Jordan Fulcoly started his first business at age 12, walking dogs to earn money for an iPod.
Later, he washed cars to buy his first cellphone and during college, he gave swimming lessons to pay for his textbooks. Last year, Mr. Fulcoly, now 23, moved on to his newest venture: a social media marketing agency.
“I’ve always had a switch on in my head that says I want to own a business and I want to start a business,” the Baiting Hollow resident said. “I finally have the right idea and the right thing that’s working.”
He got the idea for his business, Long Island Social, just before graduating from SUNY/Geneseo with a mathematics degree in May 2016.
Mr. Fulcoly now strategizes promotions and advertisements and manages social media for 10 business clients around the North Fork, including Holy Schmitt’s, where he worked part time after college when a job in financial planning didn’t pan out.
“Every other month there’s a new business popping up,” Mr. Fulcoly said of the region. “The market is not flooded at all. There’s just so much opportunity out there and so many companies that are not utilizing Facebook and Instagram properly.”
Also, he learned, there are zero startup costs using social media.
Mr. Fulcoly works remotely. He just finished an office in his parents’ basement, but often sets up posts on his phone wherever he can, whether he’s on a treadmill at the gym or waiting at the doctor’s office.
He hires outside help to shoot photos and drone images and edit videos for promotional videos that run on his clients’ social media accounts.
The number one form of marketing is word of mouth, he said, and social media is just another version of that.
“What do people do when they watch TV and a commercial comes on? They check their phone and they check Facebook,” he said. “It’s really just the most convenient way. People are on their phones and we put the businesses’ names in front of them.”
One of the challenges Mr. Fulcoly encountered was being taken seriously by people in the business world when there’s “some kid knocking on your door telling you he’s gonna change your world and change your business.” Luckily, he said, he’s confident enough to do that.
Richard Rubin, owner of Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, said Mr. Fulcoly is ambitious and has a “great personality.” He was able to network with customers during the busy season and create promotions to help the business gain new social media followers, for example.
Mr. Rubin said Long Island Social does the work necessary to keep his business’s pages fresh, interesting and full of important information while promoting the farm vineyard and horse rescue.
“He goes the extra nine yards to curate the good information,” Mr. Rubin said. “He also doesn’t hesitate to take pictures himself that he thinks are relevant and help portray our business. This all has produced what I consider to be really excellent results.”
Mr. Fulcoly said the biggest lesson he’s learned in starting up his own business is to “fail forward” and learn from any mistakes he makes.
“I’m going to keep growing because I can learn from it,” he said.
Photo credit: Kelly Zegers