Welcome to the Fempreneur Spotlight Series -- a series dedicated to highlighting some of the many incredible female entrepreneurs working in the online space!
This month, we're talking to Deepshikha Sairam – Instagram marketing expert and founder of Socialique Groupe, an Instagram Marketing and Consulting company for female service-based entrepreneurs and coaches.
This interview was a special pleasure for me to conduct because I've known Dee since the earliest days of my business, have enjoyed lazy lunches with her in NYC's West Village, and have picked up SO MANY incredible insights from her about Instagram over the past year!
In her interview, Deepshikha shares ...
- The realities about starting a business as a stay-at-home-mom to two little boys
- The spur-of-the-moment gamble she took that ended up being the launching point for her business
- The mentors and resources that helped her transition from "no-one" to "expert" in an incredibly short amount of time
- Her strategies for learning from and coping with the challenges she's faced as her business has scaled
Scroll down to read her story!
Hi Dee! I'd love to know more about your entrepreneurial journey -- how did you come to start socialique?
I was a stay-at-home mom to two boys (at that time they were 6 and 1). Although I loved being a mom, I had this huge void in me that felt like my own identity was getting lost. I knew I had more in me than baking cookies for class parties and pinning crafts for school projects.
I wanted to do more -- be more than a mom. I knew an entrepreneur who had an online program. I had taken her program, and was part of her Facebook group. One day while I was hiding in the bathroom from my kids (!), I sent her an email asking her if she was looking for someone to drive engagement in her Facebook group, and I gave her some ideas on how I could help her do that. I was certain she would say 'No', but I had to give it a shot.
She actually said yes!! And that was the beginning of my side hustle. After working with her for 6 months and seeing some great results, I decided to make the side gig into a full time business. I am so thankful for the opportunity she gave me. I learned so much about the ins and outs of running an online business in that time.
What were the early stages of running your business like -- what challenges did you overcome and what encouraged you to keep going during the tough times?
I am a highly self-motivated person. If I decide I will do something, then I move heaven and earth to accomplish it.
My biggest challenge, however, was to balance the time between my kids and my business. My youngest was still very small and did not sleep through the night. He was also at home with me. The first year was tough. I had to stay no to a few opportunities because I just couldn’t manage them.
I also worked all the time. I worked in cars, during my kids' activities, before they woke up, after they slept and any minute I got in between. It was tough, but now when I look back, I think those initial months when I didn’t give up --despite being exhausted right through to my bones -- are what made me.
I was a stay-at-home mom with no qualifications, experience or a business bone in my body. Today, when I think of it, I say to myself “If I could keep going at that time, then what I'm experiencing now is a piece of cake!"
What major a-ha moments have you had as an entrepreneur?
I think as a self-made entrepreneur, every day is an a-ha moment. I run my business as an experiment. Sometimes it turns out to be an awesome experiment, and other times , not so much. But every time, I do have an “a-ha moment!"
What things have you accomplished in your business that you're most proud of?
First of all, I am extremely proud of how far I’ve come.
From being a “no-one” in the industry to being regarded as an “expert” is a huge accomplishment and an honor.
But I am also extremely proud of serving all my amazing bad-ass female clients, who I have absolutely loved working with.
What inspires you in your business?
My mom. She was a very strong and driven woman. Nothing ever fazed her. She raised me to believe in myself and go for my dreams.
What's a good piece of advice that you'd give to someone starting an online business today?
First of all, believe in yourself and your dreams. No one else will. It is 100% your responsibility. Believe in it so much that you can actually taste it.
And then, take action. Keep taking inspired action, each day, every day. There will always be someone who won’t believe in you or won’t be a fan. If you stop to think what others think of you, you will get STUCK. So don’t stop, don’t think, just GO!
Are there any mentors / books / resources / courses that you'd recommend to other entrepreneurs?
So many!!! I owe so much of my success to my mentors, countless books, and courses I’ve done.
Mentors - the one and only Marie Forleo. I remember I used to listen to her every minute of the day when I was thinking of starting a business. Also, Merel Kriegsman - my business mentor. I’ve learned so much from her about business and mindset, and my business has seen astronomical growth since I started working with her
For books - You are a Badass and Fire Starter Sessions (changed my life). Profit First, Pumpkin Plan, and The Big Leap (changed the way I run my business). Worthy, The Universe Has your Back, Secret of the Millionaire Mind, and Get Rich, Lucky Bitch (changed the way I think about money, thus also changed my business).
Courses - B-School was a game-changer. Not only in terms of business, but because I met some of my business buddies there (including you, Suzy!)
What are two of your top goals for 2019? (Business and non-business related!)
Business Goals - Six figures in 2019 for Socialique, building a great team and some awesome collaborations.
Non-business Goals - Buying our first home!
The Skinny on Deepshikha Sairam
Deepshikha helps female entrepreneurs generate consistent leads from Instagram and increase their profits with her business Socialique. She firmly believes in using Instagram as a Marketing Platform to convert followers to fans to customers, rather than building huge Instagram followings that do not translate into paying clients.
When not crafting epic, magnetizing brands on Instagram for her clients, Deepshikha can be found with her nose in a book or watching re-runs of Game of Thrones. She has been featured in Tiny Buddha, Elephant Journal and been a guest on podcasts like The Radio Show and Moms Unwined. She lives in Short Hills, NJ with her husband, two boys, and a massive pile of books still waiting to be read.
You can follow her on Facebook and/or on Instagram (of course!), and sign up for her exclusive freebie -- 40 Engagement Boosting, ready-to-use, Quotes for your Instagram -- right here.
What did you enjoy most about Deepshikha's interview? Share your comments, reactions and insights in the comments!