Spokane Journal of Business

2018 Rising Stars: Deanna Tiemann

Company evolves to focus on strategy and training as it nears 7 years old

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-—Natasha Nellis
Deanna Tiemann, founder of Squishy Peanut Marketing LLC, espouses to clients the importance of establishing a strong social media presence. She also speaks on that subject and is putting the finishing touches on an online course she is developing.

Deanna Tiemann created Squishy Peanut Marketing LLC six years ago out of her desire to have both a career and a healthy family life.

“I really wanted to create a company where I could do good work for clients while having a family life,” Tiemann says.

Even the name of her company, a combination of her children’s nicknames, comes from her family. Her son Roman, now 7, somehow got the nickname Squishy as an infant. “He used to do this face,” she says. “He was just squishy all over.”

Peanut was the nickname of her daughter, Cicely, who died nine years ago of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at 5 months old.

Tiemann thought her company would be running social media accounts for companies, sending emails, and handling content writing. “It’s changed over the last few years,” she says. “We specialize more in strategy and training. I’ve realized I really like the teaching aspect of it.”

Tiemann, 35, has one part-time employee and has a mix of long-term and short-term clients. Some keep her on retainer for regular work. Right now, she’s working on a competition analysis for a local store so she can help it come up with a social media plan.

Tiemann studied communications and theater at Hope College, in Michigan. She first arrived in Spokane because she was following her then-boyfriend, who was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base. The couple eventually broke up, but then Tiemann met her current husband, Jason, and stayed. The two have been married for 11 years.

She loves the area so much that she recruited her parents and brother to move here as well. She keeps her theater chops fresh by going on stage with the Fire Brigade improv group.

She has taught social media classes through the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and on her own. She’ll also put on private classes for a company if asked. She’s putting the finishing touches on an online course that she’ll make available soon.

Businesses on social media need to be professional, but they can also have some fun as well. The key is to have good messaging. “It gives brands a voice,” she says. “I think that makes it fun for consumers.”

It’s important for businesses to have a social media presence because that’s where the people are.

“People aren’t looking for a phonebook anymore,” she says. “They’re asking Alexa. You have to be where your audience is.”

Social media also provides an economic boost. “The advertising tools are so robust,” she says. “People can get away with not having large budgets and still having an impact.”

But businesses also shouldn’t try to be on every social media platform there is, Tiemann says. It’s simply too hard to do that many at once.

“I don’t recommend them all, ever,” she says. “It’s too much for clients. It’s not realistic. My favorite is Facebook. The caveat is that they also own Instagram. It’s kind of a two for one.”

Tiemann says she enjoys her work, which can vary from month to month.

“It’s just fun,” she says. “I’m very lucky to do what we do.”

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