We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Robertson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My background is Special Education, and I’ve been working with people with disabilities for 16 years. As much as I love what I’ve been doing, Covid-19 refocused my priorities. As of March 19, 2020, the company that I was working for shut down their day-facility programs, and I, like many others, started working from home. For me, it was one of the best things that has ever happened. I began to take more care of myself. I woke up slowly, exercised daily, cooked healthy lunches, took multiple breaks, and started practicing meditation. I adored having my own flexible schedule and- other than Zoom meetings- being able to complete my work whenever it felt best for me. I started listening to myself, and the voice of dread that used to come to me every Sunday night before a new work week (before the pandemic) said, “You can’t return to how things were!” So I took a leap. I had had success with running a few businesses on social media, and decided I should give it a try, professionally. I’m so glad that I did!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Rocky Mountain Social Media is a social media management business. I create and collate content (pictures, movies, quotes, infographics, articles, etc.) for my clients’ businesses and post daily across their multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) I also actively engage with their followers by responding to questions and comments on their pages. As much as social media is a headache, it is a necessary part of a successful business these days. All businesses need to have representation on at least one or two major platforms. Coming up with what to post, so that it is beneficial for followers, and creating the graphics takes a lot of time. It’s extremely gratifying to know that the work I do frees up my clients’ schedules so that they have more time to devote to actually working their businesses. I would say that what sets me apart from others, and what I’m most proud of is the vast array of business types that I represent. I love becoming a “mini-expert” in my clients’ businesses; whether it be for a Bankruptcy Attorney, a Home Organizer, a College Coaching Program, a Reiki Practitioner, or a Roofing Company, I learn the tricks of each trade so that I can post meaningful information for their followers. I came into running this company with so much naivety as to how a business is run. I have learned many lessons and know that I’ll keep learning them. A big one for me is finding balance between work life and family life because social media is 24/7. I have a hard time saying “no” to people and have been learning to set boundaries with allowing myself personal/family time during the week where I’m not working or answering e-mails and texts. One of the biggest things that I pride myself on with my business is the trust that I receive in my working relationships. As a manager of different companies’ social media, I am given usernames and passwords to all of their accounts. That is a HUGE piece of responsibility my client entrusts in me to keep private. It is an honor to have that kind of trust from such impactful businesses and I take that part of my job very seriously.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My husband and I moved to from Illinois to Denver from Illinois 10 years ago. My parents were High School teachers for 35 years, and every single summer of my childhood, school would get out for the summer and my parents would throw my brother and I in the Chevy conversion van and drive from Illinois to Estes Park (Cascade Cottages in Rocky Mountain National Park) to stay for a couple weeks. Some years they took us to Florida or Yellowstone, but we always made sure to make a trip to Estes Park during those summer months. My love for this area came from those getaways. I love planning out itineraries for when my friends and family come to visit from the Midwest. As you’d imagine, a couple days in Estes Park would be necessary. While in Estes, we’d drive up to the top of Trail Ridge Road and eat a cookie and have some coffee or cocoa at the Trail Ridge Store. We might drive down to Grand Lake and eat lunch at Grand Lake Lodge or turn around at the top and go back to Estes to eat a brunch at The Egg of Estes. We might go back in RMNP and take a lap around Bear Lake or the Alluvial Fan. In the evening, we’d go shopping downtown Estes and buy souvenirs. If my guest was into historical or haunted places, we’d take a tour of the Stanley Hotel. If they wanted to stay around Denver, we’d first head to Red Rocks so they could see what an amazing venue it is, even during the day without a band playing! We’d hike one of the loop trails around the rocks and then head to Olde Town Arvada to eat at the School House, get pastries from Rheinlander Bakery and shop at the cute stores. We’d need to take Lightrail downtown and shop the 16th Street Mall. We’d definitely look around the beautiful and newly-renovated Union Station. I’m a sucker for Maggiano’s because they give you a meal to-go… or if my guests were missing the flavors of Illinois, we might have Chicago-style pizza at Giordano’s. If there was extra time, I might take them to afternoon tea at the Brown Palace and reminisce about how the Beatles once stayed there! Finally, up in Westminster, where I live, we’d take a walk at the Westminster Hills Dog Park/Open Space- one of the main reasons my husband and I chose that part of Westminster. We’d be sure to eat supper at Emilio’s Almost Famous on 100th and Wadsworth. They have a great atmosphere and the most AMAZING homemade margaritas and ‘Luna Shine’ (apple cider moonshine.)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am beyond thankful for my amazing clients! Most of them are small (1-2 person) businesses. Their drive for success inspires me to push the limits of myself and my business. I’d like to give a shoutout to my best friend, Shane Antunez, one of my greatest cheerleaders. She always gets me to work through what’s holding me back and encourages me to never settle. Finally, a large amount of recognition goes to my husband, Jeremy Robertson. He told me to go for it, and to quit my secure job of 9 years–during a pandemic– and start my social media business. He’s helped me through the ups and downs of the first months and I’m so grateful to have him by my side.