Marsilda Bialczak, is a social media and digital marketing consultant and coach, and the founder of Expand2Market, a digital marketing agency that helps small to medium businesses go to market, expand in new niches, and turn their leads into sales with her sales and digital marketing coaching and a team to support them every step of the way with all their marketing needs.
Marsilda has +7 years of sales experience in the European and U.S. market and +8 years of Marketing & Social Media experience where she has helped companies from a variety of industries to go to market, increase their brand awareness, grow their lead generation, SEO, social media presence, and turn their leads into long term customers.
For more details, visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Marsilda, to know a bit more about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. What inspired Marsilda to become an entrepreneur?
Marsilda: I grew up in a small country in Europe called Albania. My mom was a small business owner of a clothing store. I grew up helping around the store as young as 7 years old. She didn’t take any days off. I saw how stressed she was with the business so never had it my passion to open one. As years went by, I become very passionate about marketing and social media. I moved to the U.S. 11+ years ago and followed the American Dream of continuing my second Bachelor in Marketing and working in different roles such as sales or marketing.
I realized that when you are working for someone else you are so restricted of what you can learn. You can’t challenge and improve yourself as everything needs to be related to the job so felt like I was missing something. I was on maternity leave and was not ready to get back to work full time. Needed more flexibility to be with my two daughters but unfortunately, my company could not accommodate that so was forced to quit.
As I was analyzing my life, career, and where I wanted to be in 5 or 10 years, there was a voice inside my head. It was the same voice I have had for the last 5 years of my life. The Voice wanted to push me to start my own business but I always ignored it as was scared and not confident in myself that I could do it.
My husband was the last push I needed. He said: ” Marsi, you have no more excuses. You have my financial support. You don’t have a job. Now is the time to do it or you will regret it the rest of your life and always look back and think..WHAT IF?”.
Q. How did you Marsilda get started?
Marsilda: I was doing my research and talking to different people to figure out the industry, prices, tools to use and I ended up wasting 3-4 months where I could have just started and figured it out one step at a time. I could have grown my community and business more if I just listened to myself than others. All I needed was $200 to pay for the business license and start as a consultant or coach for start-ups or small-medium companies.
By networking on Linkedin I got my first 2 clients. They needed social media and digital marketing services and I was going to hire and train them so a lightbulb hit me. Why don’t I just start a Social Media Agency and have my clients hire them through my company? So that’s how Expand2Market was Created.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Marsilda: The first year in the business is very challenging as It doesn’t matter if you know how to do your job, or what you are an expert on. You have to learn from scratch how to manage your business, billing, invoices, contracts, and so much more that you are just not prepared for, so there was a LOT of learning, youtube videos, google research, and just talking to other entrepreneurs that have already been in my shoes.
Another strategy I followed was building a Facebook group to target entrepreneurs where we could support one another and also I could train them on social media and sales. Any question I had, I would post it on my group and I got a lot of support from strangers that I never met in my life. More than people I knew could help but closed their doors on me or just ignored my messages. I feel like every single entrepreneur I know can relate to the last sentence.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing did Marsilda Done Since she Started your Business?
Marsilda: I wanted my business to be more than just a business. I wanted to motivate, support, and help in any way I can other entrepreneurs that don’t understand much about social media or sales by offering free strategy sessions, constantly posting tips and training on my youtube channel with this link, and most importantly empowering and inspiring others to think bigger and challenge themselves through every opportunity I got from being interviewed in TV, Podcasts, or Magazines.
We all share valuable knowledge. What good does it do if we can’t share it and support others?
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Marsilda: There are a lot of apps and tools we use but for business owners that don’t have a full team behind them and their budget is limited I would recommend the following three:
- Publer is a virtual social media management tool that allows users to collaborate, schedule, and analyze their posts for multiple social media platforms at once.
- InShot is an editing app for videos and photos. With InShot, you can easily make basic video and even advanced assets like video collage, slow motion, stop motion, reverse video, and more.
- I am not mentioning Canva as everyone knows about Canva but I want to add Pexels where you can find high-quality and completely free stock photos for your social media postings.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Marsilda: As someone, I was there when someone needed me most if it was a mom, wife, friend, sister, neighbor, or even a stranger. I always love helping people it is donating, sharing advice, motivating, or making their day.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Marsilda: Just start, build a community around you that is your target audience and provide valuable information that solves a problem or educates, and while you figure out everything else, your community is growing and being nurtured.
Don’t spend money on a fancy website or logos and branding if you don’t have the budget. You won’t need it to make money. I was 10 months in the business when I launched my website and it didn’t stop me from getting clients.