An entrepreneur from a young age, Stephanie Cartin walked away from her corporate career to launch Socialfly, a leading social-first digital and influencer agency based in New York City. Within seven years, Socialfly has blossomed to over 30 full-time employees, helping over 200 brands including the Girl Scouts, Samsung SmartThings, NEST Fragrances, 20th Century Fox, and Univision.
Stephanie is the Co-Author of “Like, Love, Follow: The Entreprenista’s Guide to Using Social Media To Grow Your Business,” and the Co-Host of the Entreprenista Podcast. She has appeared and been featured on Bloomberg, Forbes, entrepreneur.com, Refinery29, and CheddarTV. Stephanie is also a recent recipient of the SmartCEO Brava award, which recognizes the top female CEOs in New York and a Stevie Award for Women Run Workplace of the Year. We got to sit down with Stephanie recently to talk about the mission behind Entreprenista and her own career story.
Girls in Tech: Tell us a little bit about Entreprenista’s origin story.
Stephanie Cartin: In May 2012, my cofounder Courtney and I decided to leave our corporate careers to launch Socialfly, NYC’s leading social media agency. We bootstrapped our business and, within a few years, were on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the US. Over the years, because of the success of our social media agency, we had female founders reaching out to us every week asking to meet for coffee to pick our brains. They wanted to learn how we were able to grow and scale our social media agency. We quickly realized if we were to go out to coffee with every single entreprenista who reached out, we wouldn’t have time to run our business. So, in 2018, we decided to find a way to reach and help as many female founders as possible at scale. This is when The Entreprenista Podcast was born!
The Entreprenista Podcast shares the stories and learnings of female founders and leaders. One of the first episodes featured Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, cofounder of Gilt Group, and we experienced explosive growth from there. We’re now a full service media company — in addition to the podcast, we launched a website with resources and information about the best business solutions, a blog, as well as a section where we profile women founders and leaders and share their journeys. We also have an email newsletter where our audience learns from successful female founders and leaders every Monday, a giant social following, and a private slack community and Facebook group. At the end of Q1, we’re launching our membership program where members can attend exclusive events and access valuable content. It will enable women to connect, learn, and grow together! We’re also excited to host the Entreprenista Awards later this year.
GIT: Who do you look to feature on the podcast?
SC: All of the women that we feature on the podcast are fairly accomplished in their businesses. They have all reached over $10 million in revenue and have over five employees. So, they have successes to share and lessons learned. We want to be sure they can speak to how their journeys have been and make sure other women can learn from them. One of the reasons we decided to expand beyond the podcast was because there are so many stories to share. We receive as many as 15 pitches a day, and right now, we only release one episode per week! It was important for us to find a way to share all of these incredible stories of women who were reaching out. We’ve been able to do this through our website and on Instagram. And that’s really how we started building our community into what it is today.
GIT: What is the mission behind Entreprenista?
SC: Our mission at Entreprenista is to celebrate and share the stories, lessons, and insights of women leaders who are paving the way for others, while creating a community that cultivates meaningful business connections and support. It’s really about helping women to learn from other women and sharing the tools that have made us successful in our own careers and businesses.
GIT: Can you talk a little bit how Socialfly and Entreprenista work together?
SC: All of our media is powered by Socialfly. We have a team of skilled marketers and tools from years of experience building brands through paid media, social, content etc. I’ve been focused on scaling Entreprenista into a business and media company, and now, we have so much content to share across channels that companies are coming to us looking to reach our audience. Because we have the experience running Socialfly, it’s much easier for us to serve our partners and continue to grow.
GIT: Tell us about your own experience as a female founder. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced?
SC: The biggest challenge you face when you’re passionate about solving problems is wanting to do and take on too much. It’s important to get focused and invest the right amount of time and resources into things, which is hard. You also need to make sure you have enough people around you who can execute — people who can help bring your vision to life. That means being able to delegate so that you can focus your attention on the right places. It’s very hard to let go like that.
GIT: If you could go back to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give your younger self?
SC: Never let the word “no” stop you. Always learn why and ask questions because it will help you get more information to learn and grow. There is always a reason. If you can get to the bottom of it, you can make the right adjustments to move forward.
GIT: What advice would you give to female founders at the beginning of their journey?
SC: Never be the smartest person in the room. I want to always be learning and growing, so it’s important to have people around you that you can learn from as well. Also, it’s helpful to be part of a network and community of like minded entreprenistas. I was looking for this when I first started Socialfly, and we’ve worked to create it with Entreprenista. Community is more important now than ever. I am so excited to be able to help make these connections for women and help them to grow their businesses.