Instead of just “having a job” or proceeding with a career path defined by roles, positions and descriptions set out by someone else…what if I could establish my own independent client base, relocate six hours outside of the city, explore sustainable agriculture and never again have a simple answer to the question…
“What do you do?”
In 2012, I took a leap. A big one. You can hear a bit more about that decision (and what it led to) in the TedX Talk on creating a Sustainable Digital Homestead I delivered in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2014.
When I first set out on my own as a freelance consultant, I didn’t necessarily think that would lead to founding a small virtual consultancy. But that’s what happened. Interesting projects rolled in, opportunities came up and smart minds were required. Now I’m fortunate to work with four to six folks at any given time on a number of projects under the banner This Is Big. My partner Scott and I also opened a small co-working space, MakeShift, in early 2018.
Call it right time, right place or perhaps just where my experience and ambitions have guided me but my marketing expertise has often come into play when considering how to make the most of a brand’s online presence. Whether this is determining the functional requirements and content needs for a new website build or starting to think about how a company could engage – or better engage – in social media, I’m eager to determine the when (and how) grounded in a strong sense of why to achieve the best results.
It should come as no surprise that content is a big part of what ends up on the menu for many projects under my care. I’ve been writing professionally for well over a decade and given the way our industry is evolving, I can’t see this changing any time soon. From developing full course materials for university programs to custom email campaigns or outreach to key influencers, I have a knack for words.
Beyond just managing timelines and budgets, I consider effective steering of a project from ideation to launch (and of course, measurement) to be a critical component of my work – not just because it keeps clients coming back but because I actually enjoy this side of the gig. Yep, that’s right – I think a critical path is an exciting piece of documentation and truly get excited about developing project briefs. You can stop laughing at me now.
I feel strongly about giving back to the community that has given me so much, which is why I actively seek out and maintain teaching positions where I can engage with students interested in learning more about digital marketing, social media, project management and everything in between. This has led to private workshops, training sessions and instructing at Brainstation, UBC Sauder School of Business and BCIT. I also mentored with Canadian Women in Communications & Technology in 2017.
When I’m not at my computer, I’m outside. In 2012 we escaped the city and went rural – then in 2015 my family and I moved to a small acreage of mostly forest and since then have been working to turn a piece of raw land into a functional small family farm. To say it’s been a learning curve would be an understatement. Currently we’re in the process of reacclimatizing to having running water, getting our home to lock up and establishing a more self sufficient way of life. You are welcome to follow along on Instagram where we try to post regular photos and occasionally link to longer blog posts on key milestones and matters.