Today on our podcast, we have a very special guest – Tiffany Walters from T & CO, a social media management company. With a passion for helping small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed, Tiffany uses her expertise in social media to offer strategy, creation, and management services. By focusing on building genuine connections and trust with customers, T & CO helps businesses reach their ideal clients and achieve long-term success.
If you’re looking to take your business to the next level with social media, you won’t want to miss this episode!
Listen to the podcast here!
Today, we’re sitting down with Tiffany Walters from T & CO Social. I’m excited to kind of dive into what you do and kind of why you got started with it. I know, you and I have talked a lot about social media. And you’ve helped me with strategy and kind of just the approach to social media before.
So you know, I want to dive into some of that some of those conversations that we’ve had. But also, let’s just start with how you got involved in social media, and like why you started this business.
Okay. I don’t even know where to start. So it’s kind of like, I’ll tell you this, I have always wanted to be, I’ve always wanted to own my own business cool. For the longest time, I did not know what it looked like. So kind during my career journey, I just picked up little skills here and there. I’ve always been huge into psychology and mental health and reading.
So that has a lot to do with why I stumbled into marketing because psychology and marketing are you can use psychology to market. And so utilizing that knowledge and that interest that I already had, and to helping businesses grow, I think was a huge part of why I ended up in social media because I saw the opportunity to use social media as a tool to market because that’s where everybody’s spending their time these days.
And then kind of just like, I was in the medical field for about eight years. And during that time in the medical field, I was promoted to office manager and I took over the social media for a clinic. So that was kind of like an introduction. And I was like, Oh, this is cool. And then so I started diving, more specifically into how to use social media to market and I started taking courses online. Like I said, reading marketing books, things like that. So that’s kind of how I got started. And then I just continued this journey, and then COVID happened. And I was like, Okay, well, I can use this tool to make money or this skill to make money. So let’s give it a shot.
So, were you given the opportunity because you were interested in social media before like at your employer, or how did that? How did you get started, like doing social media for them?
So yes, I mean, I’m, I was in my 20s. So I was on social media, just socializing, you know. And I also started an Instagram page for I used to be big into like, EDM festivals. Okay, so I started an Instagram page for like, EDM memes. And my employer at the time knew that. So I think they’re like, Oh, you’re interested in this? Yeah, we need to start doing more posting. Do you want this as a task? Yeah, sure. Sure. Let’s give it a shot. Yeah.
So take me back to like, the idea of just wanting to own a business because I was the same way growing up, like I remember, you know, I wanted to own a business kind of same thing.
Like I didn’t know what it was, but I just remember as a kid, I don’t know probably 10 years old or something like that. I was like, I want to own a business someday. And then one thing led to another in you know, now in real estate, whatnot, but like, tell me about your experience with that in kind of what you remember from your childhood.
So, the biggest thing is my dad owned his own business. Okay, so I got to see it play out, you know. It was just a really even then I was fascinated with small business and how it’s one person’s labor And they get to see like the full return on it, you know, like you’re helping, you’re using your skills to help somebody else. And like, to me that was always like, I don’t know, like the coolest thing. So that was a huge influence in the fact that I wanted to own my own company as well. And then another thing was when people would ask me when I was little what I wanted to be when I grew up, I just said I wanted to travel.
Like, I never want to be stuck in one place. I never wanted to be spending my weeks at a nine-to-five doing the same thing over and over again, it just never appealed to me. So I wanted to own my own business and travel and travel. Yeah. So I wanted it to be something where I didn’t have to be locked in an office. Yeah, for the majority of the week. So those were the kind of the only like, two criteria I had for the longest time.
That’s interesting. I like the whole travel aspect of it, too. Yeah. Right. Because typically, well, I guess now like with, with your profession, like you can do that and travel, and there are others kind of similar way you can travel the country and still work remotely.
I think COVID really helped accelerate that for a lot of people. I think, when you get stuck in routines, it’s hard to think you’re, it’s hard to picture your life any other way. And so COVID really disrupted that pattern for a lot of people. And so they’re like, Yeah, I do want to own my own business. Like, in my case, I do want to travel more, I do want to prioritize home life over career life now, and spend more time with my kids or whatever, and how, what does that look like for me? How can I make that happen? So it’s, I’m definitely grateful, I think the way I found social media marketing or just marketing in general, and like, how it’s become such a digital age, and I can use this to now travel and work at the same time. It really aligned perfectly with my life and journey. So yeah.
And what’s interesting, though, is in the same thing for me, like I didn’t start off my career, like, Okay, I want to own a business, you know, and same thing for you. Right
Did you start working for a healthcare facility eight years? And I’m always curious, like, what, like, how does that, you know, where’s that disconnect there have like, you know, you have this dream as a childhood or, as in your childhood, and then it kind of goes away for some time, or sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes, like that person, you know, follows their path and follows your dream or whatever. But it’s a little bit different for everybody.
I think it’s resources. So I had bills to pay, and I was living on my own. So that’s how I ended up in the medical field. And then it led you back to social media and that sort of stuff. Yeah.
So let’s talk about like, starting. Like the day, you kind of decided to start the business and kind of like some challenges that you got to go through and things you’ve learned to kind of along the way because you’ve been in business for how long now? Three years? Three years? Yeah. Yeah. So so start a talk to me about like, starting the business, and then challenges that you’ve had to overcome?
Well, the biggest thing, I had to get over the fact that I did actually have something of value to offer people because I mean, again, with like, the limiting beliefs around social media, I had them as well, for myself, you know, like, how can I actually do this for another business? And so I actually am one of my friends. We met for coffee one day, and she owns a yoga studio, and she’s like, I want you to do this. For me. She’s like, I love everything that you’re saying. And we need somebody to take over social media, and I want that to be you. And I was just like, oh my gosh, really? Like this is so cool. Yeah. So I was happy to do it.
And we worked together for a while. But ultimately, they were going through different changes and my services, they just couldn’t pay for the services anymore. So we ended up parting ways. And I think the biggest thing that I learned from that relationship is communication. Because they were my first client, we didn’t have like a contract or anything. And then like, towards the end, they had indicated that they didn’t want to move forward with any more services. And I was like, okay, but it was like, in the middle of the month, and we had always done things like in monthly increments. So in my head, I was like, Okay, well, we’ll just finish out this month, and then we won’t move forward. But they kind of meant right then and there. Yeah, so then I did like half a month of work and didn’t realize it that you know, they didn’t reimburse me for but I think that was just a communication thing. Yeah. Yeah.
Communication is big for any business, or any relationship connection, right?
Like that’s, that’s huge and It’s like, if you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to ask. Yeah. And I had to get over that, because I’m like, I want to be perceived as a business professional. So sometimes I feel like if I asked a question, it might make me sound naive or, you know, be looked at a certain way, but that’s just like my own internal limiting going back to those limiting beliefs that I think all business owners have, I’m just learning that that’s not the case. Like, I’d rather have the information, so I don’t make a huge mistake, then, if they’re going to perceive me a certain way, because at the end of the day, I can’t really control how they’re gonna, how they’re going to view me, you know, either you want to work with me or you don’t.
Right. And just being okay with that. Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s a huge piece and owning a business. And like, I have the same thing. Like when I first started, it was like, Oh, my God, like all these other businesses, like they have everything figured out, they know what they’re doing.
And then you get into it, and you realize, and you talk to other business owners, and you’re like, they don’t have anything figured out just like the rest of us, right? They’re just thinking day by day. It’s true. doing the best they can.
I had the same vision as a business owner, I thought they just like rule the world. And then you start talking to these people. And you’re like, What? No, yeah, I saw how you do that.
Right. Like they’re making mistakes to Yeah, they’re just learning from them. And, you know, keeping, keep moving forward.
Exactly. Yeah. And I think one of the questions on your thing to fill out was, like, fit like, what was your biggest failure? Yeah, I was like, Oh, my God, there’s been so many, but like, I really love the belief that you fail forward. So you never have like, every failure is a learning experience. Yeah. And I was really able to develop that mindset around a failure by reading books. So I read like, you either, oh, you either win, or you learn. Okay, by Jane, I think this is James something. And then the other one was the obstacles away by Ryan Holiday, okay. And it just like, kind of puts you in this mindset, like, excited to fail, because now every failure is a learning opportunity for you to get better. So like, let me put myself in these situations where I do learn something new. So that way I can better myself as a business owner, or provide more felt value for my clients.
That’s such a great mindset just like, being okay with failure, and wanting to fail, because at the same time, like, those, the most successful businesses, they just failed the most, and just learn from it all.
Exactly. And it’s funny, because speaking of social media, we always think that someone has overnight success, right? When you realize that they’ve been in business for like, 40-plus years, but you’re just now finding out about them because now they’re doing the right things. And so like getting rid of that idea that people are just like naturally gifted at marketing, or owning a business or communicating is like not the case, you know, they did all of the failures. You know, they’ve been a failure for many years.
They’ve gone through that process. Exactly. And it’s such a, it’s almost like a relief to have, like, not having to have everything figured out. Like just knowing that you don’t have to do that and that you are going to fail. It’s like, you’re just expecting to fail. And then you just learn from it. Right? Yeah, there’s no like, Okay, if I don’t get this, if I don’t get this job, I don’t get this a client. It’s not the end of the world, right? Just learn from it and do better next time. Right?
And then also, um, no, no, just some things that aren’t meant for you. Like, just let it go. You know? Yeah, there have been times when I haven’t booked a client at the moment, and it felt terrible. Like, I wasn’t good enough. But then like, looking back, I’m like, Yeah, but you know, either they weren’t willing to pay what the rate was, or like, there was some kind of like, a red flag that I was willing to overlook because when you’re a new business, I think you just want to get all of the experience too. So you’re like, Yeah, I’ll take on any project without really setting boundaries. Yeah. And then, but honestly, sometimes it’s a gift when someone doesn’t book you for sure. Yeah.
So let’s dive into the social media piece a little bit. What are some things that you see businesses can improve on with their social media? Or are some tips for them for like the small business owner? Like how can they kind of get started? You know, being more engaging on social media.
So the huge thing is building that foundation, really looking at your business as a brand, and developing a story and values that go along with that. Because it makes your messaging more clear and easy, more, it’s more relatable to your consumer. Also defining that target audience, I know that everybody wants to help everybody. But that’s not the case. And you, again, it goes back to the message. And just the clearer you can be on your messaging, the easier it’s going to be for the people that you are helping to find you. Because social media is all about keywords and making those connections.
So that would be the first part is, you know, identifying the target audience and building a story around your brand. But then the next part would be just engagement. Like, make sure that you’re on there. Replying to DMS Yeah, reaching out to other accounts that are in this in a similar industry as you create like communities and connections. Gary V says, like, social media is to build brands. And I love that because you can use ads to sell but really like just showing up on a platform and helping your clientele, whether you’re selling a product or a service.
That’s where you create those in-depth connections. Yeah. And then like brand loyalty to and that’s huge. I think that’s, that’s a really good point. Because a lot of people miss out on like, I’m just putting out content. Right? And that’s all I have to do. Yeah, instead of, like, I think the biggest pieces, as you said, is like engaging with your customers with the people that are interacting with your page and everything. I was talking to a buddy, and he was his son is into golf or whatever. And so he was messaging, you know, all these different golf accounts or whatever. And then there was one of them.
There’s only one of them out of like some of the major golf brands that would respond to his messages, right? And he’s, you know, he’s got like, a couple 100 followers or whatever. So there’s really, maybe no need for him too, for them to reply. But because they believe in that engagement and stuff now they’ve created a customer for life. Yeah, because of that.
That’s right. People want to be heard, you know. And so if I reach out to a brand, and they don’t respond, it’s like, you’re kind of like letdown. Yeah. But then if you reach out to a brand, and they do respond, you feel like the most special person. Yeah. So I mean, just think about how you are as a customer, and then, you know, turn around and mirror that to your own customers. Yeah.
And it’s crazy because we the access that we have to these brands now or before social media. You didn’t you didn’t have that. Right. Yeah. So it’s a great opportunity for the small business owners and the brands to build that connection.
Absolutely. And that’s going to put you in competition with the bigger brands social media is like one of the places where everybody’s kind of equal. You know, it doesn’t matter if you’re a big brand or a small business. Yeah.
And I a lot of people want to look at like followers and like base things off of like follower accounts, but it’s if your followers aren’t engaged, it doesn’t matter if you have 1000 or a million, you know, there are accounts that have like 500 followers, but they’re making sales every single day. Yeah, through the DMS. And so that, especially as a business, like that’s what you want to monitor, like those connections and those like those transactions that turn into ROI.
And so it doesn’t really matter. Like, how many obviously, exactly, yeah. So I mean, if you are an engaged account, and you do have a million followers, that’s going to be huge for you, because your account is engaged and connected. And you have a community Yeah, so it, but it’s not just a numbers game, I guess is what I’m trying to say. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, there’s more that goes into it. So what are the platforms are always changing? Like we talked about that before? Right? Like Instagram is changing. Tiktok changing, right? Facebook is changing. what’s your favorite one? Right now?
I always default to Instagram. Yeah, I think to me, personally, that’s because of like you know, the ages or like what we kind of like get started with right was Instagram your first platform?
Well actually, MySpace was my first platform. Yeah, so then I tried Twitter for a little while. I’ve tried Facebook. I, for me, be I think because I am a visual person, I’m creative. Instagram is just the coolest thing like you can find, like photographers on there, you know, the people that are traveling and making reels, and like, I use YouTube a lot for podcasts and educational videos. But I would say probably my favorite one, even though I use YouTube, probably on a daily basis, Instagram is the one I always default to.
So for a small business owner, does it like which one should they start with? Right? If you’re starting a business, and you don’t have any of these social media?
So this is kind of controversial, I don’t know. People say go where your target audiences are, right? Yeah. So like we you could break it down into demographics. Like there’s an older demographic on Facebook, and millennials are on Instagram if you want to get a Gen Z to go to tick tock. However, I would personally say just do whatever platform you are excited to go on. Because you’re gonna post more. If you know, the platform, and you are comfortable, and you like being there, right, you’re going to spend more time where you like to be. So the only other thing that I could recommend if you don’t have like a preferred platform, is to start with like, a larger piece of content. So like a podcast, a blog, or an educational video. And you only have to do like, one a month if you want to, and then break those down. And then you can send them out to all the different platforms.
And you can, you know, create content for Instagram, but posted on Tik Tok and posted on Facebook, too. Absolutely.
So you’re not creating content for all those different platforms individually.
Which is, what’s crazy, is it’s a lot of work to create all that content, as you know, and then to be able to post it on all the platforms like that. That takes a lot of time.
So I’ve been playing with different scheduling tools. I’m a fan of just like creating a marketing strategy, I think you should also have a content strategy and a content calendar. So this, if you, it’s made way easier to plan an event in advance than it is to just like, oh, I need to post today and then try to come up with something like, at the moment, because we all live busy lives, as we get distracted. And maybe the post doesn’t go out, you know when it’s supposed to or you skip a day or whatever the case. So like to get rid of those excuses. Just pick a day, like a month before, and sit down and plan, and now it doesn’t have to take a long time.
And honestly, for most of my clients, I post three times a week. So that’s what like 12 pieces of content a month. Yeah. Which doesn’t sound like a lot when you say it like that.
But if you’re sitting there trying to come up with the content on a daily basis, that’s gonna be overwhelming.
So really just like outlining it is the biggest benefit that I’ve seen, personally with my business, especially trying to keep everybody’s content separate, not overwhelming myself. And then. So Facebook and Instagram, they’re connected. So you can post on Facebook and have it appear on Instagram or vice versa. But also they have an app called the creator studio, where you can go in you can create content, and can schedule it out, and it’s completely free. So that’s most of the time, what I recommend to my clients who want to take over you know, who wanted to do the post in themselves is just use that free platform later also has like a free option. For me, it’s a little different because I had to find a tool that allowed me to create content for multiple accounts. Oh, yeah. So I need something a little bit more robust.
For sure. That makes sense. Yeah, I love the whole scheduling. I like breaking it down, right? And it’s kind of some stuff I’ve done this year with my business and goals and like,
Okay, how do I break it down into simple, you know, steps that are repeatable and we can be consistent with everything? It’s the same thing with social media, it’s like, okay if I need to post three times a week, that’s 12 times for the month. Just sit down and do it in 12.
12 posts don’t seem that bad, but when you’re trying to do it, okay, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and it’s like you got to take time to like, Okay, what am I going to do now? Yeah, you know, that adds up.
Exactly. Yeah. And when you’re stressed, you’re not creative. So then it becomes like these one-liner captions. Like, check this out. Like, okay, cool. I checked it out now.
Nobody’s engaging in it. This isn’t exactly. Just call Tiffany. Yeah.
So I like to wrap up with one question that I asked everybody what is one of your like, if you have downtime, you’re not on social media? You’re not doing anything but just something For yourself, Where are you going like a local restaurant? Just a favorite spot in the area. What do you like to do?
I live in Dunedin. So being downtown coffee shops are probably my main go-to cool. Yeah.
What’s your favorite one?
Um, I tried to show love to all of them. There are so many. You got to pick one. Let me see. Let me think about it. I’ve been going to mescaline II a lot. Oh, yeah. Have you? Have you been there? Yeah. It’s super cute on the inside. Yeah. And they have like these really nice wooden tables that you can sit down and work at.
CONNECT WITH TIFFANY:
- Website: www.tandcosocial.com/
- Instagram: instagram.com/tandcosocial/
- Facebook: facebook.com/tandcosocial
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/tandcosocial/
CONNECT WITH DONNIE:
- Follow Donnie: @donnie.hathaway
- Follow Palm Harbor Local: @PalmHarborLocal
- For more real estate information – www.thehathaway.group
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