Mia Taylor

Celebrity & Brand Social Media Manager

Becoming A Social Media Freelancer

09/19/2012

In the last… well, ok, I won’t date myself, but in the last several years of Freelance writing and Freelancing as a Social Media Strategist, I can’t tell you how many times friends, clients, colleagues, Twitter followers, and family have asked how I find work as a freelancer. I decided that if people in my personal circle were wondering it – it had to be a fairly common question.

Finding your niche in the world of Social Media is of the utmost importance as a freelancer, but aside from creating your network, there are specific things you need to think about before jumping into the ever-growing pool of freelancers. It’s in growing demand to be able to set your own schedule, to work remotely, to pursue your own personal goals whilst being paid by clients to do what you love.

And no one said it would be easy… Becoming a Social Media Freelancer – and having it support you financially is no easy tast.

Here are a few steps to set you in the right direction.

Assess Your Skills -

In order to market yourself accurately and effectively, you need to determine your skills. What sets you apart from the rest? For me, it’s that I have an affinity for learning, an affinity for meeting and connecting with new people and a drive to challenge myself with each step. These skills translate well into managing clients and constantly staying ahead of the game. For you – it may be that you are a leader, a great manager, a creative mind or a social butterfly. Whatever it is, use your skills as the center-point for pitching yourself to clients.

 

Establish Your Online Presence -

It’s of the utmost importance that – because you do not have a company representing you, that you represent yourself as a freelancer. Make sure that you’re present on on each and every social network – and not just present, but active.

Aside from just having an account on all the latest and greatest social outlets, I’d have to say that it’s important that you own your own domain for a website. Whether it’s MiaTaylor.com or SocialMediaFreelancer.com, it’s important that you have a place to direct potential clients. Becoming a Social Media freelancer means that people will be looking at how you do your own Social Media marketing.  Spend a few moments on YouTube and research how to start your own blog. It takes a matter of minutes, and will show you an incredible return on your investment.

 

Put Yourself Out There -

The most difficult part of being a freelancer is that you’re making connections for yourself. It’s easy to rely on a company that employs you to represent you and to do the business development for you, but as a freelancer, your connections and relationships with people are crucial. Go to MeetUps, Sit at a coffee shop while you work- and connect with someone you see there regularly, begin to build a solid network of those who know what you do, and understand your passion for it. It’s only then that you’ll begin to build the potential of your network.

 

Read -

I don’t mean 50 Shades of Grey or one of Oprah’s Reading List novels, but rather something more on topic. Scour the web for resources that you enjoy reading.

Here are a few of my favorites:

www.SocialMediaExaminer.com

www.Smartblogs.com/social-media

www.Mashable.com

www.britopian.com

www.chrisbrogan.com/20-free-ebooks-about-social-media/

 

Be Prepared -

It’s important that you be prepared to sell your services at the drop of a hat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met people in passing who see that I’m reading a Social Media related blog or magazine, who ask me if I’m in the “space.” Everyone knows someone that needs Social Media -and you should always be prepared to have them your card with your website and contact information. Make eye contact, shake their hand.

 

And… GO!

 

 

Living In a Hearing World.

11/25/2011
In a society where it is easy to get too comfortable in our own shoes, it is young women like 21-year-old Cherie King from Lake Arrowhead who make us take a step back and see life from a different perspective. For King, going about her day is no ordinary routine. However, King does not let being deaf stand in the way of living a normal lifestyle. Although she has the ability to drive and shop just like any other 21-year-old, she often finds road bumps in the simplest of tasks because so little assistance is made available to the deaf culture- even with over 20 Million deaf and hard of hearing citizens in the United States alone.

Surprisingly, interpreters are difficult to find. “Even with my school, I was lucky to get an interpreter. Actually, I fought for one,” King explained. With two other deaf students in enrollment at her school, the administration and district officials pushed back on hiring an interpreter for far too long.
King went on to describe being on the phone with customer service as difficult because most are unprepared to handle the situation. Even supervisors aren’t prepared and have no idea how to solve the problem, she continues.
With the last census for the deaf having been held in 1931 by the Census Bureau, even the 20 Million-person estimate could be an underestimate when it comes to the number of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in our country. To think that we are unable to provide such a vast number of people with the services they need is astonishing.
Living in a hearing world doesn’t stop King, though. Although she cannot hear, her reflexes are far more developed than those of most hearing individuals. And while we may be quick to assume tasks like driving are impossible for those living within the deaf culture, King explains that many with hearing disabilities are able to drive, in fact, the deaf can be very reflexive; and are able to focus easily when driving.
When she’s not in school, Cherie enjoys spending time with friends, however, at times even that can become a problem. King describes her time with friends as difficult because she will often miss jokes and have to ask them what was just said. Even so much as seeing a movie can be daunting. She must make sure that the movie she wants to see is playing in a theater that has rear-view captioning or full captioning on the screen. While the number of captioned movie theaters is fairly small, advances in technology are making these kinds of activities much easier for her, especially since she has honed in on her skill for reading lips.
Although she has developed the ability to read lips well, meeting new people is sometimes a challenge as well. “I still find it difficult understanding some people. Whenever I meet someone new, it takes me a while to understand them. Each person speaks a bit differently,” she added.
Being in a mainstream school as a young child surely played a large role in the development of her lip-reading skills, however, even a regular school day was different for her. King spent time in classes with her hearing peers and at the end of the day would have a class with her deaf classmates where they would learn more about deafness and refresh what was learned that day.
Kings fondest memory of her experiences at school may be what ultimately led her towards a passion for travel, accepted in the People to People Student Ambassador Program, King was able to travel abroad for the first time in her life, and visited France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. She then went on to travel abroad with Semester at Sea last Fall.
Cherie, a self-proclaimed travel bee, finds that even her true passion and love for seeing the world can be a frustrating one for her. As if traveling isn’t already an excursion in and of itself, King makes moves to encourage and help deaf travelers get the most out of their love for travel. Her biography on her website makes clear her motivations, what I am passionate about is trying to make traveling easier for deaf people. I want to share with the world what it is like to be deaf, and the struggles that come with it.
King spends time participating in volunteer groups whenever possible but she really focuses on spreading the word and lifestyle of the deaf culture, and helping other deaf travelers get the most out of their experiences. There is so much that needs to change in order for the deaf and hard of hearing to share the experiences that most individuals so often take for granted.
If there is one thing that she could change, King might say she would change how the world sees being deaf. She explains,”when people say that they feel so sorry for me or that my disability is really horrible, I find it quite offensive… it makes me unique. I am proud of my culture. So, don’t feel so sorry for me!” Such words are not only endearing and show resilience, but also motivational. It is my hope that one day our country will be able to provide the deaf culture with all that is needed for individuals like Cherie King to flourish naturally and without hardships that could otherwise be easily prevented. Until that time comes, it is important to understand that we should occasionally step away from those things most comfortable to us in order to learn about sub-cultures that make our country so well-rounded and inspiring.

 

What is the Best Time to Post on Facebook

11/09/2011

The web can be a somewhat overwhelming resource for those just getting started- and one thing you have to realize is that ALL the answers are out there, you just have to look hard enough or try hard enough. Much of the work you do will be trial and error, however, with resources like Mashable available- the heavy lifting has already been done for you.

So, when is the best time to post on Facebook or post a blog post? Mashable posted tips on when to post based on the subject matter of your post. Like I mentioned in another post , the most important part of optimizing posting times is knowing who your market is.

Take a look at the tips below:

Best Time to Post on Facebook

 

Of course, the best way to determine optimal posting times is by trial and error. Each “brand” has a unique demographic, that appear online at different times on different days. By testing similar posts on different days and at different times, you can get a pretty good feel for what performs best.

Generally speaking, it’s great practice to figure out the location of your target demographic. Germany? Mexico? Brazil? US? Once you find that information, you can start posting based on specific time zones- and even begin to geo-target your Facebook posts! But we’ll get more into that in the near future.

Have any questions you’d like answered about Facebook posting?

Leave them in the comments!

 

How to add Google+ to Google Apps

10/27/2011

It’s here! You can now have  Google+ account for your Gmail hosted email accounts!

Here’s how!

  1. Log in to the Google Apps administrator control panel.
    The URL is https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/primary-domain-name.com, where primary-domain-name is the domain name you used to sign up for Google Apps.
  2. Click the Organization & users tab.
  3. In the organizational tree on the left, select the organizational unit for which you want to set the available services.
  4. Click the Services tab.

Scroll down to Google+ (Right after Google Voice) and turn it ON.

add google + for apps

add google + for apps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verify that you want to turn the service on…

And voila! You’re done and can start using Google+ with @yourdomain.com email accounts!

For Google’s help, click here: http://bit.ly/uCDL9O

The Case of the Disappearing Google Docs Templates!

08/17/2011

Ah yes, the “infallible” Google rears its ugly head at us once more. First it was the Youtube/Google merge that caused Login problems for many, then it was the GMail hack that left users with exposed logins,and now, many a business running their email through Google Apps, and using the oh-so-convenient Google Docs web application product are crawling around their template galleries on their hands and knees, desperately.

Let’s take a look. Within 7 minutes of my posting on the Google Forum, 13 replies were received by just-as-frantic Google Docs users.

Google Docs Template Missing

So here we are, day 2, while the masses gather on the forum, constantly refreshing their Google Templates Gallery page.

Our system admin called Google (but mostly just their Colbie Caillat inspired Hold music), and ran through our error messages and if we could replicate the issue. All they could tell us what that it was a known issue and that they had opened a ticket regarding the issue.

I want to know who accidently kicked their feet up on their desk and pressed the “Delete All Known Templates Forever” button, and if they’ve been fired yet.

Ok, maybe I’m being a little harsh, but if Google can reactivate an email address that was deleted 3 days ago (even though it warns that deleting an email address can NOT be undone), why can they not just reinstate deleted templates?

This time, it’s not User Error. user error

Facebook Updates Status and Comment Tags

05/05/2011

Hey everyone! This week, Facebook enabled status tags in a way that is quicker and easier (and definitely more aesthetically pleasing) to use. Tagging friends in a Facebook statusfacebook F has evolved ever so slightly so as to cater to the needs of its users.

These updates allow you to:

  • mention another user in your status update by simply typing their first name- no longer needing to begin with “@”
  • mention another user by first name rather than whole name by typing their first name, selecting the friend from the list and hitting the backspace
  • direct a comment/response directly to another user within a comment thread

Previously, when tagging friends in a Facebook status, users had to precede the name with “@” in order to signify they wanted to tag someone and you could not use the tagging feature within a comment thread. You would often find that users were directing comments to others in a thread by typing “@friend’s name”. Surely, Facebook became aware of the desire to direct comments to certain individuals and incorporated the feature site-wide.

Here are some examples of how status tagging can be used:

tagging friends in a facebook status

 

 

 

See how only the person’s first name is used?

tagging in a facebook status

 

 

 

A friend commented on my status, so I tagged her in my response. She’ll receive a notification that I’ve responded to her. Very cool feature!

 

Issues (to be updated as found):

I, personally, have been having issues when updating on my profile page rather than the homepage/ newsfeed page. It still requires me to use “@friend’s name” in order to tag.

Have you used this feature? Are you liking its functionality so far? If you’ve  found any other issues with these new features, please share so I can include them in this post!

Social Media Marketing- Do It Right.

02/19/2011

There is an ever-expanding number of small businesses, corporations and bloggers joining the social media bandwagon- and for good reason. It offers a cacophony of target markets and the public forum for which we can broadcast our online marketing to those most relevant. Social Media Marketing

Unfortunately, many businesses lack the knowledge to use social networks. That’s where I come in. I’ve always been a social person; way back when AOL emerged as a social space, I was on every forum and chat room, trying to figure out WHY others were there, and who they were. This transpired into a full-blown career as a consultant for social media marketing strategies and online brand management (I’d like to thank all my grade school teachers for consistently flooding my report cards with comments like “Is too social” or “talks too much with peers”). I digress. Getting back to the topic…

This post is less about my social prowess and more about how you can improve your social media marketing strategies- or to get you to hire me! ;) But in all seriousness, social media marketing is easy- once you have the foundation of knowledge to build upon.

Here are a few tips for social media marketing:

Know your brand.

We all have a “brand.” Who are you? Who is your company? What is your blog? If someone were asked to describe it, would they have a solid idea of who you are? Take some time to solidify your “mission statement,” if you will, and standardize that in the bio of every social network you’re a part of.

Know your audience.

I challenge you to rethink your target market. If something isn’t working now, chances are you’re not reaching the right people. After looking at your Google Analytics keywords, (You ARE using Analytics, aren’t you?!) spend some time on search.twitter.com typing in those keywords that bring people to your website.

Get a little personal.

While social networks can, and often are, abused by those who feel the need to share their by-the-minute activities, you can get personal without being “that person.” Knowing your audience is the first step to really interacting with them. Are you “following” them? Are you interacting with them? Do they see you as a real person or as some unnamed user profile?

Create great content.

There is nothing worse for your online reputation than doing all the right things followed by content that has either been re-purposed from another blog or that  is simply not engaging.  Fortunately, if you know your audience well enough, you’ll know what they will want to read/learn/find useful.

Dedicate the time.

We see fruitless attempts at social media management on a regular basis, and believe it or not, success can be as simple as dedicating time to “existing” on these mediums. If you don’t have the time, hire someone who does- and who knows what they’re doing! In many cases, dedicating your own valuable time to new media marketing can be more costly than paying someone who has become efficient at what they do.

Like I mentioned earlier, social media marketing can be painless. It takes patience, dedication and the willingness to learn.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here for me!

Full Speed Ahead

01/21/2011

Phew. Let me catch my breath. ::clasps hands above head while heaving heavily::

Ok, I’m ready now.

I guess it’s a good thing, but I have been so busy with new clients that posting has fallen to the wayside. Now, it’s all engines a-go!

I’m working on a lot of really interesting projects right now; everything from Social Media Account Management for an eco-friendly clothing line to web development and re-branding for a construction company, to building a website for a Judge in San Diego, to training a company to more effectively represent themselves in the social space.

Not to mention managing -or trying to manage- my own blog, as well as a side blog called We Travel and Eat. Jordan and I are currently rebuilding the site to focus more on providing others with useful travel and food tips in all the places we visit.  So while it’s a work-in-progress, it’s coming along quite nicely if I do say so myself. Check out our Facebook page!

We’re also establishing an Llc; a creative studio for all things web development. It’s a pretty exciting process and I can’t wait to be a partner in something that already has projects in progress, checks post-dated for its first legal appearance, and doesn’t even have a Tax ID number yet. Soon enough though. By the first week of February, we’ll be able to charge credit cards, bill through Paypal, and invoice straight through our project management tool.

So, while it looks like (from the frequency of blogs posted) I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth, I’ve actually hand my hands in a little bit of everything. Secretly, I think I adore being overwhelmed.

What are you working on these days? Would love for you to keep me updated!

Giving Up My iPhone For a Droid.

11/07/2010

I decided that I was going to retire my iPhone and pick up a droid phone. There are quite a few reasons I did so.

  1. My iPhone response time was, well, quite unresponsive.
  2. My monthly bills, no matter how often a representative and I “reevaluated my current usage” were $100 or more (which did not include unlimited anything).
  3. Even paying that much, I had limited service in all my most frequented locations and almost every one of my calls ended up dropping at some point during the conversation.
  4. After almost a year of having the phone, and jail-breaking it to make it more useful, I just got sick of it. Apple doesn’t make it easy to customize anything and when you jailbreak it in order to personalize your iPhone, it makes it complicated to maintain apple software updates.
  5. Now that the Evo has come out and been on the market enough to drop in price significantly, I figured it was time to get my money’s worth in regards to product offerings and reliable service.
  6. And to boot, when my EVO screen breaks, I won’t have to break my warranty just because I’d rather have a 3rd party repair shop fix it than have Apple charge me 5x as much. Just sayin’.

I must say, it is sad seeing my iPhone sit on my desk, lonely and unused, but when rationality kicks in again- my EVO does everything (and much, much more) than my iPhone ever could have (Thanks Steve Jobs). It was getting on my nerves that Apple was limiting the capabilities of my iPhone so that they could constantly release new versions of the same phone, as a result, my new EVO phone has better functionality and can do more than the current iPhone 4.

It is safe to say that my $60-a-month, 1400-minutes, unlimited data, unlimited text messaging *and* 4G, is far better (and cheaper) of an investment. I am no longer following the footsteps of the mindless consumers that believe iPhone rules all.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad and my new MacBookPro, but when it comes to phone service, I want what I pay for- and the iPhone just wasn’t meeting those expectations.

:: Six Months Later:

Hey All! I’m updating this post six months into my contract with Sprint and 6 months into using the less trendy but far more efficient HTC Evo phone. So far, it’s been smooth sailing. The phone, when plugged in to my computer, acts like any other USB storage device and I can simply drag and drop music, files, photos etc. onto the phone without using iTunes and without waiting an hour for the whole process to be completed. My phone service and reception have been great thus far. I really can’t complain about it. The 4G has worked great where 4G is available, the Apps in the Droid Market are seemingly unlimited and offer nearly every app that the iPhone does.

To be honest, I’ve been seeing a LOT more Droid phones out there, and everyone seems to be loving theirs just as much. Success!

If you’re thinking about changing from an iPhone to an Adroid- supported phone, feel free to ask me questions here. I’d love to help!

-Mia

My Life is a Movie.

08/26/2010

My life should be a movie, because really, sometimes I have a hard time believing it’s not a well-timed, perfectly constructed Romantic Dramedy.

Opening scene: Las Vegas, Nevada where 6 lb 4 oz Mia is born.
Fade out to Mia’s mom packing for California shortly thereafter, realizing Las Vegas is not the ideal place to raise her daughter– or even BE for that matter.
Cut To: Dad peaces out, leaving Mia and Mom for his 3rd, then 4th, 5th, later- 6th and eventually 7 wives-turned-divorcees. (Not all at the same time, obviously.)

In any case, the following scenes pave the way for an interesting childhood. Including scenes where my I am 5-years-old and flying alone to Vegas every other weekend to visit my father, where mom and I hop on a Harley Roadster and ride with 200k other Harley Davidson bikers to South Dakota, where I board a ship to set sail for three months and travel the world, and where my mom and I come back from a movie to realize our house has suffered from a devastating house-fire.

Like I said, Romantic Dramedy.

Where’d the romantic part play in, you ask? Good question.

Cut to: May 2010, Beverly Hills and Brentwood, California. Split screen-Guy and Girl meet on a dating site , and chat with each other each day during work. After a couple weeks, she finally decides to ask him if he wants to meet up after work for a drink- since they’re going in the same direction.

Fades to: 6PM, Girl ends up being early for this mysterious rendez-vous and gets in some shopping; scores 2 heels and an Apple product in under 30 minutes. She’s a pro.

Pan and Zoom to: Girl’s iPhone text message alert- “New text message from Jordan.”  The moment of truth…oddly enough, she wasn’t nervous. She picks up the phone and calls him, “it’s quicker than texting,” she rationalized. In actuality, she wanted to hear what he sounded like before meeting him. Is that so wrong?

Cut to: He’s standing on one side of the crosswalk, she’s on the other, they’re on the phone. “Walk” reads on the sign and before long she’s running to get him and turns them in the other direction- wait, why was she running? Excited? Already? He was cute and it was clear there was a connection from their earlier conversations.

Fade to: Guy and girl strolling the Santa Monica promenade after a few drinks (they forgot to eat dinner, as they were too involved in conversation), headed to watch the sunset when all of the sudden, they happen upon a 13,000-person audience gathered on the beach for a free Jack Johnson concert.

Before long, they’re laughing and running through crowds of people to find an ideal spot. She

pulls out her phone to capture this moment- the best date she’s ever had. They kiss- it was bound to happen. It was perfect.

Fade to: 12AM… they’re finally parting ways for the evening. After all, she ended up falling asleep in his arms while listening to music- it was about that time.

It was the beginning of something very special <3

Newer Posts
Older Posts