Online marketing can easily become a headache for any freelancer and business owner. Chelsea Matthews, founder of marketing agency Matte Black and social media workshops Social Derby has got some tips for nailing online marketing while staying sane.
Chelsea can you shortly introduce yourself, where did you grew up and what did you study ?
I grew up in San Francisco (technically, Marin after the age of 4) and trekked to Southern California for college, where I studied Communications (PR, minor in Marketing).
When you were growing up what was your dream job ?
Pretty sure that changed weekly, all I really knew is I wanted to grow into doing something for myself. Before the age of 10 though, I just wanted to be ballerina or something super girly like that.
So how did you ended into a career in marketing ?
While in college, I interned for a fashion event called THREAD. It was my first segway into offline marketing + events, and I fell hard. The next 3-4 years was all about event production and guerilla marketing, specifically in the fashion industry. When online marketing became much more relevant as a business tool, I became hooked and basically became a sponge trying to absorb as much information around digital I could.
You are the founder of LA based marketing agency Matte Black, why did you decide to launch your own agency ?
I started Matte Black in January 2013. It actually started more out of need than anything, I was running another agency prior, but things changed quickly and it was time to hit the restart button. The whole saying “one step back, two steps forward” really rang true.
The market seem saturated by marketing companies how do you differentiate from the competition ?
Marketing companies and agencies typically differentiate through two key things: people and ideas. Obviously there’s much more than that, but that’s really the core I think. We’ve also always put a lot of time and energy into forecasting and insights in the culture space, developing a report called the Shape Shift Report, which we just recently relaunched. Also, about a year or so ago I decided to build out a small content studio in our office so that we could create more original content on the fly for our clients. That’s been something that companies have really gravitated to.
What are the Social Derby workshops and who can/should attend ?
Social Derby is a one day social media workshop that we’ve been running for a little over a year. It really sprouted from the people I surround myself with – the creatives, entrepreneurs and small business owners that are constantly stumped with social media, especially from a resource ($$) perspective. So I wanted to create something that taught them all those tools – the tactics we use every day – in one day. Then it’s up to them to see it through. Regardless, its so valuable for companies big and small. Just think: you’re the CMO of a big company and you’ve been tasked with overseeing your social media team, but you’ve never handled social media personally before. How you can possibly know if you’re team is baller unless you truly understand social media for yourself? So, Social Derby serves companies big and small, whether you’re killing it at social media or just getting out of school and looking for a job.
What are your top three advice for small brands and freelancers to nail a social media content strategy ?
- Find your ‘why’
- Be consistent
And if I can add a fourth: invest in your content (even if it’s paying a photographer $200 a month to come and shoot some content for you). Trust me, it’s worth it.
What are, in your opinion, the three biggest marketing mistakes companies make and how can we fix them ?
- Setting out to create something viral. If it’s awesome, it will spread. Focus on that first.
- Bad graphic design + visuals. I’m sure no one sets out for that, they just don’t know better, but really look at the landscape and hire someone who’s really talented.
- Letting interns run their social media (sorry to all the fab interns out there!). They can certainly help and have some great writing skills and know-how, but it’s a full time job for a reason.
What does a week look like as CEO of Matte Black ?
My calendar legit scares me sometimes. But my week is typically a bit like this:
- rise and shine around 615am for a workout or just to get ahead of emails. but first, coffee. (I try not to start checking emails until i’m in the coffee line!)
- head to the office to kick off the morning with the team and plow into some immediate actionable
- meetings calls meetings calls and more meetings
- sometimes, we lunch. (ok always – I love food – but sometimes a Kind bar is all I can get in)
- post work dinner or drinks
- a little more work or going through all the flagged for follow up emails from that day.
Saturday – Sunday:
- I try to sleep in. It’s hard!
- Adventuring / chilling / brunching / hiking
- Getting the work things done I can’t get to during the week
What is your advice for somebody wanting to start a marketing career ?
Get some solid internships and build experience. And I know this is cliché, but network! Go to a ton of events, introduce yourself, be vocal about what you want and where you want to go (career-wise). People don’t know how to help you unless they know your goals.
What are you favorite apps and websites ?
Who are the three tastemakers you believe we should all follow on Instagram ?
@AndOtherStories (a brand, not a tastemaker, but always inspiring me to create)
Five fun facts about you ?
- I love adult cartoons. Like: Bobs Burgers, Bojax Horseman and Archer.
- I like my coffee dark and strong. Like 4 shots of espresso strong.
- If I wasn’t in marketing, I’d probably be in interior design or decorating. I’ve even done some side projects over the years. I love it.
- I worked at Hooters (and was once proud of it). I still cringe thinking of the initiation they put me through on the first day of work.
- My husband owns Juice Served Here, so needless to say, I drink a lot of juice.
What are the future plans and goals of Matte Black ?
We’re opening a London office, which is both totally enthralling and terrifying at the same time. That’s going to take up a lot of my attention in this next year. Otherwise, continuing to focus on building Social Derby and the Shape Shift Report.
If you could have dinner with three people who would it be and what would you talk about ? Where would it take place ?
- Where: Hotel Costes in Paris
- What we’d talk about: I would want to know every tip, insight and factoid she has about building an incredibly inspiring company that’s so versatile, perceivably nimble and endlessly respected.
- Where: Somewhere in Hoxton or Dalston (London)
- What we’d talk about: How we should start an experiential and experimental marketing company together.
- Bridgette Bardot:
- Where: Anywhere
- What we’d talk about: Who her hairdresser is (was).
Images courtesy of Chelsea