I launched a special blog series to honor and champion other women in business. This is a companion service to a podcast that launched on October 1, 2020.
My intention is to share insights of lessons learned by businesswomen and also elevate their services to the greater community. The goal is to inform and inspire other women with ideas in order to empower them to grow their own business ventures.
Nicole Eller is co-founder of The Spark Social. Having graduated from Rhode Island College, with honors and a degree in management, Nicole is on a mission to help other entrepreneurs and small business owners navigate the noisy and crowded social media landscape. She brings the SPARK to social media marketing campaigns for her clients.
1. What is your business?
The Spark Social – a social first marketing agency
2. How many years have you been in business?
Going on two as The Spark
3. Why did you pick this trade in particular?
I fell into it!
8. When was your moment of realizing, “you know what, I got this!”?
Thankfully, I’ve had several reminders that my imposter syndrome was unwarranted, but my first inkling of just how skilled a communicator I’d become comes from personal tragedy. It’s a long story, but I went through a lot of loss in fall 2018. My aunt passed suddenly in Oct, my grandfather in late Nov, and I had disastrous turns in relationships with two of my siblings. It was a rough year. But through it all, I was the liaison for the rest of the family. Due to the fact most of us live spread out across the country, I communicated mostly in writing, but I found I was really very good at it. Conveying tragic details in a way that helped distant relatives understand the situation. Honestly, it may seem morbid, but it solidified my abilities in ways other validation had failed to do.
10. How do you celebrate your wins?
WINE! Usually with the the Spark team in tow lol
11. What advice would you share with someone who is thinking about, or just beginning, managing their own business?
Be open, be patient, and remember that you know nothing!
12. What surprised you the most as a business owner?
How much more there is to learn about managing people. It’s hard to strike that balance between mentor and boss.
13. How do you describe your entrepreneurial spirit?
Let’s give it a go and see what happens!
14. How do you feel about the word ambition?
15. Are you more of a every little bit counts kind of person or an all-or-nothing kind of person?
Oh gosh – so “all or nothing.” It’s both a blessing and a curse, but it’s how Alicia and I got started lol!
16. Using a scale of 1 (scardy cat) and 10 (*) as far as taking risks, where would you put yourself?
A solid 7 – just don’t ask me to skydive until I’m 80.
(*) Debbie Lawler – often called the ‘female version of Evel Knievel’ since she broke his motorcycle record:
Debbie Lawler (born December 13, 1952) is an American motorcyclist. Lawler is most noted as the first female motorcyclist to beat Evel Knievel‘s record.
17. How much time do you devote to professional development/learning each week or month?
Not enough dedicated time, but I’m always reading blogs/articles/newsletters related to many (MANY) facets of marketing. We have a whole “resources” channel dedicated to it in Slack.
18. Any suggestions on resources: books, podcasts, online learning, blogs + tools (i.e. RemembertheMilk)?
19. What is your personal / professional vision?
20. Five things to know about you:
a. How did you get the name for your business?
Alicia and I are always quick to “spark” ideas during sales meetings. Honestly, most people will walk away from a pitch with one or two new marketing ideas they can put into practice and all it costs them is the time to sit down with us. So The Spark leads to a firestorm of marketing ideas. We have a whole gamification for our website for it… once I can get my husband on coding it.
b. What is your favorite flower?
As an avid gardener, I can safely say there isn’t just one. I may have one favorite for each season, as well as a favorite scent, and then there’s flowering shrubs to consider, but honestly I fall in and out of love with flowers all the time. I move them around the yard, I use annuals in specific spots in case I hate them the next year… I installed several new flower gardens during the pandemic… I LOVE gardening.
c. Coffee or tea?
Yes. And hot chocolate – I’m very driven by my moods. I always start my day with a cup of coffee though.
d. Tahiti or Paris?
See above (the part about moods lol)
e. Are you an intention setter or goal setter?
Ummm… I’m the procrastination queen so whichever one that is. Honestly, I have to have accountability partners or I turn into a total flake. But I accept that part of who I am and try to work with it, rather than get frustrated about it.
f. Favorite quote?
It’s a bit political these days, but…
“Socialism never took root in America because the poor there don’t see themselves as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress
It’s often misattributed to John Stienbeck, but it’s actually Wright paraphrasing Stienbeck’s work. Either way, it rings true for me.
Learn more about Nicole and her business: