This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Mojo Risin’ (@mojowriting), founder of Mojo Writing, a full-service online marketing provider for Loudoun County and Northern Virginia businesses and organizations. On twitter, her bio states, “Writer, single mom, feminist, social media strategist, copywriting & SEO’ing your world. Random lyrics. I eat brains. #amwriting #intj #yoga #FriesBeforeGuys.” For me, that was enough to earn an instant follow.
Our conversation covers her business and marketing approach, how she helps women business owners, and her advice to companies using social media. My questions are in bold.
Q: In a few words, describe what your business does.
My business provides online marketing solutions like blogging, articles, social media and strategy services.
Q: How did you get started in this field ? What is your background and how long have you been doing this work?
I learned layout and design in high school (yearbook, actually). I’ve always been pretty tech-savvy and was in several “right places” at the right time, so it was a pretty seamless transition into web and graphic design with the small businesses I worked for. Eventually, I worked at a start-up web design company and spent a lot of time learning HTML there and on my own.
Eventually, I decided that everything I was doing could be done on my own and I began freelancing web and graphic design. Once social media became a thing, I started building discussion forums (the web side and the administration side).
It all pretty much came together after that. The business side of things and how that connects directly to online marketing and those efforts.
In one way or another, I’ve been at this for 23 years.
Q: Compare the way you marketed your business at the beginning to how you do so now?
At the beginning, I had the normal freelancer mentality, I believe. It’s hard to start out and you pretty much are grateful for even an inquiry, much less an actual gig. However, the majority of my clients (then and now) have been women, who not only hesitate in business but also with computers and technology. So I’d like to think my early marketing was simply keeping lines of communication open with those clients and getting referrals as a result.
Honestly, I don’t do things much differently right now, just a better understanding of where to focus the energy and when to walk away from a campaign, client or project.
I have a new division, if you will, that I’m launching. Along with a fairly niche community project that I’m testing out. Those projects and the campaigns I run for clients require a pretty complicated strategy, but one that is soaked in social media. I refer to it as the old “spokes on a wheel” concept and it holds true at all times, no matter the niche or the client. Online marketing is integrating those spokes into a seamless experience for both the client and the customer.
Q: I’ve known you through twitter, how important have social media accounts been to your business and promoting yourself and your business?
I often tell people not to be like me on Twitter, at least not if they want to be taken seriously. I’m fortunate that what I do requires a certain level of risk-taking and showing I can be technical, swamped in pop culture, in the throes of #momlife, and still a very accessible person.
For what I do, social media is vital on all levels. You can’t sell social media without being social media.
Q: So you mentioned that you largely work with women, you still do to this day, why is that? Was that a natural targeting decision or something done more strategically ?
Most of my clients are women still. I think a lot of that came from helping friends launch websites in the past or encouraging them to register as an LLC or just supporting their ideas. I feel there’s a natural affinity between women in business that is a lot like when we get together to cook a big meal or go sailing or whatever. I’m drawn to that and I like to think I help bring that same vibe to the women I work with.
Q: What is one piece of social media marketing advice that you have for business owners?
If you wouldn’t trust your intern (child, nephew, pet goat, neighbor’s cousin’s ex-girlfriend, etc.) to drive your car, don’t trust them to run your social media. You and your business deserve better.