Here is the latest installment in my “7 Questions With an Author:….” series.
Today’s featured writer is Angela Johnson.
Angela obtained a bachelor’s degree in Literature in 1996 from University of Houston-Clear Lake. After working in mid-level management with a major phone company, she started her career as a Farmers Insurance Agent. Angela started a scratch agency in 2005 and has built it into a thriving success.
A key driver of that success – as outlined in her book – is social media.
Although she began using Social Media solely to keep tabs on her daughter, she quickly embraced it as a way to build relationships with long lost friends and then as a way to make new ones.
1. Tell us about your book?
Our goal for Going Tradigital, is to set a strong foundation for business owners using social media. We’ve already made all the mistakes and are sharing what we’ve found to be the best practices to harness the power of combining traditional marketing techniques with the latest in digital marketing methods. That’s where the book title comes from. Get it, Tra+Digital?! Your business can become more profitable and experience exponential growth on social media and we want to show you how.
As an insurance agent, I talk with clients all day every day and noticed that most small business owners are very comfortable with traditional marketing methods but missing out on an entire, growing segment of consumers who prefer to conduct business, or product research, online. Whether someone owns a small business or is a sales professional, there is an art to using social media. What’s most often natural to a salesperson is to get on Facebook, for instance, and start asking for sales. That just so happens to be a turn-off to most Facebook users because they are using social media primarily to interact with family and friends.
Social media works best when someone isn’t pushed to buy something but rather pulled towards you (and possibly a sale) through engaging content. This book will show readers how to do that.
2. What led you to write it?
I’ve always loved reading and writing. Since my degree is in Literature I thought I would become a teacher. I quickly changed my mind after substitute teaching during college! Those teachers are heaven sent, and I just wasn’t cut out for teaching little ones.
After becoming an insurance agent I was trying to use social media to sell policies and provide service to my clients. It took me a while to get it right and have people who actually wanted to engage with my business social media pages. My co-author, Nadeem Damani, was further ahead using social media than I was. Once we started talking about theories and best practices, it was a natural next step to share what we learned so others could have a shorter learning curve on this whole social media thing!
3. Who is a writer that inspires you and why?
This question could take a while to answer but I’ll try to keep it short. I love all the classics, like Shakespeare. He chooses such perfect words to tell stories and develop characters that are rich, eloquent and timeless. Maybe someday I’ll write a great novel like Jane Austen. I love Larry McMurtry’s Terms of Endearment / The Evening Star character Aurora and the love she has for her children and grandchildren. Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements is small in size but powerful in it’s teachings.
4. What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book?
Time is always a challenge. Like everyone else, I could use a few more hours in the day. I still run a thriving insurance agency, so it was a challenge to make time for relaxation, exercise and time with family and friends while managing my business and writing a book.
5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Great question! Hire a good editor and engage them before you’re too far along in your writing. They can really help fine tune your ideas and map out a flow for your book.
My co-author and I wrote almost all of Going Tradigital before seeking an editor. Since this was a first book for either of us, our editor was a huge help in talking through how to make the book flow. So much so that we restructured and reorganized the entire thing and started over. That was not fun, but it paid off. We’re hearing from readers that the book is easy to follow, easy to read and well organized, which is just what we wanted to accomplish!
In a nutshell, seek expert guidance closer to the beginning of your project!
6. Where do you get your ideas?
I try to think like a consumer and figure out how I would want to be approached by a business for sales and service. Then I try out my ideas, see what works and write about it. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, so I like to write more about concepts and philosophies and then encourage readers to use those as guiding principles to develop their own online strategy.
7. Anything that you’d like readers to know that I haven’t asked?
Let’s see… In no particular order… I’m married and have a daughter and two weimaraners. I enjoy exercising and love Bikram Yoga, although I’m far from good at it! I’m a bit of an introvert, which is why I love social media so much. It allows me to interact with people frequently but still maintain my personal space.
For some reason my right foot keeps breaking and no one can figure out why. If someone can help me I would be forever grateful because I’m not going to wear a soft cast and boot, or tennis shoes, for six weeks ever again. I will, however, wear high heels until the day I die! If we are what we eat, then I am chicken fajita nachos.
For details about Angela and her new book checkout www.goingtradigital.com or follow her:
Twitter Personal: @angelaajjohnson