From Startup to Success: The Story of Katie Brinkley and Next Step Social Communications

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Have you ever wondered what makes some business leaders so successful? 

Building a successful team can be critical for the success of your business. Having a strong team with the right skills and abilities to manage different tasks within a business can help ensure that goals are achieved in a timely manner. A team is also important for fostering collaboration, innovation, and creativity, which can lead to better solutions that could not have been developed by an individual alone.

In this episode, we will be uncovering the secrets behind Katie Brinkley's success. She has been building teams for her business, Next Step Social Communications, for 18 years now. With a strategy that leverages social media and only takes an hour a week to implement, Katie has been able to amass consistent inbound leads and attract the right followers. 

We are eager to see what tips and tricks she has up her sleeve and can't wait to discuss how you can apply them to your own business - all without having to spend a ton of time or effort. 

Join us as we learn the secrets of her success!

Katie Brinkley Headshot

Katie Brinkley of Next Step Social Communications

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Atiba de Souza: Hey, everybody! Welcome back to another episode of the Build Your Team show. I am your host, Atiba. And today, I have my friend Katie Brinkley with me and listen, couple things I gotta tell you, number one, she's absolutely wonderful. We've done some stuff together. We've got something big that we're doing together that you are gonna wanna make sure you listen all the way to the end of this recording to hear about because we're doing something super amazing together.

But before we get there, we're going to be talking about her business and I love her business name. Okay, we're talking Next Step Social Communications. What's your next step with your social communications? She's here to help you, but today we're gonna be talking about how she has built her team.

And as always, Build Your Team is brought to you by Client Attraction Pros. Hey, it's time that you become the thought leader of your industry, and we're gonna help you do that and make it fast, easy, and fun.

Atiba de Souza: Katie, welcome.

Katie Brinkley: I am so glad to be here with you because as you said, we've been able to do a couple things in the past. You've been a guest on my podcast, and we've had the opportunity to talk a couple times, and now, like you said, we're working on something very exciting together. But thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to join you today.

Atiba de Souza: Oh, the pleasure is all mine. And I wanna start by going back because I know you've been in the social media game since MySpace, and I guess technically MySpace is still around. Someone told me recently. I don't know if that's still true in 2023, but I did hear that in 2022 at least. So you've been around for a while, which means that you've had some opportunity in this time to build team and grow and hire and so on and so forth.

And so I'm gonna ask you. Do you remember what was it like hiring your first team member? What was going through your mind? What were you excited and what were you nervous about?

Katie Brinkley: That's a great question and I think that too, Atiba. One, thanks for making me feel real old. But I have been doing the social media thing for about two decades now. I started back in the days of MySpace exactly like you said, helping bands with their MySpace pages cuz I worked at the radio station.

I used to be a post-game reporter for the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies here in Denver at 850 km away. And I had some pull in the radio world. So I was like, "Oh, these people need help on MySpace getting onto the radio. How can I be the bridge to that gap?

And that's when I first really saw what an incredible tool that social media can be. And who would've ever thought that it would be the behemoth of a marketing tool that it is today. Like I said, I started as a radio reporter and being on a social media, anything didn't exist. But after I moved out of radio, I moved into the corporate world of marketing.

And it wasn't until six years ago that I launched my social media agency. It was launched because I was laid off. I was never expecting to have to start my own business. And I worked for a major TV station. I was the marketing manager there and social media was part of my job in addition to doing media buys and writing scripts and all that.

But I never really thought about starting my own business. So when I was told that my position, across the entire company, the marketing manager position had been eliminated. I was like, "Well, what am I gonna do?" I was never expecting this. I love my boss. I love my perks of my job.

My job's great. I was never expecting to have to find a new job, and in my mind nothing could compare to what I had done in the past. So if it wasn't for my boss that I had at the time, she said, "Katie, you're so good at social media. I would love it if you found a way to make social media your main job."

Atiba de Souza: Wow.

Katie Brinkley: And she and I have talked since then. She's like, "You gave me way too much credit for that, Katie."

I was like, "I loved working for you. You were a great manager. And hearing you say that gave me all the confidence to go out into the world of entrepreneurship to start my own business." And this is a really long way of answering your question, Atiba. But —

Atiba de Souza: Great story! 

Katie Brinkley: At the beginning, the first three years I was working from my couch, I was working from the kitchen table, I was working from coffee shops and I was doing all of it.

And I kept hearing people say like, "Oh, well if you wanna scale, you need to hire someone." I was like, "I can't hire anyone." There's no way that I can afford to hire somebody because I can't afford to pay them. And it wasn't until social media marketing world, March of 2020 that I went there and I kept hearing all these people say about how they had a podcast and how they had a team.

And I was like, "Man, all these other people are able to do it. Why can't I?" And I walked away from that conference. I hired my very first coach, and he helped me launch my podcast and fix my pricing structure and hire my first employee. I would just wish that I would've hired that business coach sooner because I feel like I would be a lot further along in my business journey than I am now. Hiring that first employee changed everything for me.

Atiba de Souza: Wow! Number one, we talk a lot about the fact that all successful people have coaches. 

Katie Brinkley: And it's so true, Atiba. Every coach that I've had has helped me in a different aspect of my business. From that very first coach that got me like, "All right, well, start a podcast. You come from radio. What do you mean you don't have a podcast already?" But all of every single coach that I've had has helped me with a different part of the business journey, and I still have a coach. I just hired my coach for 2023 and I'm so excited to work with her because she's gonna teach me things that I've learned along the way and helped me really find tool then for that next step of my business journey. So I'm right there with you. Coaches are essential for entrepreneurs.

Atiba de Souza: Y'all heard that. Katie said it, wasn't me. Katie said it. Coaches are essential for you. If you don't have a coach, if you don't have a coach, if you don't have a coach, yeah, fill in the blank. You can figure that out. You're smart enough. You're an entrepreneur. Right? But now, so that first coach also helped you with something that I think is super important because it was a juxtaposition from what I'm hearing of where you were, in that you were saying, "I can't afford to hire anyone. I don't have enough money to hire anyone." Wasn't it that you said you don't have enough work? You said you don't have enough money to hire anyone, and this coach came in and helped you fix your pricing structure.

Katie Brinkley: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: How many of us that you've seen early in business that's a big problem? We're undercharging.

Katie Brinkley: And it's so true. No matter what industry you're in, you'll still see people out there selling a thousand content pro — so I'm obviously in social media, but like a thousand content prompts for $1. It's like, "Well, you know, I'm selling a hundred content prompts and hooks for $50. Now, am I overpriced?"

 It's really hard, especially in the world of social media to not play the comparison game is to see where other people are, how much other people are charging. And even with tools like Fiber and Upwork, they're amazing. But at the same time, if you're comparing your pricing to somebody that works in a different country where the cost of living is less, you're never gonna be able to compare yourself.

And so that's one of the traps that I fell into is I was comparing like, "Okay, for a month's worth of social media, that's $400." And in all reality, all the additional tools and all the different assets that I was giving my clients was way better than some sort of copy and paste, $400 strategy that somebody from another country was putting together for who knows, maybe 400 different people. I was creating unique content and so I was undercharging.

Atiba de Souza: Yes. Yes. Okay, so I gotta ask you this. Have you read, Alex Hormozi book, $100M Offers?

Katie Brinkley: I have not.

Atiba de Souza: Okay. So number one, you got to and number two for anybody else listening out there, you guys heard me talk about it before, and I'm gonna say it again. Read that book. Because one of the things that, that he gets into is understanding value, right? And you can't compare yourself in value. You're either the most expensive or the least expensive. There's no reason to be in the middle. And if you're the least expensive, it's only a matter of time before you're out of business cuz you can't afford to do anything.

Katie Brinkley: Exactly! I remember sitting down and so nervous about showing at my prices and he was like, "Oh my God, you're really undervaluing this." And I was like, "Well, that's all that my clients can afford." And he's like, "Well, you need to get better clients then."

Atiba de Souza: Right.

Katie Brinkley: But then I was stuck in the circle of, 'Well, how can I find better clients? I don't have any time for sales calls. Because I'm so busy with all the client work." And coming full circle to hiring a team, the second that I hired someone to help me, and I wasn't asking her to create all my client's work for me, but the very first thing that I did was I used Toggl. So for the T-O-G-G-L. And it's a time tracking tool.

It's free. And I tracked how much time it was actually taking me to do all the tasks that I did every single day for three weeks. And when I would tracked all this, "Holy cow! Was I mismanaging my time?" I was going down an email rabbit hole and wasting hours doing that. My podcast that I mentioned earlier, I was thinking, "Okay, it takes me an hour a week to do these podcasts."

That's how long it took me to record it. I wasn't in including finding the guest, doing the pre-interview call, doing the research on the guests. I was also editing the podcast at that time. Then I was creating all the social graphics and then uploading it onto the — all of that was taking me about eight hours a week for one podcast, and I was like, "Well, no wonder it's taking me so long." And I wasn't even going on YouTube. I wasn't even using the video. I was only using the audio, and it was still taking me all that time because that wasn't what I was best at. So I found someone that I could outsource to, and it wasn't scary being like, "Okay, well now I guess I'm spending essentially $60 a podcast episode. Is this worth it?"

It is. It was for me. It was that I was able to get rid of $60 or spend $60 for eight hours of my time back. I was still creating those relationships with potential clients and other business leaders like yours truly over here, Atiba. And I was still able to create those connections that I wanted to with having a podcast, but I had eight hours of — that's a whole workday back.

Atiba de Souza: Yes. Yes. And so that's one of the interesting things and you kind of touched it there. That people don't totally get when you're hiring someone, the thing that you're doing, especially when you're hiring your first groups of people is you're hiring and paying to get your time back. That's what it is. And you did one of the smartest things, the absolute brilliant things, right? There's no wonder why you're a success now. I mean, you're genius. You're brilliant. Because most people don't do this. Most people don't hire until they're overwhelmed and then they bring somebody in and they don't even know what the person needs to do.

They just say, "Go, do it." But you took the time to actually figure out what you were doing, how long it was taking, and understand what was needed, and then bring somebody into that. So that gets them even more chance of being successful, right? So how's that been for you? And I'm assuming you've repeated that structure, that process in other hires as well.

How's that translated for you in terms of being able to hire people who are one quality, and two, stay with you because that's another big thing that people worry about?

Katie Brinkley: I think you have to figure out one, what is it that you do best? That you as the business owner, what is that one thing that you do best? And for most people it's — unless you own a social media agency, it's probably not gonna be social media. It's probably not gonna be podcasting. It's probably not gonna be the books, the bookkeeping, the market. And find what is it that one part of you that you do best and that you enjoy doing the most?

So for me, it's doing the social media strategy. I love doing that part. I love building out the strategy behind every single client's post, figuring out what their voice is gonna be, what platforms are the best for them, what time of day, like what posts do the best. I love looking at the data. And I love talking to people, so I love doing the podcast.

From there, there's a lot of other parts of my business that go along with all — actually having a social media company, and that's where I found people that have their own superpowers. So I found somebody that really enjoys listening to the podcast that can edit it and can help me find other guests to come on there and really take ownership of being that podcast producer.

Because that's what they like doing the best. They love coming to work every day and they do a great job at it. Where for me, I was just kinda like, "All right, check. It's done onto the next thing." And then as I continued growing, I was like, "Okay. Well, I need someone to help me with my blogs. I need someone to help me with my emails."

So I hired somebody that she loves to write. She's like, "I wanna write books. I've always been a writer." She comes from advertising. So I hired a writer. And I can have, "Hey, I need some help writing, some social media posts, right? Hey, I need some help going through this past podcast and turning it into a blog. Can you write it? You know, clean it up and make it so it's readable." 

And she loves doing it. So find people that have important parts of your business that they enjoy doing the most that — you know what? Honestly, they do it better than you because they like doing it so much that they take ownership of that role and they just love to do it.

It doesn't matter that it's not for their business. Nikki, she's an incredible writer. She doesn't wanna start her own business though. She loves coming in and having the flexibility. So find people that have their own superpowers so that they can take true ownership of the role that they've been given in your business, and they're gonna love coming into work every day.

So I think that was one of the biggest things that I learned was taking that time to know what my superpower is, and then finding people that really wanted to take ownership of specific roles. So they do that way better than I possibly ever could.

Atiba de Souza: Yep. I love all of the conversation about superpowers. 

Katie Brinkley: I see your hat. Yeah. Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Love it. But I think it's really important what you're saying because it lends to a few things. There's one term that you use and one term that you didn't. So I'm gonna add one in if that's okay.

And you can tell me if I went too far off base, right? But the reality is what you said was, "Hey, I don't have to be the smartest person in this room. I've got my superpower and I'm gonna be the best in the room at my superpower, but it is all these other things. I don't need to be the smartest. You go be smarter than me, right? Be your best smarter than me. Go for it. Have your superpower."

And that lends to great culture. You talked about Nikki. She loves to come to work. She doesn't wanna run her own business, but she wants to write forever and she loves flexibility. Great! You're giving her that because she has the culture to exist in a place where she feels truly productive in her superpower. That's awesome.

Katie Brinkley: Yeah. And then I think that's one of the things you have to do is you build out your team. If you try and micromanage everybody, if I was constantly in there being like, "Hey, check your grammar. Did you run this through Grammarly? Did you da, da, da? And I'm like constantly looking over her shoulder.

Who wants that? And if you allow your team members, people that work with you, you might be paying them, but they work with you. If you allow them to accept ownership of their role within your company, they're gonna feel a sense of pride and want to see what they're working on succeed.

For my podcast person, she was saying, "I would really just love it if the podcast had its own social media accounts because I was sharing it from the business one." And I was like, "If this is something that you wanna take ownership of and produce the content and publish it and do it the right way and doing the commenting and make the connection", she's like, "Yeah, I really wanna have the podcast grow on social media." I was like, "Let's give it a shot. Let's see how it goes. Let's do it for about six months. See if it's worth the time and the investment. And if we're getting more downloads, we're getting more people connecting with me and following the podcast, then sure, let's see how it goes."

But if you allow your employees and your team members to really take a pride of ownership of the tasks that they do for you, they're going to want to do the best job they possibly can.

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. That's been a long standing debate here on the show. We've had guests on both sides of this. I'm super excited to hear how you are gonna weigh in on the ownership side, because I'm a big ownership person too. I'm huge into ownership and team members taking that in their own individual way, right?

In our company we actually call it becoming world class. Like, you're doing this thing, you gotta become world class at it. Period. Is that a quality that you look for when you're hiring or is it something that everyone possesses? Does everyone possess the ability to take ownership or is it innate in some people more than others?

Katie Brinkley: I think 100% it's innate in some people more than others. When I bring on more team members, I tell them like, "Look, I'm not here to be your mom. I'm here to work with you. And the better job that we all can do, the more the business will grow and the more the business grows, the more money we all make."

So this is where I don't wanna be looking over your shoulder. You're gonna know what you need to do, and you're gonna know the deadlines that you need to meet them by. And if you're not meeting them, well, why? I need to understand why. And if you just say, "Hey, the reason why I'm not gonna be able to get this video to you today is because I'm sick and I tried to show up to work for, but I can't do it."

Just over communicate. Just let me know so that again, we're a team, somebody else can step in and be like, "Hey, Darlene is sick. Does anyone else have the capacity today to finish X?" And when we all work together, we all over communicate then it makes the business better. I feel like I make it sound really easy, but it's not like I've gone through a number of people who I'm like, "All you have to do is tell me. I feel like I'm pretty understanding. Just tell me. I would've done the work. I was over here just journaling for an hour because like, I thought I had time. I would've been working on this client's project that you have on your deadline for today, and I thought was going to be done." 

So I think, that is one of the hardest things I think for a lot of people is just to say when you know when life is tough or when "Hey, something's come up", or "Hey, I need help."

And I think that some people think it is a weakness. They're, "Oh, now I'm gonna be in trouble cuz I didn't get this done." If you overcommunicate, if you take pride in what you're doing, then say like, "Hey, I need help with this." I would like to think most business owners are understanding and will want to help you get back up on your feet or say, "Hey, okay, how can I assist you?"

 The deadlines actually was just like a soft deadline. We just need, what can you get done by Friday instead? So I think that it is one of those things where it's not common in everyone. I sure wish it was. But hiring isn't easy. It takes a while to find the right people.

And I'd like to say that hiring my first employee was right after I got back from Social Media Marketing world and I hired the business coach and a week later I hired my first employee. I wish I could say it was that easy. It took me about six months to find her, but she's still with me. And it's three years-ish now. She's an important part of the business. She has a pride of ownership in what she does, and I think that's one of the biggest things is sometimes it takes a while, but if it happens too fast, then are you just rushing and hoping that you're fitting a square peg into a round hole?

Atiba de Souza: So in your hiring, are there markers that you look for or markers that you found that say this isn't a person who's gonna take ownership?

Katie Brinkley: Yeah. I think that when I just hired my most recent employee, like, I hired one person and I kind of had a weird feeling about hiring them. And they lasted two days and I was like, "I shouldn't even hired them." That was a waste of all of our time cuz I had a feeling that they weren't gonna be as invested as they had originally said they were going to be.

But when I went back through it a few weeks later with hiring my latest hire, I've said to her, I was like, "Look, video is what you love and I want you to be the best video person out there. If you see something trending, show me. I want you to take ownership of being the video person here and wanting to try new things. And if there's a course you wanna take, let me know. I'll buy it for you. I want you to be the absolute best you possibly can be and enjoy what you're doing here."

And from that moment on, she's had great communication. Anytime I say, "Hey, I wanna try this", she's been like, "Yeah, let me research it." If you let them know your expectations up front of like, "I want you to be the best, this is why I'm hiring you. And then don't just throw like, "Oh, by the way, you're also gonna be needing to do all of my email templates. By the way, you're also gonna be needing —", like, that's not what they thought they were signing up for. So let them know out the get go what you feel their superpower is. And if they're like, "Ah, you know, video might not be my thing." Then you know out right from the gate. 

Atiba de Souza: So that one young lady weeded herself out after two days. And so, we'll say thanks for that. Lesson learned, but it only took two days, fine. Have you had the experience where someone just wasn't getting it. You need them to take ownership and there's just a disconnect. The work is okay, but it's not stellar.

It's passable, it's not reaching for higher heights, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Have you had that experience and how do you deal with that after the person's been here six months?

Katie Brinkley: I think again, it goes back to communicating. And as a business owner, you need to be willing to communicate that too. Nobody likes having those tough conversations. Nobody does. You wanna just be able like, "Yeah, you're doing amazing job. Let's keep up the great work. Those are way more fun to have."

If you do need to have those conversations of like, "Hey, videos really still are not clicking. We're making a lot of mistakes. You're having to do things two, three times." Go with a solution for them. "I went ahead and I got you this course", or, "Hey, I went ahead and found this video", or, "Hey, I went ahead and did this. Let's just hold off for about a week. I'll pay you for it. I want you to go through this course and really see if there's anything that you can apply for your task. Cuz I think it's going to help elevate the whole business by you knowing what this course is gonna teach you."

And again, that goes back to you as a business owner saying like," Look, I don't have all the answers. There's other people out there that have way better resources and solutions than I do. Let's learn from them and see how we can apply it to our business." Kind of going back to the coaches thing. You're always need to be learning.

Atiba de Souza: Yep, yep. No, absolutely. It's a great suggestion, great thing to be able to, go and say, "Hey, take this course, and so on and so forth." And I think, it also highlights something very subtly because so many times as business owners, as managers, as bosses, when there is a failure, it's very easy to point the finger and say it's you.

It's the person, it's your personality, it's something about you and you're the problem. And we teach here internally in our management training that you start by understanding the system that they're working in. Is there a problem in the system? Right? In other words, do they need some more training? Do they need something else that can help them achieve or be what it is that we want?

Do we not create the right environment for them to thrive? Let's figure the system out. If the system is right and they're doing the right things in the system, or if they're doing the wrong thing in the system, then we can correct that, right? But if they're doing the right things in the system, then maybe you have a problem with the person.

But you've gotta go through all that other stuff first. I know you've seen it. There are so many of us as business owners who are just like, "Well, I'm paying the bills and you making my money disappearing." You just going a rampage but that kills culture.

Katie Brinkley: It does. And I think that too. I think that offering additional training is probably the easiest thing to try and fix a problem. But if you have someone that's not showing up to work, is only working the bare minimum, it's time for again, a discussion that's probably not gonna be that comfortable and say, "How are things going?"

I get a lot of mixed feedback on this, so I'm curious what yours is, but I mean, I straight up, I'm like, "Do you still like working? Do you still like working here? Do you still like your job? And what's your good and what your tasks are? Are there things that you don't like? Any things you wanna that you wish you were doing more of or less of? Because I feel like the passion isn't there anymore. And —

Atiba de Souza: Yeah.

Katie Brinkley: It's not comfortable for either one of you, but if you open up that door for conversation, it's, "Oh, okay. So they actually hate doing the podcast now. That's fine. They wanna do more graphics. Okay. Let's see how their graphics are."

If we can transition them into a different position in the company and we can hire a new podcast person, somebody else that's gonna come in and enjoy doing the podcast again and wanna try new things with it and bring new life to that side of the business.

 It's sometimes is hard to have those conversations, but if somebody's worked for you and they're just not producing the work that you feel that they're capable of and it's not a training issue. I mean, we all have lives outside of our business and there's plenty of times where life is hard.

We talked about this before. We hit record here. We both have been really sick over the past few months. If all my clients were like, "Wow, she didn't respond to that email within 48 hours. That's it. We're done." 

We all have lives. I hate being sick and all I needed was just a little bit of time to get back on the mend.

So try and be understanding with people, and sometimes it's as easy as having a conversation.

Atiba de Souza: No, absolutely. It's in understanding, again, getting back to culture, right?

The culture that we're creating and the heart that you have to have. My biggest job is taking care of my staff. The two things I do, talk to clients, take care of my staff.

Katie Brinkley: Yeah.

Atiba de Souza: Right? That's it. And if I don't take great care of them, they're not gonna take great care of our clients.

Katie Brinkley: Yeah. It's true. 

Atiba de Souza: And that — go ahead.

Katie Brinkley: No, I was used to say it's so true. It's a trickle down effect. If you create a culture of I'm taking care of you, it trickles down throughout the organization and out into your clients.

Atiba de Souza: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. And if you create that culture of I'm here to take care of my staff, it also helps you check the way you communicate with them, right?

Because look, do we get frustrated? Absolutely, but sometimes they don't need that.

Katie Brinkley: And this is one of the things too is we're all trying to grow more business, grow our businesses from solopreneur to entrepreneur with small teams to whatever. And, one of the things that I've learned over this time is, one, the importance of coaches, but two, there's always people that are a couple steps ahead of you and whether you listen to them on a podcast, whether you learn from them through a YouTube video or go to a conference like you and I are gonna be going to in a few weeks or hosting a virtual conference like, what I have coming up here.

There's always someone that's doing something a little bit differently that might give you that light bulb moment, that might just be like, "Turn it on. I never thought of it that way." And so be willing to be vulnerable because again as business owners, we like to think that we have all the answers because we started our own business.

We have a better solution to what's already out there, right? Don't we? But if you make yourself vulnerable and be willing to say, "I haven't tried that before. I didn't even think about doing this, or I tried that in the past, but I didn't even have this in place to do it. No wonder I wasn't seeing results."

So be willing to be vulnerable and a lot of times, it's people that are one or two steps ahead of you, and sometimes it can even be people that are on your team that are just embracing their superpower and want to continue learning and try new things for you and your business.

Atiba de Souza: Absolutely. That's so well said. I'm gonna tell you a really, really quick story. Happened almost 25 years. So one of the many things that I did almost 25 years ago in my youth was, I was in the network marketing industry. Made quite a bit of money in the network marketing industry way back in the day.

And I remember this was early in my career and I had mentors, coaches in the business, and I just actually spoke to one of them a couple days ago, and, in this time we are in a meeting, right? We have these — and I don't know if you've been in network marketing, but they're monthly meetings and you go and people talk and they teach you stuff, and it's pretty much the same thing being taught every single month.

And I remember it was lunchtime and I went up to the two of them. They were sitting there. I said, "Let me ask you all the question, cuz I've just been here less than a year. Y'all have been here for years and y'all have made millions of dollars. Like, why are y'all still here listening to this? Like, y'all know this stuff. Like, how do you stomach this? Because I was getting bored. And I've quoted this statement so many times because it's helped me in so many different arenas of my life and my mentor at the time, one of the two of them, Dr. Keith Fisher, he turned to me and he said, "I show up and I sit and I listen to the same thing month after month after month, after month, after month. Because I never know the moment when I'm gonna hear something that's going to earn me an extra hundred thousand dollars. That's what I'm listening for." That one nugget that's gonna earn me an extra a hundred grand.

Katie Brinkley: It's so true. It's one small thing. It's one small thing that can have massive results for your business. For me, the one small thing was saying, "Maybe my prices aren't the industry average." By reevaluating my prices, I was able to get rid of the clients that weren't my ideal client.

The people that did value me in the work I was doing paid me what I was worth, and by that I was able to hire my first employee. And then by hiring my first employee, I was able to focus more on my podcast. And by having my podcast — it's a ripple effect. I'm in Denver, you see the mountains and would it be easier just to climb that mountain in one step?

Absolutely. You can drive to the top and look down and you have a beautiful view. But if you take it step by step by step, the stuff you learn and the stuff that you see along the way is so worth it. Once you get to the top and you have the view.

Atiba de Souza: Yes. So now we're talking about step by step by step. So it's time for us to also talk about Next Step Social Communications. Yes, that was a corny transition, y'all. That is the name of her business, but it just kind of worked. Okay. Come on. You all know we have some fun here. So Katie, what I'd love for you to do is, number one, tell us about Next Step Social Communications. Who you serve and how people can reach you?

Katie Brinkley: Yeah. So Next Step Social Communications is an agency where we offer done for you social media. So if you have a business that you're like, "Yep, I don't wanna do the social media, the day-to-day stuff." You bring us in. We help create the content for you. And then I also have train the teams.

So if you have a team that's in place and you're like, "Look, there's a lot of things we could be doing better with our social media. I have the people in there that can do it. We just don't know how to do it the right way." I do train the team sessions. So these are two ways that you can work with me and Next Step Social Communications.

A freeway to do that is by checking out the live virtual event which is coming up February 21 through the 24. It's four days, 40 speakers. It's 100% free. Atiba is going to be one of the featured speakers at this event, and it's four days of learning from about, maybe there's something — the day one is all about leadership and the fundamentals. So maybe there's something as a business owner that you're kind of missing the mark on. Maybe you're not delegating the right way. Maybe you haven't even thought about the personal branding side of your business. That's all covered in day one.

Day two is how to build an audience. Day three is how to create content for that audience. And day four is as sales, how to sell to that audience. It's 100% free. 40 incredible speakers, and I couldn't be more pleased to have Atiba be a part of that event because he's a rockstar and every time that he takes the mic, I am always enjoying and learning from him. Thank you again for saying that you'd be a part of it.

Atiba de Souza: Well, thank you for, number one, doing that and I wanna make sure that y'all are hearing that. Cause I told y'all that in the beginning to stay tuned to the end. Did y'all hear, free? How much does the summit cost? Free! Let me say it again. Free! Okay. It's a free summit to learn from what? 40 incredible speakers. Is it possible that you can get that one nugget that we were talking about? Listen to one of those 40. Is it possible you can get 40 nuggets and it's all for free? So make sure you show up to this. It's not about me. Katie's done an amazing job. I'm honored to be included in the lineup.

When I saw the lineup, I wrote back to her and I was like, "Oh my gosh, you have so and so." I'm like, "Wow!".

Katie Brinkley: Well, I wanted to bring in 40 experts that have a superpower in one specific area that is going to be that difference maker. It really is sometimes just one small tweak. Maybe it's something as simple as taking your LinkedIn profile and turning it into a creator profile and maybe it's something that simple, maybe it's actually starting to implement email, maybe it's starting to implement YouTube. It can be so many small things that you might have said, "Oh, well, I never even thought about that." It could take your business to that next step. So yeah, it's called Social Profit Lab, February 21 through 24. Atiba, your session I'm really looking forward to.

It's gonna be a great event. I'm really looking forward to it. And I know that there's going to be at least one session, at least one session that's really going to move the needle for your business.

Atiba de Souza: And listen to everybody. That's february 21 to 24, 2023. It's a free event. The link for it is in the show notes or if you're on YouTube, it's in the description. Go click that link. Go register right away. Don't wait. Go register right away because — look, we're gonna see each other in a few weeks, and we're gonna spend thousands of dollars to see each other in person in a few weeks to go listen to even some of the people who will be at this summit. Okay? And you're getting it for free. So just do it. Just do it. Katie, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I know we went a little bit over, but man, we were rolling in there. I didn't even realize the time had gone. Thank you so much for your time with me on the show today and blessing this audience, cuz I know they got an awful lot from you.

Katie Brinkley: Thank you so much for having me.

Atiba de Souza: It's my pleasure. All right, everybody, go click that link. We'll see you at the summit. Bye for now. 

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