Hailing from NC and residing in MD/DC, young entrepreneur Alexia Clincy started her own social media company, Capitalize Social, and is making a major IMPRINT in the social media world! Learn about her successes, her new publication, and (of course) her hair story! This is an interview you definitely don’t want to miss!
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Let’s start with the basics: Name, Age, & Location.
My name is Alexia Clincy, I’m 28 years old and live in Chevy Chase, MD. I almost said ‘DC’ but I know DC natives hate that. At the end of the day I rep NC anyway.
What do you do for a living?
I help businesses and organizations understand social media and how they can use it to reach bottom line objectives. By implementing a unique social media strategy, businesses can increase visibility, maximize brand recognition, generate business, establish expertise, and manage their online reputation. Social media is an important communications tool that many do not take advantage of, or just don’t use effectively. LinkedIn has 200 million active users monthly. Facebook has 1 billion. That’s a lot of people that you can reach with your message, so it’s important to have a strategy in place. How can you reach your target audience and stand out via social network sites? How can you generate sales and measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy? I work with clients to help them answer these types of questions.
What inspired you to start the company Capitalize Social?
People always ask me how I came to start my own business. The truth, is that I was presented with an opportunity and decided to run with it. For my graduate school practicum, I worked with a local realtor to incorporate a social media strategy for his business. Within a short period of time, he gained an $800,000 home listing as a direct result of someone across the country noting his use of social media. The realtor recognized that social media made him much more marketable; and needless to say, I gained my first client! Many referrals later, I decided to turn my freelancing efforts into a business, and Capitalize Social was born.
What are some of the difficulties you may have faced in becoming an entrepreneur?
It’s not easy stepping out of your comfort zone to build something for yourself; but that’s what makes it so worth it. I’ve grown to embrace challenges. I know it sounds strange, but they force me to learn and implement new processes that in turn prepare my business for success at the next level. Some of the difficulties have been: developing the right business model, pricing and packaging my services appropriately, and trying to do everything myself. I’ve attended workshops and events to learn more about business fundamentals, and after some trial and error, came up with the business model and packaging that I have now. As my company gained visibility, I started to feel overwhelmed by everything on my plate. I had to quickly learn how to work smarter instead of harder. It can be difficult, especially for women, to recognize that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Now I delegate a lot more of my to-do list, and spend my time more wisely on the more important income-generating tasks.
Talk to us about your new publication, 10 Social Media Tips for Businesses. What inspired it to be written and what do you expect for readers to gain?
It’s important to bring value to your network connections. Most businesses and organizations develop some type of informational pdf or guide to give away to potential clients as a part of the relationship building process. In my case, I’m writing a guide that can be used by anyone interested in maximizing their use of social media. You’d be surprised how many people call social media a waste of time, when the real issue is that they’ve made no goals to which they can measure their efforts. Then there are those who spend all their time on social network sites ‘selling’ instead of actually engaging with their audience. I want to teach others the fundamentals of social media and provide them with tips that they can easily implement themselves.
Off topic, but relates to the blog all the same: Your hair! From long, to short – straight or curly, you seem to always have it looking fabulous! How long have you been natural?
Thanks! For the majority of my youth and young adult years I was very low maintenance when it came to hair. My mom has very fine wavy hair, and so I never saw her going to the salon or even straightening her own. Mine is much thicker with more curl, but of course I wanted it to be stick straight and as limp as possible (what was I thinking smh). I started getting relaxers when I was 16. Well actually, I just did them myself. One thing about me, I try to learn to do as much for myself as I can. Throughout college I had relaxed hair, but by relaxed, that means I threw the cream on my edges for like five minutes every 6 months or so. I was obsessed with having no fuzzies. People would tell me all the time that I didn’t need relaxers, but I didn’t stop using them until my senior year of college… that was 2006. I am soooo glad that I stopped. Natural hair just feels and looks so much healthier! I love that I can wear it curly or straight –my hair can do just about anything, and I love the versatility. In the last couple of years I’ve gone through the most changes ever with my hair. All of a sudden it’s like I want to try it all. First I dyed it blonde, a couple months later I cut it to about chin length, then I dyed it back black, a few months later I tried my FIRST weave (interesting experience), I took that out and wore it shoulder length for about 13 days, and then I chopped it the shortest it’s ever been. For the most part I’ve had long hair, and so this short style has taken some getting used to.
What are your three favorite products to use for your hair?
For me, the less product the better. I use 100% pure sweet almond oil to keep it moisturized. You can get it at any GNC or vitamin store. When I wore it long and curly, I loved WonderCurl products (http://www.wondercurl.com), especially Get Set Jelly. It keeps your curls in tact without being greasy or hard. And now that my hair is short, I use small amounts of TIGI rebuilding wax to manage my style.
Back in the day I used to slather grease on my hair and have it sizzling with my curling iron, but those days are long gone! I co-wash, use minimal products, and stay away from petroleum and chemicals as much as I can. Healthy hair is very important to me. Oh, I almost forgot… I started writing a book a couple years ago while I was in graduate school. I was in the gym one day and realized there weren’t many Black women working out, so I wanted to do a survey and conduct research to understand the correlation between hair and Black women not exercising as much as they should. I had it all outlined and was ready to dive in, and then my business happened! Anyway, I hope to get back to it one day.
As a business owner who focuses on helping other businesses, do you feel like your hair has to be worn a certain way to be considered professional?
I do feel as though I have to present myself and my hair in a way that is conservative in order to be considered professional -especially for first impressions. I think any style would be appropriate as long as it is neat and looks like some effort was put into it. I’ve always wanted to rock my hair in a big curly bush, but I just feel like I can’t. At the end of the day it’s all about confidence, and knowing that regardless of appearance, you bring value to your partner, client, etc. with your wealth of knowledge and experience. People get over hair and appearances when they see value and an opportunity to optimize their business and make money, that’s for sure.
There may be some up and coming entrepreneurs who are reading this right now. Any words of wisdom or advice?
Entrepreneurship takes a lot of discipline. No one’s making you get up in the morning and no one is dictating your schedule. You have to really hold yourself accountable and know why you’re in this in the first place. Without a ‘why’ to keep you going, it’s easy to let setbacks throw you off. See solutions instead of problems -learn from as many people, books and experiences as you can. I would advise everyone to read as much personal growth material as you can – The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris and The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan are great books to start with.
What are your ultimate goals in life?
My ultimate goal in life is to enjoy it. I want to continue traveling around the world. I love experiencing different cultures and ways of life. I want to be a loving wife and mother; to provide not just things, but the life lessons that will help my kids to grow up thinking differently. I find that the school system doesn’t teach kids to think for themselves. I would like to contribute to society by working with kids and young adults, maybe women specifically, to mentor them and teach them the importance of thinking for themselves and creating their own opportunities. No one is bound to their circumstance. As cliché as it sounds, I want young people to recognize that they can really have the life that they want.
Anything else you want to share?
I’d like to thank you for featuring me on your site! To all of the readers: I’d LOVE to keep the conversation going. If I can be of any assistance with social media or anything at all, please do not hesitate to reach out. I’d also love for you all to share any tips, experiences and stories that you have in regards to social media or entrepreneurship.
No, thank YOU for being so inspiring!
Feel free to email Alexia at email@example.com & connect with me on
LinkedIn: Alexia Clincy http://www.linkedin.com/pub/alexia-clincy/3a/412/71a/
And my personal Instagram account: @lex_topia