So just how is this a social media secret you may well ask? As the saying goes, some things are sometimes the best kept secrets and furthermore those people who know me well I am not one of the outgoing ostentatious type of people who push their ‘personal brand’; so much of what I do and have achieved over the years is kind of a secret. Blogging in itself has been quite a challenge for me and now writing about myself is probably one of the toughest things I have done. However, I do so to try and help those of you who feel a similar way to me that in this online social media driven world we need to raise our profile albeit a tad. It does not have to be an over the top and in your face kind of profile. My social media mantra is keep it real and always bring out the humanity.
My background is systems engineering and in particular the telecoms field. I started off in the South African Air Force at the beginning of 1980 and was involved in the operational development and deployment of electronic warfare and long range weapon systems. It was a challenge during the times of sanctions and I worked with some amazing and brilliant people who certainly helped to mould my creative engineering if I can call it that. You must understand that Engineers are generally black and white thinkers who do not believe in grey areas. I have been told that I am an engineer who has moved across to the colourful side!
This is not meant to be a CV so I am not going to bore you with my various positions and travels around the world, but I have experienced much and many cultures and had the privilege of working with remarkable people, all who have had a part in shaping me to be the person I am today.
So how did ‘honest John the working girls boyfriend’ (a term of endearment used by one of my boss’) get into social media and learn about it? I Am Not Afraid of the ‘F’ Word – 50 Lessons learnt on the way to business failure, a book by Charlotte Kemp was the vehicle. Charlotte and I go back many years and have been involved in training of all kinds and she needed a way to promote her new book and without a budget. Social media was the answer and so we had to learn very quickly. Charlotte is an excellent networker and I loved technology so spent a huge amount of time learning about the social media platforms and trawling and exploring as I still do today. We were running courses on debt collection and folk were very interested in how the courses and the books were being marketed. Charlotte together with my input developed some social media courses which have evolved into significant and well known and attended course run by Niche Training and Development.
From these courses people were enthused and excited but wanted help with implementation or to fast track their social media into action, so Social Media Solutions was born out of that. The rest as they say is history.
I am still involved in running one of the Niche Training Courses called Social Media for Business, a course designed for people with some experience of social media and want to take it to the next level. For the most part I provide integrated online media solutions for my customers. I love the work as each project is so unique and I get to meet and work with really interesting and great people. I cannot be an expert in all of the fields so I collaborate with like minded people to help provide bespoke solutions that are tailored for each specific client and their unique requirements.
When it comes down to it all, I am the espresso shot in the social media Latte, not all the foam and froth as I discussed in an earlier blog post. By ending off a project with coaching of my customers and empowering them to have full ownership of their social media is the cherry on the top for me. Helping people to get excited about social media and to leverage it to their advantage is what makes me get up each morning and be excited about what I do.
So why hire me? I have learnt my social media trade through the University of Life and hard knocks; I am not driven by my personal brand but rather by those of my clients. I most of all enjoy imparting my knowledge and skills onto others and to see them take their online media to levels never before imagined. I have an enquiring mind always looking for new technologies, but also a very systematic and down to earth way of translating this complex world into a language people can understand and use for their own good.