In Champ Life Series this month, we have Dorien Morin-van Dam with us. She is the owner of More in Media, Organic Social Media Specialist & Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Certified Agile Marketer, and Community & Content Marketer.
With over ten years in the industry, she has vast experience helping countless businesses curate a robust online presence. Based out of Vermont, she also works as a Community Manager at Social Media Pro.
Without taking your much time, let’s start the interview 🙂
Muneeb: Can you please share the highlights of your career with us? If you could pick any of your accomplishments as the biggest one, which one would it be?
Dorien: I started my career as a social media consultant by taking an online course in social media management. I’d been a nanny, stay-at-home-mom, and community volunteer for nearly 20 years. I was late to start a career, BUT early to the social media management industry!
My journey in the last ten years has taken me from serving local brick and mortar businesses to working with agencies, to becoming a community manager, keynote speaker, trainer, and social media consultant. I now work with national clients and entrepreneurs, specializing in organic social media.
Muneeb: When did you discover Social Media, and what made you choose it as your career?
Dorien: I love to talk and meet new people. I was looking for a way to work from home as I was raising four children. During the first four years, I worked from the kitchen table and reduced my summer schedule to spend more time with the kids. Now that three of my (adult) children have left the house and are their own, I’ve been able to focus my efforts on growing my business with success.
Muneeb: What challenges did you face initially while starting , and how did you tackle them?
Dorien: I had no business experience. I had never worked in a professional setting, office, environment. Sounds terrible, right? What was I doing?! This also meant that I wasn’t bogged down by ideas of how things ‘should’ go. Instead of measuring myself against other people’s ways to do something, I just did them! I just went out to network locally, and I got clients, set up systems, and learned along the way.
One of the significant challenges initially was getting past my local geographical area. Networking put me in contact with an out of state agency who offered me a way to work with them. That opened up a whole new world for me, and I learned that working on a team is fantastic. This was a stepping stone to many new opportunities.
Muneeb: As you’re also a Community Manager at Social Media Pro®, can you please let us know more about this experience?
Dorien: Yes! I love, love, love this part of my career. I was initially hired as a community manager for a smaller VIP community – and then was asked to take over responsibilities for the larger group. A lot has changed on Facebook, and with groups in particular, in the last three years since I joined. I am proud of how we run this community.
It’s a fantastic resource for social media managers at the start of their journey and serves as a sounding board for those while working with clients. While many members have in-house positions, we at Social Media Pro® focus on freelancers, teaching them how to run a business. We are a no spam, no drama, engaged community of social media managers!
Muneeb: Being an experienced Social Media expert, what will be your tips for newbies who want to pursue their career as Social Media marketers?
Dorien: Network. Network. Network.
All of my current clients and opportunities can be traced back to being connected to the right people, meeting them at the right time, and fostering real relationships. The future of social media is private. These conversations happen in messages, video chats, and private meetings, and once the world opens back up, at conferences. In this industry, it is about who you know as much as what you know.
So… get to know people in the industry. Listen, read, learn and ask questions. Be eager to learn, connect and give. Once you are moving forward, don’t forget to reach back and help others move up with you!
Don’t ever stop learning! Learn about new features, tools, new platforms, new systems. Create time in your schedule to learn more about leadership, business, and mindset as well.
Muneeb: And what will be your advice for business owners?
Dorien: Pretty much the same as above.
Never stop learning. Stay curious. Get certified.
Muneeb: As you’re also a Keynote speaker, will you like to share any experience regarding it?
Dorien: Oh, I love speaking as much as networking. I worked hard to accomplish my speaking goals. In 2017 I set a personal goal to get on 12 stages in 12 months, and I did. This experience helped me get ‘validated’ as a speaker (I was able to create a speaker resume and speaker reel), and in 2018 I was able to start charging for my talks.
Best advice to get started: start local and practice, practice, practice.
Every time I present, I practice in my office. I do the whole speech out loud and record myself. Speaking is as much about the material as it is about the presentation!
Muneeb: I would like to appreciate you for running , one of the most prominent Facebook groups. What’s the motive behind starting this group?
Dorien: I can’t take the credit for starting it! That goes to Kate Buck Jr, who heard Mark Zuckerberg announce ‘groups’ for Facebook over ten years ago! She immediately set up this group, and the rest is history.
I have the privilege of carrying on her mission to provide a safe place to ask questions about social media, client care, and the overall industry!
Muneeb: Do you think automation tools are essential to keep the online presence fresh? What would you like to say about Social Champ?
Dorien: I’ve been in the field as a social media manager for 10+ years. Scheduling and other types of automation tools are essential for growth and consistency. From my personal experience: I’ve seen businesses benefit tremendously from using tools. I see this: no means = no consistent content creation or posting strategy, not results.
What you post, to what platform, with what intent, plus a call to action is way more important than ‘how’ you post the content. Don’t ever be afraid to use tools, as they are the vehicle to drive you to your destination.
Social Champ can be a massive winner for social media managers like me. It serves the top platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, but more importantly, Social Champ also serves Google My Business. This is a huge perk for those marketers with local brick and mortar business!
Another huge plus is their mobile app! Social media managers need to keep a finger on their accounts’ pulse at all times: the Social Champs mobile app allows for monitoring-on-the-go!
Muneeb: Name the people who have inspired and motivated you the most in your personal and professional life.
Dorien: My husband, first and foremost. He is my business partner and my advisor. He has encouraged me and cheered me on for 31+ years. When I started this business as a freelance social media manager, he encouraged me, guided me, and gave great advice. While I do ‘my thing’ and he does his, he’s a brilliant strategist, and he’ll be forever my go-to person!
Next, Adrienne Jandler hired me in 2013 to work at her agency, where I learned how much I love working on and being part of a team. Working with Atlantic Webworks opened up new doors for me locally and afforded me a way to grow my business.
My next big break came by meeting Kate Buck Jr and Jesse Jameson, co-owners of Social Media Pro®, at an industry conference. They eventually offered me a spot on their team as content and community manager. The opportunities that have come my way because of this relationship with Social Media Pro® are numerous, including this interview!
Last but not least, meeting my friend and colleague Anne Popolizio of Social Squib was a stroke of fortune. After initially meeting at Social Media Marketing World and connecting through our love of travel and languages, we now work together on several teams. She is a brilliant ad specialist: I am proud to work with her.
Muneeb: What are your hobbies and how do you spend your free time?
Dorien: Since becoming a vegan over five years ago, I’ve learned new ways to cook and bake and have found a newfound love for both.
I am a marathon runner and love to hike and ski – I live in Vermont – and just be active! We have four large dogs that need a lot of exercises.
Reading has been a hobby of mine forever, and I love curling up in front of a fire with a good book.
Last but not least, my family is my everything. They are my ‘hobby,’ so to speak. We do family games nights, hikes, and now, Zoom calls.
Rapid Fire Round
|Facebook or Twitter?||Facebook ALL day long!|
|Tea or Coffee?||Coffee|
|Speaker or Trainer?||Trainer – love hands-on teaching!|
|Travelling or Games?||Traveling when we have no pandemic, games for now!|
|Social Media or Social Networking?||Networking!|
Muneeb: Lastly, who do you think we should interview next?
Social Champ thanks Dorien Morin-van Dam for taking the time out and communicating with our audience. We are truly honored, and we’re sure our audience gained tons of information that can be beneficial for them!