5 on the 5th Interview: Dorien Morin-van Dam
This month I interview a fellow Southern transplant, Dorien Morin-van Dam. Of course, she’s from the Netherlands, not the Midwest like myself 🙂 I got to know Dorien through the now-disbanded Social Solutions Collective. Just one state over, Dorien is doing some great work in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina doing work on TV and adding more and more video to her brand. Watch for her to do big things this year!
Name: Dorien Morin-van Dam
Title: Social Media Consultant
Company: More in Media
Twitter handle: @moreinmedia
Question 1: Why did you choose to work in this industry?
When my youngest (of 4) children started Kindergarten five years ago, I looked for a second career. I had been a stay-at-home-mom for nearly 14 years and wanted to continue to have that type of flexibility. My husband has been an entrepreneur since the age of 10, so he encouraged me to start my own business. He was already working from a home office and he suggested I do the same.
The ‘easiest’ business to start as I saw it was in the growing field of social media. I kind of rolled into it by taking various online courses and learning on-the-go and now I am so glad I stuck with it!
Question 2: How do you keep continuing your education and staying up on all the latest trends and changes?
I read, a lot! I subscribe to most major news outlets and check my RSS reader several times per day for new articles and trends. I have Google alerts on certain platforms and of course, I monitor Twitter for industry news. I also attend webinars when I need to learn something specific. I make it a point to attend several live industry conferences each year so I can learn from the best leaders in social media – in 2015 I traveled out of state to three large social media conferences and spoke at one. Lastly, I follow all of the social media influencers closely; I have them in a Facebook interest list and on several Twitter lists so I can access their latest posts whenever I need to, quickly.
Question 3: What do you love the most about working in your industry? What bothers you the most?
I love – being social on social! The social media industry is really a great group of awesome people! I enjoy being online all day and despite the fact that I work alone in my home office, I am never more than a few strokes on my keyboard away from a real conversation. The comradery I feel is real and I’ve met some really great colleagues online.
I get bothered by – negativity and ignorance. I also get bothered by people wanting to barter for my services. I usually ask them how that works out for them when they go to the electric company, or when they go to pay their phone bill. Lastly, that request for doing social media ‘on commission’. yuck! I do all the work and you only pay me when you make a sale? That’s sales. That’s not how social media works.
Question 4: What is the hardest situation you’ve encountered in your business and how did you handle it?
The hardest situation happened when I had to travel to Europe to say my final goodbyes to my dad on his deathbed, with only a day’s notice. I was servicing seven social media clients and did not have a VA or anyone else to fall back on. I was able to pull it together while waiting in the hospital – schedule a week’s worth of posts and notify my clients of my absence – and then pick it back up after the funeral. I was able to stay in Europe for two additional weeks and work from my parents’ home to support my mom. It ended up working out alright, but I learned a big lesson that summer. I now have systems in place, accounts access carefully recorded and a part-time assistant who can help when needed
Question 5: What is the best business advice you’ve been given and why has it stayed with you?
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results.”
To grow your business you have to be willing to try new things and in our industry that’s especially true! The social media landscapes changes so quickly and if you don’t try new platforms, new tools and new ideas, you get left behind. I love training and educating people; I have done in-person workshops, google hangouts, Periscopes, Blabs and I am currently recording and building a digital product. Change is good!
One for the road…
Bonus: If you could come back to life as any person from the history, who would it be?
Laura Ingalls Wilder