This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn on March 11, 2017.
I was always a hard worker. But when I was younger I drifted in and out of jobs, not quite settling anywhere. I did Temping as a receptionist and lots of sales and customer service roles. hisI loved dealing with people but wasn’t so great at taking orders from a boss. I always made great tips when I was a waitress as I knew how to talk to people and offer excellent customer service. I always went above and beyond what was expected of me. But somehow I was never quite happy staying in one place for long. I was adaptable and I was a fast learner, but taking orders was never my strong point. I was fiesty, stubborn at times and not a very good listener. I was also very sensitive. Can still be quite sensitive to be honest!
When I had my first daughter I wasn’t in a good relationship so I left and went off on my own. I lost a lot of confidence and didn’t think I had anything to offer so I relied on social welfare. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do. And as lots of lone parents can relate to, I didn’t have the childcare in place also to get out and get a proper job. Eventually I divorced and got married again and had my second daughter but again I was feeling unfulfilled and wanted to do something but didn’t know what it was. What was my purpose? I was a bit lost. At this stage also I had started relying a bit more on alcohol. I felt a failure and I also felt very lonely.
Almost 9 years later, I haven’t had a drink at all. I have changed my whole way of thinking and slowly but surely I started to realise that I had in fact got some talents and had something to offer. In 2011 My Father passed away and it was this that really pushed me into action. I felt ‘You only live once’ and decided it was time to do something….but still I didn’t know what that something was.
My second marriage had broken down, my second daughter was about to start mainstream school (She is hearing impaired with a severe language delay so I was on carers allowance at this stage) and I was hitting the big 40. All my ducks were lined up in a row……
So one day when my older daughter came to that awkward milestone of puberty I went looking for a gift to give her to make that transition to womanhood easier. I couldn’t find a starter set for girls …so I came up with the idea for Funky Goddess. I had NO money at all and didn’t exactly have a great record either with the banks! So I went on Dragons Den….this was when my journey really started in the public eye.
Before I went on the show, I started to use social media in particular Twitter to market Funky Goddess. I discovered that I was pretty hot at it. I was actually talking to people and dealing with people and ‘Building relationships’ even though I didn’t realise it. When the girls were in bed, I was talking to people on Twitter. I learned as much as I could online about Twitter and social media in general.
By the time I went on Dragons Den I had already gained a following of over 5k people. So after Dragons Den I kept going even though the investment didn’t materialise. I was determined to succeed. I needed to make a profit though, so in the end I had to shelve Funky Goddess and get out and earn some money. I couldn’t keep going especially as one day I was sitting by the fire with my daughters and we had no coal. I thought I can’t keep doing this to my children. But what happened next was very interesting…..a local hotel approached me and asked could I help them with their Twitter account as they were struggling with it.
This was my first client. I got that moment again where I thought ‘hang on, perhaps I have a business here’. The hotel’s clicks to sale went up 15% (All I did was talk to their followers they already had and built relationships with new customers). But this was really how it all kicked off for Tweeting goddess. I decided to re brand and I actually sold Funky Goddess (to a customer) in the meantime.
So now I was Tweeting goddess ….people slagged me about the name, ….’Who does she think she is’ …’she could do with losing a few pounds, she is over 40 for goodness sake’ etc etc ….but I noticed in the USA in particular ….they LOVED the name Tweeting goddess. (I mean, it does what it says on the tin).
I have built some awesome relationships on Twitter. I have spoken to and met people from all over the world. The conversations I start on Twitter with people I admire, I’ve taken to a skype call or coffee. Also, people are watching all the time……so I’ve had folk say they love my tweets and I’m like OMG how cool that that person actually knows who I am!
I always tweet out tips and do articles that show I know my stuff. I am constantly helping others too especially start ups and small business owners as I’ve been there and I know what it’s like having no marketing budget! This is the secret to success on social media. When you share your knowledge not only are you showing you are the expert, but you are also helping others learn. People buy from people so if they trust you, they will recommend you, buy from you and support you. You must be authentic though. I know the people who walk the walk. I know who the really good supportive people are. They are out there, silent, watching us. cheering us on from behind the screen but not necessarily commenting or engaging. You might be reading this now and yet you won’t comment. But I know you are out there! Thank you for your support.
I wanted to learn more and more. I wanted to be the top twitter expert and also learn as much as I could from experts in other platforms. So now I have over 37k followers. I have created communities online on Twitter and Facebook. I have the Womensinspirenetwork.com and I founded the social media summit which is in it’s second year now thanks to Cogs and Marvel I found it so difficult to find an event that covered all of the social media platforms and an event where I could learn how to be better and get results for clients. So I created my own event! This year we have Mari Smith coming! (You should come, you can book here )
I’m now one of the top influencers in Ireland on Social Media and am featured on many global lists such as this one Top 21 All star Twitter marketeers to follow and many others. I’m also a verified Twitter account!
I started sharing my knowledge with others at events. The more I showed I was the expert in what I did, the more requests came in to speak at events. I love to meet others who were in my situation and it’s a lovely feeling to be able to inspire others. I even got asked to do a ted x talk….here it is
So thanks to Twitter my whole life has changed. I’m no longer that girl with no confidence feeling like she has nothing to offer. I now feel like a useful member of society and I feel I add real value to others. I never forget where I came from though.
Thank you to all of the fab people I’ve met along the way so far…..next stop hopefully will be speaking in the USA. (Dreams do come true, so I have that on my vision board).