Why People and relationships matter – with Kellie Stephenson

Hi, I am Kellie Stephenson, founder of local initiative Support Local Townsville. This initiative is a promotional style platform that showcases everything we have on offer within Townsville and our greater region, it was established to be a supportive space for our local business and greater community.  The relationships and networks that this platform has created has also seen the need for in person events, every year there has been a Collaborative Christmas Luncheon and this year I introduced a mid-year event, as a place to celebrate ‘all things local’.  The events have no agenda, it is simply dedicated time for business owners and local lovers to get together and show support of each other.

I am a sole trader who predominantly offers social media marketing training, coaching and support to local businesses through consultations and workshops.  In addition to this, I also assist in the day to day operations of our concreting business and am raising three boys.

In our current climate, a lot of businesses rely on social media platforms for brand awareness. It is so important for business owners to understand effective strategy when it comes to social media marketing to ensure that they are using it to its full advantage.  With social media constantly introducing new features, business owners often become bewildered and need extra help. Marketing in the last 20 years has certainly changed, gone are the days that you just booked your yearly space in the Yellow Pages. Consumers are now privy to a lot of different information right from their phones and have the ability to easily search for competitors, so it’s up to businesses to ensure they implement the best social media marketing strategies for their demographic.

It is my belief that people ‘IN’ the business are the best people to market the business on social media platforms, this is why I encourage owners and/or their staff to learn all they can within this space.  Staying relevant, staying on brand, staying connected to your consumers is extremely important, marketing has become a digital customer service. I encourage all business owners/managers to ensure they show their face, that they form connection with their audience on social media to develop trust. In our region, people love to support local. We have a very different market from bigger cities. From my experiences consumers like to know who owns the restaurant that they dine at, they appreciate businesses who give back to their community, this all needs to form part of a businesses social media marketing plan.

I genuinely ‘give a crap’ about our local business community. I want everyone to be successful in their field and I naturally want to help people as much as I possibly can. Because of the ever evolving nature and changing trends of social media, new ideas and new skillsets are always needed in this space. Photography, videography, graphic design, market research, content creation, content planning, styling, copywriting, consumer awareness, consumer engagement, statistical analysis, there are actually so many elements within social media that are mostly taken for granted. 

If I had a magic wand, I would swing it around and ensure that social media for business is viewed in a different light to ensure that everyone valued the service element behind any social media manager or trainer/coach. Anybody transitioning or wanting to work in this space needs to ensure they enter it with the same high values so their work is valued by others.

Townsville has been amazing to my husband and myself, we both started businesses within 12 months of each other, and through putting ourselves out there and growing our networks our businesses have worked.  I am Townsville’s biggest cheerleader, there is a lot of opportunity in Townsville, it is a small country City with the big City perks!

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