Thriving on finding fun at work and as a DJ and event producer
Stonia Seng stepped into the world of digital marketing just as the field was being created.
It was an exciting time. New tools proliferated, and big-name companies were quickly realizing that traditional ways of marketing were no longer enough.
Seng started at an entry-level position at a digital marketing agency and began to work her way up. She enjoyed being on the cutting edge of a novel industry.
Now at FotoNotes as Customer Success Manager, Seng continues to evolve on her career path and thrives on keeping things interesting.
Growing with the company
Seng has been with FotoNotes since the beginning. At that time, the product was called Fotobabble, and the app allowed users to attach a voice caption to photos.
“It’s been a long journey with the company [with] a lot of evolving the product to where it is today,” Seng reflects. “It’s been interesting seeing where we started and where we are now.”
For the first few years, she was doing social media marketing for the company. When the company transitioned from Fotobabble into Fotonotes, she decided she was ready for a change.
Seng approached founder and CEO Kamal Shah to see what else the company might need help with, and he offered her a role in customer support.
“So I transitioned out of doing social media management and then started learning how to handle support. Along with support, I also learned QA [Quality Assurance],” she says. “So I did QA for the company for about three years.”
Over time, her role shifted yet again. Now, Seng only pitches in to help with QA when necessary. Instead, most of her time is spent on support and customer success.
“I assist managing our customers by providing training tools, helping them if they run into any technical issues, and setting up their website to customize it how they like it.”
In addition, when new releases come out, Seng spends time updating the product’s Zendesk guides. That way, when customers have questions, they can consult this self-service option if that’s their preference.
Reflecting on her journey with FotoNotes, Seng recognizes what a supportive environment it has been over the years.
“I don’t have any formal background training in any of this. Kamal and the dev team…it’s been very cool. They’ve been teaching me along the way,” she says. “I think that’s the reason why I’ve been with this company so long. I’ve been able to evolve and learn with the company as we grow.”
Solving problems for customers
One reason for Seng’s success in a variety of roles over the years? She finds joy in problem-solving.
When asked about the favorite part of her job at FotoNotes, she says: “I think it’s challenging. Every day is not the same. I definitely get bored easily, and I like solving problems. The problems each day vary depending on releases, new features, and new clients—and we’re getting new clients all the time. So it’s always changing.”
One such change is a product feature that the company recently introduced: the report configuration tool. Seng is impressed with the potential it holds.
“A feature that is underutilized right now…is the report configuration tool. We’re still optimizing it and making it easier for the customers to use, but I think it is a very powerful tool that customers are going to really enjoy.”
Seng is thrilled when customers get excited about a specific feature that can help them in their business. And she has noticed a trend toward the single-family rental and solar industries seeing more value in technology in general—and more interest in FotoNotes/SiteCapture specifically.
“Now, if you aren’t using these mobile apps and software tools, you’re losing out on some good revenue,” she says. “Companies are coming to us saying, ‘We need the tool,’ instead of us coming to them.”
Similarly, Seng has noticed a trend in the solar industry that companies recognize how easy-to-use the SiteCapture tool is.
“The old ways of doing [things] are way too time-consuming. So now they say, ‘Yes, we need efficiency, and we need a tool that’s fairly easy to learn for our field service workers to go out and use it.”
Finding creative fulfillment outside of work
In addition to working at FotoNotes full-time, Seng has also followed her passion for music and producing for many years.
“When I moved to the Bay at the end of 2009, I started focusing on music more. I was in a small band for a little bit,” she recalls. “We produced a lot of music, and it was fun. But being in a band is like being in a serious relationship. It’s a bit difficult with scheduling and things like that.”
Seng had always wanted to be a DJ. So she quit the band and pursued her dream. Starting off as a hobby DJ playing house parties, she eventually made it more of a focus.
“I’m a DJ and event producer outside of work. I DJ all kinds of events from clubs and festivals to yoga events [and] wellness stuff,” she says. “The biggest party that I produced was at the Midway during COVID. I produced two shows there. I focus on booking women and women of color…Women don’t always get the representation they deserve, so it’s been fun.”
Seng says her DJing gigs slowed during COVID, but she still can’t stop thinking about her next big event.
“I’m thinking about doing a huge three-day…I call it a ‘restival.’ It’s like a retreat, but it’s a mini-festival/wellness. So I’m in the brainstorming phases of that. … I feel like that’s my next step as far as my music and event production career. We’ll see if that happens.”
Always ready for more
Working a full-time job at FotoNotes and planning a large-scale, three-day event would be enough for most people.
But Seng likes to stay busy, and her social calendar is booked out in 2022.
“More DJ gigs would be nice,” she says. “The festival season is now in full swing, so I’m heading to Lightning in a Bottle in two weeks. And all the weddings that got postponed are now all happening. So it’s fun. It’s a lot, but it’s nice that things seem to be getting back to normal again.”