From corporate to creative: a year in review

I’ve become more creative in the last 365 days.

September 1, 2015, marked my last day as the Digital Marketing Manager at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and my first day as a full-time social media marketing consultant.

Making the decision to leave my role at the Partnership wasn’t easy; I enjoyed my responsibilities, had some kickass coworkers, and truly believed in The Partnership’s mission and vision.

However, after an extremely transformational weekend workshop, I felt my priorities shift.

I left Ruckusmakers knowing in my heart that I needed a change; I was no longer excited to go to work.

In fact, I was the living example of someone who was “working for the weekend.” I would work hard during the work week at The Partnership, and count down the hours until Friday at 5:00 p.m. when I could get started on my consulting work.

At the time, I was working with only a few clients — but I knew in my heart that there was so much more potential to make a greater impact.

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I took a leap, followed my gut and founded Bravery Beats

That was one year ago today.

Since then, a lot has happened. I have:

  • created 350+ hours of video content centered around social media tips and tactics
  • managed 30+ business profiles on various social media networks
  • launched my website AND YouTube channel
  • guest blogged for both Entrepreneur and Kissmetrics
  • listened to 400+ hours of podcast content centered around entrepreneurship, social media, and marketing strategy
  • shared 100+ hours of marketing advice, tips, and tricks on Snapchat
  • created a free social media guide that has been downloaded by 100+ people
  • crafted over 3,000 Facebook posts, 6,000 tweets and 1,500 Instagram posts
  • reached 15,000+ people through Periscope

Are any of these wins revolutionary or astonishing? Absolutely not. In fact, a lot of them are pretty minimal.

Nothing that I have achieved is unique to me.

I don’t say that to imply it’s been easy; I say it so that you understand that it’s not rocket science.

Every win has come as a result of commitment, enthusiasm, authenticity and consistency. 

So, what have I learned along the way? A lot.

I have learned that:

  • social media doesn’t stop: customers expect a 1-hour turnaround time.
  • authenticity attracts: the live videos where I have been extremely true to myself (cracking jokes, making silly faces and/or dancing) have gotten the most engagement by FAR.
  • consistency is critical: if you want to grow your audience and engagement on social media, you have to post and engage consistently.
  • you don’t have to be everywhere: you’ll see a bigger impact on your bottom line by focusing on one social media channel. Pick a channel of focus and start showing up, and delivering value, consistently. If you try to be everywhere, you often end up getting nowhere because it becomes a struggle to just maintain the presence.
  • having a team helps: I do much better work today, thanks to my decision in April to join the team at Telesco Creative Group, than I did one year ago.

I wrote this blog with two goals in mind.

Firstly, I want to share more stories and experiences here on the blog. 

I’m learning so much every single day about social media, entrepreneurship, marketing strategy and life in general, and I want to share those ideas and insights with you. If my experiences can help you make better decisions, or inspire an idea within you, it’s a win for me.

Secondly, I think that reflecting on our experiences is what really lets the lessons learned sink in. 

Living an authentic life, by doing what I love and sharing my stories through my blog and social media, feels absolutely amazing.

I work 60+ hours each week, compared to the “typical” 38-42 hour work week.

And yunno what? I’m happier, more satisfied, smarter AND wealthier now than I was just one year ago.

…If that’s not a case study for pursuing your passion, I’m not sure what is.

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