Founding KESSLER SOCIAL MEDIA – How ERICA inspires with LinkedIn

Interview by Tina Lohfing, PR Manager at IFJ Switzerland. Originally posted in German at IFJ.

IFJ supports daily professionals interested in founding startups and fulfilling their dream of owning a company. In January 2015, IFJ founder and CEO Erica Kessler ventured this step. In 2015, there were 40,829 startups in Switzerland! Kessler Social Media was one of them.

IFJ asked how Erica has been doing since the launch of her company and what she has experienced along the way.

When did you launch your company and what services do you offer?

I founded my company, Kessler Social Media in January of 2015. I consult and train startups, businesses, professionals, entrepreneurs, and HR managers about the best practices of LinkedIn. I help my clients increase their visibility, generate more business, and train them how to gain both customers and employees with social media marketing.


IFJ Event, Rhema St. Gallen

How did you came up with your startup idea?

I wanted to share my social media experience and live creatively without being part of the typical corporate hierarchy. My vision is to inspire and motivate people globally using LinkedIn—and creating my own business allows me to do that.

How did you manage to start as an entrepreneur?

My start was an adventure with many ups and downs. My first satisfied customers emerged from within my network—and that opened the door to new opportunities.

As I began to find my comfort zone, I wanted to broaden my business horizon and learn from other social media thought leaders and also meet them in real life.

In March, I flew to the heart of social media—the United States. I was one of 3,000 participants in the world’s largest social media marketing event in San Diego. I had fun and learned new marketing opportunities about how to gain clients and strengthen my network through personal branding. The openness and warmth of people in California touched my heart and inspired me.

 The openness of people in San Diego touched my heart!

The following summer, I went back to the United States with a business visa for a few months to build a bridge between Switzerland and US businesses.

I also researched the opportunity for the launch my US startup. I attended events, deepened my relationships, and grew my network. I had many discussions with social media entrepreneurs and learned more about the possibilities of social media marketing with the United States culture.

 Building the bridge between Switzerland and the US!

I began to notice that more Swiss companies and professionals were interested in networking contacts in the United States—especially Silicon Valley. While it wasn’t the right time to launch my company in the US, I continue to expand my relationships and teach entrepreneurs, professionals, start-ups and companies how to maximize the potential of LinkedIn.

What are your next steps?

I continue to share my unique vision and experiences as a global speaker, primarily focused on educating professionals through presentations and keynotes about the power of LinkedIn.

You’ve launched the startup with us. How was the support for you?

The support was very professional, easy to understand, and I appreciated all of the advice and tools. Simon May from IFJ gave me the opportunity to speak at the first event, “Entrepreneurs Forum in St.Gallen” in May of 2015. It was a fantastic experience to share my passion with over 150 startups and to motivate them to use social media marketing with my story.

And finally: Do you have a tip for aspiring startups? What would you have liked to know earlier?

I recommend to any entrepreneur, that once the first step of creating your foundation is done, whether that be your website or your product and services, it’s the perfect time to talk about and share your goals within your network. You’ll begin to find new opportunities and ideas to continue growing your startup while also creating a stronger support group.

What tips do you have for startups? Please share in the comment below.


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