Pamela Schein Murphy's insider-guide-turned-media-company serves up exactly what today's audiences crave: authenticity from some of the most interesting people out there. The Select 7 founder spoke with us about her company's growth and the marketing tools behind it, plus the one thing not to fear in business.
Tell us about your career prior to starting The Select 7.
I have worked in almost every field. No joke. From retail and restaurants to PR and marketing, film production and book agenting. I’m something of a moving target. But the truth is that every career (job) I’ve had all require the same skill set: hyper organization and analytical thinking combined with creativity.
What motivated you to start a media company?
To be honest, I hadn’t necessarily intended to start a media company! For a million years my husband and I worked together – he’s a chef and we have a restaurant group that I did all of the marketing and branding for. The Select 7 was something that was originally intended to just be a site for me to share with friends with my personal recommendations and thoughts on the 7 verticals we talk about (philanthropy, food, wellness + beauty, travel, fashion, interior design and social media). But me being me, I turned it into a full-time job and from there blew it out to be what it is now: a curated exploration into these worlds by some of the most interesting people out there. We unlock the worlds of today’s top tastemakers, acting as an exchange hub for people who want both the aspirational and the totally obtainable to share their finds, recommendations and ideas.
How do you see the media landscape evolving? Do you have any future predictions?
The thing that I’ve learned from creating The Select 7 is that people are really craving authenticity. When social media started, it was super authentic, but over the years people’s profiles have become too shiny and too polished and more often than not they don’t tell the true story. We get back to that; we want our guests to share their real lives, not their online personas—and I think it’s where the media landscape has to go because people are just sick of the gloss.
What does the name ‘The Select 7’ mean?
When I first decide to create the site, I knew I needed a hook. Seven is such a lucky number, and I had the 7 verticals I wanted to talk about each week (7 days!), and when I thought about how to describe what I was talking about, the word “select” kept coming up. And The Select 7 sounded so good…
How do you curate the people you profile?
It goes back to authenticity. It’s a gut feeling I can’t necessarily describe, but I do know that we want our guests to be interesting humans doing interesting things. And they have to be invested in their content as well. Seven days of a person is a lot, and because we’ve built a platform that relies on a network of people, we need our guests to share with their network as well.
What have you found to be the biggest challenges of entrepreneurship and what came easiest?
For me the biggest challenge is going it alone. It can feel isolating at times, plus it’s hard when you don’t have someone as invested as you to bounce things off of. It’s also the easiest, because I don’t have anyone to answer to.
What marketing tactics do you use to promote TS7? What have you found has worked best?
Social media! Instagram, in particular, is probably our biggest tool. We also do partnerships, events and as much outreach as possible. The more we can get the name out there, the better.
How do you plan to evolve your brand?
We have some exciting stuff coming up for 2019 — partnerships, a podcast and some secrets we can’t share just yet!
What do you like to do in your time off work?
Travel, eat, see movies and stare at my kids who are too old to talk to me anymore.
You’re a native New Yorker. If you have visitors come into town, what are some of your favorite things to do with them?
I am the WORST at NYC, which is bizarre because I’m born and raised here, plus I write city guides for every other city I visit. I think the magic of New York is in walking. Seriously – you can see everything and anything. But I do love to take a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, walk the streets of Nolita, see The High Line (it’s still my favorite place in NYC), eat breakfast at Vaselka, have pizza at Gino Sorbillo on the Bowery, dinner at Landmarc in the Time Warner Center and drinks at The Polo Bar.
Lastly, any career or business advice you can impart?
Don’t be afraid of change. It never feels good, but it’s always the right thing.
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