Over the past couple weeks, I have been emailing with Julie Johnson. She’s a Texas resident, avid volunteer, and a teen-entrepreneur. In less than a month, she will be launching her own social media agency–Julie Johnson Creative. Her goal is to help businesses and individuals manage their various online platforms.
Social media, ironically enough, is how we got connected in the first place. I had so many questions for her. Owning your own business and being your own boss is a dream for many of us. Julie is making that happen at just 16.
We were able to *virtually* chat about what it’s like to be in her shoes and how she got started on her business journey. Along the way, Julie also shared some of her tips for aspiring entrepreneurs and insight on current social media trends.
Finding Her Passion
Julie explained that she discovered the world of social media marketing from being a content creator. When she was looking for ways to grow her own YouTube channel, she found a community of people that worked behind-the-scenes to help creators like her. From that point on, she knew it was an industry she wanted to get into. Social media marketing seemed to be the perfect blend of content creation and helping others; two things she adored.
But, she didn’t originally see herself in that world until after college. So why now? Well, Julie explained the impact current events had on her decision: “As soon as I noticed that companies were going out of business [during quarantine], I realized they had to move online in order to survive the economic downturn. I knew a lot about social media marketing from personal experience, internships, and courses…I felt that NOW was the right time to put those skills to use.” A strong need in the market presented itself.
Upon those realizations, Julie got to work defining her target audiences and conducting market research. She started planning out exactly what her business would be and how it would work.
Building Her Business
Julie admitted that it took a while to figure out all the details; it’s not just an overnight process. At first, she expressed her biggest challenge was not knowing where to start. She reached out to others in the industry for mentorship and advice. This helped her to be able to shape her business into what it is today. Julie was able to define social media management and consulting as her two main services.
Another thing that helped in the beginning was taking on free work to build her portfolio. This has led to paying partnerships. Julie is excited to open up conversations with more clients when she launches on June 1st.
She is also looking forward to all the plans she has for Julie Johnson Creative this summer. An entrepreneurship and business based podcast is in the works. PDF guides and online courses are additional content she aims to create. Julie also expressed her excitement for hiring a team and creating internship opportunities. Be sure to stay tuned!
Keeping Motivated & Inspired
A quote Julie mentioned as her favorite was, “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.” She has reminded herself through stress and push-back that she believes in herself and has a vision for her business. Julie said her “why” is what really keeps her going; she recommends that any aspiring entrepreneur defines their “why”. Knowing why you started will be the reason you continue.
Julie also mentioned how her support system keeps her going. Initially she was hesitant to tell those close to her about her business. But, when she did family and friends congratulated her. She said she received so much support. Amazing things really can happen when you put yourself out there.
Learning While Creating
Most businesses are rapidly evolving during this time and social media always is. I was able to get an inside scoop from Julie on some trends to watch.
The first we discussed was IGTV. She described it as where YouTube meets Instagram. I believe that to be perfectly accurate. Julie said she discovered, through her work with clients, that IGTV videos reach a larger audience than just your Instagram grid. Video is growing. If you want to take advantage of it, IGTV is the place to create.
Another tip Julie shared was to utilize your Instagram stories as much as possible. According to her, “Viewers are more likely to watch your story than stalk your Instagram posts. You can also track immediate engagement on stories, including who views it.” It is good to know who is engaging with your content. It can help you define your audience.
If You Want to Start a Business…
Julie advises to think about things very realistically. It takes hard work and commitment to be an entrepreneur. You need to be aware of what you are getting yourself into. If it still seems like something you want to do, Julie says “find your passion and make a business out of it!”