Interview with Social Media Expert Mariella Katz, Frenzr

It’s strange, when people ask me to describe myself – most of them usually expect the standard age, education and the whole CV 360. Don’t worry, I’ll give it to you but I think there’s much more than that. One word is also not enough, but if you’d have to pull a word out of my mouth it would be – unusal. I’ll explain later why.

My story begins in Russia. I was born in Siberia in a town where the health, aeronautical or taxi industry were about the only opportunities for work. So I moved with my mother at the age of 3 to Bulgaria – where I’m a creative child, play outside until too late and live in a very full house with the rest of my family.

I was raised mainly by my grandmother and grandfather because my mom was always at work, and dad had stayed in Russia in order to provide (and still have a job).

My arrival in Canada happened at the age of 10, simply because there was not much of a future for us (as a family of 3) in Bulgaria, and Canada seemed (and was heavily advertised then) as the land of opportunities.

The first 10 years in Canada weren’t easy for me. I felt like an outsider for a long time. I knew I was different and that forced me to always try to fit in. I learned to be a cameleon then – one of the most important business skills I have today.

I got that « weirdness » out of me with creativity – I started filming Youtube tutorials on beauty, fashion and day-to-day life at the age of 15. One of my videos cumulated over 270,000 views (haha don’t attempt looking for them though, I’ve taken them down). At 16 I got into photography – hard! I was very much into street art and urban photography, later I got into portaits.

The cumulation of all this led me to study Interactive Media and Web-TV in college, later Advertising and PR in University. The when, where and how don’t really matter in this case – nor I think in any sort of digital art. You can be fully self thought and have incredible sales instinct that can land you any career.

My arrival in Canada happened at the age of 10, simply because there was not much of a future for us (as a family of 3) in Bulgaria, and Canada seemed (and was heavily advertised then) as the land of opportunities.

Mariella

Remember at the beginning of this article, I said the one word that could possibly describe me is « unusal » – now I think it would be a good time to elaborate on that.

I’ll try to put this in words the best way I can:

In my day-to-day interactions, mainly in business, I do things to challenge and be different. Social Media is all about standing out, thinking outside of the box and innovating.

The only way I can do that is if I am myself, a sticky idea. Therefore that means that I will never do « to please »  but I’ll do to « challenge » the mind (of whomever). Now (haha) this might seem a little complex to understand but let me give you an example. If you’d have to meet 5 people for a first meeting and all of them are dressed in the usual minimal chic dress code, never ask you any questions nor challenge any of your ideas… will any of them stand out? No! What if one of them wore running shoes and ripped jeans, seems to know exactly what the conversation is about, challenges you and brings new ideas to the table? Well that might be the person you’ll remember. That’s me. Not literally (although sometimes yes) but I apply this rationale to a lot of things in life. That’s how I get to be creative – by being unsual.

Company

Frenzr was born 2 years ago when I saw a need in the market. I saw a lot of entrepreneurs who didn’t have the tens of thousands of dollars for campaigns and who yet had amazing products developped with so much love, passion & commitments. I wanted to work with them. I wanted to be their digital voice – so I did.

From the beginning (in which I was clearly solo or as called in the industry, a freelancer), I knew that social media is a team effort. Alone, I couldn’t be the master of it all. So the vision has always been to be a boutique agency – a small tight knit team of creative geeks as I like to call us.

We offer full social media services to lifestyle brands. Our portfolio is quite colourful – we love working with a variety of companies that trully inspire us! We do content creation (visual and editorial), management, community growth and all of that for all social media channels.

How did you land your first client?

Our first client (who’s still a client by the way) approached me while I was still employed pre-Frenzr. She wanted me to review her products on my personal Instagram. After a long coffee chat (during which we connected on so many levels), I told her that I would with pleasure, and talk about her products. Before moving on I checked her social media networks and realized that the efforts needed to be put first on her authentic content (rather than influencer marketing). So I told her to give me her passwords and 1 month because I’d love to show her what I could do – It was free of charge, and I simply wanted to give. I won’t go into numbers but at the end of the one month she was very happy. So that’s how it all started.

I believe in giving first & receiving later. That’s what happened here.

Being social

Which social media network do you think has the biggest impact for your business?

I think all channels have their different impacts. I like to put my efforts in Instagram, Facebook & Linkedin as that’s where I’ve seen the biggest return on investment. We’re a service company and that’s important to keep in mind when taking all of this in consideration.

What’s the one platform you can’t live without?

Personally it would be Instagram. I love sharing bits and pieces of my life, entrepreneurial stories and what not – It’s another creative channel for me (other than our Frenzr Instagram of course).

You can follow me at instagram.com/ellakatzz and Frenzr at instagram.com/Frenzr

Is social media making us less social?

It depends who, for some people – I’m sure it does. For me, it would be the reverse.

That’s where I’ve met the most amazing people. When you write to me, I always answer. The conversation is always open and that’s how it should be.

Strategies, hacks & tips

How to develop a social media strategy for your business?

It’s definitely part of a much bigger conversation but here are a few guidelines:

  1. Have a visual identity. Make a moodboard – know how you want to be perceived.
  2. Who do you want to be perceived by?
  3. Find out where your audience is hiding, where do they hangout in the digital space?
  4. Start creating your content. Don’t wait until it’s perfect (because it will never be)
  5. Interact with that ideal audience. Start a conversation.
  6. Set goals. Measure. Set more goals.
  7. Improve.
5 Instagram accounts to follow?

I’d invite you to check out one of our most recent blog posts we did at Frenzr (french). Inside you’ll be able to find the 10 most inspiring accounts of Montreal (by our current taste)! A must follow for all of them! frenzr.net/blogue/top10instagrammeurs

How do you increase your engagement, and beat the algorithm?

It’s part of a much bigger conversation and there are a lot of things to be done. I’m throwing some important points and I how they’ll bring to reflection whoever will be reading this:

  1. Have fun & authentic content (put some effort into those photos, lighting is key)
  2. Be different (colours, energy, captions…)
  3. Be on top of your hashtags game! A must watch is the Facebook LIVE I did on the «Art of Crafting Your Hashtags for Instagram» facebook.com/frenzr/videos/518637238479311
  4. INTERACT – go and engage with your key audience (on a DAILY basis) + interact with all the hashtags you post with. It’s key to standout for the Instagram algorithm.
  5. Start a conversation (ask a question in your captions, ask a question on other people’s photos, bring in suggestions, etc)
  6. Provide value, inspire OR teach something.

How to get in touch?

If your company needs social media check out our website & reach out to me directly – it would be a pleasure to chat social with you: mariella@frenzr.com

If you’re interested in joining one of the monthly workshops we give (Social Media, Content Creation or Personal Branding), head over to frenzr.com/workshops and make sure you follow us on Facebook (as it’s there where we’ll first announce the dates) facebook.com/frenzr

Feel like connecting with me personally? You can follow me at instagram.com/ellakatzz – don’t be shy to let me know what you thought of this interview!

Photo: Valérie Gay-Bessette Photographie

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