Ariane Thibault: Social Media Strategist, Entrepreneur and co-owner of Montreal’s top leading social media agency, OVRGRND.
Social Media Marketing has now become a job opportunity – a real position businesses consider today. Social Media specialists are needed for small or large companies, local or international, and they want people who take the initiative to learn the world of digital marketing. It is constantly changing, and improving, therefore it is crucial to understand this field from past to present, present to future. It is also important to understand the latest technology to show companies and employers that you are up to date and open to learn.
Ariane Thibault is the woman to look up to when it comes to the world of Social Media Marketing; after following her on Instagram (@arianetonka) for a couple of years, and now dreaming of a job in the world Digital Marketing, I was ecstatic to meet her during the Desautels Women in Business Conference. If only she had her own workshop, it would have been the master class to be at. Thibault manages her office everyday: finance, employees and she even does her own photography and videography. She consults large and local business, helps clients understand how to target the market through social media. Best feeling of her job? When she starts to see the effects of her and her team’s work, for example, local restaurants swarming with more customers! She loves the partnership that is being built by working together.
I was fortunate enough to chat with Ariane for a little, and she generously replied to my burning questions.
Jenny Chung for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Career wise, how did you get to your position today?
Ariane Thibault (AT): I started my path studying Cinema, video and communications at Dawson College. I loved being hands on and bringing my ideas to life, but something was missing… so I decided to study Marketing at Bishop’s University. While I was in school, I took my fair load of sales jobs. and ended up taking some summer jobs in experiential marketing. I loved the people aspect and the idea of representing large brands such as The Roger’s Cup, Bell, Monster Energy, Hershey’s, Banque Nationale, Captain Morgan’s, etc. When I graduated, I hustled my way to an entry level job at LG2, a large advertising firm here in Montreal. I worked on the Bell mobility account for 1 year, but really missed having the hands on creative aspects in my life. From there, many bits and pieces lead me to where I am today. My partner Vee and I officially took over OVRGRND 4 years ago and turned it into Montreal’s leading social media agency.
HC McGill: What is the most satisfying part of your job?
AT: What I love about social media marketing is that to me, it’s a win-win business. From the product, to the influencer, to the customer. Products need to be advertised to people who are interested in them and that’s our job. I love helping small businesses get the visibility they deserve, and I love helping large businesses making the switch to social. It’s such a fun creative space where you get to put your ideas in motion and get feedback from real people and real time.
HC McGill: What is your favourite and also the hardest part of your job?
AT: I love landing new clients because my brain just explodes from being so excited about everything we will be able to create with them. Especially when it’s a product or service I’ve never tackled before. I love the challenge.
The hardest part is that as a business owner, I have to learn to let go of being my own superstar employee and give my tools to my amazing team. It’s to constantly guide and empower my team to kill it, better than I ever would. It’s hard but it pays off tremendously.
HC McGill: How would you build your personal brand? Any tips?
AT: My first tip would be to test the different platforms and see where you shine. Whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter… Start by truly focusing at killing it at one and then start focusing on the other platforms. It will help you figure out what type of content you should be building. Then it’s all about interaction. It’s like networking but online, it’s more time consuming but way easier on the nerves. Instagram is also a great way to communicate. It is important to be consistent when you post, what you want to talk about – it does not have to be as specific. Do not give up, communicate with others for collaboration with freelance photographers, it becomes a help me help you world. Just go for it!
HC McGill: Do you have any advice to young women aspiring to work in the world of marketing and entrepreneurship?
AT: Don’t compare yourself. Even if people are aggressive in your field, they can never be you. Even if you are building something similar to what’s being done, it’s yours. Always be prepared, but also always be open to completely changing your path. Both entrepreneurship and marketing are about rolling with the punches and learning constantly.
HC McGill: Which quotation do you live by?
AT: “We all accept too easily that life has to be hard and forget to make sure we have the most fun we can.”
HC McGill: Your theme song for life?
AT: Not sure if it’s reflective of my life but HEY YA! by Outkast is my favourite song of all time.
HC McGill: What do you do to balance your work life and personal life?
AT: A friend of mine always reminds me that it’s just as important to know when not to work as when to work. For me sweating it out is a huge part of keeping my head in the game. I make sure to do some kind of physical activity 4 to 5 times a week. No matter what’s bothering me, after a good work out, I have clarity and know that it’s really not that big of a deal.
Women are emerging in the entreprenurship world, and they are unstoppable. Ariane Thibault has shown the social platform’s dominance in the marketing world and in our everyday lives. The world is changing, and we must adapt. Start today by testing the waters, and commence the personal branding!
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