Student Business Profile

Today's post comes from the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship newsletter, with a profile of a new venture launched by some undergraduate business alumni, who among other clients are helping the UST MBA with some marketing and social media consulting.

Business name: The Social Lights, LLC
Owner(s): Martha McCarthy and Emily Pritchard
Type of business: Marketing & Advertising Agency
Number of employees: 2 (+ 3 PT interns)
Contact Information: | 651-962-4551 |

The Social Lights, LLC is an integrated marketing agency specializing in social media strategies and high-impact digital marketing campaigns. Founded in January 2011 by UST graduates Martha McCarthy and Emily Pritchard, this agency is quickly growing in the Twin Cities market.

Martha and Emily graduated from the University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in May 2011. “As part of our capstone course we wrote an in-depth business plan and pitched it to dozens of local businesspeople. After countless hours of research and ample encouragement, we knew that we wanted to pursue The Social Lights full-time after graduation” says Martha.

The Social Lights form highly creative campaigns that are fresh, fun and focused on return-on-investment for their clients. They refer to this practice as socially integrated marketing, or “Our unique method of blending our ‘secret sauce’ (high quality social media strategies) with a client’s existing marketing mix. We seamlessly integrate with a client’s current marketing strategies to give everything an extra kick” says Martha.

How Did They Get the Idea?
Last fall, they started doing social media consulting and projects for a handful of clients and kept getting referrals to do more. They decided to formalize the business and focus on what they do best: executing highly creative campaigns in the digital arena.

They spent four months interviewing potential partners, clients and local contacts in addition to researching the industry and marketing trends. They refined the business model and pitch several times. They centered their unique value proposition around creative service offerings and highly customized approach to digital marketing.

While they do not have decades of “in the field” industry experience, The Social Lights do leverage their age and abilities when pitching to clients. Emily says, “People trust us with their social media strategies because we were early adopters of these new technologies and we understand how people our age use social media.” The Social Lights are self-proclaimed social media addicts, saying “we can’t help but stay on top of the ever-changing world of social media.” Their knowledge of this space has been very valuable to clients who either do not understand or do not have time to keep up with all the new developments in social media.

The Social Lights office out of the University of St. Thomas, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Student Development Offices in downtown Minneapolis. More information about The Social Lights, visit their website.