Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

Jackie Bigford’s BIO

Jackie Bigford

Jackie Bigford is a passionate Entrepreneur working online for 6 years with a focus on Social Media Web 2.0.

As a Social Media Strategist and Coach I have worked with some amazing non-profits groups with a focus on Brand Recognition to increase their online presence and fund-raising efforts.

I have had the privilege of developing relationships with inspiring, caring energetic people from around the globe and have been interviewed and featured in dozens of blogs and top 10 lists.

Featured in the Huffington Post Twitter Powerhouses Series” created By Sean Gardner Rise Of The Female Geek ..” They use their influence to make an impact, moving humanity in a positive direction and embracing the very best.”

Featured In The Bit Rebels Series By Dianna Adams Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women “these women are badasses because their style is instantly recognizable, and they exude confidence and humility …they know how to make others around them feel special.”

I have always been cause driven and volunteer my time to protect animal welfare and rights. The extraordinary global reach of Social Sharing sites has allowed me to build rapport with and influence people on a global scale.

http://JackieBigford.blogspot.com/ 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

1. Please share with us what prompted the creation of SocialSteamr.

Jackie: Social Steamr is the brainchild of my partner, Rob Nielsen. He saw so many Social Media people who were struggling to gain a qualified loyal audience on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Getting attention from the right people on social networks requires specialized knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

Social Steamr is a company of qualified professionals from around the world who are passionate about Social Media and who genuinely want to help those with small budgets to get noticed online.

Rob and I have collaborated in the past and when reached out to me I loved the business model and the rest is history, as they say. You can find out more about Social Steamr on our website.

 

2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.

Jackie: My Mornings start online around 11AM EST, I live in Canada and my partners live on the West Coast in the US, so we have a 3 hour time difference. The first thing I do is open emails, check to see what orders have come thru, assign them to members of the team. Then I check the Social Media Sites to see what messages I have waiting for me. I then speak to clients via Skype to make sure all is right. I open my Google Alerts and prepare my posts for the day. I manage several Twitter and Facebook Pages.

In the late afternoon, the CEO and I have a conference call. We believe communication is key to our success. Social Steamr is not my only business, I have an online Pet Business with another partner and I am writing a book. My day ends around 10PM.

 

3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?

Jackie: I work from home so my computer is my lifeline. I simply could not live without Skype. It is my connection to the world. Our clients are from all corners of the world so it is essential to be able to reach them 24/7 and I love the video conferencing that Skype offers. I have just discovered Hootsuite and will certainly use this tool to automate some of my tasks.

 

4. What are your tricks for time management?

Jackie: I follow a rythmn every day, or I try to. It is so easy to get lost when you love what you do. My days are long, so the best advice would be to make sure that you take out time for yourself. Use the automation tools that are available to take away the mundane tasks. I love Google Alerts.

 

5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

Jackie: Shift the focus from my needs to the needs of the client you are dealing with. The best tool for a successful relationship is the skill of listening.

 

6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of SocialSteamr? ( what you do for short term and long term growth)?

Jackie: Social Steamr is a new start-up company and for the past 6 months we have focused on the same strategies that we would recommend for our own clients. I manage the Social Media Campaign with a strong focus on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Consistent quality customer service is what we strive for everyday. Happy customers tell their friends and business associates and ultimately that will be what drives our success.

 

7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?

Jackie: I engage people from the heart, with honesty and integrity and this has been my secret weapon. I remember when I was a Sales Rep for a Technical Training College, the prospective student commented that I should be in sales. ?

 

8. How do you achieve balance in your life?

Jackie: Being an entrepreneur is not a 9 to 5 job, the hours are long. I walk every day for a mile and a half, I spend quality time with my husband. Every Friday night is date night, just for us. I have a houseful of feline furrbabies and I am very lucky to have both of my parents with me. My Mom is my best friend.

 

9. Your top 3 book recommendations?

Jackie:

The Hobbit – Tolkien
The Lord of The Rings Trilogy – Tolkien
Heart of a Woman – Maya Angelou

 

10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

Jackie: Three years ago I created and manage a Social Media Campaign Dolphins Love Us to bring awareness to the horrors that dolphins and whales suffer both within the Captive Trade Entertainment Industry and the brutal capture and slaughter of entire pods of dolphins in Japanese waters.

 

11. Who has influenced your career the most? 

Jackie: I have had many, many influences in a very long and rewarding career. The common thread has been people, especially women who know what they want, have the drive and passion to put in the work to achieve their goals. The have an inner strength that tells the world they have arrived on their own terms. I admire this quality. Oprah comes to mind.

 

12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?

Jackie: Don’t give up before the magic happens.

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