Tim Sohn is a 15 year leukemia survivor and founder of Sohn Social Media Solutions. He is an award- winning producer of impactful live shows and virtual events. He also coaches others on creating and leveling up their own live shows and virtual events. He loves Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee and his family. Connect with Tim at https://www.linkedin.com/in/timsohn.
Where did the idea for Sohn Social Media Solutions come from?
Eleven years ago I found myself living in a rural part of Pennsylvania. I had previously worked as copy editor and copy desk chief at newspapers across the country, lastly in New Jersey. My wife bought a piece of land here when we first started dating with the intention to build a house on this piece of land. We got married, and I moved here, but I didn’t want to commute at least two hours for a decent newspaper job. Plus, the size of newsrooms were being drastically cut at that time. After working full time at newsrooms for more than a decade, I decided to try my hand at becoming a freelance writer and editor, interviewing brands and publishers about how they were using social media to meet their goals. I was also using social media at the time, especially LinkedIn, to reach out to sources, and they were reaching out to me. Eight years ago, I decided to try launching my own business – Sohn Social Media Solutions – to help local businesses here in Northeast Pennsylvania use social media to meet their unique goals. Since the pandemic, I have been focusing on livestreaming – coaching others to launch and level up their own live shows and virtual events, as well as produce live shows and virtual events.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up around 6:30 each morning. My wife leaves at 7 a.m., and I get our two children – Megan, 10; and Katelyn, 7, ready to go to the bus stop. We leave here at 8:15, then get on the bus at about 8:25. Then, I stop at Dunkin’ for my iced coffee and typically go for a walk – somewhere between half and an hour. Then, I come back home and get to work. I check to see what calls I have slated for that day. I’ve been spending a lot of time getting to know people on Zoom calls who show up in the Comments of live shows that I host and produce. This has been my most effective way of getting new clients recently. The night before I make a to-do list in priority order. I put an asterisk next to all things that have to get done that day because of deadlines, and I realize some of those things may roll over until the next day. My work day mainly goes from somewhere between 9 am and 3:30 p.m. Sometimes I’ll also do some work in the evening. I’m not the most organized person, but the To Do List does help a lot.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I strive on collaboration. I love to partner with others on projects. For example, I am the co-host of The Tim & Jim Show, a weekly live show for small businesses (timandjim.live). I launched it more than three years ago with another online marketer and it has really built my brand. I also collaborate with others on live shows. Collaboration brings a new level of excitement as well as accountability. It’s hard to do things on your own, but when you have someone else with you for the ride, it makes it that much more inspiring.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The increase in interest of livestreaming since the pandemic. I have been trying to get businesses to use livestreaming for a number of years, and often times there has been hesitation because of fear of being on camera, the tech and other reasons. But the pandemic has really lit a fire under the arse of businesses and organizations to finally start using livestreaming. I’m especially excited about the growth of LinkedIn Live.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
When I’m working on a project that excites me, I am more productive. Now, I am more select in terms of what projects I take on. For example, in the past, I used to do a lot of social media management work. Now, I primarily focus on livestreaming because I love the relationships it builds and the impact that it has!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Try new things. Don’t get stagnant.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There are many kind people in this world, despite all the crazy things going on in the world right now.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Get on a Zoom call or phone call with somebody every single day to build relationships. You can put up as many social media posts or host as many live shows, but if you’re not building relationships, you’re not growing your business.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Showing up consistently hosting live shows. I’ve been doing this for more than three years now. It really builds your brand and relationships. Provide a ton of value and entertainment, and then when you have something to pitch, your community trusts you, and you can make that pitch. Just don’t pitch all the time or your people will go away permanently.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t know if it’s a failure, but I don’t really set firm goals for anything. Maybe part of it is because my wife has a good job with decent pay and benefits. I like to work on projects that I’m passionate about. That is definitely something that I have learned over these last eight years. There are clients I’ve worked with in the past that if I had to do it again, I know I wouldn’t because it just didn’t bring me joy. That being said, we all do have to pay the bills, so sometimes, especially early on in our businesses, we do have to do what brings us less joy. As time goes on, you’ll be able to be more selective.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Create a live show that is entertaining. Now more than ever people want to be entertained online. If you show up consistently, make people laugh, they will keep coming back. And always direct message people who show up for your shows to say thank you. It’s the personal interaction that people will remember!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Spending money on our kiddos, doing things that make them happy, bring them joy.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love using StreamYard to produce live shows. It’s really easy to use, stable and creates professional looking streams.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
It features someone I collaborate with – dear friend Brian Schulman of Voice Your Vibe. He was a pound and a half miracle baby, has Tourette syndrome and has a very inspirational story. He is always shining the light bright on others and focusing on the good. He always says, “Incredible things happen when we come together,” and that’s so true.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”. -Maya Angelou.
- Create a business that brings you joy.
- Hosting a live show will grow your business & your brand because it builds relationships.
- Get on a Zoom call or phone call with at least one person every day – somebody who shows up to support you in the Comments of your live show or social media posts.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.