Web Content Manager
Tanner Planes is a 16 year-old with passion and determination to help other young professionals reach their business dreams. He started his journey on the popular social media platform, Vine, and since then, he has become unstoppable.
- Tell me a little about you. What’s your story? How did you get started with your dream?
“I was born and raised in High Point until I recently moved to Kernersville. [At a] young age I have always felt that I was somehow “different” in sometimes good ways and sometimes bad. As I was in middle school at Wesleyan Christian Academy, I decided that I wanted to get famous on, the now gone social platform, Vine. It wasn’t special until that number kept going up everyday until finally, one of my vines went viral and got over 150,000 likes. I thought it was crazy for so many people to watch a stupid little 7 second video. My account gained around 10,000 followers from that one video, and after that I just remember I started networking with people doing the same thing as me. I sat for a while and heard that marketing on Instagram was so much better. More money, more fun and better accounts. Sounded like a dream. I started talking to some people with big instagram accounts to see what the hype was all about.”
- Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“During the summer of 2016 I made the mistake of removing myself from the instagram game and decided I wanted to do something different. I was teaching myself different things and trying to figure out what exactly my passion was. I tried a dropshipping business, being a middleman for promos, lawn care, etc. and found that I was missing what I had done in the past, social media marketing. It’s the first thing that really got me involved into entrepreneurship and I knew that business is striving and I had to be back. December 22, I started an new instagram page @nomorama,( which is also the name of a food delivery business being started by my Dad & I). In October 2016, I started UCENT – Up & Coming Entrepreneurs, an organization focused on helping young individuals accomplish the goals they have regarding business. As of now, it is a high school club where we have weekly meetings and occasionally have guests come to share their experiences and help with projects. The group has started several small scale businesses to help gain some experience and understanding in what entrepreneurship really is.”
- You’re 16 years old and your organization is growing. Where do you see UCENT in the next few years?
“In the next few years I see UCENT becoming an interactive online platform as well as an office space for coworking/meeting space, available for young entrepreneurs. I have had people from all over the world contact me to be a part of UCENT but having only in person meetings limits the expansion. An online platform is very viable in the next few years.”
- Who is your biggest role model and why?
“My father, Phillip Planes. He has always been able to show me that anything you want to do in life is possible. My dad can be good at anything he wants to be good at. His skillset ranges from so many things varying from playing music, to laser printing, to building things, to developing, etcetera. He never puts all of his eggs in one basket and is always working to become better at the things he is doing. One of the best qualities I see in my Dad is that he has a personality that is so eccentric in a great way, but also has that serious side that is needed from everyone. I strive to be as successful as him both as a person and as an entrepreneur. Love ya Dad.”
- What value does having a strong social media presence have?
“From a business standpoint, having a strong social media presence is important to visualize what kind of feedback you are receiving from customers. If you are staying active on your social platforms and pushing out content you are essentially creating free opportunities for your business. All it takes is one person to stumble across a post on their feed. They buy your product, they give good feedback on your page, someone else stumbles across your page and sees the positive feedback and it will turn into a chain reaction. It isn’t as easy as it sounds and it is probably more worth it to pay someone to manage your social media if you aren’t experienced in marketing or tech savvy. From a personal standpoint, there are two main types of social media influencers and they both carry value if you have a strong presence. Most commonly influencers either run a themed account focused on a certain niche, or a personal account sharing life/comedy/knowledge/etcetera. Social Media is the best marketing platform nowadays and if you are big on social media you have the power to so many opportunities such as connecting with other influencers, selling ad space on your page, affiliate marketing, promoting your own product/service, and many more. The hardest part about social media marketing is figuring out how to grow that strong presence that everyone wants to achieve without spending thousands of dollars. Some personal tips of mine for those getting started is to use hashtags based on your specific niche, contact people in your own niche to meet/learn from, and do shoutout for shoutout with those in your niche. There are many more ways to get off your feet but you sort of figure out what is best for you as you do and learn. Getting off your feet is one of the most hardest parts to growing a strong presence but you just need to stay consistent with what you are doing and you will become successful.”
- What tools other than Instagram do you find valuable to make yourself prevalent on social media?
“Personal Branding.. everywhere. Talking with media people, going to business events, sharing your story and basically just getting yourself out there! All of those things can get you known around your community to make you prevalent not only on social media but in real life”
- What else do you like to do for fun?
“For me what I find fun is also my work. I love what I am doing right now and that is the greatest part of being an entrepreneur in my opinion. I know this lifestyle is not going to be easy but I enjoy the obstacles and know that I will become successful. Being able to connect with fellow young entrepreneurs and learn from each other is something I very much enjoy doing, as well as reading about people that have become successful and have shared their knowledge. I rarely go out to enjoy the typical teen shenanigans because I am so motivated to reach my goals; but something on the top of my list that I do enjoy, would have to be going to the gym.”
- What do you find to be the most challenging thing about your job?
“Most challenging thing to do within UCENT.org : Executing ideas. There are tons of ideas within our group but creating a plan and actually executing a plan correctly is very tough and takes time to get right.
Most challenging thing to do with IG Marketing: Attaining the right content that is promised to go viral. You never know when a post is going to blow up.. It’s sort of like the lottery.”
- What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about your journey?
“Most rewarding thing in UCENT.org : Seeing young aspiring entrepreneurs learn and get motivated to work on the goals they have always had, as well as learning from speakers and ventures within the club.
Most rewarding thing with IG Marketing: Being able to connect with fellow young entrepreneurs and learning from what they have done right and what they have done wrong. Also when a post goes viral and gets millions of views and gains tons of followers is pretty exciting.”