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Meet Shayla Williams of SOCIABLL in West Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shayla Williams.

Shayla, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I, like most college students went into school with no clue what major I wanted to choose. The thought of what I’d be when I ‘grew up’ didn’t cross my mind when I selected an Accounting major during my orientation. Numbers made my head spin, and there I was pursuing a focus that dealt solely with math. One day my family called me in what you may call an ‘intervention’, and they asked me “why are you taking Accounting?” You’re so creative – why don’t you do something that allows you to use those skills. It was the realization I needed to hear, so I changed my major to Marketing, and there I was learning about business and how to creatively connect concepts to reaching an audience.

Shortly after college, I moved back home to Los Angeles to “figure it out”. With a Marketing degree under my belt, I still had no clue what I was going to do with it. I eventually found a job at a popular online-shoe company, called ShoeDazzle in the call center, and I thought “hmm..I can apply for this and eventually work my way up to the marketing department in someway”. So I get the job, and my first thought was – this isn’t what I thought I’d be doing straight out of college. After putting my all in answering phone calls and dealing with customers daily, I was recognized after a couple of months as a lead Rep and was asked to join the Facebook moderation team to respond to customers on social media. No longer get cussed out by angry customers? Of course, I took it!

I began my role responding to customers on Facebook – still no clue of my next move to get to the Marketing Department. Mind you this call center was completely separated from the creative and marketing teams. Then one day, we found out the entire call center was being laid off because the company was being acquired by its competitor – JustFab. I was devastated, and again that thought of what are you doing with your life came up. Just as I began to panic, though – I found out that the only people from that office that we’re able to move over to the new company was me and the other Facebook moderation reps. Wow, I thought – my chance to move on to this new opportunity, and show what I can do.

So my first day in the new office, I instantly went into inserting myself into everything. I sat on the social media team; mind you this was a totally new type of role. I was going to go above and beyond my role as the person that searched for order numbers on social media. Anytime there was a content shoot or a brainstorm meeting – I was there raising my hand first. I started to find a niche in creating visual content and coming up with ideas for campaigns, which eventually led me to being the Content Coordinator of the team.

A few years later, and a few title upgrades – I eventually became a master at developing strategies across social platforms and producing top-notch content that brought results. I created a name for myself within my corporate role, which eventually led me to being asked to lead the social media for Rihanna’s emerging lingerie brand – Savage X Fenty. I couldn’t believe I’d be the one trusted to manage the launch of one of her biggest ventures to date, and not only that – I’d be developing launch strategies, mastering her urban-cool tone, and eventually contributing to the growth of one million followers in 5 short months. I worked tirelessly, and had a lot of ups and downs, wins and times where I felt again like ‘what am I doing’. After all of my hard work and nights spent up until 3 AM working – I was asked to leave my position unexpectedly. I was devastated. After everything I put in.

That could have stopped some people, but instead, I used it as fuel to start my own Social Media Consulting business, SOCIABLL that focuses on helping individuals and small businesses create strategies to reach their online audience. Given my 8+ years of experience in the digital marketing arena for corporate companies, I’m able to help businesses structure their efforts and define their social presence using content marketing best practices. Since leaving my role at Savage X Fenty, I’ve worked with companies like NY & Company, to Kendall Miles – a black-female founded luxury shoe brand.

I feel a true passion for working with businesses that just don’t quite know how to successfully crack social media in an age where you need an Instagram almost before even having a website. I’m continuing to build my business and clientele while maintaining a full-time corporate job and helping my family’s business, Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken; in which I’m now part-owner of with my two brothers, mom, and dad. I feel blessed to have all of the experiences and opportunities that have lead me here, and wherever is next. This is just part of my journey!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been easy at all. I’ve had previous bosses tell me I wasn’t good enough for a particular position and I’ve had people that I worked directly with plot on me to have me fired. But all things come full circle, and through my business – I eventually worked directly with those people. This time, I was the expert.

Please tell us about SOCIABLL, LLC.
My company focuses on helping individuals and small businesses create strategies to reach their online audience. Given my 9 years of experience in the digital marketing arena for corporate companies, I’m able to help businesses structure their efforts and define their social presence using content marketing best practices. I’m particularly passionate about working with black-owned businesses, and as much as I can, I want to pour out that knowledge to my people.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I were to start over, I would do nothing different because it has gotten me where I am and where I’m going. I have learned so much in every experience I’ve had, and it has allowed me to be resilient.

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Image Credit:
Crystalee Farris

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