Where have you been?

Just might be the question you have been asking if you’ve come to my site anytime in the last few months. Well, I’m here to tell you I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Instead I have been focused on a new chapter in my life. In September 2013, I launched the Health|Fitness|Beauty Quest.

Health Fitness Beauty Quest Album Art

In a nutshell, the goal of the quest is to discover what health, fitness and beauty mean to me, a relatively active woman in her mid-forties. It’s been quite the exciting few months of discovery with so many aha! moments. I have also had a couple of humbling moments as well.

Overall, I would say that everyone has been supportive and encouraging on my journey. Just 4 months into the quest have shown me just how far I can go when I put an emphasis on me. With so much going on, I can only imagine the me that will be by the time the 1 year mark rolls around. I am looking forward to the Jennifer of the future and enjoying the experience as it all progresses.

I am lucky to have partnered with such great service providers such as Penny Muckelroy, Pinnacle Wellness and ContourLase Body Institue to make it all happen. Sharing each step of my journey with the readers of my blog has given me focus and kept me accountable. Read the archives to learn more about the my road to health, fitness and beauty.

 

San Antonio to New Orleans #SMPBT

Rhea_Perry
Rhea Perry, Founder of Educating for Success

Today was the start of my journey. But before I could log one mile of the 1, 929 miles, I had to talk to the woman who is the founder and visionary behind Educating For Success.  For the last 13 years Rhea Perry has used her online community and annual events to help homeschooling families and others learn how to build their own businesses to gain their financial freedom.

Rhea talks about her upcoming home business conference in Huntsville, AL happening the weekend of August 9-11, 2013. The topics being discussed range from Internet Entrepreneurs to Real Estate Investing to Entrepreneurial Farming and more. You can probably guess that I will be sharing my knowledge about the practical application of social media for entrepreneurs, non-profits and small business.

Find out more information about the conference by visiting bit.ly/educationforsuccess

 

Travel Notes

My connectivity use has changed in the last two years since I conducted a Social Media Powered Business Trip. Two years ago I decided to go completely web based with my communications. I got rid of the cell phone plan and went with Skype and a wifi-hotspot. What started out as an experiment has become the only way I do business and stay connected with clients, friends and family.

For the most part it works out well and I love being connected without having to deal with cell companies who I feel overcharge for their services.  However, there are times when the hotspot is unable to deliver a strong signal and today was one of those days. In all fairness, in the past I have also experienced the same type of interrupted service from the traditional mobile carriers. When I look at an overview I feel I am still winning the connectivity battle. Overall, I was able to work with clients while traveling from San Antonio to New Orleans and count today as a #smpbt success.

Social Media Powered Business Trip Part Deux

One of the things I really like to do with social media is to highlight fun and creative ways it can be used for business. I think it helps to drive home how easy it really is to use the social platforms and their mobile tools to share your messaging regardless of where you are or what you are doing. In other words, there is no excuse not to make social media a seamless part of your business.

A couple of years ago I did this through something I called the “Social Media Powered Business Trip.” The idea behind this was to use only my iPhone to post audio, video, tweets, Facebook updates and photos to document the journey from San Antonio, TX to Destin, FL where I was scheduled to speak at Rhea Perry’s Educating For Success Entrepreneur Conference.

What made the experience even better was that I stopped in several cities to interview folks who were using social media successfully for their business, projects or clients. I knew none of the people I interviewed. I was connected to them through recommendations of my fellow social media peeps. It truly was a social media powered trip. You can read all about it and listen or watch the interviews from that trip here.

Social Media Powered Business Trip Part Deux MapYou might wonder why I am telling you the story of that event. Or perhaps you have already guessed based on the title of my post that I am embarking on another Social Media Powered Business Trip. I will once again be speaking at Rhea Perry’s Entrepreneur Conference.  This time I am making the journey to Huntsville, AL.  Based on the options provided to me by the all powerful Google, I have divided my trip into two separate routes. On the way there I will travel to New Orleans for an overnight stop. Then continue my journey to Huntsville, AL. The route back will be entirely different with a stop in Memphis to visit Graceland before overnighting in Little Rock, Arkansas. Then I will head back to my beloved San Antonio with a quick stop in Dallas.

Who will I be stopping to interview along the way? Well, now that all depends on you. Got someone along the way you would like me to stop and visit? Send me their contact information and they too can become part of the Social Media Powered Business Trip.

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

The fun kicks off on Tuesday, August 6th and I expect to be back in San Antonio on Tuesday, August 13th. I am looking forward to having you join me on this latest social media adventure.

Social Media, Clients and My Philosophy

photo credit: Darren Lewis
photo credit: Darren Lewis

As you all know, I am what I call a Social Media Gal. What that means for me is I get to work and play in this space for a living. What I enjoy most is sharing my knowledge with others through both community events and client interaction. Seeing those light bulb moments happen when an audience or a client recognizes the value social media could have on their business or cause is what I enjoy the most.

My philosophy when it comes to social media is that the folks with the boots on the ground should be the ones telling the story. We all know social media is not a “set it and forget it” tool. It is more like a newborn infant which needs to be watched and fed often. This “boots on the ground” philosophy does require the entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations I work with to invest in what I call the Three T’s:  Time | Team | Tools.

Time

Discoverability meetings, staff training and education, profile optimization, design, page creation, social media guidelines, response flowcharts et al., all take time to explain, understand and implement. Anyone who is delving into this social media needs to understand which platforms will work best for their needs, the use and languaging for each platform and how to participate in the space effectively.

Team

One of the decisions a company will have to make is who will be responsible for monitoring, posting and responding on their social channels. I stress the importance of this position so that they understand that every tweet, post and comment is a direct representation of their brand. This is not something that should be taken lightly nor maintained long term by an intern or someone who “will get to it when they have time”. So, making sure they have the person or team who can actively participate is key to the ongoing success of a company’s social media outreach.

Tools

The tools are fairly simple: computer, smartphone, tablet and of course internet access. Make sure your team members are equipped to represent and respond. You do not need all three to succeed, but removing barriers to access is important. You can post, audio record, live video stream, photograph and more all from a smartphone. I know some folks run their entire business from their phones. We are truly living in the Age of the Jetsons.

 

Not everyone I speak to is ready for this kind of commitment  That’s ok. There are plenty of companies that provide social media services who will do all the heavy lifting for you. They create, post and engage with your followers and fans on your behalf as if they were your brand. When I come across folks who want to hire me to “do it for them”, I smile politely and tell them, “I’m not your gal.”

Each company has what I call a unique flavor. In my mind the customers who frequent your company know how your receptionist answers the phone and how your team talks, walks and interacts with them on a daily basis. If your online presence doesn’t also reflect that same flavor then there can be some disconnect.

So, it should be no surprise that when I work with a client they are someone who subscribes to my “boots on the ground” philosophy and have put the Three T’s into action. In my line of work, I am fortunate in that I can be selective and choose the clients I enjoy spending time with and projects which interest me. One of the clients I have been working with for the last few months is Linda Elliott of Elliott Connection, LLC.

LInda Elliott, Connections Expert
LInda Elliott, Connections Expert

Linda contacted me when she made the decision to delve into the world of social media after she saw me speak at a local event last year. We had seen each other at events throughout the year so I already knew we got along. However, it wasn’t until we sat down to have our discoverability meeting I knew we would be a perfect fit. Linda is a Connections Expert and has a unique talent for finding the perfect partnerships for her clients. Personally, I would describe what she does as an elegant introduction. To experience it is to understand it. Once you have, you will never forget it. I know I never will (more about this in a future post).

As with all projects, you spend months building the platforms and training the team and then there is the moment when they are ready to go live. It is a true pleasure to share the news that today Linda Elliott is launching her Power of Connections blog. Wander over there, take a look and let her know what you think. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

 

National Podcast Post Month Year 5

National Podcast Post month Logo
National Podcast Post month Logo
NaPodPoMo

Today marks the beginning of the audio marathon I call NaPodPoMo or National Podcast Post Month. Over the course of the next 30 days podcasters from around the globe will be podcasting daily with the goal of having 30 podcasts completed by November 30th.

This is the 5th year we have done NaPodPoMo. I use this monthly long audio recording frenzy as an opportunity to try new things. From platforms to tools to style to shows I call it my experimentation time. Some experiments work out beautifully and continue on such as Tech in Twenty from year 2 while others go the way of the dodo like my effort in year 3. Regardless of the success rate of my experiments the one thing that holds true is that I learn something new each time.

For many folks who have been curious about podcasting this is a great opportunity to learn. With a podcast due each and everyday the learning curve is fast. No time to freak out about a less than stellar performance. Chalk it up to experience and put your game face on for the next day’s show. One thing that is always true is that your 30th podcast will be markedly improved from your day 1 podcast.

For veteran podcasters, NaPodPomo is the opportunity to recapture the love of the audio medium. There is no doubt that folks who started podcasting in the early days 2004-2006 love audio. Recording a podcast has never been easier with all the mobile apps and online services at our fingertips. Discovering new tools to do recording, editing and posting is exciting and fun.

Whatever the reason you are joining us for this year’s NaPodPoMo challenge, I welcome you into the fold. My advice is to forgive yourself quickly and enjoy the journey.

Cheers!

What’s New? Camps, Conference and Speaking

Want to know what is going on in Jen’s World? Let start with MobiCamp San Antonio on Saturday, February 26, 2011.

You may be wondering exactly what MobiCamp San Antonio is all about. Well here in a nutshell is an explanation:

“MobiCamp San Antonio is an UnConference being held to focus conversation around the use of mobile technology from smartphones to tablet devices to apps and beyond as it relates to business, nonprofits and our daily lives. It’s an “UnConference”, meaning that it’s a conference organized in an ad-hoc manner for everyone to attend and participate in.

The mantra of every camp is “Learn, Share, Grow” We hope that folks will come ready to do all three.

There are no keynote speakers or rigidly defined schedules. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join. Want to learn more about the business use of smartphones, mobile apps, fund-raising on the go, live video and audio streaming and how it can happen all from your mobile devices? Always wanted to know more about the staying connected and productive while on the go? Then MobiCamp San Antonio is the place to be. We are planning for a crowd of the most plugged-in, most active mobile, business, education, social media and connected folks from all around Texas.”

 

On March 3rd my company, Brewing Media,  will host another Social Media Lounge at Innotech San Antonio which is being held at the Norris Conference Center. Swing on by to learn how social media can be a part of your communication strategy and marketing campaigns. There will be a live streaming video interviews and audio podcasts being recorded throughout the day long event. By using these tools on the trade show floor we show folks just how easy it is to implement these tools into their existing campaigns.

I am also hosting a session in the afternoon titled, “Social Media Mobile Strategies: There’s An App For That” If you’re curious to learn how your phone could be your business partner then you might want to consider attending my session. Here is a brief description of what you can expect,

“The business world is in a fast paced transition. It has never been easier to stay productive and connected. Mobile tools and apps are leading the way.

The word mobile has gone beyond the word phone. In today’s world mobile = customers on the move. It means, staying productive regardless of location. It means business doesn’t stop just because you stepped out of the office.

The new generation of smartphones like iPhones, Androids, Windows 7 coupled with the explosion of tablet devices like iPad, Galaxy, Streak have changed the way business gets done.

Smart business uses all of the available smartphone apps, online and social tools at their disposal to get things done. Need to submit purchase orders? Process payments? Share contact information? There’s an app for that.

Learn the innovative ways that business, nonprofits and groups are using these tools to run their organizations. Specific social media strategies and productivity apps will be revealed.

Discover the true power of these tools to make business happen on the go.”


On March 9th I will be headed to Austin, TX for RISE Austin. RISE is a weeklong city-wide event focused on entrepreneurship.

“What is special about RISE? Unlike traditional conferences, RISE is about entrepreneurship FOR the people. Because our sessions are free, RISE attracts incredibly diverse participants, reflecting all ages, stages and industries.

The RISE conference is hands-on and creative, just like our participants. Anyone can organize and host a RISE session on the topic of his/her choice. Sessions are limited to 25 to promote a highly collaborative experience. Join us for RISE 2011: March 7-11, 2011.”

This is my 3rd year to present a session at RISE. It is such an amazing and unique event that I would love to see replicated in cities around the globe. You can find me presenting “Business On The Go: Smartphones, iPads and Apps, OH MY!” at the Bob Bullock Museum on Wednesday, March 9th from 12:00-1:30pm.

“Modern business is done on the go. We take our smartphones with us everywhere. Apps are the latest tools that have helped turn our phones into a powerhouse business tool. With the introduction of the iPad and other tablet devices, business have never been more mobile. In this session we will discover the ways that smart business, nonprofits and groups are using these tools to run their organizations. We will discuss specific productivity and social media apps, dissect a “Day In The Life” case study and have a hands-on session. Get ready to roll your sleeves up to experience the power of these tools to make business happen on the go. From mobile platforms to apps to audio and video streaming to Facebook and FourSquare check ins, the ability to be productive while staying connected has never been easier.”

There are lots of fun places you can fine me at but the easiest way to keep up is to connect with me online. Twitter and Facebook are the two main locations where my conversations tend to happen. Feel free to join me. The best way to start a relationship with me online is to introduce yourself. I recommend drinking a cup of coffee before diving into the chattiness.

Texas Social Media Awards 2010

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

On Sunday, March 14th the Austin-American Statesman held the 2nd annual Texas Social Media Awards during SXSW. Celebrating folks who in one way or another have made an impact in their communities or industries with Social Media. I am honored to have been recognized. In the judges words,

“Jennifer is driving the social media space in San Antonio. It’s rare that you find an event in the city that hasn’t been organized or touched by her in some way.”

My thanks to everyone for being part of this incredible journey. Who knew back in 2005 when the community building around the new media space began that it would evolve to this level? Not me. Folk ask me how I got involved in community building and I always go back to my start in podcasting in 2005. My need to talk face-to-face with other folks who were just as excited and passionate about podcasting as I was led me to create the San Antonio Podcasting Meetup. I have my wonderful husband, John aka @designminded to thank for the idea to start that first group. From there it led to the first Podcamp in the State of Texas and so on. There have been many people who motivated and inspired me to “do a camp”: Michael De Leon spurred on PodCamp San Antonio. Erica O’Grady inspired me to have a Startup Weekend . Whurley, Giovanni and Cody Marks Bailey encourage me to have a Barcamp. It was the persistent Connie Reece who guided me through the process of launching a local Social Media Club Chapter and Bryan Person who thought it might be a good idea if San Antonio had a Social Media Breakfast chapter. These folks inspired, encouraged and mentored me through the process of community building. I hope to have done so to others in turn.

They say no man or woman is an island and that has never been more true than when it comes to social media and community building. I am extremely proud of the robust, thriving and giving community we have in San Antonio. It is certainly indicative of what I have found in other parts of the state and country. The commandments of camp is: “Learn, Share, Grow” and the motto of Social Media Club is “If you get it, share it”. The key word in this is  SHARE. I truly believe that as long as we as a community keep this in mind in all of our endeavors we will continue to see success that is beneficial for all.

At heart of it all. I am thankful. So, I will end this post as I started it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/AMERICAN-STATESMAN