Good morning everybody! Welcome to the Twitterview of @simasays (Sima Dahl)! How are things in Chicago today Sima?
Sima: Today is classic early summer Chicago… sunny, mild breeze off the lake, just stunning!
We’re supposed to see high’s in the 90′s this weekend. As we always say in Chi-town, “it’s cooler by the lake.”
Glad to hear it! So to start off with, where did you grow up and attend school? What interests did you have growing up?
Sima: I grew up in the NW suburbs of Chicago. We moved to a town called Barrington when I was 10 and I went to HS there.
Growing up I loved to read, watch movies (sci-fi, fantasy, suspense) & ride my bike. I still do all those things now!
I also loved going to see live music and musicals. My very first concert was the Jackson 5 feat. Michael himself.
My parents were divorced and my dad would have me on weekends. Saw a ton of theatre, sports and more.
Growing up near a world class city like Chicago has its advantages to be sure. And we haven’t even talked about food!
Alright then. What kinds of places did you enjoy eating at when you were growing up? Deep dish or thin crust?
Sima: Oh the classic pizza debate! I myself prefer thin but every blue moon a deep dish pizza hits the spot.
Chicago is really a melting pot of ethnicities and you can find any kind of food in the world here.
Growing up I was a picky eater, now I’ll try anything. My husband and I, along with 2 couples, have “Ethnic Night.”
We take turns picking different ethnic experiences – here’s where we’ve been: http://simasays.com/dining/
So how did you get interested and involved with social media, marketing and networking? What kind of schooling helped you?
Sima: I did my undergrad at U of I in Champaign, and my MBA part-time evenings at DePaul.
At U of I, I studied marketing and communications and I fell in love with all things “messaging.” I am a word-geek.
I did my MBA in Management to round out my liberal arts undergrad. Helped me gain perspective beyond the marcom role.
I have always been in marketing but my career took lots of twists and turns. I used social networking to market myself
I am a B2B and professional services marketer – it’s all about relationships… slow and complex. #SM amplifies that.
None of us is an expert. The smartest #SM marketers still think of themselves as students – we are all still learning
Agreed! Many people and companies find B2B Social Media more challenging than say B2C. Do you feel that way?
Sima: The #B2B #SM marketer has to know their audience well, find them, and then edu-tain them. No easy feat
What I find is that just because the #b2b buyer is less vocal doesn’t mean they’re not social. Content is king.
Much of the work we do is identifying the greatest #SM opportunity, packaging the content, and training the team
Good points! How did you get to be a columnist, author and keynote speaker? Did they come easy to you?
Sima: When I set out to reinvent my career and rebrand myself 4 years ago, I met a woman who gave me some sage advice.
She simply said, “You have to name it to claim it.” And so I started telling the universe exactly what I wanted…
I rebranded myself as a consultant, speaker, trainer, author… like advertising, consistent messaging is key.
I’ve always loved writing & have no fear of public speaking. I had raw talent but had much to learn and still do.
My earliest opportunities all came from my network. A friend invited me to blog, another to speak… so grateful!
Good planning! With today’s economy, MANY people are having to re-brand themselves. What are some hurdles to overcome?
Sima: Rebranding takes consistency, repetition, patience. Also clarity of message. And passion.
I tell ppl, “If you’re not excited about what you do, how can you expect me to be?”
Everyone needs a personal positioning statement… be able to articulate who you are, what you do, why you’re special
The good news is, you can always change your mind. Personal brands evolve, just like people :)
Excellent advice! So put your “in the future” Google goggles on! :) What do you see happening with #SM in the future?
Sima: I don’t have a crystal ball by any means but I see “integration” becoming sexy again. #SM can’t stand alone for long
Also tighter partnerships between client and agency – you can’t outsource #SM entirely, but most do need help!
I see we’re almost out of time, how’d I do? Any last questions for me? If not, I’ve got one for you :)
Sima: It’s Jan 1st, 2013. What happened in the last 6 months that you are most proud of? Tell the universe, make it happen!
That’s a great way to make a goal! To close Sima, where will you be speaking in the next few months?
Sima: You’re not going to answer? Darn :(
Upcoming engagements at @LFGSM, Fed. Reserve Bank Chg, USG, HTSA, UBA, JAMA and loads of training.
I plan to pilot a web-based training program for sales pro’s and biz owners later this summer.
This has been a real pleasure Joel! A very happy #FF to you. And thanks for not asking me to do math :)
Joel: I plan to do more writing about social media, hopefully for some publications. More involved with food writing too.
Thanks for your time and helpful tips today. Have a great weekend!
Sima: Awesome – now that it’s out there – it’ll be far easier to achieve, and I look forward to reading your work!