String Story | Influencer and teacher
I fell in love with this quirky geeky Snapchat influencer right away because of her tenacity for teaching business on Snapchat.
From launching her own E-Book and almost immediately MONETIZING her Snapchat following, to launching the best online course for Snapchat I have ever seen, String is always on the move teaching us how to do our business BETTER with every new snap story.
Since String is in Australia, she always begins with the clever “its string from the future” because most watching her in the US and Europe are seeing her SnapStory today when to her it is already tomorrow. And a true futurist she is at that!
We sat down with String to ask her why she thinks Snapchat works for business, and what to expect in the future.
Darrell Stern: This is Darrell Stern. The CEO of Stern Inbound Marketing, creator of Stern Storming which is a great way to market your business using the benefits not the features. I’m here with one of the top innovators on Snapchat, in social media, in the world, Suzie otherwise known as String Story. Thank you for joining us.
Suzie: Welcome to the future. I always like to say that.
Darrell Stern: Welcome. Yeah you like to say that.
Suzie: I’m like 18 hours ahead of San Francisco and way ahead of you guys when it comes to America. I’m joking but in terms of time I am 18 hours ahead of San Francisco.
Darrell: You are way ahead of the entire American people and everything. I agree. So, its 3:37PM here in Denver, Colorado. What time is it and day is it over there?
Suzie: Saturday, 9:37AM.
Darrell: Wow. That is crazy. You’re like a full day and a half, and a day away. That’s incredible. So how is tomorrow going? Did we make it through the day?
Suzie: Oh, you know, you’ll survive Trump.
Darrell: Does the earth still exist tomorrow? All right. So, what I want to do now. A lot of people are talking about interviews with Snapchat and all that and about it but I wanted to interview you about some other things such as before Snapchat, before this all came along in the way that you could broadcast yourself this way what was your life like? What were you doing? What were your hobbies? Were you in school? You know what was your life like this Snapchat explosion happened in the past couple years?
Suzie: Well, I guess I had been on video for quite a long time. I call myself a curious kid of the future. So, more ways to snap the latest technology, social media, and communication and I think I realized that I loved video and communication with people generally because I always was a people’s person from the very start. At a young age I always felt like I needed to connect with people. I feel that more of our technology is moving rapidly. Internet has moved so much that the combination of mobile phone and internet has created Meercat, Periscope, and you know Snapchat now. So, I think I kind of like started loving video was when Meercat first happened. Which was this mobile livestreaming platform and before Periscope existed and I gained 44,000 followers. It was like holy crap.
Darrell: Holy crap exactly. Exactly.
Suzie: I must be doing something right. Then he died.
Darrell: So, you’re a natural at this. I mean when you get on camera you smile, your personality and all that, but are you on the inside? Are you an introvert? Would you consider yourself that or an extrovert? I mean in your life are you more of an introvert and then you have to say all right, I’m going to broadcast now and go out? Or are you an extrovert? Do you just love to just turn it on, turn on things and start broadcasting?
Suzie: Well, I didn’t even like the camera. I just liked connecting with people. I have to say I have both.
Darrell: Got it.
Suzie: A combination of introvert and extrovert. I love hanging out with people. If you chucked me in the middle of nowhere I’d probably survive. As an introvert, I like going and doing stuff by myself. I like eating by myself.
Suzie: I like going to the movies by myself. I don’t mind travelling by myself. On TV camera, I have to show my extroverted personally I guess.
Darrell: Right. When you’re on camera you are ready to vroom. So now that you are a consistent, constant creator and you were before, and now especially on Snapchat. Is it still fun? I mean is it just part of your life now to do this? I mean obviously, it is your career and your job at the same time. Or are there some days when you go you know I got to get away? This is my introvert time. Like I don’t want to do this. Do you feel like guilt about that? Or do you say you know what it’s okay they can wait? It’s me time. I want to pause this.
Suzie: Yesterday I went out to dinner with one of my oldest friends. Like I knew him since I was 15. So, it’s a 22-year relationship. He goes to me and says I don’t even get what you’re doing literally.
Suzie: I was like I don’t understand Snapchat. Then he said but I’m watching you grow and I’m so proud of you from what you’ve achieved because you’re an amazing story teller. I’m like thinking hallelujah. You know he said I’m a story teller.
Darrell: Yeah. Exactly.
Suzie: I’m going to continue creating content. You know I feel like you’re one of those top people and you don’t even realize. So, I’m really proud that like someone who followed my project, he doesn’t get what I’m doing, but he knows that I’m a story teller. Even if Snapchat dies, all the skills that I learned from Meercat, Periscope, that has been transferrable. I’m one of those types where… Go ahead.
Darrell: Right. So, that’s an important point because some people that I see they seem to be really, you know, attached to being – You know if Snapchat star, or Snapchat super star, or Snapchat influencer and you would say as you’ve seen Meercat, and lab, and these other things come and go. Hey wait a minute you’ve got to be ready to take your talents on to the next platform because it’s you, right? That’s talented at giving stories and you know that and you use that. So, that is transferable, right?
Suzie: Also, the way I formatted my shirts is really important because a lot of people don’t realize. It’s like you have to deliver a shirt. Regardless of what it is if you provide value whether it be here, the hat, or the hip pocket you still have to provide some kind of value and entertainment.
Darrell: Got it. So, when you decide to get up in the morning and make a Snapchat story is it like a morality play? In other words, what I’m getting at is you know that there’s a moral at the end. Like this is the lesson I want to teach everybody. So, I’m going to kind of work backwards from that and kind of plan okay this is how I’m going to get to this main point. Or is it more like it just flows as it flows and then you realize “Oh, okay guys. Here’s the conclusion of it”? Like how much planning is there? Or is it just kind of like it flows, and it comes out, and you wrap it up, and there you are?
Suzie: I’m a planner. I have to say. [Crosstalk][Inaudible][06:52]
Darrell: Yeah, I figured as much. Right.
Suzie: Otherwise I don’t know what to say or what the conclusion is. You can tell when I’m doing like my usual just go with the flow days and you can also tell when I’m providing super high concentrated value in terms of content. People love – I think just the other day I had like 500 screenshots on a Sunday.
Darrell: Wow. Wow.
Suzie: I don’t think I realize… The way I treat Snapchat these days it’s an interactive TV show. So, they are interactive at the intro slide because on Snapchat – You can’t even do that on-Screen Stories. There are no screenshots. Only Snapchat has that capability at the moment. Everyone calls it the creep factor but I have to say that it’s the most underutilized tool on Snapchat that people should utilize as a business tool, as a personality tool. You could play games with it. You could use it as reference point. You could push traffic. You could do a lot of things with screenshots and a lot of people don’t realize that.
You can you know introduce an influencers or American Men people because you know how crap Discovery is and then you can recommend six awesome snappers or something like that. People are just like I need to find really good snappers and then just like screenshot the hell out of it. I’m always parading other people because I believe that you know for you to succeed you have to make sure that the platform is sustainable. Otherwise you’re the only one promoting itself. You’re saying that you know there are many other good content creators. Three percent of the world are content creators, you know just content creators.
Suzie: Like curators and students. So, you may as well utilize the platform for what it is.
Darrell: Wow. That’s amazing. So, have you had times when brands or company’s or even another person has come to you and said I notice how you did it. So, you actually have a structure for shout outs. Like you say if you want a shout out you’re going to – You’ve organized it so well into a system because then you’re in control of it whereas I would imagine that now, I don’t know how many people watch your snapchat story a day or whatever, but you know you’re kind of bombarded. Like asking hey follow me, do this for me, can you like my whatever, or screenshot my thing. You’ve got it down to a system where there is an opportunity for that and you can say okay to do that, right?
To work with me and have a shout out you know you do this. Now has there ever been someone who has, or a company that has said well we want you to do this, and we want to pay you this money, and you have said you know what that’s not my audience? Like that wouldn’t appeal to them?
Suzie: Yeah. I mean if you’re becoming like the ambassador for a brand or something you should make sure that your values align at least.
Darrell: Right. You match their values right.
Suzie: Yeah otherwise what’s the point? Like because you won’t convert anyone over to their brand at all. Also, I have really high standards. I won’t choose partnerships who aren’t really aligned with who I am as a person as well. It’s a choice I get because I would rather go for quality than quantity. I decided from very early on that I’d rather have really premium people around me or quality people around me. So, I attract the kind of vibe or the tribe that I want to associate with.
Darrell: Got it. Okay. Now the name String Story. Did you change your screen into it? Or how did that happen? You just looked at it, you said wait I can make like string of a story? Like string story? It came to you and you named yourself that on Snapchat because its brilliant. How did you come up with that?
Suzie: So, I graduated as an Interior Designer, practiced for a few years, and then I realized that I didn’t like working for the man. I want to work for myself and all of a sudden, I’m in a creativity satisfaction from the job results. So, I started to become Spider Woman on the streets. Creating strings, connecting peoples time and place together. I did that and excited. I was doing really well and then I realized that you know it didn’t work out because I wasn’t making much money from being an artist and I [Crosstalk][Inaudible][11:16] after that. I realized that people kept on coming back to me for social media and marketing advice. I realized that my skill sets as a connector were where the people continued and I’m doing it online. So, I’m connecting stories and trends online. So, String Story continued to stick. It’s not like I did something overnight. It was like a ten-year plan just to keep one personal brand.
Darrell: Well, and it has a philosophical meaning to it. You know String Theory and subatomic, and we’re all connected to some kind of energy between us that connects us, and subatomic particles. You know what I’m saying. So, its brilliant because there’s a philosophy behind it that we all can tell these stories together and we’re all connected somehow you know through the universe and all that.
Darrell: So, what’s coming up for you? What’s next? Like I know you launched your online course. Its tremendous. It’s amazing, right?
Suzie: Thank you.
Darrell: What’s next for you? What’s coming up in the next couple of months?
Suzie: Next couple months I’m writing a book. It’s called String Fried Chicken Story.
Darrell: I love it. That’s brilliant.
Suzie: If you follow me that I know I love fried chicken and it’s also because its visionary. You probably have seen my timeline. Its snapchat, snapchat, snapchat, fried chicken, fried chicken, snapchat, fried chicken, fried chicken, snapchat.
Darrell: I noticed that. I noticed as I watch your story. Business, business, chicken, business, business, business, business, chicken, chicken. Yes. Now KFC. Now we have an American company from Kentucky. I’m sure you’ve heard of it that makes fried chicken. They have not approached you yet with all your mentioning of fried chicken?
Suzie: Well, at the moment there’s mostly a fried chicken and beer trend and every time like someone goes out and eats fried chicken and beer they’ll take a photo and then send it to me. Once a week, if I count I have like ten photos and pings from fried chicken stories around the world.
Darrell: Wow. Go ahead.
Suzie: That kind of shows that visual branding is really important because even if they don’t understand what I do when they see fried chicken they think of me which is like an uncovered marketing.
Darrell: You’re getting it to where yeah people think fried chicken and they think String Story. So, I got to get a bucket of KFC and go home and watch String Story. That’s it.
Suzie: Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead.
Darrell: I was going to say. So, I’ve now turned on musically and lively, right? What I see kind of, and there’s an important question, it kind of scares me because there’s younger and younger kids that are broadcasting you know themselves. Some of them already have like followings and all of this kind of stuff but to me, if I was a parent, I’m not a parent yet but if I was what do you think – You know what I’m getting at. Like the age kind of limit is for this kind of thing? You know that there is also a lot of adult things that you have to deal with you know if you’re broadcasting yourself and if you’re out there, and all the messages that you get, and that kind of stuff. Do you sense that? Do you see that? Or are you like wow let all these kids – I mean I think our next world leaders are going to be the social media star people coming up today. What do you think about that?
Suzie: The pattern is that younger kids are so familiar with online and videos. My nephews only like a year old. He already knows how to pose like how to pose for photos already. His posing is much stronger than mine. The thing is I think these tools do come out. I do feel like if used in a positive way it does build up really strong presentation skills. It does build up self-confidence.
Darrell: Oh okay.
Suzie: That’s the positive side but the negative side is like there is a creep factor. Like someone could actually connect with these young kids and you don’t know who is behind that camera.
Darrell: You don’t know who that is. Yeah, exactly. So yeah it goes…
Suzie: What would I do is like I wouldn’t stop them from their story because it is a pathway to learn. Its video to tell their story or show, or develop their personalities.
Suzie: I’d probably like help them recognize the red flags and say that these are the parameters that you should understand and how to deal with certain issues when someone trolls you. So how do you deal with that. Also, probably limit it as well. Don’t make them go on to something like – I understand the concept of going on vacation. So, make things like hey you can do that for like six hours at a time. It’s just not healthy.
Darrell: Wow. So, with all of this going on and since Snapchat is so interactive and people look and react, you know, send messages with every ten second thing. How long does it take you to go through all the messages, and all the things that are going on? I mean is this now something where you have to say now I’ve done my story and maybe first thing in the morning I have to check all of these messages because you know how people are. If you stop responding, right? Or don’t respond at all to people they may go away. So how does that work in this world that you are getting so big? My gosh 1,000 chat messages could be waiting for you the next day.
Suzie: It’s still scalable. I’m still able to do like chat with some really good people at the moment. I do have a fear of not responding back and I’ve noticed that sometimes I’ll only respond back with one little yes/no and that’s not really engaging.
Suzie: I don’t know. Like I have to go through it myself but I’ve been feeling that once that happens I might have to find tactics – I’ve already thought of tactics already to deal with that already. Even if I…
Suzie: Even if like one of the questions I get like ten times I probably would respond through the stories. It’s a way of doing things that is a lot more efficient.
Darrell: Right. I mean eventually some people that blog and have the huge social media followings they actually have a company or someone helps them with that. You know helps them respond and all that kind of stuff. It would be interesting to see what happens you know in other words if people eventually do that and have other people help them with those kinds of things. So, you have been very interested, right? Right out of the bat here’s a Bitly link and I’m going to go – Like here’s a Bitly link to my eBook and you know go buy this. You’ve been one of the few people that I’ve watched that has a unique really like sharp business sense of this. Like right off the bat like here’s how we’re going to do it. I’ve done inbound marketing you know from social media or providing pages from the past since it began but how did you come up with that knowing how to do that? I mean was that something that you saw other people doing on other platforms and you said my gosh Snapchat, why don’t we just make a Bitly code and have them go buy my eBook through that? Like how did that come about where you realized wait this can be monetized. We can flow the traffic right through.
Suzie: Like you do know that I run a social media and marketing business. So, for me sending the Bitly link is the fastest way to get out, also to train people on this is a web link.
Suzie: Otherwise like String Story is something that everyone has to specifically to me and then I just push the traffic onto my website but the Bitly one does work. Another tactic that id been testing out and had a really strong conversion rate is what I call the Emoji code action. Like if you’re interested in having a link sent to you send me a fried chicken.
Darrell: Oh, wow.
Suzie: Like I’m reading the latest blog and if you’re interested send me a fried chicken. Like people just send me a fried chicken, then I send them the link to the blog and then you know like given them – Because Instagram is the hyperlink where people push towards traffic and stuff like that already. Snapchat does have that but people don’t utilize the messaging side as part of the business as well. I’ve done that and the amount of people that want to join me that is an everyday challenge is amazing. So, I’ve been pushing the traffic to my Facebook so that people could organically like my page at the same time as all that. That’s grown as well.
Darrell: Right. So, you move it. We’re always trying to move people then from platform to platform so that we can communicate with them in different ways using different things and all that. That’s amazing. So, what was your favorite, not even maybe on Snapchat, but what’s your favorite company that you’ve worked for? Your biggest success story where you’ve helped someone else with social media. What was that like? What was the success like?
Suzie: I’m thinking for some reason the one that I’m looking most forward to is the Pause Festival that is coming up in a couple of months. Where I actually utilized my skills as a producer and saying these are things that you could do to help, promote, distribute, and grow your channel.
Suzie: So, I already have like some good opportunities coming my way. In Australia Snapchat isn’t that popular or utilized for business. So, I have like a true opportunity to say hey this is what is happening at the moment. You should get interested in my cause and then we can have a discussion about it because it’s really hard to have a conversation if you don’t understand the basic dynamics of Snapchat. Sometimes they don’t [Crosstalk][Inaudible][21:20].
Suzie: They do understand that it is a great channel for personal branding or humanizing a brand.
Darrell: Wow. So, how, in the business side of it people have started to approach you and want you to do different things. How did you start to set the price? The reason why I’m saying this is because some Snap chatters who are huge, and they’re artists, and this and that, and they say that they’ve worked with brands and stuff but they don’t seem to have that business sense you know what I’m saying? To monetize it, to give themselves a value, to understand that you know how to do that how to make a deal in all of that. Did that just come naturally to you? Or like I always say you can always come down in price but you can’t go back up. So, did you take the leap of faith the first time you know something bigger happened and say well, bam. These are how many followers I have you know $5,000. I mean did you just say confidently a high number and it worked? Or you know what I’m saying.
Suzie: Yeah. If they’re a business person, they won’t negotiate regardless. That’s what I learned. You know if you believe in your skillsets so strongly but you have to always set a framework. Like this is who I am, this is what I can deliver, and when I deliver it this is how much I expect you to pay. If I don’t deliver it, I will like have that price. So, it’s always that set of framework that I can deliver and when you set the expectation up of course they go and say yes to that. If they say no to it then it means, it’s okay there is always opportunities elsewhere. When someone says no they are doing me a favor because a person who wants my stuff, my skillsets, will come to me and say yes. They saved me time.
Darrell: That’s amazing. So now we’re going to jump from business to the social world I think. There’s a lot of division in the world. You know this side versus that side but I’ve found, and I don’t know if you agree with me, that the snapchat community seem to be very supportive, very loving, and caring, you know, people. Have you found that? Have you relished in that? On other platforms, there’s a lot of you know back and forth and things that are hateful that go around but on snapchat it doesn’t seem to be that way. Would you agree? Why do you think on this silly chat app, you know video/chat app that the community has grown so much in such a positive direction?
Suzie: Its playful. No one has taken it seriously and it’s almost like the fresh sort of journey is a little bit higher. You feel like you want to make the most of the experience. So, people are bringing their positive vibes into it and your reputation is kind of at stake as well but I do feel like you’re right in regards that the community is super friendly people and super supportive. I think it’s just because of the influences that have helped create this community of supports. All of the credit to Serene, [Phonetic][24:28] Sundered, [Phonetic][24:29] Halal, everyone else that I’ve like talked to and even you have only brought in positive vibes.
Suzie: I love how people want to see people succeed.
Darrell: People want to see people succeed. I like that. That’s really good. Well, you certainly are succeeding. So, what would you really like to do next? What has been something that you haven’t done yet? You said you’re coming out with the book and all that. What would be the next thing that you would want to do because you’ve already done so much. I would say wow you know you’re done. You can retire next year. You’re done. You can just kick back.
Suzie: I’m focusing on pushing my Snapchat quest to be the number one Snapchat quest in the world.
Darrell: Number one. Everybody go get String Story’s number one snapchat course in the world. Go get it.
Suzie: I want to do it because it’s actually really fun. It shows you how to use it for business. It shows you how to grow your channel. It shows you how to call to action and I’m going to upload it into the course what I call the Emoji call to action which I think is one of my secret tools. You know I tell you how to utilize the messaging platform to the full capacity as well. So, it’s like going for another round of updates and people said it’s like $97 is too cheap for what you offer. So, I’m thinking yeah when I do all these rounds of updates it’s going to be $297. I’m just going to keep it at that standard of price.
Darrell: Okay. So where can people go get your course?
Darrell: Got it. All right. You were awesome. You were the best. I’m going to stop the recording now but if you want to give me a thank you for having me kind of thing and then I can tack that onto the end of it. Then we can keep talking before you have to go.
Suzie: Did I say that? Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to chat with me and talk about Snapchat. I love talking about Snapchat but I also love talking about business.
Darrell: Well, I would look forward to working with you and doing business with you. You are a gift to the world.
Suzie: Thank you so much.