Keri Jaehnig

Keri Jaehnig is the founder and CEO of Idea Girl Media.

As a social media leader, I help business brands and public figures develop coveted online assets, experience social media marketing success, and nurture a positive online reputation.

Her work has earned back-to-back top social media marketing campaign awards for US state tourism, and I’ve received commendation from the Senate of the State of Ohio for Outstanding Attainment in Social Media.

As a small business influencer, she was named one of the top 100 CMOs on Twitter to follow.

How did you start out as a marketer?

I didn’t plan to work in marketing.

I had been working with a non-profit where I needed to convince people to get involved with community-enriching programs.

My marketing budgets didn’t exist, or they were very small. So, I had to be very creative.

When email became a thing, and then online groups and forums, I was an early adopter as a way to inexpensively connect with my target audiences.

The Great Recession affected me and my family.

When I had to consider how to find a line of work where I could stay ahead of the game, social media marketing seemed to fit with my knowledge and talents.

So, I hopped in full force!

Looking back, what is your hardest struggle when it comes to delivering results?

Once I am determined to do something, I commit to doing it well.

So, I don’t feel I struggle to deliver results.

However, I don’t enjoy reviewing analytics.

If given the choice, I’ll always choose to engage and build an audience rather than report on that.

So, until they invent a magical analytics fairy to do that for me…

How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?

My first social media marketing client was a green real estate developer.

I created their social profiles, social media content, a slide deck, and content that related to their eBay activities.

I also built their followings on the platforms where they had a presence.

That was before Facebook offered advertising!

What do you find most rewarding about what you do?

I’m often creating opportunities for people who don’t have time or understand the platforms.

So I’m doing something for them that they could not do themselves, and at the same time, I can be creative with almost no limits.

But it’s always about quality service.

We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers. Aside from freelancing, how else can someone earn online? And what is your advice?

Being self-employed, I can’t imagine working for someone else.

I have sub-contracted with agencies before, and that was great and possible for others.

Your readers could become certified in an area of marketing, work for a brand that has an online marketing department, and fulfill a role there.

If you were given the chance to build your career all over again, what would you do differently so that you could achieve your dreams faster?

I would have started blogging and speaking sooner.

How is your typical work day structured?

Answering this in detail reveals some of the secret sauce.

I will say that I am up at 5 a.m., and I’m often not shutting my computer down until around 10 p.m.

Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?

I’m more of a social media marketer than a digital marketer.

Social media requires a lot of action up front to gain traction for later success.

So, I would say most projects

You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.

This is different for every client, with some things being consistent per project.

The key to working on a brand strategy is really understanding the client, their goals, their niche, and their competitors.

There are perhaps several conversations around understanding all of those things.

Then do research to dig deeper into the client’s answers and what it will take to accomplish their objectives.

Branding involves color and related imagery. That’s the fun part.

We’ll usually offer three option sets for the client to choose from, and then there are tweaks to the details.

From there, we’ll build a brand voice. Depending on the project, there may be other steps.

Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?

That is fairly usual. And optimal.

If you do it right, you plan by the calendar and have a good grasp on delegating to appropriate team members while tracking progress.

You always want to underpromise and overdeliver.

What recently developed marketing strategy, technique, or tool interests you the most right now?

Video wins. Blogging helps SEO. Influencer marketing can work well. It is about connecting with the right influencers.

Collaboration with other businesses can also bring a big lift, as long as they are tangible to your niche and not competitors.

What do you do to stay up-to-date with new marketing techniques?

I subscribe to email newsletters and specific blogs. I also belong to online groups with colleagues in my profession.

We can ask questions, chat about new developments, etc.

And each year, I attend a handful of online summits held by social media platforms and leading brands.

Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?

My work with a small Convention and Visitors Bureau earned back-to-back top social media campaigns for tourism at the state level.

That prompted a personal commendation from the state senate for outstanding social media attainment.

Right around the same time, the CVB was listed among well-known national tourist destinations for their excellent use of social media.

And our social media activity earned national television coverage.

We did a lot of really great work! I had a lot of latitude to be creative, and my contacts there were super collaborators.

Which one book or blog post would you recommend every marketer read?

Much of the time, books about social media are outdated two weeks after they’re published.

Blogs and websites that are good to follow are Social Media Examiner, Content Marketing Institute, and MarketingProfs.

Especially for new marketers.

Because you mentioned some of your readership looking for insight on freelancing, this article is a must read:

What advice would you share with other marketers who want to become more productive?

Spend a bit of time every day, week, month, quarter, and year learning new skills related to your niche in marketing.

Education always pays off, and the industry is constantly changing.

Also, subscribe to Darren Hardy’s ‘Darren Daily’. You get a daily email with a 2–5 minute video with messages speaking exactly to productivity and growing your business and yourself.

It’s free and a great way to start your day!

If there’s one marketing guru, you’d recommend who and why.

Anyone who calls themselves a’marketing guru’… isn’t.

Also, beware of individuals offering amazing things that seem too good to be true. It is.

You just can’t get 10,000 Facebook fans overnight.

You want to look for professionals who lead by example and do for themselves what they say they will do for you.

Stay updated on the blogs I mentioned above. Also, look for other blogs that offer insight about digital marketing.

You’ll soon find professionals worth following who speak to your niche and style.

There are so many excellent professionals out there, and this is social media.

We should keep connecting. Keep building our circle of friends and colleagues.

Darren Hardy is a good marketer, so you’ll learn some things from him.

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