written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Mark Stevanus grew up in Cresaptown, Md., a small town just outside of Cumberland. That’s where he attended high school and developed his interest in music and played in bands. “I still play guitar every once in a while.”
In 1990, he moved to Frederick and spent about 13 years employed by the Department of Energy. “I knew I didn’t want to be a lifer in that 9-5 type environment.” Armed with the tech knowledge that he got from the job, including coding, Mark was ready to step into entrepreneurship.
He launched Conquest Web Design. Mark was drawn towards working with non-profits and was excited to work in social media. “I loved how social media worked and the whole strategy behind it — how it can take small guys and make them big. It levels the playing field.”
Social Boss was born and Conquest was sold. Now Mark shares 7 ways to grow your business with his marketing, branding and social media expertise.
1. Effective Communication
“Everyone has a story. We help businesses tell their story and help businesses brand themselves by using social media.”
2. Focus On Success
“I’m very passionate about business. I’m passionate about people. I’m passionate about the underdog and helping people succeed. I want people to succeed.”
3. Learn How To Compete
“We teach people how to use this incredible technology to get out there and compete with the big boys. It’s a phenomenal world we live in right now and there’s no excuse for not getting out there.”
4. Get Motivated
“Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. Use that time and figure these strategies out. Sometimes people need that little push — that’s where we come along.”
5. Create An Effective Social Media Strategy
“We help figure out strategies. We help figure out the week or the month — what they should be posting and what their targets are. We help them take it to the next level.”
6. Social Media Content
“We also help provide some video and things like that to use on social media — all kinds of little tools.”
7. Free Marketing Tips For Social Media Followers
“If you follow us on our website or our social media, we put out free tips as much as possible. Small businesses may not have enough money to hire us and I get that! I’m not going to put them down.”
Mark adds, “I don’t want them to not be able to grow. I want them to remember us helping them by some of our tips. As their business grows, they’ll come back to us for more help. And, that’s exactly what has happened.”
He wants your business to succeed and thrive. “Anytime we can, we’ll give free stuff away. Online videos, vlogs, social media posts — we actually go out and sometimes interview businesses about how they’ve used social media to get a leg up. Small businesses can watch those videos and learn from them.”
The Biggest Challenge Of Entrepreneurship
“To be an entrepreneur, the biggest challenge is that leap of faith and believing in yourself. Understanding that there is no overnight success. I don’t care what anyone says. There is no overnight success.”
Mark continues, “You have to grind it out. You have to hustle to make it work. There’s going to be really, really, really good times and really, really, really bad times.
Pay attention to those good times. Enjoy those good times because that’s part of the journey. Learn from the bad times.”
Mark reveals that there’s another challenge that’s specific to working in the social media realm. “It’s working with businesses that don’t understand the value of marketing — that don’t understand the value of social media and everything it can do. They just kind of float along but they don’t understand why their business is not growing the way they want it to.”
Advice Mark Would Give Himself If He Could Go Back To The Start
“Get yourself out there. You’ve got to get out and about. With technology now, there’s no excuse that your business is not seen. Especially now, with things like Facebook Live, Periscope, Podcast — there’s no reason to not get out there and let yourself be known.”
Mark advises, “Get out there more! Call it more hustle! I read a book [The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone] about getting out there 10x more than you need to. So, if you need to go to one event, get out there to ten events. Just get out there and be seen.”
Social Boss Makes A Difference
Mark absolutely loves working with non-profits. “I’m very, very passionate about non-profits. Some are very near and dear to my heart. We have kind of a side thing called Athlete’s Care.
We’re working with some special athletes, helping raise money for non-profits. One thing we do is online auctions. We have always given 100% back to non-profits.
Every year, we work with the American Cancer Society locally for their Relay of Life. They always have a radiothon. They auction things off and we help them raise money online.”
Mark’s Mom passed away from cancer, as well as many relatives. He also has family members who beat cancer. “It motivates me! I love making a difference that way!”
Social Boss also works with other local non-profits like Show Your Soft Side, an organization out of Baltimore that helps protect dogs and cats, and Platoon 22. “We go and provide free services to these non-profits for their social media.”
Mark Absolutely Can’t Do Without His Phone!
“I’m on social media so much — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat — and it’s all on the phone. Plus, the phone now has just made things so easy. I love jogging and running apps. Music..I’m a music freak. I’m listening to music all day long. I constantly have earbuds in.
Technology, as a whole, is kind of like my addiction. I’m on my phone a lot but it’s for good reason. It’s helping to get the word out and doing things.”
The Creative Captain of Social Boss Shares An Original Quote
“I’m a very positive thinker. I put some things out there. I do a Monday morning ‘kick in the ass’ on Facebook, a ‘snap on the ass’ on Snapchat. So, I love quotes. One that I live by is my own.”
Mark shares, “The true way to make a difference is to leave the world a better place than what it was when you arrived.” And, he notes, “You’ve got to focus on the good and you’ve got to focus on getting out there and doing the right things.
We’re all put on this Earth to help people. People don’t get that! We’re here to help people and to enjoy life. I tell people to cut the crap and get out there and do it!”
Ready to take your small business to the next level? Want a social media strategy that will really make a difference? Reach out to the Social Boss, Mark Stevanus, to discuss your branding, marketing and social media needs. Your success is his business!
Content provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast #053: Eric Verdi Interviews Mark Stevanus