“A COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT WITH A KNACK FOR GROWING SOCIAL CAPITAL.”
Alexia Clincy is a social media consultant and trainer located in Los Angeles, California. In 2012, she founded Capitalize Social, and currently serves as Executive Director, creating and executing cutting-edge social media strategies for companies and brands in a variety of fields. With a background in intercultural communication, Alexia has a passion for storytelling and delivering content that engages target audiences.
As a recognized expert in her field, she has been invited to speak to audiences of entrepreneurs, community leaders, and even federal agencies at the White House. Through interactive trainings, workshops, and seminars, she engages audiences in the fundamentals of social media, illustrating ways in which social networking sites can be used to propel marketing strategies and increase brand awareness.
What was growing up like for you?
Alexia: I grew up in Winston Salem, North Carolina in a little apartment with two young brothers. I have always been blessed with an awesome family life. We are all really really tight. After undergrad at Elon, I moved to D.C.for grad school at American University.
How did Capitalize Social get started?
Alexia: You want to know the void I had to fill when I started Cap Social?? It was not having a job! (laughs) Honestly, I was finished with grad school and I was on the computer all day trying to find a job. I was already freelancing with different clients doing their social media. There was no rhyme or reason to it at the time, just working with different people. The signs began to show about a year prior when I helped a real estate agent sell a 1.3 million dollar home from our social media strategies. After a few months of success, I thought, “Maybe I should turn this into a company!" Quite frankly, that’s exactly what I did. I knew there would be plenty of folk for me to educate and work with.
What products and services does Capitalize Social offer?
Alexia: It’s a couple different angles depending on the type of client. A lot of them are 3-6 month projects. Creating strategies for things like campaigns, tours, movies. Deciding what type of content should go out and sparking engagement. For some we do consulting, speaking with communications departments and educating them on the tools and resources that are available, and creating strategies and guiding them through. Then there are companies where we do the implementation as account managers. We just added three new people to the team and it really allows for more opportunity in our business.
Why is social media important?
Alexia: There is a number of people that might be skeptical but I think that number is decreasing. When I deal with people who don’t understand the importance of social media, it's simply a matter of breaking it down to them that it’s the same thing we’ve always been doing. It’s literally just a different set of tools. Communicating via notes is the same things as chatting on Twitter, or similar to making commercials, you can make your own advertisements on Instagram. It’s also a lot less expensive, and you’re actually able to measure what you’re doing. It takes relationship building from a one-way conversation to a two-way conversation and gives you the ability to create a community around your product, service, or message.
What’s your favorite social network and why?
Alexia: My real favorite on the nerd side is probably LinkedIn. I get so many opportunities through LinkedIn! I think I like it so much because there are a lot of little things you can do that no one really does. For more of a personal side, I would say Twitter too. That’s my every day favorite social network to use.
What's one thing you wish you knew before you started Cap Social?
Alexia: How to value the work that you do. When you first start, you go through a battle of not charging too much because you’re new and want clients. You have to make sure you are getting what you’re worth and not devaluing yourself.
What’s the difference between people who have made their dream a reality and people who haven’t?
Alexia: The only difference is action. For whatever reason, they don’t take that action. I’m sure it breaks down to fear. If there is something that you want, some people make moves and some people just keep thinking about it or making excuses. Next thing you know, that’s it for life. Time passes and you just never did it.
What are the 3 major attributes to your success?
Alexia: One, I would say curiosity. When I see things I start asking why and I start researching. Two, I love learning. If someone says a word or term that I don’t know, I immediately go look it up. Three, I would say I am always growing. I love being able to look back and say, “Wow I’m like a totally different person right now!” From reading and reflecting on experiences, from being able to see things as they’re happening and evaluate them judiciously. Committing myself to constant growth.
What frustrates you the most about today's culture?
Alexia: From a social media lens, I would say when people have false perceptions on important issues. We have a lot of violence and social injustice in our country right now. We see all of this happening, and what frustrates me is that people will argue without actually listening or processing facts.
What advice do you have for digital entrepreneurs? What’s the mindset?
Alexia: Immerse yourself in quality networking. Getting around the right people is a huge key in the tech industry. Being able to speak to people about your idea is very important. Technology has allowed most industries to be very rapidly evolving. Study your craft and educate yourself on your industry. Map our your plan and charge what you’re worth. Use your social networks strategically and responsibly. Remember these platforms are a way to impact people in many ways. It’s not just “social media,” what you say online matters.