Truth be told, I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of business owners to help them embrace, understand and execute social networking. They’ve had great success and so can you!
I began during my university days at SFU where I studied Communications, Liberal Arts and Publishing before graduating with Honours in 1995. In the School of Communication, we had email back in 1994. Imagine!
My love of tech gadgets began early and I saw the value in shared digital experiences. I moved quickly from transistor radios to a Walkman and then a Discman. Remember those? I was blessed to grow up in a house with a personal computer. I’d used the Texas Instruments 994/A, Vic 20, Commodore 64, and a Tandy PC all before 1990.
Next came twelve fabulous years in the book business. I worked in retail, advocacy and publishing companies. No matter whether I was doing merchandising, publicity or marketing plans, the core of my job was to build communities for the authors I worked with. My roster included international superstars like Gordon Ramsay and Donna Hay as well as Canadian favourites like Karen Barnaby and Dianna Bonder. I even got to work with a witch – the amazingly intuitive Titania Hardie! My team and I were honoured nationally as winners of the 1999 Award for Promotional Excellence.
Somewhere along the line I moved into mobile digital work tools. Meeting my husband was a delight because he shared his Palm Pilot with me, except our version still said US Robotics. After a decade long love affair with Palm’s hand held devices, I embraced the iPhone (and more recently the iPad2!) and a whole new level of community opened before my eyes.
I wrote my first “web diary” from 1998 to 2006 starting long before the modern term “blog” was born. I joined Facebook back in 2006 and have watched it change and evolve from a simple sharing directory to the complex marketing tool it is today. As a result, I understand how to tell stories and share.
From there I went on to work in the not-for-profit sector, taking leadership roles at the Playhouse Theatre Company and the Minerva Foundation for BC Women to help them reach out to the community to raise millions of dollars in financial and in-kind support. Working with brands like Bell, Accenture and TD Securities, I gained an intimate understanding of the underpinnings of community and how people and corporations are motivated to take action for causes that speak to their hearts.
Eventually, all of this marketing, fundraising and technology experience and learning led me to launch Beachcomber Communications at a time when nobody was assuming social media was a default part of marketing plans. Just one year after the launch, my company was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.
My story doesn’t end there. In 2011, Penguin Group (USA) published my first book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Social Network. It’s filled with information on how to create an online community from the big picture strategic planning to the technical how-to’s and keeps you moving forward with things like the art of conversation and content sharing. Readers in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, India and the United States are learning from me. I hope you will, too.
I don’t share all this to boast about my accomplishments and experiences, but I want you to know that I bring education and experience to my teaching that many other social media trainers can’t offer. Social networking is not just how to use social media tools like Facebook or Twitter. Rather it’s an integral part of your overall marketing plan and key to your business’ success today. I share my know-how with you to enhance your marketing efforts by building your online community to enhance your offline world.
If you’d like to learn from me, I’d be delighted to have you as a subscriber to my newsletter “The Social Media Minute”. You can subscribe in the blue box on the right. I also invite you to connect with me on Twitter and Facebook. You may also be interested in my upcoming events or feel free to contact me to book a private session.