Q&A with Magazine Publisher & Entrepreneur, Jaclyn Zukerman
Jaclyn Zukerman is a complete self-starter and entrepreneur. In 2015, she started her side hustle running a radio podcast from her guest bedroom closet. Three years later, due to her social media presence, she is proud to say she has become FULL-TIME self-employed and turned her podcast into an entertainment business filled with all different types of marketing/media services! www.jzsocialenterprises.com.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
Yes! I have a background in event planning for over 10 years and also worked in casting and media placement work for TV/Movies/Broadway for over three years. Once the Casting company closed, I relocated to Boston from New York to be with my now fiancé. When I first relocated, I worked on Top Chef Season 12 as the Assistant Stylist to Padma Lakshmi. It was for sure a whirlwind of an experience. The day I moved, I got the job and the next day I had my first day of work. It was an amazing experience and met some of my icons including Andy Cohen! Once the show was over, everyone went back to New York and Los Angeles and I was out of work and needed to figure out WHAT was NEXT for me.
What inspired you to start your business?
Once Top Chef ended, I really was doing a lot of self-discovery. All of my family and friends at the time were all back in New York. I really knew no one in the Boston area. When I say no one except my fiancé and his family that was really the truth. It was hard to get out of my comfort zone to make friends and find a job all at ONE TIME.
After interviewing at a bunch of different places, I knew I wanted to one day be my own boss. I grew up an entrepreneurial family with my father and brother owning their own businesses. I always loved the excitement of the entertainment world and knew one day I would end up there. I just was never sure how until I did my research and experimenting with research I learned online!
Where is your business based?
My business is based in Everett, MA! (We are about 8 minutes North of Downtown Boston.)
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
After watching a TON of YouTube videos, I learned how to set up my own podcast system. A month later, due to having a background in Public Relations, graduating from IONA in 2011, I knew how to engage the right target market to promote people. There, I started to promote start-ups, small businesses and events. Celebrities also started to come on my show. We talked all about how they got to where they are and what their current ventures were.
My guests were happy with the feedback they were receiving that my podcast guests turned into social media/public relations clients! So one of my outlets of business turned into another one!
Since I didn’t have any contacts in the media in Boston, I had been utilizing my social media as my main form of outreach. There, I connected with a few startup/small business magazines and started to promote some of my clientele there as well. After a few months of that, I found that the quality was NOT good and were NEVER on time and that was really starting to reflect me as my client's publicist.
Right then, I had an “aha” moment. I realized there was a way for me to do more for my clients. I wanted to create a tangible product that was going to be great quality and delivered on time. believe it or not, I went back to the drawing board, watched more YouTube Videos and launched my second media outlet, my magazine- NEXTonSCENE ® and officially trademarked that and my podcast in December of 2017!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
SOCIAL MEDIA! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Within six months of launching my magazine, I had such big traction, I was receiving threats to change the name of my magazine or they were going to take action. As soon as I got my first threat, I connected with an amazing trademark lawyer and a little over a year later our trademark officially went through. If I have one form of advice, STAY STRONG. Bullying is really a thing, it was a rough patch for me.
How do you stay focused?
Creating structure. Allowing “me time” in the morning which includes my daily gratitude journal and working out. Then I am ready to take on the day full force. I also live on my phone calendar!
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
The concept of my brand is to showcase “What’s NEXT” for you. I want to be the first source to release your newest business venture, your next destination, your NEXT outfit you should try on and WHY!
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Being consistent on social media and being e-mail savvy.
What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Be open to options. Change is good it is only what can make you better!
What’s your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
Favorite app: CANVA! I love love Canva, it allows you to create your own image with text, stock free, and people LOVE the custom touch to posts on social media. Favorite blog: anything that includes words of wisdom quotes! I also really love articles when people open up and are vulnerable about sharing their truth in their careers/successes. It puts your life into perspective that you are NOT alone and life isn’t perfect.
What’s your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
Same as above, love my Canva!
Who is your business role model? Why?
I have a few business role models, but two that come to the top of my head is Mark Cuban and Bethenny Frankel. Both started from the bottom and are complete self-starters! I admire it and really know that if you work hard and put your mind to something you can get whatever you want in this life!
What do you have planned for the next six months?
IFUNDWOMEN is in Boston currently and it is a crowdfunding campaign to help women-owned business in the Boston area! I plan on launching mine to help grow my podcast to the next level and simulcast to a video segment as well and invest in a new MacBook Air! I also am scheduling appointments to get my printed magazines in local newsstands /stores and having a fashion show promoting amazing up and coming designers in the Boston area April 5th!
How can our readers connect with you?