Guy of The Month, Kevin Ross
Introducing our very first Guy of The Month, Kevin Ross!! We're especially excited for this feature because not only is Kevin a close friend of the Pitusa family but he is pictured in our new Unisex Pima Tee. We've just made it easier for the whole family to match 😊
Kevin is the CEO and founder of Off-Site Social, a social media marketing and communications consulting firm focused on fashion and entertainment personalities. We had the pleasure of catching up with Kevin at the beautiful Faena Hotel where we were able to learn more about him and discuss all things social.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what’s your background
I’m 32, was adopted (just found out I'm a quarter Colombian— thank you 23 & Me!), born in Columbus, Ohio, moved to Orlando when I was a baby, went to FIU in Miami for undergrad (Int’l Relations), and UCL in London for grad school (Legal & Political Theory)… and along the way also lived in Cairo for a year when I was 18.
You are the CEO and founder of Off-Site Social, can you tell us a little more about your company and what you do?
I do communications consulting for fashion & entertainment personalities and a smattering of interesting organizations and companies in Europe and North America. My job ranges from picking the best selections for Instagram, to writing speeches and website copy, as well as media statements and a host of other things along the way. A lot of talent in entertainment are basically mini companies/entrepreneurs, so there’s a lot of “all hands on deck” solving whatever interesting problems come our way! It’s a rewarding job, and I have fascinating clients and get to be involved in really interesting and major global projects. No day is ever the same, and I love that!
What inspired you to start Off-Site Social?
My dad is very entrepreneurial, and although I initially did a similar job for a private equity firm for a few months, he helped me see there was a market for this if I was willing to go it on my own. I haven’t regretted it since I started (in 2012).
What keeps you motivated on the day to day?
Keeping my clients happy = me being paid which = me being able to create my own life, which I love. That extends into my hobbies, travel practices, and being able to be incredibly intentional with my day and time. I have the luxury to be able to pass up jobs that aren’t a great fit and say no to things I don’t want to do, based on a lot of hard work and dedication to pursuing excellence in what I do. I am very fortunate to be where I am and remaining in this space professionally and personally really does keep me motivated!
You help brands, companies and influencers communicate online, what do you think are the best practices for engaging customers/followers through social media?
For brands: Be authentic, don’t be sales-y, and have fun. For people: be true to yourself, and don’t take anything too seriously. I have a great suspicion that a lot of the headaches people have over social media will seem like such a fad in coming decades, with us wondering, “why did we care about that…?” Keep in the now, remember what takes place online isn’t reality (although it can, of course, influence/shape reality), and please put your phone down and take time to shut off. I have very limited notifications on my phone for this reason. Your tech and these networks should work for you… not the other way around!
What do you think are the biggest mistakes brands/influencers make when it comes to social media?
Taking it way too seriously and not having fun. Being relatable is extremely important for success, whether a brand or a person. Behind every screen is a person with problems, just like yourself, so treat them like that.
What are some of your favorite social media tips?
Nothing comes easily overnight. Yes some people go “viral” and have instant fame/sales, and some people win the lottery, and some people are discovered in a mall and become the next global superstar. Planning on random isn’t a great plan! Consistent practice each and every day is the real way to garner “success” in this (and any) space. Pick a plan, stick to it each day, and after giving it enough time, look at your data/analytics and re-assess. What worked? What didn’t? Social media/communications isn’t rocket science, and if you look at what you’ve been doing, ask yourself “what is our goal/objective” and then see where what you’ve put into practice and what your goals are meet up. What doesn’t align— change! What is working— do more of! Then go outside, and have fun, and don’t overthink it… It’s a super ephemeral space… even huge “controversies” are forgotten within this (very intense) 24-hr news cycle and “always on” society we live in, so 99% of the time, worry less, smile more, have fun and enjoy what you’re doing (including whatever your content/social media strategy is).
What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing the same career path as you?
Be open to new opportunities, and constantly be looking around for however else you can pivot/adapt what you do. No one hired me to write a speech or consult on email marketing specifically, eg, but those are all adjacent spaces where my skills can add value. If you’re not constantly reinventing yourself, offering value to your customers, clients or fans, it will run out eventually…
The Pitusa Quiz
Virgo (9/9 same birthday as the founder of the best brand— Pitusa!)
Mixing them up— Vinyasa yoga and Barry’s are my two staples
Favorite vacation destination?
Somewhere people don’t go, because the stories from the people there are worth hearing. I really want to go to Kazakhstan, Socotra, Cape Verde, and (this one is popular) Costa Rica, to see the sloths <3 Although also as a queer person (Happy Pride Month!), I also have to think about places where I can go and not be killed/jailed for being myself… so… there’s that 😔
Any morning rituals?
Wake up with natural light, make my bed first thing, play whatever song is in my head (literally anything from Bach to Beyonce), and walk to get a cold brew coffee. In these moments I probably have not checked my email, or social media. I spend some time with myself, my thoughts, and good music. If I’m up early enough, I’ll also read with the coffee (book, The New Yorker or the Sunday New York Times, which takes me a week to get through usually…)
Coffee, tea or smoothie?
Morning and post lunch: a coffee… post workout: a green smoothie with vegan protein!
Any guilty pleasures?
Chocolate chip cookies
The Toni Garrn Foundation (shameless plug), as we do really important work helping educate girls who would otherwise not get the chance to go to school…! So many statistics point to creating equal opportunities for girls to go to school as having huge gains in GDP as well as health/wellness for families, communities and countries. We are far from global gender equality for women (as well as other gender identities and sexual orientations), and I really believe in work in this space for a better future for everyone.
“We become what we think about all day long…” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
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