Who is Visibly Media? I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately, and the suggestion of posting about our back stories was too tempting to resist!
I am PASSIONATE about helping people find their “a-ha!” moment and getting to their next step, whether it’s in business or pursuing a life goal. I enjoy connecting with someone and showing them how social media works, helping them strategize their journey, and putting the fun in posts!
Back in 1997, I decided to go back to school and earn my degree in graphic design. Afterward, I thought I had everything figured out and decided to open my business so I could stay home with my two kids (at that time it was two, lol!).
Lesson learned: running a business is NOT as easy as one might think, looking from the outside in!
I decided to take a job at a local newspaper – something that was absolutely cringe-worthy of my classmates! “Oh, you HAD to take THAT kind of a job?”, was the line I heard over and over. Let me tell you, that’s where I learned a lot about deadlines, tips and tricks with Adobe, and really felt like I was part of a large team. It was a fabulous experience, and I’d never trade it for any other position!
Life, it seems, has a big ol’ sense of humor! I was laid off in September 2008, but I saw that coming back in Q3 2007; our regular clients didn’t come back after the summer break, and our usual advertisers who put out specials were cutting back on their advertising. I decided to jump online to figure out what in sam hill was going on.
One word: R-E-C-E-S-S-I-O-N. Yep! That’s when the mortage industry collapsed and took many businesses out with it. For reference, please visit https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/great-recession.asp.
Running a business may not be easy, but, running a marketing company at that point was nearly impossible! Businesses pulled back on their marketing budgets, even though quite a number of us were working with SMBs to reduce their budget to keep a small but consistent presence.
The Social Media Bug
In 2007, a friend of my introduced me to Twitter, my first social media platform. I was hooked! I enjoyed the near-real-time conversations and learning from experts from around the globe – it was amazing, and addicting! I didn’t think I would need it at the time but I kept building my presence — I just enjoyed connecting with people. I still do.
Before I was laid off, I decided to go back to school online to obtain my bachelor’s degree. It was in my English class, of all places, where I was introduced to more social media. My assignment: do a report on two opposite ends of social media platforms. When I asked why — given the assignment had zero to do with adjectives and sentence structure — I was told, “Because I said to do it.” Sheesh! I picked Facebook and LinkedIn because they looked different, did the deep dive, and gave my report.
I was surprised at how different the platforms really were at the time. Facebook was more about the “dude at the beach” and friending people, while LinkedIn was (and still is) about creating more professional relationships. Twitter was the microblog. So fascinating and so much to learn!
Going through my Twitter feed one day, I found quite a few posts from graphic design students asking questions. I started answering them (and got a teacher to hold a dialogue with me online, that was fun!), building relationships and my reputation for helping others understand “how this works”.
What really took me by surprise was the growing number of social media posts that asked for help on “how to ____” about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. How to be a social media manager, and what responsibilities were involved. How often to post, along with what to post. At one point, I was following 9 weekly conversations on Twitter trying to both learn and teach at the same time. I was writing out blog articles to help people get their “how-to”, and even had time to post some slides on SlideShare via my LinkedIn profile.
From March 2012-November 2013, I took time off to be with my mother. She learned she had cancer, and I gave her the best 19 months I could. she was my mother, my friend, and my confidante – and I still miss her almost a decade after. #cancersucks
I restarted my business in 2014 with more of a focus on how to train employees at SMBs on how to do social media and reputation management. The problem is I was still the doer for my own business, and though I wasn’t marketing my graphic design business anymore, that became the bulk of my business — it still is to this day. That confused the networking groups I was a member of; they weren’t sure how to refer business to me because, it apparently looked and sounded like I didn’t know who I was, and they were right.
Back to today: my focus is still on social media and inbound marketing strategies, and I’m making the shift to offer more paid training for SMBs, including hospitality, dental, medical, and REALTORS®. I’m launching a podcast about Strategic Communication and recording the video also, so I can take advantage of YouTube and Vimeo. My accountability buddy is keeping me on task, though I blew my deadline of Oct. 1st by a mile! Oh well! Reset the goal and keep moving forward!
I found a new video platform called Locals.com. I’m investigating it for my training so I can paid directly and have more control, less worry about censorship — stay tuned!
I also did the deep dive last year into helping produce a live broadcast. I get it — this is way, way, WAY far away from graphic design and social media! Did I say I also love a challenge? My coach, Deborah Gardner, wanted to launch a hospitality podcast/live broadcast using StreamYard …and we gave birth to Hospitality Today Live! We’ve been doing this now for 14 months — it’s so much fun meeting new people! We may have landed our first big sponsor and two more who are interested – WOOHOO!
My next blog articles will focus more on my business’ core values: social media, live broadcasting (the good, the bad, and the really ugly!), inbound marketing, and yes – graphic design! My podcast will reference the video if people want to see visual references, and I can also put links to additional sign-ups or articles in the descriptions. I’m also writing a series on leadership — my thoughts on how leaders should be — and completing a video for Toastmasters District 3 (Arizona) on this topic.
By the way, I happen to be a wife of 31 years, mother of 4, grandmother of 3, occasional babysitter to our youngest son’s dog, Toothless (toy labradoodle with Lhasa Apso, he’s a terrorist but adorable and definitely NOT Toothless!), board member to a local nonprofit, volunteer in my Toastmasters District 3 (heading up club officer training), and assistant marketer to my husband’s web hosting/VoIP business.
Busy people find a way to balance their lives between work and family. Find your balance and buckle your seat belt!
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