Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. My best advice, if you're looking for social media coaching, or help with virtual meetings, is to have a real-time phone conversation or a Skype meeting with anyone you're considering hiring.
It's essential for you to trust your coach and feel confident that s/he understands your specific challenges and has the specific knowledge and skills to help you.
Without that, you may "feel better" because you've got "a coach," but you're unlikely to make any real progress yourself. Watching someone else do things online - or, worse, just listening to their entertaining stories about what they've accomplished - doesn't help you do what YOU need to do with social media.
I offer - and in fact require - clients have a FREE 30-minute phone conversation or virtual meeting with me so we can explore the fit between your needs and our programs. There's never an obligation for this meeting. I feel like I owe it to you - and to myself - to be sure we can work together.
While we're coaching, I'm always just a call away...but I know I've done a great job when my clients quickly don't need me at all.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. People looking for social media or virtual meeting coaching should have a recent model computer - either PC or Mac. No older than 3 years, preferably 2 years old. If you don't have a webcam and a microphone or headset, you will need to get them and install them prior to beginning our work. (Webcams are so cheap now and most of them have a built-in microphone. Even the $299 netbooks have them built in!)
The multimedia nature of social media and virtual meetings requires a lot of bandwidth, so you must also have a high-speed broadband connection - the faster the better.
You will also need what we call a "modern" browser. It's possible to use social media with Internet Explorer, but it's much easier and more fun if you're using Firefox or - even better - Google Chrome. Both are free and you can download them quickly. Smart, "modern" browsers include lots of ways to use social media the easy way.
The last thing you need - before seeking me out - is to be sure you're actually willing to try out some new things - in a totally safe and supportive setting - and receive help.
I can coach anyone who's got the basic equipment, a desire to learn, and - most important - a willingness to receive support for joining the 21st Century.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I've been helping people communicate effectively from a distance for over 25 years.
As a Baby Boomer myself, I understand the privacy issues my peers have with social media. I totally get the frustration they're feeling about doing business online. And, in addition to having a ton of skill using Web 2.0, social media, and virtual meetings, I have a deep sense of humor about what it takes to get past our web angst so we can all get on with making our finest contributions in the 21st Century.
My clients love working with me because I coach "over the shoulder," helping them make sense of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and all kinds of FREE online tools that make sharing their gifts easier than ever.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Lots of my clients ask me, "Don't you think it's just too late for me to get with all this social media stuff? After all, I really just HATE it!"
And my response to them is always, "Not on your life!"
So many people have really just given up gaining any competence with social media and virtual meetings because their children (and grandchildren) have "helped" them - and left them feeling incompetent.
If you're willing to receive some coaching from a peer - who understands what you're feeling and will treat you like an adult - I'd love to help. I've been very successful helping people face-to-face and worked online with people from all over the world. And I can help you.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. A recent client is a retired biodynamic farmer who knew no more about the internet than how to download his email. But he was setting up a new program to share his love for the Earth, good food, and the kinds of biodynamic farming methods he has been using all his life. And his program was going to take place on his farm in Ecuador!
Walter and I worked together online for 8 weeks a couple of times a week and he worked hard between our live sessions. He practiced the new routines I showed him for making smart use of Facebook and Twitter and he quickly learned how to use them to connect with young people all over the world.
I set him up on a very simple but highly "social" blogging platform and he began posting pictures, sharing his knowledge of biodynamic methods, and talking up his workshops. (Since he was about to publish a memoir of his life experience farming, he also began promoting the book on his new blog.)
The upshot, in just over 3 months of working together, was that my client - a man with no social media experience whatsoever - successfully filled two workshops this winter with people he'd never met in person. He's regularly receiving 1500 or more views of his blog posts. And he's having a ball!
Walter is touring the US right now with his wife, but when he returns to Ecuador, soon, I'm confident he'll have an abundance of people ready to sign up for his next biodynamic workshops - in Ecuador.
All in a day's work for us at BeingSocial.Us.
If this story piques your interest, I'm happy to share more. I have successfully helped lots of smart people get through their web angst and get on with making their lifetime contributions. I'd love to help you, too...