Whenever Leora Wenger’s photo icon pops up on my Facebook and Twitter pages, I get a very warm, happy feeling. It’s only been a few months since we met online through super-networker Larry Brauner, but I now consider Leora one of my really good friends and someone whom I can count on for support and comraderie.
Over these past few months I’ve learned so much about Internet Marketing, Web Design, and social networking in general from Leora that I wanted to introduce her to all my friends online. From stay-at-home-mom to Web Developer and Designer, Leora’s growth has inspirational lessons for us all.
Here are a few questions Leora answered about building her business:
Can’t say drama, but I have increasingly been doing more and more business.
In the past year, I’ve made many connections via social media, and a few of them have become clients.
Fourteen years ago I was a stay-at-home mom; I totally wish social media had been available in the way it is now so I could have connected with others so easily.
Last year I did some great in-person networking in New Jersey with people I met via Twitter.
I’ve loved the internet ever since I was an administrator at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science in Cambridge, MA.
With another staff member, I wrote a program to put the Lab’s phone directory online (I was doing human resources for the Laboratory and taking computer science classes at night). This was years before there even was a World Wide Web!
The web came out when my boys were little; I heard about the job of “webmaster,” and despite the masculine title I decided that was what I wanted to do. So I taught myself online and by reading tech books — and asked questions of anyone with a technical background.
Almost three years ago I wanted to learn WordPress. Also, I liked the idea of sharing art via a blog.
Not only have I become an expert in WordPress, I’ve made friends around the world, learned photography by connecting with photo bloggers, learned how to encourage comments on a post, and had a great time, too.
I would encourage anyone who wants to blog for business reasons but is timid to try a personal blog. You can even do it anonymously and get good blogging practice. Unfortunately, my original idea of sharing my art via blog is happening less and less; business and family come first, so I have less art time. I still take photos every few days and on family trips.
Like the Barney song, say Please and Thank You: If someone visits your post and leaves a comment, try to visit one of her posts and comment. It’s called “social” for a reason – good manners are important.
On Twitter, learn to RT (retweet) – read what your followers are tweeting, and pick a few favorites to retweet. Answer and ask questions – both are interactive.
Years ago I read the 1985 version of What Color is Your Parachute? On page 222 (I still have my copy) there is a long list of handicaps one might have such as “I am too shy” or “I am a foreigner” or “I come from another planet.”
The point is, whatever your handicap is, there is an employer or client who is NOT put off by your handicap.
If your handicap is being primary caretaker for 2 or 3 or 4 or more kids, then you have a common handicap, one that many share. Figure out how to schedule work time, family time and me time in a way that works for you. Connecting with others with similar restraints via social media can be beneficial and encouraging.
Thus I would say for myself, finding others online who are balancing work and family has been great in encouraging me to move forward, even if we have very different professions.
Recently, I read a branding expert that said “pursue your passion.” Unfortunately, some people would then end up sitting on the beach all day.
In my early twenties, every few months I would change my career direction, based on what interested me at the time. I never got very far with any of the career options. Someone wise then said to me, “Leora, just pick something and stick with it.”
OK, that works for me.
Follow Leora Wenger on Twitter and tell her I said hello.