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Stephanie Riel: “Failures”

I have over a decade of social media marketing experience including comprehensive, Multi-channel marketing campaigns such as social media strategy, organic social media management, paid social advertising and brand strategy across social media, among other digital marketing platforms. As a part of our series about How To Leverage Instagram To Grow Your Business, I had […]

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I have over a decade of social media marketing experience including comprehensive, Multi-channel marketing campaigns such as social media strategy, organic social media management, paid social advertising and brand strategy across social media, among other digital marketing platforms.


As a part of our series about How To Leverage Instagram To Grow Your Business, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Riel.

Stephanie Riel is the founder, owner and “RielDeal” behind RielDeal Marketing, a US-based boutique multi-channel marketing and branding firm. She has more than a decade of digital marketing and brand strategy experience and has worked with brands across a variety of industries including technology, ecommerce, health and wellness, real estate, retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG). In her personal time she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, spoiling her two dogs, and traveling the world.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m a brand strategist and digital marketer who got my start in the industry in 2008, while still in college. I found marketing via courses for by Business degree and immediately fell in love. Problem was, I was nearing the end of my college time and knew I didn’t want to change my major to learn the book version of marketing, so I started my consulting firm to get as much real life marketing experience as possible before graduating. I leveraged that freelance work to get my first full-time job — and every job after. I’ve worked in corporate environments and in startups — with franchise systems, Fortune 6 companies and with family-owned small businesses…and that was by design to get as much diverse experience as possible. I lived the “side hustle” life for over 9 years, navigating the demands of a full-time job — working for someone else by day and working on my business and servicing client needs on nights and weekends. In 2019, I left my corporate job to focus on my business full-time and I’ve not looked back.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

When you hear my background, you may assume I am self-taught on marketing…and I am. But what was interesting is in a faculty role for my Collegiate alma mater last year — I was able to help students in an agency-style learning environment apply their school-taught skills in a real life setting. Real clients, real projects and campaigns….real results. It was so interesting to me to be part of that educational inception. And, so interesting to see how students today are (luckily!) able to learn digital marketing skills in action; that is something that did not existing when I was in college!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

While mistakes are not usually funny in the moment — I do have a rather unique take on them. To me mistakes or “failures” are the greatest way to learn. I’m sure I made many mistakes early in my career and I’m sure I would laugh about many of them now. No matter the mistake, what I’ve learned is we can let our mistakes define us, or we can rise above. For me, rising above, figuring out how to fix it or learn from it and move forward is the most valuable lesson of all.

Ok. Let’s now move to the main focus of our discussion. For the benefit of our readers, can you explain why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

I have over a decade of social media marketing experience including comprehensive, Multi-channel marketing campaigns such as social media strategy, organic social media management, paid social advertising and brand strategy across social media, among other digital marketing platforms.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Both Twitter and Instagram have been very effective to build connections — which lead to business relationships. In my experience, using Instagram is a key of storytelling. With this channel being so visual, it is a great asset to show, not just tell your audience what you’re all about. Some of me and my team’s recent work for client’s social media channels and campaigns has even helped us win future projects with potential clients across many digital marketing touch points — beyond social media.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to inspire a movement that helps normalize mental health and encourages fellow humans to take care of their brains as much — or more than their bodies. In the last few years, I’ve incorporated wellness practices including meditation into my daily routine and the benefit to my brain, and my mental health has been incredible. There is such a stigma around mental health in the United States, I truly believe that if we could help lift that stigma and normalize the need for brain training like meditation and therapy or counseling — we could really help so many.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to share a meal with Mark Cuban. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, I have admired Mark Cuban for a long time. His connection with technology is something I also enjoy. To be able to sit with Mark and get to experience his energy and intelligence first-hand would be really incredible. I find Mark entertaining, funny and witty. I feel we would have a great time at a breakfast or lunch together and I’m certain I could learn so much from him in just a short time together.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

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