Susanne Tedrick is an author and speaker who works full time in the tech industry as well as maintaining her personal brand.
In 2020, Susanne released Women of Color in Tech, a book to inspire women of color to pursue tech careers.
After her book release, Susanne began to notice an outpouring of inquiries for speaking engagements, writing and mentoring opportunities, and consulting engagements as they relate to diversity, equity and inclusion.
So she decided to capitalize on her brand and formalize a lot of the work she was already doing.
“Making your own personal brand is difficult because you want to put out there who you are, what is the value that I can bring to you or your organization, and getting that messaging really on point,” Susanne says.
“[And] while I talk a lot about diversity, equity and inclusion, I am a technologist at heart. [I’m] trying to find the happy balance between and always presenting a genuine and authentic self.”
As she launched her book and her personal-brand business as a speaker and author, Susanne began to become aware of her need for help with social media.
“It’s more of an art and science than people lend credit to,” Susanne says. “It’s far more difficult to connect with people in 280 characters and get people wanting to interact with you, let alone purchase your service or buy your book.”
Susanne began to notice even more of a need for having someone come alongside her who had previous knowledge of what platforms resonate with which audiences, what times of day to be posting, and what kinds of things should be taken into consideration while posting, such as hashtags and captions.
“While I could do it, I didn’t necessarily have the time and it wasn’t something I thought I could do particularly well,” Susanne admits.
“I know the basics to be dangerous, but to really have the engagement and resonate with people, I knew that I had to have someone else to help me with that.”
Enter BELAY SMM Keith Simmons.
From the first time Susanne reached out to BELAY until the initial call with her BELAY Client Success Consultant and Keith, she has put complete trust in the process and that has proven to be the perfect recipe for success.
“Because I have complete trust with Keith, he’s managing and making suggestions and more so checking in on me to get my pulse on things,” Susanne says.
“It’s really about someone who can look at the big picture and distill it into an actual strategy. [BELAY] took a holistic approach to find the right person for this engagement while touching on the things that were important to me.”
And one of those was engagement.
“Readers of the book will reach out to me asking for guidance and mentorship,” Susanne says. “That engagement is the most important thing to me.”
So Keith dedicated his time to understanding more about Susanne as well as her business. He’s been a sounding board for Susanne and helps her think through strategies and action plans.
“It took the promotion of the book for it to finally crystalize to me why you pay people to do social strategy,” Susanne remarks. “It’s not as easy as people make it out to be.”
They work together to balance out the time Susanne can work on her personal brand while also working in a full-time position, and he has also been able to help her think of ways to advance the brand.
“He also helps me think about things coming up in the future, such as Women's History Month or something else we could be thinking about developing content for specifically.”
In the nine months they have been working together, they have been able to accomplish a lot together as a team.
Susanne has noticed her following on Twitter and LinkedIn has grown, which has translated into increased website traffic as well as people reaching out to her for potential opportunities.
“I’ve always suffered from imposter syndrome,” Susanne admits. “During this process, I’ve been able to own my leadership capabilities and what I can bring to the world.
“I am excited to continue with the momentum that Keith and I have created and build on the success we’ve already made.”
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