No one has ever said "I regret organizing my home", in fact, most people actually feel better after a good clean up! It's been even proven through research that people are healthier & happier when they're actively organizing their home or office space. But, what happens when you just don't have the patience or the time to organize yourself? That's when NEAT Method Providence can save your life! They're a luxury home organization service, based in Providence, Rhode Island. Their mission is to blend aesthetics with functionality while helping their clients live (or work) as efficient and stress-free as possible. We were lucky enough to #interview Stephanie Pasley, the owner of NEAT Method Providence, and she shared some behind the scenes secrets on how she uses social media content creation to promote her business online & connect with her community.
Q: Tell us a bit more about you! How did you get involved with this business?
A: I attended Bryant University as a Business Management major, Legal Studies minor and I always knew I either wanted to own a business or become a lawyer (or both!). After working in the corporate world in Account Management and Project Management for 10 years, I started working for my college roommate (fellow NEAT Method owner), as a lead organizer, for her team in Boston. After working with a multitude of clients and an array of projects, in the fast-paced event and retail industries, I was a pro at keeping all areas of my life, work, and home as organized as possible. Professional organizing was a perfect fit. After months of working closely with NEAT Method Boston, my college roommate convinced me to start my own business in Rhode Island!
Q: What's your favorite social media platform for your business, and why?
A: Instagram is my favorite social media platform for NEAT Method Providence. Not only do I find it to be one of the more user-friendly platforms but there are so many ways to engage with potential and existing clients. Some users like to scroll through the posts and some only watch stories, so we make a point to cater to both.
Q: When did you start using social media for your business?
A: As a franchise, our corporate team gives us the tools and know-how to start up our social media, but it is not a requirement. I had personally used social media and loved following businesses on different platforms, so for me, it was a no-brainer. For most NEAT Method franchises, the majority of our client base comes from word of mouth and referrals but I thought it would be the perfect way to get the word out there that this service was available in our area. I started using social media immediately. I think it is important for any business to have a social media presence in this day and age!
Q: Overall, how has social media helped your business?
A: Without social media, I'm unsure how I would have "gotten the word out" that NEAT Method is here in Rhode Island. Although the business is NEAT Method Providence, I service the entire state (and into eastern CT), so it's just not possible for me to be everywhere, all the time, marketing my business without it! I have made so many connections with partners through social media, which is a very important part of my business. Being able to connect with interior designers, realtors and other business owners throughout the state is a big deal for me growing my business here. I still don't think it can take the place of traditional face-to-face but it is a great addition.
Q: How did social media help your business during COVID-19?
A: One of the services that NEAT Method Providence has always offered is virtual organizing. In fact, my very first client here in Rhode Island was a virtual client! So it was key that I could get onto my social media platforms and remind people that we are still able to help them with their organizing needs even though we couldn't visit them in their homes. Yes, this was also done via e-mail to existing and potential clients, however, I have found that social media is a much more fun and exciting way to inform and update our clients on all of our offerings. Also, people are much more likely to scroll through our posts and click through our stories than they may be to open an email from us. With everyone at home and bored, I loved that I was able to provide informational content to anyone who either was interested in hiring us or could not afford to hire us but wanted to be able to DIY.
Q: How do you use social media to connect with your audience?
A: I like to post things on social media that are not only satisfying to look at but also informative. I like to highlight certain areas of the home or how certain products can be used. We truly are the experts in our field and we want our clients to come to us for all of their organization questions and concerns. On Facebook and Instagram, we post on our feed but also create stories with these beautiful pictures, information and products. We link as many products as we can that we use in those posts so that our audience can easily find the products and DIY if they want to. On other platforms, such as LinkedIn, we keep it more professional, offering articles that NEAT Method Providence has been featured in so others can learn more about myself and the business end of the company.
Q: Do you use social media for customer service?
A: We often poll our audience to find out what locations of the home, organization questions or products they want us to discuss. We always encourage the audience to respond or direct message us with these questions/concerns so that we can address them individually or to the group, if we think it will benefit the followers. I have found that people love to be heard and love engaging in this way. We always tell our clients that almost nothing is off limits, we have seen and organized it all!
Q: What kind of content does your business share on social media, and why?
A: We try to keep our content mostly in the business of organization and home design/decor (they often go hand in hand, which is why we work closely with a lot of interior designers). We will occasionally throw in some personal content because I have found that the audience likes to see the face behind the brand. We do have a strategy for how often we post, what content we want to show, etc. and when we need to update that we look at our analytics and ask the audience!
Q: Overall, what has been the biggest social media marketing challenge for your business?
A: The biggest challenge is keeping up with it all! Someday we may be big enough to hire on or outsource some or most of our social media but I do think that the audience wants to hear from the people who are in the trenches, doing the actual work. I do love to do it, so I don't mind. I am also very organized (as you can imagine) so I have dedicated time to plan it out and then I often rely on social media planning apps to push out the content daily/weekly so I don't have to be on all day, every day.
Q: How has social media helped you build a brand and an identity for your business?
A: Without social media, all we would have is our word of mouth, which I think is our best marketing, but you need to start somewhere! In the beginning, before we had many clients, social media got the word out, helped our audience understand who we are and what we do and took the first step in someone getting to know us in order to start to trust us. We want our clients to trust us as the expert in this field so we need for them to get to know us on both a personal and professional level in order for us to gain their trust.
Q: How do you edit your Instagram pictures?
A: We often don't! Most of the pictures you will see are shot from an iPhone with very little editing. We don't want to give off the illusion that you have to live in the perfect home, with perfect closets. The homes and spaces we organize are real homes with real people living in them! They have to stand up to many members of the family, or business, in and out of the spaces, using the spaces on a daily basis. They have to be user-friendly and function for that family or business. We don't buy unnecessary food to get the perfect pantry shot or hide half of the clothes to get a flawless closet image. Every space is custom and sometimes that means "Instagram-worthy" and sometimes, very average!
Q: What kind of tools or apps do you use for your social media management and/or content creation?
A: We use rewardStyle/LIKEtoKNOW.it to link as many products as possible in our #Instagram posts and on our LIKEtoKNOW.it account. We have used a couple of management/planning apps such as UNUM and Planoly but we are still searching for the perfect fit for us, as our business is evolving.
Q: In your opinion, what is the biggest social media marketing mistake that uprising businesses and entrepreneurs should avoid?
A: The biggest mistake, in my opinion, is to not have a plan. Sit down to figure out what your social media strategy will be. It's ok if it's small and it can always be adjusted. Then dedicate time each month to work on and plan out your posts for the month (pick your images, write your captions, decide on your hashtags). Learn about it, plan it out and it will run very smoothly!
Q: Do you have any social media marketing tips or content creation tips for rising small business owners and creative entrepreneurs hoping to use social media to grow their business?
A: I never understood the reasoning for or power of hashtags until I ran my business account! I find they are a great way for people to find you so don't be afraid to use them but do your research to ensure you are using them correctly and the ones that most apply to what you are posting about.
Q: Any additional comments you would like to add?
A: Thanks for the opportunity to discuss! We are still young (we launched in Fall 2019) and learning so much but hopefully we can help fellow entrepreneurs/business owners. Feel free to follow along with us, even if you are just a DIY-er, or just for the pretty (and real) pictures!
If you're curious to learn more about Stephanie and her business NEAT Method Providence business, you can visit her website or find her on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. You can also contact her directly at email@example.com.
Click here to read similar interviews featuring content creators & uprising entrepreneurs who share all about how social media has helped them grow their business.
Author & Editor: Sabrina Araújo Chamberlain