As with any new blog there is a story of how it began. I think the story is often important as it helps the reader to understand where the author is coming from. Telling your story is part of the journey and part of the discovery of getting from point A to point B. With this blog I am still figuring a lot out. I am here writing on this blog because there are a lot of topics I want to cover about how digital communications is changing our life that simply don’t fit on my business blog which is about social media marketing. But there is a deeper story of how this blog has evolved.
The Passion Labs evolved out of both professional and personal experiences in my life. No surprise that my professional work in social media marketing would cross over into my personal life and vice versa. The power of networking is my passion and I believe my purpose is to help others leverage online tools to advance their own passions. Some catalysts to the evolution of this blog are:
1) Starting and running a successful dedicated social media marketing agency. It’s been an amazing journey to start this agency and over four years grow both our business model and our approach to social media marketing.
2) The amazing clients I have had the opportunity to work with over the past four years. Everyday is a chance for me to be strategic, creative and innovative as I help entrepreneurs, brands and individuals navigate social media as a tool to bring their passions to the world.
3) Working with talented people as SocialNicole has grown. As a boutique agency I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people from graphic designers to PR professions to website designers to marketing geniuses it’s been amazing and I learn everyday. I have also had the opportunity to work with amazing interns over the years and mentor them and help them grow their careers. This has been so essential to my development as a leader and a innovator in the social space.
4) Finally, working with My 16-year-old daughter, Astronaut Abby. This may be the most surprising element of the mix. But it has been this work that has tied all my other experiences together and helped me to finally step out with this blog which is a way to sort out my ideas many that have spurred from the work I have done with clients, consultants and building a company – but also infused is the work my company has done with my daughter.
Abby’s story is perhaps the backbone of what started this blog. Yes my 16 year old not only inspires thousands of people around the world, but she also inspires me!
Working with my daughter to bring her passion and purpose to life online has been an incredible journey in which I have learned so much about myself, my own passion and purpose and also the power of social media. Abby’s story began when she was a sweet 13 year-old using Twitter to find a few NASA employees to interview. Today, she has built an online community of over 50,000 people, she has attended shuttle and Soyuz launches, she has her very own astronaut mentor, spoken at TED X , met many Apollo Era astronauts and experienced so much more I can’t list it all.
Initially, Abby spent a few years on Twitter and Facebook. She occasionally wrote blog posts about her experiences on her journey to becoming the first astronaut to Mars. Abby experienced some immediate success when she first signed up for Twitter. People were drawn to her bio, “I’m a 13 year-old girl with a dream to be the first astronaut to Mars.” There was a large online space community and they liked this spunky girl. She quickly gained confidence as people continuously reached out to support her. She did exactly what is necessary to be successful on social media: she spent time building a community of people who were passionate about the same things she was passionate about. For two and a half years, she didn’t ask for a thing and she gave everything she could. Eventually, she was invited to attend her mentor astronaut’s launch to the International Space Station. This was the first time she asked her audience for something. This launch was scheduled in Kazakhstan, and would be very expensive to attend. Abby was excited to share the experience, so she developed an outreach program of blogging, speaking and hosting webchats.
This is where the SocialNicole team stepped in. We helped Abby develop her campaign, build her message and execute the plan. It sounds simple, but it was a long, in-depth process. Abby had many volunteers working on her behalf – from marketing and PR to web developer and graphic artist – she had a winning team. Her campaign was successful because she had community support and an experienced team to help make it happen.
The results of this process have been amazing. She has been successful at raising money online and growing her audience, but more importantly, she has grown her personal mission. Originally, she was inspiring kids and adults about STEM, space and dreaming. Now, she spreads a message of finding your passion and following your dreams.
Her message began to merge with my own. Because of Abby, I have witnessed an incredible ‘circle of inspiration,’ a phrase I credit to Abby. Abby’s community helped her reach a goal, and now Abby gives back to her community. This continues to motivate people to live their dreams. Throughout this process, I have watched my teenage daughter leverage social media to meet people and have experiences that most people can only dream of.
The Passion Labs evolved from my experiences with my daughter and from building and running a social media agency. There is so much opportunity in social media. By doing good, we empower our communities to reach their dreams. I hope you will stick with me as I continue this conversation.