Student Story: Squillustrate’s Suzanna Stapler

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“Squillustrate is an illustration and branding business specializing in creating artwork to help people with great ideas express their vision. Suzanna founded the company back in 2016, pursuing it full-time since graduating college in May 2018.  My senior year of college, I got the chance to take Dr. Huggins’ Social Media Marketing Class. For our project, I created a brand called The Nashvillagers, where illustrations brought to life characters based on the classic members of the Nashville population we know and love: the moody songwriter, the zealous Preds fan, the toddler who’s more fashionable than I’ll ever be… you get the idea.

Along with the characters, I would send out blog posts with ideas of things to do around Nashville. Now, I had fun making the content, but I knew I hadn’t found my voice yet with blogging— I could tell because I was scared to send the posts out, and I barely asked anyone to follow me. Needless to say, my shares never got too high, and I think I earned a total of 8 twitter followers (I’m still sorry about that, Dr. Huggins). I learned and understood the point of blogging and what I did send helped grow participation; however, my inconsistent update schedule did not produce the buzz I needed. But, the class did teach me two big lessons: 1) With my business, I wouldn’t be ready to send regular email updates until I’d made something that I would actually want to see in my inbox, and 2) If I didn’t send something out regularly, people would not be able to follow the journey.

To any student in Social Media Marketing currently— you may not have found your voice yet, but the best hint is to make what you actually want to make. What email would you open up? What would make you laugh or excited to read? Follow that instinct, and you’ll find the ~write~ path for you.”

– Suzanna Stapler, Belmont University, Fall 2017

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