Ask Us Anything - The Huttle Founders (Starting October 24th @ 5:30pm PT)!

Hey everyone,

The founders of Huttle will be taking your questions live at the first-ever Huttle AMA ("Ask Me Anything") event on Monday, October 24 at 5:30-6:30 PT. Get ready for an unfiltered Q&A on Huttle around what it's like building an internet startup, landing a first job after college, career blunders and pitfalls to avoid, and any of your career curiosities.

If you're not familiar with how AMAs work, here's the rundown:

1. You can ask us anything! Just make a comment in this thread, and we'll look the question over. Also, there is no limit on questions so ask as many as you want.

2. On October 24th at 5pm PT, Michelle and I will jump into this thread and answer as many question as we have time for. We'll start with the most upvoted questions first so if there's something someone else asks that you really want us to answer make sure to upvote.

3. Feel free to reply back to our comments so we can keep the conversation going. The idea is that we do a rapid fire Q&A in this one post to give you career and life advice.

4. Stay tuned for more AMAs with other Silicon Valley execs!

**So what are you waiting for? Make a question and we'll try and answer it on Monday!**

How did you guys get your starts in silicon valley?

I moved to San Francisco after college for a job with Ketchum, a global PR and marketing agency. (I started applying and interviewing for roles before I even moved to San Francisco!) I wasn't working in tech at that point, but when you live in San Francisco, it's impossible to ignore the technology scene. It's electric. Everywhere you meet people who seem to be working on exciting new ideas with no desire to work for established companies and no apparent fear of failure. It's energizing to be around people like that.

After some time working on food technology clients at Ketchum, I decided I wanted to get into consumer technology -- a fast paced industry that encompasses everything from tech hardware to consumer internet and apps, to stuff we haven't even imagined yet. I reached out cold to a recruiter at SHIFT Communications, a technology PR firm, and asked for an informational interview, and was eventually invited to interview.

After graduating from UC Davis, which is north of Silicon Valley, it actually took me four years to make it down to Silicon Valley.

After Davis, I moved to New York and got a job at an eCommerce company as an email marketing associate as one of the first hires after they were acquired by Amazon. From there, I moved to a menswear startup called Bonobos, and then after that, I went to a digital comic book company called comiXology, which was acquired by Amazon about a year later.

But I always knew that I would want to move back to SF at some point, but I wanted somebody to pay my way back. Thankfully, after I was ready to leave Amazon, I found a position that would reimburse me for my move back, and I took the job and moved back.

Though I love New York, it's great to be in Silicon Valley because the talent is amazing, and you can't beat the weather.

How do you guys think Huttle will help people like me in my job search as it continues to grow?

Our one guiding statement for Huttle is that we never want anyone to be alone in their career. I know it sounds super sales-y, but there’s a ton of truth in that because it’s tied to our own experiences.

For me, I remember moving to NYC with only $5,000 and no jobs. That period of unemployment was lonely and grueling, and I would never want someone to go through that ever again.

So, in the near term, we’re working to bring more college students, graduates, and job seekers to the platform to ask questions, and we’re bringing more professionals to the platform to answer questions. This allows us to increase the amount of searchable content on the site so you can get a fast answer to some of the more common questions like “How many pages should my resume be?” (the answer is one!) or “Can english majors find a good job after college?” (the answer is yes!).

In the future, we want to create more opportunities for you to get help. Some of those things include the ability to message a mentor to talk directly with them and building out more features to our “Hack my Resume” concept so that you can get help on your resume just like you can get help on a question.

But, we’re always listening to our users so if you have ideas let us know!

What's the best piece of career advice you've gotten?

Always keep your ear to the ground. In the context of your career, the advice meant that you should always be watching and listening to what happens around you because rarely does something "come out of nowhere." If people start leaving a company, that's a sign things aren't going well, and you don't want to be the last one dealing with the rubble. If a company has poor reviews on Glassdoor, don't be surprised that it'll be awful to work there.

If you always keep your ear to the ground, you'll move faster than everyone else and be one of the first to ditch failure and capture success.

Be like a radio show host and don't dwell on your failures. The idea being, when a radio show host messes up, they can't stop a live show to correct themselves. They have to keep focused on what's upcoming in the show and move on. Don't dwell.

As some one who has been in radio the last 5 years this makes complete sense great piece of advice

Oh, not so much a piece of advice, but here's an anthem I live by (compliments of Dr. Seuss!):

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.”

Have you ever been fired or did you ever almost get fired?

The first two months in my first job as a PR account coordinator were pretty darn rough. I wasn't getting the work done in the way it needed to be done. For whatever reason, I just wasn't getting what it meant to do the job and my work was shoddy. I could sense my superiors were a tad annoyed with me, but I was nervous and not asking for help. I had several PR internships prior to this job, but for whatever reason, I wasn't acting like I was ready for this. I was put on a 90 day plan -- the thing about 90 plans is that you have 90 days to get dramatically better at your job or you're done!

I called my dad that night to tell him what happened. I was pretty shaken up. I was living in a small San Francisco apartment that commanded HALF of my paycheck. If I lost that job, I'd certainly have to move home. Crying, I asked my dad what I should do about the situation. He asked me, "what are they paying you a salary to do?" And I answered, rattling off the list of my tasks. Then he said, "quit the crying and do the damn job they are paying you to do."

It might have sounded insensitive, but it's the reality check that ultimately lit my fire to turn it all around. I set aside the fear of the 90 days counting down, worked extremely hard, and made it known that I was invested. I shocked myself by how much I learned and what I was capable of, and I look back on it now as one of the most amazing, meaningful experiences. Oh, and I didn't get fired in the end :-)

I'm glad you shared this,looking for a pr internship reading the job description has had me second guessing if I can make it in the pr world in SF. Your story gives me reassurance!

It's really cool that you shared this. I'm going through something similar right now so I really appreciate it.

What are your thoughts on unpaid internships versus paid on campus jobs? The internships I'm finding relate to what I want to do after I graduate, but a lot are unpaid.

Without knowing your financial situation, this one is a little tricky, but if I had to condense my advice down to just one thing it would be: prioritize the opportunity that lets you grow your career/skill set over your bank account.

By that, I mean if you are a finance major and you're offered an analyst internship but it's unpaid and you're currently making minimum wage at a job that has no career path for you, then you take the internship if you can afford it. The reason why is that you're losing some money now but you're investing in your future.

I'm just starting out as a digital marketer. Right now, I'm setting up social media campaigns and reporting on them . What advice would you give to someone who has to increase engagement on social by 40%? Are there any easy things I can do to boost campaign performance?

Thanks in advance for doing this.

My advice would be to use the analytics channels at your disposal and try and figure out any trends. Highly recommend you sharpen your excel/Google Sheets skills so that you can pull data and manipulate it to find trends.

For example, if you’re trying to grow engagement on Twitter or Instagram, see if you can figure out what hashtags drive the most engagement. Also, take advantage of trending hashtags relevant to you based on your business vertical (e.g. #FlashbackFriday, #WednesdayWisdom, etc.).

Biggest piece of advice I can though is to post often and track all the variables of your post (e.g. Time of post, day of post, content, text-only, image, album, etc.) Your challenge is to find that one thing that takes off.

Got it. Any other analytics tools I should look at besides analytics.twitter and business.facebook?

I'd also add Google Analytics (GA) if you have it because even if you don't drive a ton of social engagement, it might be okay if you drive more bottom of the funnel engagement. By that, I mean if you're selling a product, it matters less if you get likes on a FB post and more that you drove a sale.