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Miami Means Business and Stephanie Saunders Means Business In Miami

Miami Shoot Magazine
Photos Aubrey Chandler

Interview by Nadja Atwal 

Stephanie Saunders’ calendar is full. Business meetings, speaking engagements, her own podcast, Charity board Zoom calls, photo shoots and being hands-on with her multiple businesses, of which she runs some together with her husband. It was not the fact that she has been doing so many things and well, but the way she communicates her philosophies and goals on social media that grabbed the attention of Forbes magazine. The result? She was named among the top 10 influencers of 2020 – above, yes, you read correctly –  Elon Musk.  We met Stephanie for an exclusive interview and picked up some influencer tips while learning more about her.

First of all congratulations on being named as one of the top influencers by Forbes magazine! What do you think made you stand out from so many other successful Influencers?

To be honest being named on a list of the top 10 influencers for 2020 was a shocking and humbling moment. I really feel the contributor’s message was about using influence for good and that’s what I try to do. You know when an influencer is just selling a product or service or truly trying to help solve a problem by giving you a solution. 

You are very strong on LinkedIn, but you also take great care of your instagram and lately have been moderating lots of rooms on Clubhouse. Tell us about your social media strategy. 

LinkedIn has been a massive resource for me and my businesses as well as supporting my sales team. The reason LinkedIn has been such a prevalent space for everyday contact and endgame to growth has been so fast for us is because you can literally filter your target audiences by business category and find those that will resonate most with your business tips – and that is a huge when it comes to social media marketing and influence. What I’ve realized since utilizing social media for influencer style marketing though is that – you just be on all platforms. With that said each platform has its own voice. For me LinkedIn is the best over all for our style of business education content related to property, investing, non-profits, and personal business success. But Instagram is wonderful for a visual portrayal of your life where people can find out more about you personally, your interests, your travel spots and of course what you eat – which are important for people to feel more connected to you on a different level. Clubhouse has been a great place to start relationships in real time and then bring these people into your sphere after making connections on a new level with this audio only playground. 

What do you say to people who feel social media is not getting them desired results?  

I’m quite literally “mind blown” when I hear people speak poorly about those successfully utilizing social media for marketing themselves and their brands. And by brands I’m not referring to products – I’m referring to business empires. People who are unable to understand the importance of having a digital footprint on social media platforms will get left behind as we move into more and more technology friendly lifestyles.. When I changed from consumer to creator I immediately had been doors opening for me and my businesses. If you’re already utilizing social media and not having success, my best recommendation would be to access the platform you’re using and its preferred content style. It’s very possible you’re speaking the wrong content style language and just need to add a layer in the correct direction. 

 You have several businesses. Tell us about them and how a typical business day in your life looks like: 

Yes! I am constantly trying to grow and each business venture is a new layer to my entrepreneurial life. When I was in corporate I represented banks and funds during the foreclosure crisis – at the time consumers were certainly in the loosing seat & investors gained in their positioning. When I left I started an investment fund of my own where I buy and manage Multifamily properties but I also teamed up with a public adjusting firm, United claims specialists, where we help property owners large and small protect their investments – I also married the founder so this will be my life’s passion. I am a real estate fanatic, but my work is deeply routed in servant leadership – I like to help people, which is why I started the Suskind foundation – where we are focused on supporting people and communities who have been affected by natural disasters and economic hardship. I also have a marketing firm founded in 2020 called S2 Marketing where we support founders who are looking to get online to utilize social media marketing the way I do. It is a very straight forward approach of dissecting the brands mission and directive. My days consist of lots of managing my wonderful leaders and Sale’s team’s at United claims specialists and S2 Marketing. Overseeing their community outreach and marketing strategy and continuing Ed program we offer and hosting the s2 show while always looking for places the Suskind foundation can contribute. It can be difficult to wear so many hats. 

Philanthropy plays a vital role in your life. Tell us about the charity you are involved in: 

In addition to my foundation I am also a Trustee at JWF Broward, which is a Jewish Woman’s Foundation focused on supporting Women and girls in Israel. I’m very passionate about supporting Israel in any way I can. I am also on the broad of directors at Miami Girls foundation – where successful women have a place to support each other and show other women they can achieve anything they desire through the powerful circles available to them.

What new ways of fundraising are you exploring ?

Clubhouse has been a really amazing place to ignite new forms of recognition. For fundraising we are looking to bring JWF on to the platform to assist in spreading their message and bringing in new eyes from people who are passionate about supporting the charities goal. 

In Florida, especially Miami, business is booming. How are you using this business environment and the latest moves by the Miami Mayor to turn Miami into the next Silicon Valley? 

I am fascinated by market shifts and I am actively investing in property in the north Miami Beach area to assist in the growth of Miami’s economy. Miami will soon be a place of professionalism that it has always craved where professionals can go not to play but to hold meetings and events with the beach in their backyard. I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the change there and removing the underlying reputation Miami has of only being a place to play. 

In the end, we work in order to live and when we look at your instagram, you seem to live quite well and like to travel. Tell us about your favorite sweet escapes from Miami and your most beloved long distance destinations and what you love about these places.

I do love to travel and when we escape we gain a new perspective on our business and personal lives & can get peace from a change of scenery that is so important for our mental health when living an entrepreneurial lifestyle. If there were one place I had to choose as my ultimate get away it would be Italy. I spend most summers there and look forward to getting back every chance I get. There is a small place between Milan and Florence that is a hidden gem of Beaches and family run hotels that have the most exquisite food and service.

Lastly we would like to know where people can find you into you in Miami?

I am a bit low key in the Miami scene, but you can find me most weekends at the Four Seasons in Surfside or the Edition Hotel where my husband and I hold memberships to enjoy the beaches, restaurants and communities. 

Thank you, Stephanie. We wish you continued success!

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