Jodi Schwan has spent years learning about the ins and outs of Sioux Falls and local businesses. It was only a matter of time until she stepped into her own and launched Align Content Studio and SiouxFalls.Business to help local owners build their marketing strategies and keep the community up-to-date on local happenings. Up and Coming members had the chance to learn more about her past, what she loves about the city, and all the opportunities she gives to local owners. Check out her Q&A below to learn more.
You recently launched your own company in Sioux Falls. Can you tell us briefly what the company is, and what was the drive behind starting up your own business?
My business is called Align Content Studio. We provide content strategy, production and distribution for businesses in a variety of industries. To help our clients’ content reach a targeted audience, we also operate original content brands. Our first and largest is www.siouxfalls.business, which provides business news about the Sioux Falls area and is supported by paid content designed to engage a business audience. I was driven to start my business because I saw two industries – marketing and media – evolving in directions that excited me and seemed to be a good fit for my skills. So, I saw an opportunity to create a new model that combined both.
You talked a bit about originally being from Ohio and moving to Sioux Falls when joining the workforce. You have held several positions since then - what has kept you in Sioux Falls?
Sioux Falls has provided me a range of opportunities that I think would have been hard to replicate in larger communities. Through my varying experiences, I’ve developed a large network of wonderful relationships. That’s the key thing that keeps me here – being able to work with so many outstanding people as I grow my business. Beyond that, though, I love that it’s a growing community with plenty to do, and I enjoy being able to play a small role in the way the city is going to develop. I still visit and work from Ohio frequently and find it’s generally pretty easy to travel anywhere from Sioux Falls. Plus, I always pick up new ideas by getting away!
What are some of your favorite parts of Sioux Falls, and how would you like to see it grow?
Downtown is by far my favorite part of Sioux Falls. It’s been so rewarding to watch it redevelop and become a thriving place for local businesses. My other favorite parts are the River Greenway, St. Joseph Cathedral and many restaurant patios in the nicer weather! I would like to see downtown fully capitalize on the redevelopment opportunities presented by several key locations – the railyard property, the Uptown area, the Weber Avenue corridor, Main Avenue, the Sioux Steel site and the southern edge of downtown. And I’d like to see us continue to strengthen our core neighborhoods, from Cathedral to All Saints, McKennan Park and many more, so that they attract a wide range of residents who will support the area schools and parks. I’d also love to see us complete the vision for developing the River Greenway all around the city with more attractions and interactive elements.
Part of your site features Up and Comers in the area. Why do you think young professionals are important to the community?
Young professionals are as critical to Sioux Falls as any resource I can think of here. We need their talent, their ideas and their passion for making the community better. More established members of the business community need – and want – to know about the young leaders we are lucky enough to have living and working here. Featuring a different young professional on our site each week is one way we can help.
How can readers help contribute to your business?
The biggest way is by reading our work! You can bookmark www.siouxfalls.business, which is updated multiple times a day, and sign up there for our free email newsletter. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/siouxfallsbusinessnews) and set us to “see first” so you don’t miss anything! If you prefer Twitter, we’re @bizsiouxfalls. If you have ideas for stories, email me at Jodi@siouxfalls.business.