Going on The Grid

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It’s been said that we’ll have about five to seven careers in our lifetime, which seemed crazy to me when I first heard it.

However, in my 31 years to date, I’ve worked a couple of retail jobs, was a barista, worked as a communications director, did a brief stint in consulting, and have spent the last few years as a freelance social media strategist working with some amazing organizations and causes.

I love the work that I’ve done and am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had, but I’m always up for a new adventure and a new challenge.

A little over a year ago a good friend of mine told me about a startup he was a part of in San Francisco and over the course of a few coffee and lunch meetings told me about some of the remarkable things they would be doing to revolutionize web design… and the Internet for that matter. Being a huge fan of Silicon Valley, I’ve always had the itch to work with a startup. Many of the great organizations I’ve worked with in the past have afforded me some incredible experiences to come into something that was already established and bring about change. But, a huge  part of me has always wanted to be on the ground-level of something that I knew would be revolutionary and help build its culture and make a difference.

Well, I’m very excited to share that I’ve officially joined with the team at The Grid as their Community Manager.

The Grid is the world’s first artificial intelligence platform that designs websites and starting in Spring 2015, it will take your content and create websites for you – letting you do what you do best, and letting AI take care of the rest. It sounds like magic, and truly it is.

Over the last month The Grid has received some amazing press from Fast Co. LabsWIRED, Tech Crunch, cNet, and Entrepreneur, and is in the running to become the largest crowd-funded software platform in history. In under a month, we’ve already added 7,000 users and the numbers are growing every day.

In my specific role, I’ll be focusing on Community Management which will entail some marketing, social media, and customer support. The role is a unique mix of many of the different roles I’ve had over the last few years but in a new environment.

I spent last month in San Francisco working with the team at The Grid on a project basis and have officially accepted a role with them on their team this week. I am so excited about this opportunity and already love the team of people I get to work with. What they are building is something that truly is amazing and to play a part in it is a huge honor for me. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring and to embrace these new challenges and opportunities to be part of what’s happening at The Grid.

As I’ve shared my news with some friends a few common questions have popped up…

So are you leaving Chicago?

I’ll be working remotely from Chicago for now, though the pending Polar Vortex is one more reason why the West Coast is looking more and more appealing to me.

What about your book?

Last fall I crowd-funded ‘Church Communication 101’ – that project is near completion! Watch for details.

Will you still do freelance projects?

I am going to give my full time and energy to The Grid, though I always do love having a few different irons in the fire to keep me sane. I will continue with a few projects I have going now and will be more selective of future projects I take on.

Should I check out The Grid for my website?


How do I learn more about The Grid?

Follow @thegridio.

Thank you to all of you who have been along for the journey and who have followed this blog and my social media over the years. It’s a new day for me, but I think there are many valuable things I’ll learn through this new experience that will be helpful to share with you.

The biggest thing I’ve learned through this experience is this: Always give yourself permission to try new things. You never know what new adventures will be around the corner if you do.

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#FTW :: The Conference Call in Real Life Video

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In my groggy early morning scan of my social media feeds [code for: still in bed, half awake and squinting at my iPhone screen because the sun was hurting my eyes], I saw post after post after post about A Conference Call in Real Life

It was hard to miss…

If you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out:

Besides being one of the funniest videos I’ve seen this week [I mean, let’s be honest, we all love a good YouTube break every day], it also is a shining example of a social media win. If you didn’t pick up on it the first time, THIS IS A CONFERENCE PROMOTION!

This video was created as a promotion for Leadercast, a leadership conference for business executives. Sure, some people may have tuned out for the last few seconds where the conference was pitched, but sources of mine close to Leadercast say they’ve seen a significant jump in their web traffic in the last 24 hours as a result of this video being shared across social media.

I think this video is a huge win for a few reasons…

1 – When was the last time you were ever excited to watch a conference promo video?

The conference market is soooo saturated and with no shortage of conferences and networking events to attend, as a consumer, I’m very unlikely to watch your conference promotional video. I don’t care who’s speaking, how cool the graphics are, or what your theme for the year is. I’m not interested. I want to watch funny cat videos or check out GIFs on BuzzFeed.

The lineup of speakers for Leadercast is incredible… Malcom Gladwell, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jack Welch, Laura Bush, Simon Sinek, Randall Wallace and many others. That’s a pretty killer lineup. The “zig” for most conference organizers would be to create a slick video that promotes the event and highlights all of the amazing speakers. Well, the folks at Leadercast made a big ZAG, and I feel like this video has already proven to be a successful one. While people may have tuned in to see a funny video about conference calls, Leadercast has now promoted their event and gotten their brand in front of [as of the time of this blog post] 120,000+ viewers on YouTube in under 24 hours over  500,000 viewers now! I don’t know how much they invested in creating this video, but I imagine they will see great ROI from it.

2 – Its’s right on target for the audience Leadercast wants to reach.

Business executives spend hours a week on conference calls and are all too familiar with everything that this video showed. It was relatable, funny, and true to life.  There’s no better way to capture the attention of people you’re trying to reach than to share something they can relate to. Knowing your audience is key, and this proves to be right on target for who Leadercast wants to reach.

3 – People are sharing it.

One of the hallmarks of social media success is creating content people want to share with others. I’ve seen this video posted as much today as Justin Bieber’s mug shot. Sure, that’s because of the types of people I follow, but either way, without following Tipp & Tyler [creators video] and Leadercast [the organization that sponsored the event], I saw it everywhere. Social media success, in my opinion, is when you give people something they can’t help but want to share with others. That’s what it’s all about… people connecting, engaging, and sharing.

The best part is, they aren’t paying anyone to share it or promote it… they released it and the people of the interwebs have done what they’ve done with it.

I even shared it myself

So what can we learn from this?

1 – Know your audience.

2 – Do something different.

3 – Create great content people will want to share with others.

Great job, Leadercast!



Year in Review

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Dang. It’s already New Year’s Eve?

2013 has been a remarkable year and I’m going to attempt to try and condense it into a few paragraphs worthy of a blog post version of a Christmas letter.

If there’s one word that I could use to sum up 2013 it would be the word HOPE.  Read More


Surprised & Delighted :: When Social Media Wins

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Social media has forever changed the landscape of how businesses maintain relationships with their customers.

With an active presence on social media, a business has 24/7 connection to their customers and a way to have a relationship that goes beyond one-time transactions. Businesses that succeed at social media not only provide relevant content to their followers, but use it to invest in a relationship with them.

Read More

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