A Day in the Life of Kristen Sussman: Social Media Agency Owner, Wife and New Mom

Kristen and MasonLearning to be a mom has proven to be the most challenging and rewarding experience yet, but owning and running Social Distillery comes in a close second. Our team of social media experts and advertising creatives, work with some of the best brands in the world including companies like JW Marriott, Chuy’s, theCHIVE, Spredfast and Texas Music Water. Our vision has always been to build the leading social media agency in Austin. I believe it’s possible with the help of alumni connections at the #1 ranked advertising program and amazing tech partners like Spredfast and People Pattern. It feels good knowing what we started here is indeed, as The University of Texas touts, changing the world.

As the owner of a social media agency, a new mom and a devoted wife, my days can be hectic and diverse. Providing exactly what I’ve asked for out of life—challenges, new experiences and the fulfillment of doing what I love, each and every day—requires a steady cycle of family, sleep and work, my top three priorities.

5:30 A.M. 5:50 A.M.

I hit the snooze button, convincing myself I deserved twenty more minutes of sleep. I sleepily check my calendar for meetings and glance at new emails, which motivate me to roll out of bed. My morning routine has begun: shower, breakfast and prepare bottles for daycare (a topic for another blog).

8:30 A.M.
After dropping off my boy, I arrive at the office and start my workday. Today begins with rescheduling a phone meeting to Monday, giving me more of my Friday morning back to review emails and scan the latest news. I catch up with my daily theSkimm email, learning about new hashtags like, “#FatAxl,” that started trending after Axl Rose asked Google to remove unflattering photos of him that have been used for memes. I briefly ponder ways to tie in the news to clever messaging across social before becoming distracted by recaps from Facebook’s F8 Developer conference. It’s a slippery slope.

FB Instant Articles

9:15 A.M.
I’m hooked! I’ve begun installing Facebook’s new Instant Articles plugin to Social Distillery’s WordPress site, inspired by one of my favorite resources, Jon Loomer, and his recap of all the new publishing features announced at the F8 conference. After reviewing and updating available plugin updates across our WordPress, I return to email.

9:50 A.M.
It’s time to negotiate pricing with one of our licensed technologies. Earlier in my career, I was what we call a ‘user,’ and simply enjoyed the data and insights technology provided my clients. Now as an entrepreneur, I balance the passion for the technology with the responsibilities of managing customers, partners, vendors and employees.

FB Official

11:00 A.M. (maybe?)
I review Social Distillery’s media platforms. I take gratitude in the fact that I still find time to keep an eye on these things. After clicking through a few settings, I discover that we can now verify Social Distillery’s Facebook Page. Social win! Being a Verified Facebook Page grants us a check mark next to our business name. Now we’re one step ahead of our competitors and will appear higher in search results. Thank goodness we have this social media thing down, but I guess they’ll soon follow suit after publishing this blog.

12:00 P.M.
Lunch time: I enjoy a sandwich at my desk. Usually, I schedule business meetings over lunch because it’s nice to get out of the office and I like to maximize productivity. Often, you can find me at Hi Hat Public House, meeting with potential prospects, networking with peers or recruiting talent to add to our team.

2:15 P.M.
After meeting with another social media agency CEO to discuss prospective partnerships and collaborating on a new mentoring opportunity, its time to focus on client work. Like everyone, I face the challenge of distractions and am surprised when the day is more than half over. I touch base with my team regarding services and feedback from a new client, FATCO Skincare (check ’em out!). We brainstorm ideas to improve content and engagement and formulate a plan to execute.

3:00 P.M.
With the end of the workday nearing and my procrastination guilt starting to kick in, I dive into the first draft of building a media plan for one of our clients. I’m happy that I still get my hands dirty with my favorite part of the business: the strategy. After all, it’s an exciting time to work in advertising, new media and communications.

4:45 P.M.
I schedule social media posts across my personal channels and share my recently published Business2Community piece discussing Instagram algorithm updates. Good news from our PR consultant: the article already has 288 shares. Afterwards, Shelly, our Community Manager, and I touch base regarding our internal editorial calendar. We develop interesting angles for upcoming celebrations and company hallmarks. Thought leadership, is an important part of being the face of the business.

5:30-ish P.M.
The business day is coming to a close, onward to meet my family at home for dinner. I’ll be spending the rest of the evening enjoying ice cream in bed with the latest episode of House of Cards, resting and excited for what tomorrow will bring.

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