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8Qs with a Silicon Prairie Founder: Beth Trejo

Beth Trejo , founder and CEO of Chatterkick, took a risk when she started her social media marketing agency in 2012.

Beth’s decision proved to be a great bet for the Silicon Prairie entrepreneurial ecosystem at large, and for women in tech specifically.  Trejo grew her company with a predominantly female staff, and she has been named on Comparably’s list of the Top 50 CEOs for Women, featured in USA Today.

Beth Trejo, Founder and CEO of Chatterkick

When Beth started Chatterkick, she aspired to connect women leaders and entrepreneurs in high tech.  She has mentored women and nonprofits in the high tech industry, and launched a podcast to connect women leaders across Iowa.

Chatterkick has been recognized as one of the 25 best small Businesses for Women and made the list of the 50 best Small Companies to Work for in 2017 by Business Insider. Beth herself was the Women Aware’s 2018 Women Helping Women recipient.

Chatterkick is headquartered in Sioux City, Iowa, and has offices in Baton Rouge, Des Moines, and Sioux Falls.  Silicon Prairie News is pleased to feature Beth in this week’s edition of 8Qs with a Silicon Prairie Founder.  Thanks for sharing your startup story with us Beth!

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SPN: How did you get started in your industry?
BT:  I started chatterkick because I felt that social media needed to be approached differently. I saw an opportunity for businesses to use social platforms as tools to tell their story. In addition, I had previously worked at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and saw the business deals and connections that were made, person to person. I really believe that it’s the feeling of connection that drives our businesses and these platforms forward and because of that I wanted to redefine how businesses connect with people and truly provide a human connection in the digital world.

SPN: Is your job what you thought you would be doing when you were a child?
BT: Not at all! I didn’t have any desire to start or own a business when I was younger. I always saw myself in the medical industry since I have a fascination and interest in health and wellness.

SPN: What are you building right now? Why is it important to you?
BT: A new type of brand partnership for all. I think the traditional business/agency model is broken. To be a true partner there has to be a balanced relationship with meaningful interactions over time. Transparency and authenticity are extremely important to me because I think it builds trust and allows actionable insights that can make a true impact on business growth.

SPN: What is your favorite thing that you have ever built? Why was it your favorite?
BT: Our story-telling process. With 90% of our client engagements, we include a photo and video capture so that we can get authentic content on-site at the business and then distribute that to the people that matter via social channels. We do this across the US in all different industries. Although not the most profitable portion of our business, it’s one of my favorites because it works. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust and this allows us to do just that for our partners.

SPN: If you could improve one thing about your job or the place that you live, what would the change be?
BT: The Debbie-Downers. I often get frustrated when people don’t give our region enough credit or are always chasing another “place” they want to live. My advice to them is just to move then!

SPN: Was there anything looking back that you would do differently?
BT: I started Chatterkick when my son was a baby and I was newly pregnant with my daughter. I do have quite a bit of mom guilt and wish I was more mentally-present when my babies were babies.

SPN: What could the SPN community do to help you succeed?
BT: Help tell the story of the Sioux City metro and the commerce and employee patterns between the rest of the region. Many businesses have offices and business connections within the Omaha, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls corridor. I would love to see a better connection between those three communities.

SPN: If you could ask these questions to anyone, who would it be?
BT: Sheryl Sandberg

Visit https://chatterkick.com/beth-trejo/ to learn more about Beth, founder of Chatterkick, and her company.

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