This week's guest:
Nika Stewart, Streambank Media
Social media trailblazer, online visibility expert, cancer survivor, and national speaker, Nika Stewart has helped thousands of women promote their thought leadership and shine online. Entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, executives, politicians, and celebrities have all enjoyed increased social media popularity through the expertise of Nika and her world-class team at Streambank Media, LLC. Nika is the founder of Shine365™️, an online community that helps women enhance their social media presence and grow their businesses in a fun, supportive environment.
Nika has been a contributor to the Huffington Post, and she and her company have been featured by the global media including the BBC, NBC NY, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and USA Today. When she’s not live streaming and coaching, Nika enjoys showing off her vocal talents, either as a lead singer in a rock ‘n roll cover band (Backtrack) or as the cantor at her temple during the High Holidays.
In this episode ~
- How getting ready to get ready holds us back and the simple (and sometimes scary!) antidote for it
- Why you have to put yourself into everything you put out there
- Her solution to creating consistent and authentic social media content
- Keep an eye out mid to end of January for her next 5 day challenge
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When it comes to your social media, do you finf\dthat you keep getting ready to get ready? My guest on today's episode is Nika Stewart so get ready to shine!
It's time for the Becoming a Profitable CEO podcast and it's all about providing you with the tools to succeed on this ever-evolving business-building journey. My mission is to make sure you know you are not alone, that it is possible and that you, yes YOU, CAN do this. You matter, the world is a better place for having you in it, and your voice is needed!
I’m Teresa Cleveland and I believe we can all make a difference and that having a successful online business is one of the best, most effective ways to do that.
Let’s get to it!
Teresa: Nika Stewart, it is so good to have you here today. I have been watching you for so long in the social media world, we met through Meredith Liepelt, I think way back.
Nika: I think so.
Teresa: And actually met in person at one of Bob Burg's events.
Teresa: It's crazy. It's been so long.
Nika: Yeah. I think we've both been through many iterations, but always working in marketing and small business and kind of flexible.
Teresa: Very much so. And then we just will fall out of touch and then all of a sudden our paths cross again. And it's been really nice the way that happens. First of all, thank you so much for being here and taking the time.
Nika: My absolute pleasure.
Teresa: Can you share with our listeners who are people who are just coming up in business and facing whatever they're facing in business and we've all been there? Can you share something along your journey?
Just pick one. I know we have multiple. Just pick one that will help someone who may be facing the same thing or that thing that really helped you shift your mindset or move to the next level of your business.
Nika: Yeah, two things are coming to mind, so let me pick which would be...OK. So I think the one thing that is very relevant to anyone who feels like they're going through either a struggle or you want to grow or you're starting something. We're always looking to grow no matter where you are. We're all we may be in different places in our business, but we're all looking to grow. So we're all in a place of looking to grow.
So whatever that means for you. What I see and I know for myself and with all of my clients and all of the entrepreneurs that I've worked with, we tend to want to be ready to take the next step. Oftentimes, we do a lot of things to get ready and those things are stopping us from actually doing, taking the next step.
So we want to be better. So we'll take another course or I want to feel more comfortable going live. So I'll buy some lighting. Or maybe I need a better microphone or a new camera or I need to now take a class in writing so I have a better outline. All this stuff to get ready. And what I have discovered is oftentimes the only way to be more ready is to take a step when you are not ready and then you feel more ready. And I hate it. I wish that wasn't true, but when the only thing that will get us feeling more comfortable doing it, is doing it not feeling comfortable.
So just do it. Do it scared, do it uncomfortable, do it feeling not perfect and then you will feel a little more ready each time.
Teresa: You said that so wonderfully because that sums it up. Right? It's just do it. I remember way back when, Meredith actually, we had done some interview and we were doing it on...oh, something I don't even remember anymore. But it was that thing that, I was so nervous about it. And she said, well, you know, the worst that can happen is we'll record it. If you don't like it, we'll delete it.
Oh, my gosh. Right? And that is probably one of the greatest lessons that I've worked on, that I learned from one of my bosses. He said, Teresa, there's nothing you can break that I can't fix it.
Teresa: It's just like, oh my, how empowering, right? So I love that because it is that. Just do it. It doesn't work? It's OK. I think it's like Playdough, if you don't like it, you smash it up and you do it again.
Nika: (laughing) You smash it up. And I think as you're saying that, that's a lot of times an excuse for not going live, which is a big thing that people are doing now. It's because we think, well, once we do it, we can't fix it because it's already out there. But another thing that I've learned, especially over this last crazy year, is that the more you go on and you are not perfect, the more you actually mess up, because the truth is nobody's perfect.
Right? So our perfectly imperfect way of going out there is perfect. I don't know what all those perfect mean, but I think the more we are not perfect, the more we are human, the more we really attract the people who want to work with us. Again, very scary. And you have to get out there and do it when you're not feeling totally ready. But you will get more comfortable, never perfect. But always each time you do it you feel a little more comfortable and it's OK to do something that you can't fix, like go live because we're talking now. I can't take back the words if we were live, for example. But if I screw up and I say "oh, ugh, uh" and I look embarrassed, you're going to like me more or the right people will. So we have to get comfortable just being OK with being ourselves.
Teresa: Very much so. And for everybody listening here, today was a great example.
Teresa: When we came to do the podcast and Nika couldn't get in. It wasn't connecting her camera and then she got in and everything was fine and we're chatting and then everything on my end shut down. And then I had to come back and I was feeling that thing inside. And then we just said, let's just allow it and move on. So, yeah, just do it. I love that so much.
So, Nika, you're now Streambank Media and you're going to celebrate your 10 year anniversary in 2021.
Nika: Yeah. You mentioned that just a few minutes ago and I didn't even realize that. Ten years. Wow. Yeah!
Teresa: So that's great. And so we're sitting here, we can see each other and I could see your mind. I can just imagine that you were thinking, 'oh, there's a celebration and a party that I get to plan a 10 year anniversary.'
So in that time and I remember I loved it so much back then, it was Ghost Tweeting because you started on Twitter in social media.
Teresa: And pretty soon, it was pretty quickly, it was LinkedIn and Facebook. And you were doing all the things. Would you say that, and I know you still enjoy the Ghost Tweeting name, in that journey was there something that was helpful to you as you switched names?
Nika: Yeah, I think I would say almost the same thing, like do something when you're not ready, like feel the fear and do it anyway. I have to admit that although we outgrew ghost tweeting very quickly, like probably in the first few months of my business. It was more than Twitter, but still in the beginning, I still liked the name Ghost Tweeting. It still said what we did and I realized pretty quickly that most people said, oh, I didn't know you helped with Facebook. Oh, I didn't know you helped with LinkedIn and then Instagram and Pinterest and everything that came out. We started figuring out ways to help other people do it better or do it for them. But we were still called ghost tweeting, and I did hold onto that for too long.
And my husband became my business partner very quickly in the beginning because I wanted his help. And he said "I want to work with you, not for you" So I said yes..
So we're business partners. He's always liked the name Streambank Media. That was like our parent name from the beginning, but we never called ourselves that. But he finally convinced me that we need to have a name that matches more of what we do. We're a media company. We're not a Twitter company. I guess it was you know, I still wasn't ready, but we did it anyway. And now people don't say to us, "Oh, I thought you only did Twitter."
Teresa: Exactly, because now we know what you do. And I love your energy together. Any time I get to watch you and Rob, your husband, do things together in videos, on Facebook, all of that, it always makes me smile.
Nika: Oh, I'm glad.
Teresa: So is he on both ends then? He's on-screen with you and helps with things like that and some of the Q and A's that you guys do. I love that because you both bring this energy to it with your new Shine 365. I mean I was so excited to see that, I reached out to you. I'm like, "How did I not know you did this?" It was great when you recently did your boost on that.
Nika: Yeah, I had the best time doing, I did, I guess it was about a month or two months ago now. I launched a five-day challenge like a visibility boost for entrepreneurs and it was free. And my husband would join me once in a while on my video trainings when it was something that he was more of an expert on. So certainly I felt like for me to deliver value, he needed to come on and give his expertise. And sometimes I just really love having him there because it is a lot easier to have a conversation with someone than talk to a camera. Like this is much easier talking to you than talking to, hopefully people are listening if you're going live to it or doing a video. So it feels more comfortable when he's there and he's a funny guy. So he certainly adds humor to my shows.
And yet I have to admit, like, I want something for myself because he and I are we're partners in life and partners in business. But sometimes I want something for myself. And then I say, wait, could you join me? It would be so much. I would have so much more support if you were here with me. So I love that he will come and support me when I ask and also let me do my own thing as well.
Teresa: That's awesome. I was thinking, Phyllis Nichols over at Sound Advice Strategies, she works with her husband as well, Kelvin. And I'm thinking like sometime in the future I want to maybe do a mini-series on that. You know, people that are working with their spouses.
We couldn't have done it. Michael and I couldn't have done it. He was, that was my guy, but he was very linear thinking and I'm here and all of that. So we had a lot of shared interests, but we could have never worked together. So I love, because the people who are doing it that I see are successful at it, have much like you both where you have your own areas and all of that. But you come together and it's so nice to see that energy going back and forth.
Nika: Yeah. And it does worry me too, because I see a lot of couple-preneurs, that are couples who are out helping other people. I think the challenges we have to help people only with what we know how to do. And although there are some times where I feel like we should teach people how to run a business together, which I think we could, but I would never say we would teach people how to have a relationship because what if we got in a fight or got angry with each other? I don't want to pretend that, we need to be real.
Teresa: That is the key to everything, right? That goes back to making the mistakes and everything else. That's why people are attracted to that and why you do connect, because if you're real and it's like, oh, my gosh, if they can do it, I can do it. I tell people that I'm like, oh, my gosh, if I can do this, certainly you can do that.
Teresa: And Nika, when you talk about having your different areas and you do your thing, I'm going to do my thing. One of the things that I always enjoy, like when I see it pop up in my feed, I'm like, got to stop whatever I'm doing and go watch this. You created some videos that have different characters within each one, and I think they're hilarious. How did that come to be?
Nika: Well, I have a background and I've always had a desire to perform. So I think as an entrepreneur, one of the things that I love about being an entrepreneur and we have to remember this, is that we get to set the rules for ourselves. We get to design our own lives and design our business around our life. We also get to design our business and it doesn't have to follow rules. I heard someone say this just the other day, something like there are no rules, stop making up rules. They aren't real.
And that's really the truth, not laws. I mean, we have to follow the law, but rules are things we make up ourselves and we can do whatever we want in our business. And so in the last few years, I've been having more fun doing promotions and if I want to share value or teach something instead of just coming on and saying, here are three things for you to learn, Number 1.
My thought is why don't I sing it? Or Why don't I pretend I'm a character and teach it that way to make people laugh. I just find that it's so much more valuable to people when they can learn in an entertaining way. Plus it's so much more valuable to me because I get to run my business like it's a game and really have fun. And this year especially, I was going through cancer treatments. And so while I was laying around not feeling good, the one thing that really cheered me up and made me feel good was being creative and like, OK, if I can't get to all my work today, let me create a little video.
And then over the next week or two, when I feel OK, I'll dress up and be a character. And it was to entertain myself. But every time I put out a video, I would get people reaching out to me and telling me that it helped them in some way. So I was doing something that was really helping me get through a tough time by keeping my spirits high. And after a few of those videos and the reactions I got, I realized that I had to keep doing it for other people as well.
And it feels weird to say it, but I really, I never got so much outreach from people saying that it really helped them because, you know, when you see someone going, like you said, if you could do it, I could do it. So like people were saying, even if you could figure out a small silver lining in this icky, horrible thing that just happened to you, obviously, like I thought to myself, this little thing that happened to me is no big deal.
And so people were feeling good. So every time I had some relapse or something terrible, I would come up with something inspirational and created in a funny way and put it out. And even though I wasn't focusing on getting business or growing my business with these videos, I was I was focusing on just being inspirational to myself, keeping myself going. And I started getting clients from these videos and people reaching out and asking me to speak to their groups and be on podcasts and things like that.
And it reinforced my message around social media. And it's what I'm teaching now in my Shine membership, which is you have to put yourself into everything that you put out there. So if you're growing a business and you want to market your business on social media, most of what you're posting is about you and your life. There's a way to do it where it's not sharing private things, but you share yourself and your personality and your struggles and what you believe in and what's important to you and what you love and what you hate. That's how you attract the right clients to work with you and that's how you grow your business.
Teresa: It truly is. That has been for me, just giving myself permission. I realized, 12 years in, I realized there was still so much that I was showing up the way I was "supposed" to show up. So this shift to the purposeful CEO doing this podcast as it came to me, like all of it is, I just that like, I'm just going to be me, that's all I can do. And there's so much freedom in that.
As you went through that terrible journey that you had to go through, and I won't call your journey terrible because I don't want to speak for you. But the terrible thing that happened that caused you to be on that journey, I really appreciated your transparency through that. You know, that you just showed up. And I'm sure that that was at times scary or, you know, but it's just people did, you inspired so many people, like I would even just come I would see what you were doing and I would read the comments. And it was so inspiring to people because you showed up. Right? This is what's going on. So this is here. Here I am.
And then I love that because and I feel like it was because you were in your own authenticity and in aligned with who you are, because I think that in any situation who we are comes out magnified. Right? You did that, and as you inspired other people, what I saw was so many more people, like people I hadn't even seen in a while.
I saw them commenting and I'm like, oh, my gosh. You have such a great reach and you're sharing this with other people. So thank you so much for doing that. And so your visibility, I'm sure with your videos, where can people find this? That is just so they can see what we what we're talking about?
Nika: That's a good question. I was posting them on Facebook and TikTok, and we're in the process of putting them all up on my YouTube channel, which is Nika Stewart Shine. I would assume that's where you can see them all on YouTube.
Teresa: All right. We'll definitely check those out. I love these characters, and your meetings that you would have. It was great.
So, Nika, thank you so much. I want to talk about your Shine 365 club. We wear so many hats. Right? And it seems that so many people that I talk to and I'm sure you even more because this is what you do. Our own social media can be that thing that gets pushed to the bottom. And I think for a couple of reasons. Number one, because the client we're we're getting paid for, so we feel like that obviously has to be done.
And then there's also, it gives us permission to keep hiding.
Nika: Oh, yeah.
Teresa: So share with us what Shine 365 is. I know you work with clients at all different levels and you have the done for you or done with you, those services as well. But I think for so many people in this space, especially my audience who are struggling with trying to balance it all, I think that Shine 365 is such a great service that you're offering. It makes it doable, right? Please share about that.
Nika: Well, thank you. And I hope I do make it doable. In my past, I always loved creating programs that I could create once and then other people could use them over and over again. And I just created ones that are kind of like passive income afterwards. But then almost ten years ago, I started or co-founded Streambank Media, which is a done for you service. So that is when clients come to us, we then do the work for them.
I have over the years always wanted to get back to a way that I could work with more people for lower cost in a way that I could, like you said, done with them or show them how to do it themselves. Last year, finally some inspiration god came to my head and said, "Why don't you create a way for people to write their own post, but you kind of give it to them, but let them personalize it."
So Shine 365 started as social media templates with prompts. I've seen lots come out over the year or so of templates, or prompts really, for people. Like come up with, tell someone about a time you felt inspired or tell someone about... so these are prompts. But I didn't think that those were good enough because I would look at those and I'm still like kind of look at my blank screen and say, huh, what do I right now?
First of all, I have to try to think of a time I was inspired then what do I write? So I actually write out the posts for all the members and just fill in little blanks. I put blanks in and with little prompts for you to just fill in a few words. Now most of the members are taking these and adding some real personality to the posts, so you can't even tell even if 10 people use the same post. You can't tell it's the same post because everyone knows how to fill in the blanks and add their own personality to them.
So that's the first part. It's kind of giving people no excuse anymore. You never say, I don't know what to post because I've just given you templates for the next every month. New template. Here are templates posts for you for every holiday and whatever's coming up for the next month. And you have posts for the next month. But then we have a theme of the month and I give trainings and we have a community where people are supporting each other.
There's a membership hub where there's lots of trainings on all different topics related to social media. We have group Q&A calls. It has become a wonderful community of female entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. Most of them not in a place where they can simply outsource their marketing. They still are doing it themselves, but they really need, number one, the accountability to do it and number two, a way to save hours and hours every week and actually get it done.
Teresa: Or not doing it for themselves. Right? Because that's one of the scariest things sometimes is just sitting there looking at that blinking cursor on the bare screen.
Teresa: And you're right, because sometimes those prompts, it's like, oh, you just want to be able to ask, is this really the thing? Like, what does this mean? Right? Is this the one that I share too dark? And just having that group to go to and to have you in there and be active in it. That's one of the things that I really enjoy because there are courses and things that you're told, like right from the beginning, like don't tag the creator, just ask for like team support or whatever. And that is important. I like I tell people in my stuff, like, no, tag me, I want to know. So the accessibility to you and your brain and all this time, all the things that you've seen in the industry and you stay on top of it. So I never have to worry, like, oh, I'm going to ask Nika this and will it be the most current thing. Because the algorithms change and that's so valuable. Your price point is a steal.
Nika: I appreciate that. I really feel like it is, because I keep wanting to add more to it. And so every week or so I think of something else to add. And Ino-brainer feel like for the price, I mean it's a no brainer in my opinion.
Because my job is to research social media and to know what is working. I have to do that for the agency because we're doing social media for our clients. high-level. best-selling. And a lot of them are high-level businesses and business owners and executives and best-selling authors, and celebrities. So we need to know what's working. And your job is probably not spending 12 hours a day on social media knowing what's working. So I'll just tell you and you don't have to worry about it.
Teresa: And what a relief that is. I have a social media person on our team and she does an excellent job. But for me, it was just knowing that if something comes up or I see something, because a lot of times we'll see what somebody else is doing. And you think, oh, is that what we're doing now? Like either in a good or bad way, like, oh, that doesn't feel good. So to be able to reach out and just say hello, just saw this, what's this about? And knowing that you get to know or that you will find out. That is an incredible value. I really like also that you have the different holidays in their night, not just your main traditional holidays, but I can't even think of one that was on the most recent one. It wasn't peanut butter day. But if it's going to be something like ice cream-
Nika: National ice cream cone day things. Yeah, and sometimes they're related.
Teresa: And what fun! Because as you said earlier, it enables you to put your personality in there. And not everybody loves vanilla. Not everybody loves pistachio, you know, but if that's what you like, that's just something else that people now know about you and makes you more real.
Nika: Yeah, absolutely. As silly as it may seem, and not that every post should be what flavor you like. But once in a while you put out something about what flavor you like and that's why I give samples of post because it's a post saying "my favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla, what do you think?" is not going to get you much excitement? So I put out a more exciting post and then give it to you and you just fill in your stuff.
Teresa: It sparks the imagination because like you said, we can take those and just personalize them. None of them are going to look the same unless somebody is copying and pasting the same thing. But that doesn't that's not what happens. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission. Right? And we won't give it to ourselves. But you give us that permission with this, like make it your own and show up as who you are. And it will spark that memory of, oh, my gosh, when I was a kid. Or whatever, and you can see that or maybe something with your child or vacation, who knows, it just sparks other things.
Teresa: Nika, you mentioned your five-day challenge or we're taping this or we're recording this. God, I just showed my age, taping. We're recording this towards the end of November because I know people go back and listen to older episodes. So November 2020. Do you have another five-day challenge scheduled any time soon?
Nika: It's not in the schedule, but it will be probably the end of January or the middle of January. Middle to end of January will probably be a very similar five day launch. The entire program with all of the trainings is that we did in October or did we do it in October?
Teresa: I think it was.
Nika: I think it was October so that all of those trainings are in the Shine membership vault. So current members can always go back to that. And anyone who joins can always do the challenge as well. But we'll probably have a live one in the middle to the end of January.
Teresa: All right. Well, we'll update and put that down there. We'll put all your social media links, everything on there so people can find you and follow you, especially for this Shine 365 Club. It's such a value. And definitely everyone check that out. It will make your social media job so much easier. Like I said, we have someone on our team, but this is just, it helps us change it up. So, you know, even if you've been doing it for a while and doing it successfully, this is great because it just gives another perspective and like I said, sparks other thoughts and everything else. So it kind of freshens up your content as well.
Nika: Yeah, great.
Teresa: Well, Nika, thank you so much for spending time with us today and sharing all of this great information. We're going to put everything in the show notes so that people know how to get a hold of you. Watch your videos and find you on YouTube. I really, really enjoy those. And let me ask a few questions that we like to ask all of our guests.
Everybody likes to look at that bottom line, but there are a lot of other things that contribute to that. What are the most important numbers for you in your business numbers?
Nika: It's so crazy that I always know that it's better to focus on numbers, but I'm not a numbers person. I like to focus on the fun. So the more I am just feeling good every day, the more I realize that the business is running well. But I would say for me, even though getting more clients is great, what's even better is keeping clients. So rather than numbers, growing is always good. But when we see the percentage of numbers, you know, people not leaving. So that means we're doing the right thing. What we do, in both of the departments of my business are memberships.
So when people join, it's not like they buy a product, a one time product. We do services for them and it's monthly. So if we're doing a good job, they stay and they pay for another month. The length, the average length of client, if that's going up, then then I'm happy.
Teresa: Awesome. And I do like the fun number, too. Just, my level of fun. What a great answer.
Nika: We need to somehow, yeah, be able to measure our level of fun so we can quantify it.
Teresa: That's how we measure it. Right? Just what you said. Nika, I love the way you show up. You just said it so naturally, like, you know, the way that I feel, that's how we measure it, right? You don't want to work with those clients that when they come up on your message or whatever that you just like. Oh, no! We know those feelings and our body is such a good barometer of those things. So good point. Thank you.
During this time of limited travel, we're kind of living vicariously through each other. What is your favorite vacation experience or destination?
Nika: My favorite place to have been was the Dominican Republic. I went there twice with my family, my brother and his family. I was actually a guest of his two years in a row in a private home that he had rented. And it was just, I would say it was for me, it was the combination of just gorgeous weather. Just sunny and warm and delicious feeling. Just the whole atmosphere. The weather, I think, is a huge part of the relaxation feeling because it just felt the weather made you feel relaxed.
But just the whole atmosphere there felt very relaxing. And then the fact that we were in a private home that had, you know, people who were helping. Like that was part of the rental was that you got people who cooked for you and cleaned up after you. And it was just it really was like the most luxurious vacation I ever had.
They had a private pool or we went for walks on the beach. We had golf carts to drive around. That was the mode of transportation there. It's just like if I could spend a month there every year, that would be heaven to me.
Teresa: Oh, my goodness. It sounds like it. I have a friend who was there not too long ago and she said it was the people, everything you've just said. So now it's like, OK, that's got to go on my list. Go check that out
From our would you rather question bank. Would you rather give up pizza forever or tacos forever.
Nika: That's not too hard for me because I tacos are fine for me but I guess I would give tacos up. I love Mexican food but tacos are not.
Teresa: All right. Our question about the numbers that are important to you in your business, which we may just make that one of our regular questions, because I really like it. And I think it's good for other people to hear that about other businesses. That question actually came from one of our previous guests. So we like to ask each guest, what is the question that you would like for me to ask a future guest on the podcast?
Nika: Yeah, I would love to know because I always love hearing this from any entrepreneur. What is any advice that you've been given that seems kind of small or nothing at the time, but made a huge impact and still makes an impact in your business?
Teresa: Oh, great question. I love how creative everybody is, it's like, oh, we're getting this all this information for all of us to make an impact in our businesses. So thank you for that
Nika, once again, thank you so much for being here.
Nika: My pleasure
Teresa: And I look forward to seeing you in the Shine Club.
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Becoming a Profitable CEO. I'll be back next week but in the meantime, let's continue the conversation. Head on over to our Facebook Group at ThePurposefulCEO.com/Facebook and share your take on today's episode.
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