131 Consulting, a social media strategy firm, became a client of ours at the beginning of 2017 when its founder, Stephanie Cole, decided to relaunch as a full-time consulting business, as opposed to performing part-time freelance work. In short, she was going all in. My job was to make sure that when she jumped in with both feet that we had checked below the surface for any rocks – in other words, to help prepare a legal framework and contracts that would best manage any legal risks so that Stephanie only had to worry about running her business.
And that focus has definitely paid off: In its first year as a corporate entity, 131 Consulting has helped a wide-variety of businesses develop their social campaign, including two app launches, a multi-brand integration platform for several medical practices, an exponential growth strategy for a brand with a global presence, and a baseline launch for several new businesses.
As we begin 2018, one of those businesses is actually mine. I’ll admit, when Stephanie and I first began working together on my social media presence, I was a bit hesitant. But not only has she helped me think more strategically about my brand and begin generating more focused social media content, but she is also teaching me how the underlying campaigns work and how to evaluate the return on investment for every post on every social media platform. In short, Stephanie and 131 Consulting makes sure that you will be prepared to continue running an effective media campaign even after she is no longer actively consulting with you. Having worked with her over the last couple of months, I can see why 131 Consulting has had such a successful first year in business.
All of this has led to some other major firsts for 131 Consulting: The brand moved into its own office space and hired its first employee. Stephanie also joined NYWIFT (New York Women In Film & TV) and has already been added to their communications committee, as well as been asked to be a guest speaker and social media ambassador for the organization. This focus on the entertainment industry has lead 131 to launch a second arm of the company, called 2108 Media, which will be focusing entirely on brand and media strategies for the entertainment industry.
Stephanie first got her start in social all the way back in the days of MySpace. She had always been fascinated with the way the internet brought people together via chat rooms and message boards, and these new sites that tightly wove those features altogether had her hooked. But it wasn’t until the fall of MySpace and the rise of Facebook that she started to notice the value in using social to promote a brand. She was definitely one of the first adopters, stating. “I’ve been doing social media marketing since before the term even existed.”
The catalyst to that came when she was working at a nonprofit in Newport Beach, CA. “It all goes back to a bet I made with an old boss – an almost forty-year veteran of nonprofits. He didn’t think anyone was looking at social media, and let me use two fairly coveted tickets to one of our events to prove him wrong by offering them up on Twitter to the first person who showed up at our office to collect them. He gave me 3 weeks to show someone would, in fact, claim them. I got them claimed in 45 minutes.”
Lastly, Stephanie’s focused and hard-working approach has to lead to great results and is even reflected in both company names. Regarding her company’s brand names, she says “I’m a lover of half marathons and that’s where my company names come from. If you move the decimal over one place, it becomes 13.1, which is the distance of a half marathon. With 2108, it’s the same thing, just 21.08, and in kilometers!”
Starting a new business can sometimes be exhilarating, especially when you complete a big project or cross some major mile-marker, but much like training for a half-marathon, it also can have moments of tediousness and requires hard work and endurance. Stephanie has brought all of that to 131 Consulting and 2108 Media with great results, and I look forward to seeing what she does in the future.