An entrepreneur’s guide to changing career paths into a corporate role




There are many awe-inspiring entrepreneurs out there who have learnt more than the traditional employee and they would transition very effectively into corporate roles, if given the right opportunity. The key is being happy doing what you love. Your work takes up a majority of your life, so chances are you will be much happier if you love your working environment. That’s why I went to college for nearly a decade, achieved three degrees, including my MBA, to give me the opportunity to attain my dream career.

I am just starting my transition but have already been asked this question multiple times. If you have been so successful as an entrepreneur why do you want to work full time for somebody else?

My response is simple. I have dedicated (almost) the past decade to building my personal brand in order to make me feel more confident with my disability. Now that I have been so successful at doing that, I am now dedicating everything to finding a well-established company I can grow with and use everything I have learned from being an elite entrepreneur to building an awesome company’s brand image in the same way.

It is important to start off your discussions with hiring managers by making it very clear that you are prepared and look forward to dedicating everything to their company. I promote the fact that I have countless professional recommendations that support the fact that I will fit right into that company culture and I strongly suggest that you do the same. Best practices is to showcase your entrepreneurial achievements and show people you are proud of them. I do this on my websiteLinkedInTwitter, even created a digital portfolio board on Pinterest and show off my successes everywhere I am online.


Image credit: Getty images

It is well known that successful entrepreneurs are very passionate about what they do and are very driven to create results. It is important to accentuate that this is just another business decision, that will achieve the same results as your past ones. I do this by featuring the fact that I was the senior social media strategist and community manager that worked hand in hand with corporate Union Bank and launched their first ever social media marketing presence.

Transitioning careers is similar to dating and you need to show hiring managers what makes you more desirable than the rest! I make sure and disclose how I keep current on the latest social media changes and digital marketing tactics as the Global President of the Social Media Club (the largest professional social media organisation in the world), where I holistically lead large teams internationally in digital marketing, email campaigns, advertising, website development, partnerships, sponsorships and social media management as we mentor hundreds of chapters across the world on best practices and principles.

Savvy entrepreneurs are very passionate about what they do and are driven to create results. I will use Marcel LeBrun, the founder of Radian6 as an example. His company was acquired by Salesforce and is now part of its Marketing Cloud. Salesforce discerned that Marcels had savvy entrepreneur skills that would be beneficial as they advanced into the marketing technology space and hired him full time. Marcel followed his dream and led the Salesforce team as SVP & GM of marketing cloud which they grew both organically and through additional acquisitions.


Image credit: Getty images

It is crucial to understand that corporate leadership styles can be acutely different. The passion, vision and dauntless styles of the entrepreneur will more than likely need to evolve into the unflustered head of a professional manager. The entrepreneur needs to be open to feedback and use it to effectively grow the company they work for. Learning to give up control and trust others is crucial. I have found achieving results through others to the key to advancement, especially in the corporate world.

The way the economy is these days, people want and need to work. Best practices is to go into a career transition with your eyes wide open. I am very aware of what my limitations and my strengths are. I have already proven that I can be successful in multiple types of environments. Now I am only looking to advance my career with a company that has a culture that is aligned with my personal and professional values. Good luck with your own career transition endeavours and feel free to drop me a note anytime for advice or if you know of any opportunities that you think would be a good fit.

Originally published on Virgin Group.

Social Media Can Help You Land Dream Paying Jobs, Buyers or Sellers!


I am very inspired by social media and technology. I recently blogged for Virgin about how much I love technology for providing me the ability to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. Social media at its core is just an awesome form of technology that is shaped by the human touch. I have been one of the leading social media marketing consultants since it’s conception. I will be the first to admit that I absolutely don’t know everything there is to know about social media, but I know how to utilize it to produce results and love to share.

Social media is all about connecting people in business and pleasure. If used correctly, social media can be a an almost effortless way to find your dream job, buyers, sellers, or just someone to talk to when you need to feel inspired. 

You should absolutely be active on all social media and announce the news of what you are looking for. That makes it easier for recruiters and lead generation target markets to learn about you. It is essential that you build out your online brand on social media and make certain that everything portrays you in the same way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, Instagram, YouTube and other similar platforms you utilize to enable people to view you outside of your resume, cover letter, website and LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is the hub for professional online networking, and with two new members joining every second, it is essential for your job search and lead generation. I put together a guide earlier this summer with tips to optimize your profile so you can build your brand image and make the most out of your business connections. Don’t forget to post what you are looking for on your LinkedIn profile as well to let everybody know that you’re on the market.


Be sure to visit your target company’s page on LinkedIn and see how you are connected. Thenen reach out to these connections and see if they feel the company is a good fit for you and see if they can assist you with getting to the right person to help you out. I am a big advocate of helping people in their own business endeavors and mentoring. Not only does it make me feel good to give back, it also encourages people to want to help you.

Everybody is looking for leads these days, so it’s perfectly fine to tell people on social media. Networking is key and it’s much easier to do online with the aid of social media. It’s more about who you know, then what you know. People are much more apt to get jobs and other leads through referrals from people they know. Best practices is to use social media to highlight your skills, ask for advice and connect.

I love Twitter. It is absolutely the most versatile social media platform out there and the potential to fly high in the sky from day one is endless if you use it correctly. One of the best things about Twitter is that require a personal introduction or recommendation, as LinkedIn and Facebook do. Just by following others on Twitter, you can get the inside story on organizations, interviewers, buyers, sellers, inspire people to follow you, or just for sending a tweet to somebody in your industry asking for advice.


Twitter is great for sharing ideas, tips and for showing that you are a thought leader in your industry. If you are engaged and post frequently on Twitter, this can be done easily. As you follow others and post interesting tweets, you build your own following and broaden your personal network. Now get out there and starting interacting with your new Twitter followers that you have never met in person, collaborate and help each other out!

Twitter chats are great for interacting with other thought leaders in your industry. Make certain that you utilize Twitter search. I actually use that more than Google search. Just type in the keywords for what you are looking for, the demographics and the opportunities will start flying by. Twitter also has an advanced search option that can assist you find the latest news and world events faster. Twitter can assist you find jobs, hashtags, buyers and sellers for any topic you can imagine.

Be sure to follow and engage on social media with the companies you are interested in. Chances are they will be a lot more interested in doing business with if you show a genuine interest in them. This will give you a lot more info on the company, what they are doing and how that relates to its industry. The best part about it is you can use social media to get jobs, buyers and sellers from anywhere.

Last but not least, remember to always be smart about engaging with your target market connections and followers. This can be as easy as congratulating a colleague on LinkedIn on a new role with a company you are wanting to get involved with or retweeting a job from a hiring manager from the same company. This creates trust and people are more inclined to help people they interact with.

I hope this helps you out. As I said above I am a big fan of giving back, so feel free to connect with me here on LinkedIn or send me a tweet and we can help each other out. Good luck!

Technology doesn’t weaken business connections, it levels the playing field


I am the networking king and love technology for providing me the ability to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. I exchange information and ideas, potential possibilities and engage with my connections by utilising technology.

I maintain my focus, and keep my eye on the long-term goal of making solid, long-lasting physical connections that will benefit me over to the course of my life.

I am one of “those” people that holistically mix my business life with my personal life and everything I do is a means to an end. For example, I do a lot of social media marketing consulting and build up my personal brand (means) to make myself more attractive to potential clients (end). The advancements in technology and the rise of social media have been instrumental in helping me and society as a whole achieve those means. By using technology, I am able to stay connected and search out almost anybody in the world very easily.


Image credit: Getty images

Some people see it that we are hiding behind our computer screens and smartphones and this limits social interactions, but I see it as another exciting new means to an end. Why do you think the call it “social” media? People say we text too much, but short to the point text messages are just taking the place of long drawn out phone call. That’s why they call it technological advances.

Some argue that our lives look too perfect in our social media feeds and that we spend too much time on them, but I see it as social media pushing us to excel at our lives. Technology is great for helping you to make smarter and quicker decisions. It’s easy to see there’s value in technology, but we shouldn’t forget the value of connecting emotionally with a face-to-face physical meeting.

Technology should by means take the place of personal interactions, but should work hand in hand to lead us to a more efficient and fulfilled life. If you have 10,000 followers on Twitter, odds are that a few more of them are going to help you out over your 10 real life connections. I am not arguing with the fact that human interaction is very important, I am just pointing out the fact that technology can only help your human interaction if used correctly. It is also equally important to remember to use technology to build real-life relationships to live a fulfilling life.


Image credit: Getty images

My life revolves around technology as one of the top Social Media Consultants and Global President of Social Media Club (the biggest professional social media organisation in the world). I have not met many of my clients in person and lead hundreds of people around the world remotely and that would not be possible without technology. I found out about the Social Media Club from a Twitter post recruiting to join their global board. I applied and was voted on without meeting anybody in person. I eventually met a couple of the other local board members in real life, but moved up to President a year later after only meeting 20 per cent of our board in person.

I have done some of the most exciting things in my life as President of Social Media Club. It has opened up doors that I would not have the opportunity to walk through otherwise. For example, my good friend and colleague, Ali Sabkar, invited me out to share my social media success stories to thousands of people in his region at the Social Media Masters summit at the Kingdom of Bahrain. I’ll be honest with you, this was the first time I had given a presentation to the public before, but thanks in part to my awesome social media interactions giving me support and making me feel strong, it went very well. I made so many awesome real life connections on that trip that happened because of technology.

I have endless, similar stories and am always looking forward to the new doors that technology opens for me. Technology also levels the playing field for people that may have a difficult time achieving everything they set out to do. I would like to share with you my own personal story of what technology can do to for you, in hope that you may feel inspired. The value of technology is unquestionable. I strongly suggest you embrace it and figure out how to best harness it for your own needs or risk becoming obsolete!

I originally posted this article in Virgin Entrepreneur.

Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for Success


LinkedIn is one of the oldest social networks and has 430 million members in more than 200 countries. LinkedIn is the hub for professional online networking, and with two new members joining every second, it is essential for your job search and lead generation. I have put together this guide with tips to optimize your profile so you can build your brand image and make the most out of your business connections.

It is very important to make sure that every section of your profile has been completed and that there are no blank spaces or obvious gaps. Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, so it is best practices to set it up similar to your normal resume. You need to add your industry, location, current position, 2 past positions, education, three skills, 50 connections and a professional profile picture that represents your industry to achieve an All-Star status. It is best practices to have the same profile picture across your online portfolio and the ideal LinkedIn pixel size is between 200 x 200 to 500 x 500. You can also brand your profile with a background image. The best size for your profile background image is 1400 x 425 pixels.

Be sure and set up your vanity URL. Nobody is attracted to view a URL with a bunch of mismatched numbers at the end. Best practices for SEO is to use your first and last name: You can go here and click “customize your public profile URL” on the right-hand side. It is still important to have written recommendations from colleagues, management, employees, classmates, vendors or customers. LinkedIn no longer requires three recommendations to have a complete status, but is still best practices to have recommendations and endorsements.


You need to add your skills and the more people that endorse you for a certain skill will increase your optimization. Endorsements are when your network clicks on a certain skill that they feel you are proficient at. The more endorsements you have for a specific skill, the more likely that you’ll come up in the search results when someone is searching for that skill. For example, I have 99+ people who have endorsed me for “social media marketing” and “online marketing.” When somebody is searching for people with these skills, it is very likely that I will show up on the first few pages of the search results.

I am all for making your personal brand stand out on LinkedIn.  It can be as simple as customizing your website. I added personal company name and Pinterest to replace the generic versions.  This will help optimize your profile and drive traffic to your other sites. Each profile can display up to three website links like this, and they can be customized by editing your profile, clicking edit on your website links, and selecting “other” in the drop-down menu to customize the anchor text.


Be sure to add any certifications, awards, volunteer experience or organizations you care about. You may want to add a projects section to your profile, especially if you are a Consultant. You can easily enter the name of your project and input a URL that will hyperlink the title, after adding this section. You can also add Team Members, and if you are connected to them, their name will hyperlink to their LinkedIn profile. Follow all the companies you are interested in and start networking with relevant connections. You can get lots of great info from joining Groups in your industry. It also helps to post in a few of your best groups, so your profile will get highlighted by industry experts. You can read up on best practices of LinkedIn groups to get the most out of your participation.

One of the top ways to optimize your profile for search engines is to add keywords, your specialties and what you want to be searched for. Best practices is to add these keywords to your summary, specialties, career history and personal interests. I have found that replacing your job title with your most relevant keywords helps optimize a lot.


Now that you have your profile optimized, it’s time to build out your network. LinkedIn has a very nice integration with your email contacts and is a great way to start. Be sure to connect with anybody you interact with professionally. This can be anybody from coworkers, clients, hiring managers to people you went to college with. Be sure to add a personal note reminding your connection request where you know them from. Now that you have your LinkedIn profile optimized people will send you introduction requests as well. I get hundreds of requests every week. Some people are very selective about the people that they connect with, but I feel you never know when your industry colleagues may be able to help you. My Golden Rule of networking is simple: Don’t miss an opportunity.

You are now ready to get out there and start connecting professionally on the world’s largest professional network. Good luck and please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

Social Media Marketing Content Success Tips


We are well into 2016 and it is becoming clearer and clearer every day that social media marketing and content marketing are synonymous. Content marketing can obviously exist without social media, but your content marketing campaign is no longer complete unless you include social media. It is very important to stay on top of the key content marketing tips for the the top social media sites.

It’s crucial to remember that social media requires a fully developed effort from content marketers. If you’re going to grow your presence and maximize your content marketing strategy, it is best practices to focus your social in everything. You need to emphasize the importance of driving leads to these platforms both on-line and offline. Everything you do needs to revolve around driving people to your social platforms. Otherwise, your content marketing efforts won’t have an audience.

Skim Facebook newsfeed to tell your story

I recommend you write your text for skim readers. There is no limits on length of Facebook posts, but it is best practices to consider the decreasing attention span of users. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that people have an attention span of 8 seconds. When applying that to Facebook posts, the first three to four words of your update are crucial to grabbing your audience’s attention.

When choosing content types for your posts, take time to analyze your business and audience. For example, if you want to drive traffic to your blog, the link format likely would work well for you. On the other hand, if brand awareness is your main goal, images and videos are a better fit. When you post a link on Facebook, it creates the metadata automatically and this can be edited. All you need to do is change the description metadata to fit the post description and suit the current context. Facebook is a personalized newspaper. If you want to reach the modern consumer, you need to put your content in their newsfeed.

Tweet your story in 100 characters or less

You should share a variety of content on Twitter. Your text should be short and sweet. A simple type of tweet is great for updates, news, quick facts, and asking your followers questions. Tweets that are 100 characters or less tend to get higher conversions. It helps a lot to highlight your message with a picture that will add an impact to your tweet. Photos stand out more, getting more impressions and more engagements on your content. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a video would speak millions. Videos, if integrated into your message, could drastically improve your ability to put your message in front of the right audience.

People love facts and figures. Use statistics that support the arguments you’re making in your content. If your post mentions any publications, industry influencers, etc., make sure to mention them in your promotions. They will be honored and there’s a good chance they’ll share it, so you’ll reach all their followers too. Add a hashtag to boost its reach, and give a clear idea of what the link is leading to. When creating a Twitter content marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to devote your time and resources into using a strong image.

Tell your visual story with Instagram

For content marketers, Instagram can be puzzling. That’s because most content marketers aren’t super savvy at visual content marketing. This is about to change, though. The industry is clearly heading in the direction of more visual content and less text-based content, which means you need to study what successful brands are doing on Instagram and other similar social platforms.

It is very important to use quality images on Instagram in order to accurately portray your story. Storytelling is a powerful tool in all marketing. When it comes to Instagram, you are given the same storytelling opportunities. By using visual content, you can create an experience for your customers, clients and followers so they feel engaged and valued. Hashtags have become synonymous with social media and can be used on virtually every network to find, track, share, and participate in topics of interest. On Instagram, hashtags are the best thing since sliced bread, connecting users to images they might be interested in.

I feel the heart of content marketing is social media. If you want your strategies to be complete, focusing on effective distribution and traffic generation is a good place to start. These two aspects of content marketing can help you to maximize your returns and expose your brand to a larger market of consumers. I hope this helps with your own endeavours. Just like with everything else, I recommend that you test out what works for you and adjust. Good luck and feel free to send me a tweet with any thoughts.

Top Leadership Qualities to Take on the World



Over the past 15+ years, I’ve been fortunate enough to manage large teams for some of the best brands in the world. I’ve also served as the global president of the biggest professional social media organization in the world, Social Media Club. While some leadership qualities can be taught, many you are born with. I never waited for somebody to ask me to take charge, I just saw the need and owned it. Like many other leaders, I tend to lead whenever the opportunity arrises. You have to be comfortable leading, know your strengths and be able to connect with people, but if you don’t, you can learn how to with these tips.

Be organized and make lists. I’m always up until the wee hours of the morning making lists on my iPhone of things that need to get done for the week. If you’re a morning person, make your lists then — what matters is that the lists get made so you can feel good when crossing off the completed tasks.  Time management is key to your success and leaders know how to use it effectively to get the job done!

Great leaders listen and are open to the opinions of others. Being a leader doesn’t mean forcing others to always agree with you, but to listen to other’s opinions and then evaluate what the best practices are moving forward. People tend to follow leaders who they believe in and who they feel are accurately representing them. A good leader shapes communities by listening to his/her intuition.

It’s also important to give back. I do so through my Social Media Club nonprofit, but find the organization that connects to you. As social media marketing is my passion, I love helping others in this area. Being president of a global non-profit is not without its challenges though. You have to draw upon all of your leadership training, but at the same time, be empathetic and realistic. Turnover rate will be high. That is a given, but the bonds you will form, connections you will make and things you will accomplish will be priceless.

Good leaders excel at delegating the workload. Take Steve Jobs for example. The Apple co-founder was a notorious micromanager. Jobs was the one in charge of soliciting goals from staffeach year, and before big meetings, always assigned someone to be in charge of each item on the agenda. It doesn’t matter what style of management you feel most comfortable with, the crucial part to leading is knowing who on your team can get the job done. Being able to see who isn’t, and knowing when to replace them, is also an important leadership trait.

Be open to change! In today’s fast-paced, competitive, and mobile world, leaders have more opportunities and greater necessity than ever to engage their workforce. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Good leaders learn more from past mistakes and have the courage to make new ones. Leaders aren’t afraid to be original and they always ask questions. They never stop learning! Leaders are worthy of that trust and organically lead by example.

While not all good leaders are as devoted to fitness as I am, it only helps to exercise regularly. It’s a proven fact that the endorphins from exercise increase productivity. Those endorphins also increase confidence, which is a huge part of being a successful, natural leader. It can be as easy as a walk at your lunch break to recharge, or a quick gym break if that’s accessible.

Last but not least, good leaders don’t show off in order to brag or intimidate their staff. Top leaders today care less about credentials and more about great ideas, wherever those ideas come from. These leaders check their egos at the door and aren’t afraid to say that they don’t have all the answers. They admit when they don’t know and look to others to holistically make the changes required to take their business to the next level!

I hope this helps with your own personal leadership endeavours. I recommend that you take what advice I am giving here and implement it into your own personal leadership style. Test it out and see what works for you. Feel free to reach out to me anytime on Twitter for advice and good luck!

Enhance Your Customer Service With Social Media Engagement!


More and more consumers are turning to social media first to voice complaints, have complicated situations resolved, and express concerns in the case of a crisis. Studies have found people often use social media as first preference to voice a complaint, rather than channels including phone, face to face, email or  web chat.

I blogged about this earlier in the month, but despite being one of the best ways to deal directly with consumers, customer support via social media is an area where most brands could still use some help. Here are some brands that are doing a great job at customer service that we could all pick up tips from.

  • JetBlue Highlights Responsiveness on Twitter:

We all dread airline delays are one of the most common causes of customer frustration. JetBlue does an exceptional job of keeping customers calm by being responsive to their customers on Twitter.  They engage with happy customers, and more importantly they respond to and help frustrated customers as quickly as possible. What makes JetBlue stand out from the rest is that they are extremely responsive to customers mentioning their brand in an @ reply or direct message. Twitter is a channel where customers expect quick responses and bigger companies will start to get @ mentions and inquiries fast. Many companies dedicate full-time employees to the task of responding to customers and potential customers on Twitter.

  • Walmart champions Facebook:

With over 32 million Facebook fans, Walmart certainly has a lot on their plate when satisfying customers. If you take a look at any comment thread on Walmart’s posts, you’ll see numerous responses to feedback and customer complaints from the company. The retail giant sees complaints often, buy the company always responds in a friendly and professional manner and works with customers to solve their issues or direct them to someone who can be of more assistance. They are a great example for other companies to follow when learning how to turn their own dreaded customer complaints on social media into a beneficial thing for everybody involved.

  • Starbucks rocks Facebook and Twitter:

Starbucks does on awesome job of customer service on both Facebook and Twitter. The coffee giant is active and quick to respond to customer questions and complaints on its Facebook pageand is engaging and fun with its customers on Twitter. Starbucks does a great job of bringing personality to its social media. Starbucks also started a separate Twitter account to help them engage with customers. It’s a great place for customers to go discuss ideas to make Starbucks better.

  • Nike Focused Customer Service:

Nike is well known for their excellent customer service support on social media. They were one of the first to figure out that a dedicated customer service channel was a good idea. One of the things that makes them so good is their quick responses and the fact that they’re there 7 days a week. They also tweet with their support Twitter account a lot more than from their main account. The support account had over 444K tweets, while the main account had tweeted only just over 21K times! Nike also has a very responsive and helpful Facebook app that is devoted to customer service.

  • Whole Foods Holistically Engages Customers:

Last but not least, Whole Foods’ Twitter account does a top notch job of engaging its customers. They share everything from healthy recipes to relevant news stories and even hosts regular Twitter chats. They do a good job of getting their followers talking about the brand on social media, too — it frequently sends out calls to action, asking Twitter users interesting questions or encouraging them to share recipes or pictures. Due to this kind of engagement, Whole Foods gained a million Twitter followers in their first year and they have almost 5 million followers. Whole Foods Market is the most popular retailer on Twitter and is a leading example of Twitter’s power to build millions of relationships a single customer at a time.

As data and technology continue to enhance the customer experience, it’s up to brands to think about how they can adopt best practices to create more meaningful and cohesive brand experiences.

As social media continues to enhance brand experiences, companies must use innovative new ways to channel those experiences to remain relevant.