In today’s episode of The Freedom Club podcast, I had the opportunity to interview global social media influencer/market Evan Kirstel, who works with some of the world’s most recognizable tech brands, to small, exciting start ups.
“So I’m helping some big brands, small brands, startups, and a lot in between on the tech, B-to-B tech world,” said Kirstel. “I’ve leveraged my audience and my point of view to help them reach their target customers.”
So, what exactly is a social media influencer?
“Well, the first part of social media is kind of evident to everyone. There are these new, obviously they’re not new anymore, social digital channels that have emerged,” Kirstel said. “As platforms for everyone and anyone, in my case it happens to be businesses, I’ll leverage social channels for business to business engagement and sales, marketing, and leadership. So that’s the social media part.”
“An influencer is also really nothing new. From the days of John Wayne smoking a Marlboro, he was an influencer,” he continued. “We know influencers on the consumer marketing side of things for eons. What’s changed is B-to-B brands. The Intels and Oraclesand IBMs of the world are now leveraging influencers to reach their target markets.”
Evan has had a remarkable journey from working in a corporate 9-to-5 job to building a side hustle out of his passion (social media) to turning that into a successful social media agency.
What advice does he have for a budding entrepreneur looking to do the same thing?
“I’d say start small. Start in a very focused way. And go step by step,” he said. “I didn’t just jump out and quit my job and yell “Freedom” and sort of run out like Braveheart onto the battlefield. I was working with two, a couple of clients on the side for a couple of years. And it was some nice residual income, but not too much and I was learning along the way and figuring out what that whole idea meant to work with clients, to have clients, to service them.”
Kirstel continues, “And sort of along the way that it could be grown into a real business. I’m sure in many cases these things remain a side hustle, they’ll remain a side project or passion project and that’s fine, too. And by the way, you’re not wedded to any single idea so if it doesn’t work out, try something else.”
“But the beauty of it is to be passionate about it and do something you’re all in on, not just for the money or just for the financial freedom.”
Speaking of freedom, what does that word mean to Evan?
“Freedom is the ultimate sense of controlling one’s own destiny,” said Evan. “And feeling that you are the master of charting your own course and you’re not really beholden to anyone but your friends, family and loved ones.”
Evan I discuss much more in the full episode, to which you can listen at the Web player above this post, or at the iTunes/Spotify/Google Play links above.