It was early 2009, and I was still working in the walls of corporate America. I setup an account with the friendly little blue bird, named Twitter. It was from that moment I saw the power of the tweet and what it had in store for my life.
I didn't think twice about the Twitter handle when I set it up. I knew I loved marketing, I am a nut and my name is Pam. Without much thought the Twitter handle “@PamMktgNut” was born!
15 Years In Corporate and the Journey to Entrepreneurship
I spent 15 years working in corporate at companies such as GE, Sun Microsystems, StorageTek, Hitachi Data Systems. I took one last stop at a smaller company ($30 million annual revenue) with a goal to grow their online business. They were already in Wal-Mart & other big retail stores but hadn't gotten out of the red with online ecommerce sales. Little did I know the job was my last stop before the permanent virtual office.
Although I was in charge of marketing, which included social, our CEO had a false belief he was the social media ninja. When I started with the company they were in the red each month for $35k on their ecommerce store. Within three months we achieved a $1,200,000 positive annual revenue run rate by leveraging & monetizing email marketing, optimizing website and the conversion funnel, reducing and optimizing the Google Adwords spend and kicking off social media.
Even with the out of the roof results, we weren't empowered to do what needed to be done with social to see results. The CEO was reluctant to change and had us running in circles. His idea of a “business goal” as it related to social media was to become a viral video rockstar amoung other crazy things.
It was those moments that pushed me to be an entrepreneur. It was the power of Twitter that opened my eyes to how much social media could help businesses in a struggling economy. I wanted to go help hundreds and thousands of businesses see the same results we did. I had a dream of helping other CEOs, CMOs, and other business leaders in my shoes help educate their CEOs, board rooms on how to effectively use social for business.
After a few short months of working for the company I left to become an entrepreneur. That's a whole other story in itself of which we don't have time for in this post, but I promise to share more of in the coming months.
It's NOT about the 100k, it's about the people
Who “woulda thunk” that crazy Twitter handle (@PamMktgNut) would be part of the foundation to enable me to leave a 15 yr career in corporate America, start a business, sell a business, enable hubby to also leave corporate and we would build a life and business of our dreams. A business based on an idea to build a different more agile marketing agency with an integrated digital media platform as a foundation for ourselves and our clients.
It's not about the 100,000 Twitter followers. When I look at the numbers I think of the people, the relationships, the opportunity born. I think of the crazy and fun moments. I think of the amazing people who touched my heart in 140 characters and those I met on LinkedIn Q&A chats or Facebook business pages.
I want each of you to know that you are not a number to me. You are a human being.
More than crazy, tweeting fools!
So here we are today. We have already sold our first agency, and onto our official second agency, Marketing Nutz.
You may see us and just think we're crazy tweeting fools. However, there is much more to our plan and tactics. You'll see more of it as we launch several new platforms within the next few months. I am confident you'll be as excited about them as we are!
What a crazy road this has been. Has it all been easy? Of course not. Were there times I wanted to quit? Of course there were. Will I quit? Heck no! Every ounce of sweat, blood & tears are worth it.
A huge hug and thanks to all of you who have been there for us through thick and thin. Thank you for the tweet chats, Twitter conversations, DMs that touch my heart. Thank you for the inspiration, education, tips, infographics, data analytics, truth even when it hurts. Thank you for the insight, feedback, giggles, tears, friendship and love.
Thank you for being in our lives. We would have never gotten to where we are nor will we get to where we are going without you.
For those of you just starting out on this journey of life transformation all I can say is “go for it! Yes, there will be good, crazy, hard, sleepless, and amazing days. It's all worth it and I would not change a day of it for anything. Believe in yourself. Believe in your vision.
Luv ya' all to the moon and back (and then some!)
75 Things I learned on My Journey to 100k Twitter Followers
Here are 75 things I learned on my journey to 100k Twitter followers. This is not just about getting a certain number of followers. The below list includes things I learned about technology, people and myself on the path to successful entrepreneurship.
The list includes the good, bad and ugly. I had to make tough choices and no, every day was not a bed of roses. However, it was you that made it all so worth it.
- Gratitude. If there was one thing I learned on this journey, it is gratitude. I am so thankful for each and every one of you.
- Forgiveness. People make mistakes. Forgive them, even if they don't forgive you.
- Freedom. There is no better word to feel from within your bones than freedom.
- Relationships. You really can build true, meaningful business and personal relationships that start with a 140 character conversation.
- Consistency. Be consistent in your voice, and brand promise.
- Be you. Be the person that you are, all the time.
- There is only one you so be that person.
- Transparency does not equal authenticity. Authenticity does not require equal transparency with everyone you meet and know. Read more here-> Are Authentic Social Relationships Over Rated?
- Don't be an egg. Remove the egg avatar from your Twitter handle. Help people that are still eggs, not be eggs!
- There are real people behind those Twitter handles and avatars. Treat them as such.
- Share. Share your best stuff, even if others don't.
- It's not only about the numbers.
- Yet numbers do matter. A balance of quality and quantity is still a must to see results.
- If you have to choose between quality & quantity, always choose quality.
- It's better to have 100 followers who listen and care what you say than 10,000 who are robots.
- Purchased followers are usually robots and fake accounts. I never fell for the purchase follower scams and am so glad I didn't.
- Robots don't read, listen, tweet, share or own a credit card to buy your product.
- People matter.
- Content matters.
- Context matters.
- Relevancy matters.
- Listen before talking.
- Less is truly more. (This is a hard one for me.)
- Relationships matter.
- Google analytics is a gold mine for many things.
- Do more than trust your gut when it comes to website optimization. Do what the data tells you over your gut and what the “gurus” preach.
- Don't put off conversations today that can ignite your business tomorrow.
- Do what you say you are going to do. It may be just a tweet but people remember.
- People and brands are listening, reading and watching your tweets. They may do so for a year before calling you to purchase your services.
- We are better together than as single silos working as one.
- Tweet chats rock. Join us on #GetRealChat on Tuesdays at 9pm et. Other good chats include #BlogChat, #CMChat, #LinkedInChat, #SMManners, #MediaChat, #PinChat, and hundreds more.
- Content syndication and guest blogging works and can connect you with people who'd never know who you are other wise.
- Benefits of blog content syndication out weigh risks to SEO if done right.
- You are going to piss people off. Own the mistake and say sorry.
- Trolls suck. Best defense is to have a comment system that tracks their IP and let them know you know their IP!
- Failing to plan is truly planning to fail when it comes to social media.
- An integrated social business plan is a requirement, not an option. No social band-aids.
- Random Acts of Marketing and Random Acts of Social Media (RAMs) will eat every last morsel of your ROI for breakfast!
- Don't random tweet every day. Develop an editorial calendar for your blog, inclusive of tweets.
- Provide value.
- Working nights, early mornings and weekends to provide value to your audience will pay off as long as it's aligned to clear business goals and needs of your audience.
- It's okay to take a break away from Twitter. Your followers will appreciate you for it and value your tweets even more when you come back.
- If not feeling inspired, get out of the house and fast.
- A trip to the beach can inspire a month of content of high value for your readers.
- If in doubt write!
- People like lists, even if the “gurus” tell you to not use lists.
- Email is not dead, period.
- Think outside of your own box, every day.
- Read more blogs than you write.
- Comment on blog posts because you actually read the post and have value to add to conversation. Don't comment to get a link back to your site.
- Give without any expectation of receiving.
- You need your own data, not just the data of “gurus.”
- Some of our highest blog traffic days have been weekends. Don't forget people are online weekends, even if you aren't.
- Build an integrated business platform. It will take more time, but it works when you're not working.
- Hire people smarter than you.
- Give people a chance. Not everyone will learn Twitter or Facebook as fast as you can.
- Watching a client's eyes light up when learning Twitter or Facebook make every ounce of sweat and tears worth it.
- Getting in the trenches of your client business is the only option.
- Getting in the head of your target audience is a requirement.
- Know where your target audience hangs out online. Where do they eat, sleep, drink, talk, laugh and play?
- Love your customers and let them love you.
- Don't be afraid to help your customer take the skeletons out of the closet and deal with them asap.
- Help your customer do what is right to see results, even if they don't want to.
- Don't be afraid to fire a customer who doesn't value your time nor work.
- Put value on your time. If you don't nobody else will. Do NOT give your services away.
- Money isn't the only goal. It's the icing on the cake, but not the cake.
- Return on relationships is key to success and results.
- Focus on sustaining your business vs short term only revenue when possible.
- Change your lifestyle if you need to so you can reach your goals. We did!
- Your changed lifestyle may include selling your house, getting rid of your expensive cars and the list goes on.
- Be ready to let go of things that you depended on for many years. They are not your identity.
- Do these things and you will again find the real you, your true identity.
- You are not your Klout, Kred, PeerIndex or other social influence score.
- Vision with a plan inclusive of goals and objectives will change your life.
- You can and will reach your goals. You can do it. I believe in you!
What you say?
What is your journey? What have you learned since joining Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn? Where do you see your journey taking you?
Heartbeat of Social Media Series
This blog post is part of a series titled “The Heartbeat of Social Media“. It includes a deep look at how communities work, what people are doing within them and how businesses can better understand how they can fit in, provide value and derive benefit as both a business as well as individual people.
Subscribe to the series for updates and access to special videos, webinar training and more. Would love to hear your input and have you participate in discussions and debates as we challenge each other to be part of what makes the social network heartbeat healthy and alive!