read any articles that are just plain interesting. I find it really gets me in the right expansive headspace to have a creative and engaging day. Then I’ll typically review my priorities and identify the top three things I must accomplish that day. The rest tends to be meetings, emails and talking with my team. A lot of catch-up happens in the evening after dinner, and I will usually attempt to power through email and to-do’s on the train ride home (where I’m writing this right now!).
When I’m traveling, all bets are off! I usually try to get a run in each day, and keep up with things when and where I can. I greatly enjoy the wifi-free productivity that plane rides offer.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?
4. What are your tricks for time management?
Maggie: Focus! Identify the top three things and get them done. I also have a constantly evolving to-do list broken into both tasks and follow-ups. Accountability is a massive part of what I do, so keeping track of that mission is critical!
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Maggie: Sometimes you need to just shut up and listen!
This came from a senior leader who mentored me when I was first starting out. She talked about the need to not always be ready with an answer to a problem. Instead, sometimes you just need to let people vent, get it out, and then ask them questions that help them get to the solution themselves.
She is a brilliant woman.
6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of your business for short term and long term growth?
Maggie: We have always leveraged social media successfully to market our services and our smart people. This year we will also focus on earning even more targeted mainstream media coverage, especially in trade publications. We’ll also be exploring channel sales opportunities and partnerships to accelerate our growth.
7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?
Maggie: Rebuilding our business after losing 75% of our revenue in early 2010. We kept the team together and motivated them to make it happen. It has been an amazing ride.
8. How do you achieve balance in your life?
Maggie: I’m not sure that I do!
9. Who has influenced your career the most?
Maggie: I tend to admire people from afar and episodically; I have certainly learned an incredible amount from every single one of our clients. Working with smart, accomplished people is one of the highlights of my work and I love it!
10. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?
Maggie: It’s a hard row to hoe. Make sure you (and your life partner) are ready for the ups and downs. However, there is nothing quite like building something from nothing (and motivating other people to help you do it). It is amazingly rewarding and you will never be bored if you do it right!