Yesim Saydan: Turning My Passion for Creativity and Strategy into A Social Media Business
By Sujany Baleswaran
After being responsible for global projects of multinational brands such as Citibank in New York, BNP Paribas in Paris and RBS in Amsterdam, Yesim Saydan knew she needed a platform to express her creativity. With a passion for strategy and creativity, the 5-lingual Social Media Strategist made the courageous step to leave the corporate world behind her to enter the world of entrepreneurship, starting her own Social Media Consultancy to help Executives and Entrepreneurs generate consistent high-quality Leads while building their Personal Brands.
How did your career in social media marketing begin?
Having lived in different countries, I always dreamt of having a location independent lifestyle. I woke up one day realising that my life was very different from what I wanted it to be. I was a Director at a global company, managing multi-million dollar projects, yet inside I felt deeply unsatisfied, unfulfilled, unhappy. I wasn’t happy about being based in Amsterdam, far from my friends, doing work, where I couldn’t express my creativity and the strategic parts of my personality the way I wanted to.
I felt sad when I realised that I climbed up the wrong ladder. It wasn’t the one I wanted to climb, but one that society and my parents wanted me to. So I had a choice. I could either feel sorry for myself and be bitter, or I could take control and change my destiny. And I did the latter.
I worked for over a decade at global companies, taking care of multi-million dollar budgets of multi-national brands. While I loved the international atmosphere and learned a lot, I was craving for a role, where I could express the creative and strategic parts of my personality. Having lived in various countries in Europe and the US, I knew I absolutely wanted to have a location-independent lifestyle. Today, I have clients from different parts of the US and Europe, which allows me to work and travel to places I love!
I’m sure your journey hasn’t been easy – what obstacles have you had to face on your journey to success?
So many! I always say that Entrepreneurship is the biggest personal development journey one walks on.
The first challenge was that I believed the hype of the fake influencers, that making money online was a piece of cake, and by simply watching some videos online, you can master the game. I wasted so much time and effort until I realised the importance of working with a mentor that takes you by the hand and shows you important strategies and tactics to build a solid online business.
Once I started to see success, I suffered from perfectionism and imposter syndrome. I declined so many interview requests because I didn’t feel like I was the best in the field. I felt like unless I was the best, I didn’t deserve to be interviewed. I postponed offering courses or coaching programs till I felt like they were “perfect”. Until one day, I read a book that showed me that perfectionism is a self-sabotage mechanism, which shows up as us procrastinating everything. It’s also a huge confidence breaker because no one and nothing is ever perfect, so you set yourself up for disappointment.
I realised that my goal should be about doing my best and I should only compare myself to the version of me yesterday. Changing my KPIs to those helped me continue to grow at a steady rate which also helped me build my confidence, leading me to get incredible results for my clients.
Social media marketing has become the future of digital marketing. However, it is constantly evolving – what does the future of social media look like? Do you think businesses will still be using social media?
In my opinion, the adaptation of social media by companies as well as individuals will only increase. I expect the future of social media to include more personalisation and with a lot more features enhanced by AI. Shopping on social media will also be a larger percentage of total purchases than what it is today. That also means that the problems we face today such as controlling our own private data will become a bigger challenge.
What do you think are three key aspects of creating a successful social media presence?
The mistake I notice most people make is using their social media channels as a means of self-expression. That is fine if it’s your personal account. However, if your goal is to use your channels for business, you have to realise that your social media should be all about your ideal clients. Your content should be all about the biggest pain points of your ideal clients, the struggles that keep them up at night, and how you can help them overcome those.
You also need to know what the right format is to create that content, as all social media platforms are unique. What works in one, doesn’t necessarily work as well on another.
Once you create the type of content that attracts the attention of your ideal clients, your job is to understand how the algorithm works so that you can use it to get your content in front of your ideal clients. That’s the mistake I see most people make. They assume that just because you post a piece of content, your target audience will see it, which is not the case. That’s how Social Media worked years ago.
Today, there are endless amounts of content and whether you make it or not depends on whether you succeed in getting your content in front of your target audience or not. That’s where you need to make sure to work with Social Media Strategists like me, who follow the algorithm changes very closely and can tell you what the latest impactful strategies and tactics are.
Lastly, you need to remember that social media is social. You can’t just post content and go about your day. Your target audience wants to be seen and heard. If you don’t make the habit of engaging with their content, you will never build the likeability and trust factor that is required to build loyalty. But if you do, you will start building loyal relationships that result in you having Superfans and Brand Ambassadors that spread the word about you for you.