Ad­vice from the founders of Amer­ica’s fastest-grow­ing com­pa­nies ▶ AS TOLD TO SHEILA MARIKAR

Inc. (USA) - - INC. 5000 INSIGHTS -

“Through trial and er­ror, we’ve fig­ured out a balance be­tween as­pi­ra­tional, for peo­ple who aren’t ready to travel with us; in­spi­ra­tional, for peo­ple ac­tively plan­ning an Un­der Can­vas trip; and help­ful. We have agents who make book­ings and plan itin­er­ar­ies, and it made sense to con­tinue that di­a­logue on so­cial. We want to be an ex­pert that also helps you dream about where you might go next.”

— SARAH DUSEK Co-founder, Un­der Can­vas (travel & hos­pi­tal­ity) 2017 RANK NO. 573 GROWTH 791% REV­ENUE $8.6M

“When we started, we fo­cused on in­form­ing folks about out­door brands. But as we ex­panded into fash­ion, home, and beauty, it be­came more about let­ting peo­ple know that we’re try­ing to cu­rate amaz­ing prod­ucts in gen­eral. We’re sim­ple. Our tone is fun and play­ful. We know we’re not cur­ing cancer.”

— CHRIS GATHRIGHT Founder, Spor­tique (re­tail) 2017 RANK NO. 3,164 GROWTH 103% REV­ENUE $4.7M

“Be­cause we’re both a B2B and a B2C business, LinkedIn is the most im­por­tant plat­form for us. And we use LaSalle’s so­cial net­works to en­tice col­lege grad­u­ates to come work for us. On In­sta­gram, we’ll post pic­tures of a party for an em­ployee’s work an­niver­sary, and we’ll get 80 to 100 likes and com­ments from their friends.”

— TOM GIMBEL Founder, LaSalle Net­work (hu­man re­sources) 2017 RANK NO. 4,450 GROWTH 56% REV­ENUE $55.5M

“We try to serve as a nar­ra­tor that brings peo­ple in the higher ed­u­ca­tion world to­gether. We an­swer ques­tions in LinkedIn groups and started a Google group that has more than 500 mem­bers, where peo­ple pose ques­tions and we try to en­gage every­one in an­swer­ing them.”

— ANN OLESON Founder, Con­verge Con­sult­ing (ed­u­ca­tion) 2017 RANK NO. 2,037 GROWTH 183% REV­ENUE $3.1M

“The most im­por­tant thing, which a lot of busi­nesses skip, is to know what you want. Even though so­cial me­dia is ca­sual and con­ver­sa­tional, think of it as mar­ket­ing. You would never start a mar­ket­ing cam­paign not know­ing what you’re try­ing to achieve.”

— KRISTY SAMMIS Co-founder, Clever (ad­ver­tis­ing & mar­ket­ing) 2017 RANK NO. 1,706 GROWTH 229% REV­ENUE $7.4M

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