A month ago, start-ups and experienced businessmen, founders of small firms, and owners of large companies took part in the International Best Business Awards, the award ceremony of which was recently held in Moscow, Russia. The purpose of the award is to popularize small and medium-sized businesses, as well as to strengthen cooperation between entrepreneurs and business professionals from different countries. One of the nominated speakers was Kseniya Levkovich, who lives in New York, received the Business Award for Best Marketing Agency “Sell on Media”.
Kseniya Levkovich was born in Russia, in the third-largest city called Novosibirsk (capital of Siberia). She came to the US in her early 20’s and was able to start a new life in New York, a city that she now calls home. Her initial career goal was to become a clinical psychologist. She continued her education in New York, but her professional plans changed due to life circumstances. Eventually, it all turned into her Marketing Agency Sell On Media.
It was nothing that I planned. As a child, I was so obsessed with reading, history, psychology, and geometry (in high school). My mom always says that I was so curious about everything and kept asking questions “why?”. I kept reading all the books that we had at our house over and over, and in school libraries. At some point, I realized how much I am into reading and writing. Though, I never thought I was talented at writing. I just loved it.
By 17 y.o I wasn’t sure whom I wanted to be. For my first University degree, I started with a Hospitality major then changed it to Business Management. At that time social media wasn’t invented yet, the Internet was so slow and took ages to load just one page so I couldn’t picture how I could really build a successful career with those reading and writing skills. I didn’t pursue Psychology and Marketing fields then because it wasn’t that popular in Russia at that time.
Years later, after I moved to New York I had to start a new life from the beginning. Learning the new culture, social environment, medical system, governmental rules, traditions, and language — took me years. Completely different values and cultural views. I wanted to go to college again in the US and learn everything from the beginning and get a degree in another field – psychology. Living in New York, I decided to become a clinical psychologist who works and helps women (immigrants) who moved to the US from foreign countries and faced domestic violence, or abusive relationships with their American spouses. There are so many cases of female immigrant survivors of domestic violence. Especially, women who don’t even know their rights, afraid to ask for help because they are legally undocumented yet and have difficulties expressing their needs with lack of language. I believed it was a big mission of mine because it is all based on cultural differences. But everything turned in a different direction again.
When I was in college in the US, earning a degree for my psychology career, social media had begun to become quite popular because people craved interaction and connection. All professors pointed to my strong reading/writing/verbal skills by giving me “A+”. I thought why not post my short essays for psychology classes on social media in the Russian language since my initial articles were in English. “Why can only American professors read and grade my essays then it goes nowhere?”. I translated and posted on Instagram without any idea of the Social Media Marketing business. That is how it started….
What led you to develop your business Sell On Media?
In quite a short time a while, I made my first money on Social Media without even planning on it. I got excited and started to learn everything about Marketing and Social Media on the side. I have learned about algorithms, traffic, engagement, creating content, branding, graphic design, building websites, paid promotions, partnerships, collaborations, and ways to monetize any niche on Social Media. Even though, I made money on it I never took it seriously. A year later, one of my friends who had a business and wanted to build brand awareness, and get new traffic, asked me to run his social media page. Then referred me to another friend, and to another friend….
After my graduation from the Psychology degree, I had to make a big decision. I was supposed to continue my education until I got a license but realized that my Social Media Marketing hobby had turned into a real business. I built some digital products, online courses, had a few business companies run on social media and advertise them, and more offers were coming and coming. I had no time for both. I became so busy. I began to delegate and build a team. I focused more on growing a business, investing in it, and getting more clients. I decided to put my psychology career on hold for one year and see after that. Even though, it became my business I still was afraid to tell some people what I do, especially for “old school” people because 5 years ago, no one took social media marketing seriously unless they were familiar with traditional marketing or IT. Back then, I everybody took it as a joke. But not anymore.
These days, we get all the data from Social Media which is a good thing for any business and brand. Great opportunities to grow any business in sales, and increase brand awareness. Based on Forbes magazine and Unswith screen-time research, Americans spent more than an average 1300 hours on social media according to a new study: Forbes article research.
Can you tell us about some of the services that you provide?
We provide services for any type of business or individuals all around who want to build a strong Social Media Presence, attract new clients through Social Media, and generate traffic from new clients to their Instagram, website, or local business.
Our services include things such as branding and graphic design for Social Media or Websites, Content Creation and Strategy, monthly running Social Media Pages, Generating Leads, Email Marketing, Paid Ads, Online Courses creation, and more. It all targets one goal — sales for your business.
Congratulations on winning “Best Marketing Agency” at the 2021 International Best Business Awards! What did this award mean to you and your business?
Thank you. For me personally, it means that I have to stop thinking about becoming a psychologist anymore! There shouldn’t be fear of missing opportunities. I must admit that I already have a business that I have been passionate about for years. I love what I do, and I do what I love. All marketing strategies are based on a lot of behavioral and social psychology. Without understanding the psychology of our clients, audience, and businesses models— it wouldn’t work out. Marketing psychology is where the buyer behaves based on a cognitive basis. I appreciate my psychology background, but I am in marketing now, and it is even better than I thought.
This award means to my business that we are going in the right direction! The whole world is going to be digital, eventually. And we are here to help!
What was it like to attend this prestigious event?
When I first entered the event, I was surprised by how many celebrities, actresses, singers, famous business entrepreneurs, and brands were there. It was an unforgettable experience to stand on the same stage with one of my favorite singers from my childhood. Even more, we all enjoyed small talk and exchanged numbers. The main benefit of such a prestigious event is network. At the event I was able to get together with interesting people from a wide range of backgrounds whom you may not encounter in your life or on the street. This event was a great opportunity to get my name and work out there, especially as I was fortunate enough to be invited as a nominated speaker who eventually got awarded on the same kind of level as my childhood star.
What qualities do you feel your business has that makes you special? Why did you think you deserved this award?
Number one is result-oriented. In other words, “Put yourself in your client’s shoes.” What is the business model my client has and what is the most “painful” for them in that model? Is it sales, or customers, or leads, or traffic, cost per click, or maybe lack of time? How can we get that pain away? Just common sense, thinking about how to do things differently, making things better for our client, not the other way.
The other quality is curiosity. I always ask myself “How can I be a good marketer in this digital world turning completely to artificial intelligence?” We are trying to make predictions using our human minds to find out what is the new platform or app coming soon, or what will be the next trend that goes viral on Google’s or Instagram’s algorithms. We are not afraid of change; we adapt to change and try to predict it before everyone else. Sometimes it is enough just to do deep research to predict future trends, the more data you have the more accurate it can be. But sometimes all predictions based on research crumbles like a house of card. I just wake up and realize this is not going to work. I just know it without any data.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, Google and Facebook know us better than we know ourselves. This is the future – artificial intelligence in the digital world.
Now that you are being recognized as one of the best businesses in the world, what are your plans for the future of your business?
Right now, we are working on an online course for businesses and individual entrepreneurs who want to get more traffic and sales from social media but don’t know how. Basically, I want to repeat my path of where and how I started, highlighting the mistakes I made and providing a solution in each lesson. It will have a focus on practical parts such as how to build a strategy, create a content plan in a few steps, optimize a website, create a graphic design that sells, and promote with low cost and few clicks without hiring a marketing agency.
Second, is more my personal plan as a writer right now. I am working on a book for Business Marketing through Social Media — focusing on how to build a story brand. Hopefully, by the end of this year, it will be published in both Russian and English.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur in digital marketing?
Younger me has always been a reader in that I read as well as write my thoughts. I often find myself reaching for a pen to organize my ideas. I have had hundreds of written-out journals in my childhood. Now I do it using copywriting in content marketing, lead generation, advertising, SEO optimization, segmentation, and course creation. I believe that when I bring all the ideas and thoughts to a tab or document, I can work with them by extracting the core and building it into a digital product.
I believe my ability to create digital products and content professionally stems from the effort that began when I was a child who was just curious about everything, looking for the answers in books and making notes about my thoughts and feelings on blank pages.
Thank you Kseniya for your time!