UGA Graduate and Business Owner Empowers Women in Digital Marketing | Arts and Culture
Many people aspire to one day own their own business, but local business owner Liz McShane hasn’t stopped there. The University of Georgia graduate owns three companies and currently runs her digital marketing agency with an all-female UGA student and alumni staff as part of her vision.
In addition to two photography companies, McShane founded On Trend Creative Studio to help businesses navigate the choppy waters of social media and unpredictable trends. The marketing agency will be turning one this June and is based in Athens, where McShane grew up, attended UGA and currently lives with her husband and three children.
McShane has a passion for photography which has turned her into a career taking photos for corporate and office websites and social media. Through this work, she recognized the need for a consistent and relevant social media presence. Businesses either didn’t have the time or knowledge to use social media to their advantage, and that’s where On Trend came in.
As the studio’s CEO, McShane wants her employees to see her more as a coach than a boss.
“I’ve owned a business for five years now, but this is the first time I’ve managed people,” McShane said. “I think as a leader you have to be open to criticism or suggestions for change, because the way I think we should do things doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right way.”
As a business owner, McShane works around the clock and believes there is no avoiding meeting the needs of customers.
“Do you feel fulfilled at the end of the day? If the answer is no, then find out what you do that makes you happy, and then figure out how to monetize it. I tell everyone, ‘If baking bread makes you happy, find out how you can make money from it,'” McShane said.
Lindsay Enzmann, UGA’s junior public relations major and On Trend’s senior account manager, first heard about the company through a friend and began working at the agency in August of last year. Enzmann has found that balancing work and full-time study can be difficult, but the support of McShane and colleagues helps her manage her time.
“I love my job, so it’s hard for me to set boundaries for saying no to a new project or client. I really admire the fact that Liz is always checking on us and making sure we make everything right. She knows that we are students and that this comes first, but she can support us and cheer us on as we overcome these challenges,” said Enzmann.
The positive, well-coordinated team is one of Enzmann’s favorite aspects of working for On Trend. She is grateful for the opportunity to learn business strategy and skills from McShane and her colleagues. Enzmann also learned valuable lessons during her time with the company.
“Be confident and don’t apologize too often,” Enzmann said. “I would also say you should take ultimate responsibility if you make a mistake. When you work with a team, it will not always be 100% perfect.”
Allison Carroll, senior marketing major at UGA and social media account manager at On Trend, feels supported by the company’s team.
“[McShane]treats me like I’m a professional who works in the industry,” Carroll said. “I really appreciate how she takes all of our input and stays in constant communication with us. I never felt like there was any barrier between us. We stick together and are a team. This support makes my job so much easier.”
McShane and her team have built a community that supports businesses and empowers women in marketing and social media. In the future, On Trend hopes to expand into new locations to expand its reach.