Jacinta Grand teaches small business owners and startups on how to leverage the power of social media to build successful brands and grow their revenue. After spending seven years of developing profitable social media strategies for mostly Fortune 100 brands, Jacinta tells us that “although this work was often satisfying, it lacked the gravity I needed in my life to feel like I was making a positive impact in the world.”
Now, since launching Social Circle, Jacinta has a keen eye for spotting aspiring and intelligent entrepreneurs struggling to create impact for their businesses due to limited resources and knowledge. We talk to Jacinta about how her overall goal is to help inspire, educate, and empower small business owners and startups to achieve their business goals.
Hey Jacinta, can you take us through your journey to where you are now as the founder of Social Circle?
You know it’s funny I always knew I wanted to own my own business, like even before I understood what that meant. As a child, I was the one that got all the neighbourhood kids together to paint rocks and colouring books and go door to door selling them. I hosted my first tag sale (items I collected from my parent’s basement) at 8 years old.
I ultimately went to college and chose to pursue success in the old fashioned way. It landed me in New York City with a quickly moving career which very quickly got me to the six-figure mark. I had an opportunity to work with both creative and media agencies and really got to learn the ins and outs of social media when it was in its infancy. I had the opportunity to work with a lot of high profile brands like Disney, H&M, and Converse. I was excited by the work I was doing but I still had that entrepreneurial itch. Sometimes it takes a very personal moment to catapult you into your goals, and for me, that happened three years ago when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
How are you helping aspiring entrepreneurs make their dreams come true? I learned first hand, through my agency years, how powerful a tool social media can be when you have a strong strategy in place. So many entrepreneurs have great ideas and amazing business plans that unfortunately never really get to see the light of day because they struggle with finding their audience online. I love equipping aspiring entrepreneurs with the knowledge they need to properly market their business, attract their audience, and turn their followers into customers.
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years and what plans do you have in place to expand and further develop the growth of Social Circle? In the next five years, I’d like to see Social Circle grow into a full-service creative agency. Our focus will still be on small business but will have a much larger team where we can service more entrepreneurs.
What outlets do use to promote Social Circle?
I use social media, I love Instagram & Facebook for connecting with people and sharing knowledge. Pinterest is also a huge part of my marketing strategy and has been a game changer in generating more traffic to my website.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Knowing that ultimately I’m in control of my destiny and that the success of my business is a direct reflection of the level of effort and attention I’m willing to give it.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Social Circle?
My biggest challenge has been tackling the uncomfortable (but sometimes necessary) aspects of growing my business. For example, I used to be so scared to “go live”. Eventually, you learn that you just need to “do it scared” and not when it feels comfortable. When you are the face of your business, there are certain aspects that you aren’t able to farm out and sometimes those things can make you very uncomfortable – however, running from them doesn’t change the fact that they still need to get done! I know that as my business continues to grow, I’ll always have new challenges that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable. It’s all part of the process.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I love Mel Robbins! Her 5-second rule has been a game-changer for me. She talks about fear and how our brains are wired to protect us – i.e. do what’s comfortable and not what we actually need to do. I also love her stance on confidence. According to Mel, confidence is not some innate personality trait. It’s literally having the courage to do the uncomfortable. When you practice everyday courage, you feel proud, powerful, build authentic pride in yourself, and create real confidence.
How do you define your own success?
I think to define your own success, you have to get out of comparison syndrome. It’s so easy to look at other people and wish that we had the same – or worse yet, feel that we’re not successful because someone else appears to be more so. It’s important to forget about what other people are saying an/or thinking and focus on what our journey is.
In the social media world, it’s so easy to get caught up in comparison syndrome, people often measure their success by how many followers or how many likes they have on a photo. However, those are all vanity metrics. I won’t sit here and tell you that followers don’t matter because obviously, they do – but what’s more important to me than followers is how many of those followers are taking the next step and subscribing to your email list or better yet buying your products.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN is all about owning who you are and not asking for permission or begging for forgiveness. It’s about not waiting for someone else to be your hero or your mentor but actually being that hero or mentor yourself. It’s an extremely powerful message.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
2019 is a year of expansion – I’m in the process of expanding my service to include branding and web design. If you really want to move the needle with social media, it’s imperative that your branding and website are also strong. I’m excited to work with clients from the ground up – to help them envision and build a powerful brand that can be amplified with social media.