Influencer Insights with Stefanie Michaels of Adventure Girl

Some people think social media is new. I have been working in Social Media since October of 2005 – for over 10 years. But compare to people like Stefanie, I was late to the game. buzukcdl

Here is Stefanie’s story.

Me: What inspired you to start participating in social media?

Stefanie: I was communicating online before it was called “social media”, you know, that nerd in school, who used CompuServe to chat with friends and then moved onto AOL’s chat boards— yeah, I was that kid. I preferred gaming to prom, although I begrudgingly agreed to go to it. The good news was that AOL brought communicating online to the masses. I used to sell things like my dolls to girls in other states and it was so much fun. So, I just kept riding the nerd wave all the way through to its current application. People think of me for travel, but I also have a foot in the tech world. My first website on the “world wide web” was one of the first 1500 commercial online websites, which also incorporated my fans into it.


Me: What is the best opportunity that you have received since you started participating in social media?

Stefanie: Well, for one thing, it pivoted my business and has taken it into a whole new direction, opening me up to people I would never have met otherwise. I’ve had too many opportunities to count, but one of my favorites was working with the White House last year on the President’s initiative for education and the other being for young entrepreneurs, which is a total fit for what I do. I love that I can connect with these young minds and share advice, and see where I can lend my support. There are just so many great ideas out there!


Me: What is the biggest challenge of having a voice on social media and how do you handle it?

Stefanie: One of the biggest challenges was learning that people became my friends, and used me for their own agendas to elevate themselves. I was so naïve about it. I definitely learned who my friends really are. I also have had to learn to say “no”, which is really hard for me, but I can only promote things that work in line with the voice of my brand. Thankfully, I have a team that helps navigate yes and no conversations, so I don’t have to anymore.
I also know my own content limitations, so when people come to me to push an event, tweet a political agenda, or comment on religion, for example, that’s just not what I do or who my branded personality is. I am also very guarded with what I put out on what platform, so my snapchat/adventuregirl and my vine/adventuregirl are more personal life snapshots where people get to see a little more of who I am offline. I use my Instagram/adventuregirl for a more personal extension of Twitter, which is extremely branded, with little personal info there. Different demographics, different content.


Me: Any suggestions about what tech or social trends we need to be watching?

Stefanie: Yes! And I got to speak about this at Atlanta Sitsum ’15. I love Flipagram. It’s a drag and drop app on your phone that allows you to create mini-movies, using songs from artists that are playing on XM right now, or you can delve into their music library and come up with an oldie tune. It’s incredible to see a huge artist launch one of their songs on Flipagram and then you get to use 30-seconds of it for free for one of your Flips. I also admire the app, because it allows the musical artists to have another revenue stream who are on the platform. If you want to use their song longer than the free 30-second snip, you can actually purchase their song through the app and make your Flip longer than 30-seconds. So, you can find a lot of independent artists out there making names for themselves like one of my favorites, Dawin. He went from independent to now having a record label behind him.


Me: Anything else you would like to add you to your story?

Stefanie: I am just so grateful and humbled to have met such amazing people out there because of this “thing” called Social Media. It’s really mind-blowing how it has connected all of us and how we have all found our niches and like-minded people that we can support and share ideas with. People we might not never have met otherwise.