Ryan Foland speaks with Samantha Kelly, otherwise known as the Tweeting Goddess. Samantha is a Twitter expert, with over 46k engaged followers, and is founder of the global Women’s Inspire Network. She is a master of social media engagement.
Ryan and Samantha talk extensively about how to use Twitter to make connections. As well as being a speaker, Samantha runs two international conferences each year, and in this interview she shares her ideas on what she looks for from her speakers and why social media matters when it comes to hiring the right speakers.
Listen to this podcast to find out:
- How to start building a social media following by actively joining thriving online communities.
- How to get event organizers to notice you (spoiler: it is not by sending in an application).
- What the top social media experts, like Brian Fanzo, Ted Rubin, and Mari Smith, do different when it comes to speaking at events.
- The effect that using video (either live video or creating short clips) can have on your credibility.
- How to help yourself while helping others.
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Samantha Kelly: This is Samantha Kelly, otherwise known as the Tweeting Goddess.
I had great fun talking to Ryan all about Twitter magic, all about how you can get to speaker conferences, and also a little bit about my dad in Ireland. Hope to see you soon.
Ryan Foland: Ahoy everyone, I am back, and today I am with a goddess.
She is a goddess of the Twitter-sphere.
She is literally known as the Tweeting Goddess and she's also known as Samantha Kelly.
She is an expert when it comes to connecting the dots online to bring them out of the computer, off of the phone and into the real world, and she does that primarily through Twitter and her hashtag #TwitterMagic.
She has also built a collective community called The Women's Inspire Network.
Is that correct Samantha, I mean Tweeting Goddess, did I get that right?
Samantha Kelly: That's right.
Ryan Foland: We actually became Twitter friends first, then we've had enough fun talking online that I was like, "we need to talk on the podcast."
You are the world of speakers in its most pure form because you're using digital technologies to build real communities and you're bringing them offline.
I'm excited to have you here today.
Tweeting Goddess, welcome.
Samantha Kelly: Thank you.
Ryan Foland: I felt like I needed to get a little “Ohm” in there.
Samantha Kelly: You don't need that kind of sprinkly, Disney magic thing, sprinkling Twitter magic. We are going to sprinkle Twitter.
[Ryan making a sprinkling sound]
Ryan Foland: That was a little bit more watery than I would like.
Samantha Kelly: We'll work on that one.
Ryan Foland: Yes, we will.
You know what — everything's a work in progress. It's like a tweet that we send out, we're like,
"Oh, I could have improved that but I'm not going to delete it, I'm just going to tweet again."
Let's get this Twitter party started. We'll start with a story. One of my favorite things to do is to share stories about people.
The exercise and the challenge for you is: dig into the depths of your brain and find a story from your past that, if only by itself, was a great representation of who you are, so that the next time I meet somebody I'm like,
"Oh my gosh, you haven't heard about the Tweeting Goddess? Let me tell you this story: this one time she..." and that's where you fill in the dots.
What's the story that comes to mind?
Samantha Kelly: I suppose that the biggest story of my life would be the fact that ten years ago I woke up and I said, "I don't want to be sick anymore."
I'm ten years sober and that changed my whole life. That's really where this whole journey started.
Further back, my father had passed away about seven years ago. I remember my dad worked really hard. We were born in not a great area at all, here in Ireland.
I remember Dad would be working a lot, and he used to come home on a Friday night and we would be watching “Starsky and Hutch” on the telly.
He would bring home packets of crisps (chips in America). Crisps and ginger ale, and so any time I taste ginger ale, I just think of my dad.
He always worked so hard and he always wanted to think of something that would make him a millionaire.
The entrepreneurial mindset was there, and he was always trying to think of one simple thing.
He used to say to me, "Sam, if we could think of just one thing that no one else has thought of, we could be millionaires". I grew up listening to this.
I also watched him work pretty hard, and I knew that if I wanted to get anything I had to work for it.
Ryan Foland: I like that.
Well congratulations on the sobriety. That is awesome, and especially coming from somebody who's in Ireland because I know that in Ireland you appreciate the alcohol there.
I'm a Scottish/Irish/European mutt, and I believe that all of my freckles represent my history and I think that's very commendable.
It's fun sometimes to wake up and have these realizations, and they don't have to be every day, but sometimes they show up at the right time and the right place, and it's they're just like an idea that could change the world.
I'm curious, this entrepreneurial spirit that your father ingrained into you. Do you find yourself sitting in a corner, drinking ginger ale, trying to come up with a million dollar idea?
Samantha Kelly: [laughing] No.
Ryan Foland: I am ginger so I appreciate the ginger ale and I drink the ginger ale although I do try to get the diet ginger ale because it's very sugary and I'm trying to be conscious of that.
But I bet you the sugar gets the brain going.
Did that leave a long-lasting effect other than just the memories?
How are you at this ideation process, is that part of your existence?
Samantha Kelly: You know what? It is.
Because I can seem to spot opportunities that other people might miss.
I'm going to talk about my Women’s Inspire Network later, but I often see, especially from being in recovery as well, I see the importance of having a support network around you.
I think that's kind of helped me to build a really powerful engaged network around me.
I also saw my father help people that were probably going down the wrong path. He helped a lot of young men, teenagers, who might have been in trouble at home, they would end up staying in our house.
He used to take them under his wing, and he said, "Oh I need to do the garden today," or, "I need to paint the fence today."
He would have them painting the fence with him, so he would have them working in a way, but they actually liked hanging out with my dad because he was cool and he never judged.
At the funeral actually, there were a lot of really rough looking guys, and I was like, "Oh my god, who are these guys?"
They came over to me crying, saying, "Your dad's changed my life. He helped me so much. He was the only one that gave me any attention."
It’s really lovely to hear those stories, and as you know, Irish people are really good storytellers. It's in our nature to be good storytellers.
That's one big advantage we have here in Ireland, is that we're really good at telling a story, and those stories that those people told me that day, they impacted me so much.
I was watching my dad helping people all the time, and it must have rubbed off on me because I do that a lot, I help people.
It might just be a silly, simple thing on Twitter, like I see someone who just started on Twitter and so I retweet them to 46 thousand people, and next thing they're like, "Oh my god, what happened?!"
Ryan Foland: Magic. It's #TwitterMagic, all of a sudden they're like, "Wait, I'm not alone out here?"
Samantha Kelly: Yeah, exactly.
That's it, and that's why I always used the hashtag #TwitterMagic because you can make someone's day with that retweet.
That is so powerful and I don't understand why more big companies, in particular, or people with big followings, don't do it more often. It's such a powerful simple thing that you can do for someone, all it is is a click.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, the power of the click.
Going back to your dad, I think in my brain this is stitching together. He's sitting there, really looking for that one idea that could get the million dollars, that could sort of make all the troubles go away.
But at the same time, he is the person who's being Mr. Miyagi — taking in people and giving them the value of the work ethic behind the long, hard road to a million dollars.
It's not like he's teaching them to cheat. It's not like he's saying, "I know things are rough at home, but c'mon, let's drink ginger ale and come up with a big idea."
No, it's like, "Let's be practical, let's do some work, let's get our hands dirty, and actually experience."
It's an interesting dichotomy where I'm thinking you were brought up in an environment where it's like, "Come on, let's find this one big idea."
But at the same time, that's sort of like an exciting goal, but it's not all-consuming. It's not creating unrealistic expectations. It's, if anything, getting you excited about the opportunity, but then it's like, "Wait, but the reality is here and let's hustle and let's work and let's do the ground level tweets. Let's be fine starting off with no followers and growing a following, as opposed to getting to the million followers," right?
Samantha Kelly: Absolutely.
It takes time and there is no shortcut really, unless you're not doing the right thing.
Doing the right thing is a big thing that I do as well, and it's something that in recovery, obviously that's what we talk about in the program.
A man would be like it's about doing the next right thing. So if you see someone hurting and maybe someone doing a good deed for someone every day.
I am trying to do a good deed every day and it could be something as simple as a retweet, it could be one useful introduction to somebody that I see needs to connect with someone else.
It could be even after this podcast me saying to you, "Ryan, actually I know someone who would be really good on your podcast and I know that he would help your reach and you would help their reach," and so on.
It's about doing something good for somebody — and it could be your daughter, it could be someone else in your family. It could be the dog, anything.
It makes me feel better when I do some good, and I know my dad always liked to see when those guys would actually get their first car, and he'd help them get their first job.
I think buying their first car was always a big thing for my dad. He was like, "There he is now, look, he is driving, isn't he great." And he would be really proud.
And then that's something he also used to teach me.
I am a very bold driver. I would have been very good looking in my day and I refused to learn how to change a tire.
My dad was always telling me, "You need to learn how to change a tire."
And I would be like, "Oh Dad, don't be silly, I'll just ask some guy to do it for me."
His patience was amazing. All my sisters can change a tire except me.
Ryan Foland: Well you know what, we all have strengths in different areas, and your strength is in persuasion and building community.
You're talking about connecting the dots, right?
You have one dot here on the left and one dot here on the right and your dad is trying to get you to fill in a line in the middle. You're like, "No Dad, you don't get it. If I put this dot here and then this dot here, the line will appear."
Samantha Kelly: It's like magic!
Ryan Foland: Like magic.
I'm curious to know some of the magic that you see on stage. What kind of fairy sparkle dust you can sprinkle on people?
What are the types of jobs or chores that you would give upcoming speakers if they were in your speaker yard and you were your dad trying to help them get their first, say, paid gig as opposed to their first car, so that you can look in the back and go,
"Look, there they are, up on stage and they're in their proverbial car."
What are some of the magic tricks and tips that you have for people to effectively — whether it's telling better stories or even helping people — what would you throw out there for the chores for these amazing people who are listening right now as the World of Speakers community?
Samantha Kelly: Okay, well, lovely listeners, the first thing I want to say is: I've actually done this already. I kind of like the power that I have and love being the founder of the Women's Inspire Network, because I can spot talent.
I can spot it straight away, and it could be someone that doesn't even realize they are as brilliant as they are. And I love that.
I love seeing potential in people, and then what I do is I actually put them on the stage myself, because I do events, conferences twice a year.
I actually select the speakers myself.
I get hundreds of applications to speak, but I actually go by people I already know, I've already been watching, because, don't forget, on Twitter and social media you can watch people. They don't even know you're watching them.
I watched your TED Talk, you didn't know I was watching you, and this is the thing.
The first thing I would do if you wanted to speak at something is start showing your expertise so that I will approach you, so I will watch you.
If you have a skill or you're an expert in something, start sharing your knowledge, start telling people what it is you're an expert in.
I don't mean boasting and bragging, I mean to add value.
Add value, do videos, pick up your phone and press the red button, do a little Twitter Live, do a little Twitter video, do a little Facebook live.
We are so fortunate, you can actually prove the knowledge that you have by just picking up your phone.
And when you add value and you help others and you assist others every day, they are going to like you.
When the people like you, they are in a meeting and someone is saying, "Jesus, we need a speaker on social media," they're all going to say me, because they like me and they trust me and they've seen me speak on videos.
They say, "Gosh, you know so many things."
They don't know if I'm going to be on stage but, at the start, if people asked me to speak or if there was a speaking opportunity — I've never actually applied to speak at anything.
Ryan Foland: Wow.
If you think about it for a minute, you're kind of breaking that paradigm that people have that they might just think they have to actually do it a certain way.
You're literally saying you've created community online, you've proved yourself, you're sharing your knowledge through the tools that are in the phone that everybody has and you're putting yourself to where you become top of mind.
You've eliminated the whole nonsense and chaos and stress of finding and seeking out people.
You've reversed it, people are coming to you.
Samantha Kelly: Yes. I'm very lucky, I'm lucky as well I suppose but serendipity I believe in a lot, and being in the right place at the right time.
It really is all about people, all of this.
The fact that we're on this podcast, it's about people.
If you didn't like me Ryan, if we hadn't engaged on Twitter before you approached me. If you thought I was a bitch, you wouldn't have approached me.
You've never seen me saying anything bad on Twitter. You've never seen me get involved in controversy.
All you see is me doing good stuff and when you're doing good stuff, people want to be a part of that.
And I know you engaged with me a lot when I was at Social Media Marketing World. I remember that because you're top of my mind because you even came up in the tweeters of the day and all that stuff.
Of course, I'm going to remember you. You're going to stay in my memory.
It's about keeping that engagement going after the event.
So let's say you see an event happening that you want to speak at, and you go, "Oh my god, that event looks so cool, I'd really love to speak at that."
Start engaging on the hashtag on the day that it's running.
Start building relationships even if you're sitting at home and starting, "Oh my God, this looks really cool. That's a really good quote."
Start engaging with the people who are tweeting from that event and then find out who is the organizer. The organizer would always say, "Thanks very much everybody for coming," so whoever the organizer is you'll see them tweeting.
If they're any good at all you’ll see them tweeting.
Keep engaging with them after the event, and keep saying, "Oh my gosh, that event looked pretty cool, how would I go about speaking at that? Is there any way I can help you? Here's a report I made, or a hashtag you might find useful."
If you help the person running the event, even by you tweeting on the hashtag, you're actually helping that person that's running the event because you're making their stats go up.
And those stats, that data, is really important when they go and look for sponsors for their next event.
The more people that tweet, use the hashtag, the more their data is going to go up.
And they would be like, "Oh my god, we just got all the data we need."
They might not realize they could have collected data, things like that.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, I think that's great and it's funny you bring up Social Media Marketing World. I have a fun story about my first time there.
It was 3 or 4 years ago, I'm not sure, and I was kind of newer to the social media world of things in general. I was just starting to take control of my brand narrative.
What happened was that the first year I went, I literally, just like everyone else, I just took pages and pages of notes.
Like, "Oh my gosh, this is so amazing, so amazing, such amazing speakers." Notes, notes, notes.
I went home with all these intentions of like, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to blog about this, I'm going to make videos about this, this is going to be amazing."
And comes the next year and I'm searching on my drive and I happened to search for something else and all of a sudden this folder came up and it was “Social Media Marketing World Notes”.
I clicked in and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, here are the pages and pages and pages of notes I haven't done anything with."
It really struck a chord with me. I kind of woke up from my note taking and the next year that I went, I said,
"I'm going to leave my laptop, all I'm going to bring is my phone. Anything that I find of value, the same note that I would normally take to myself, I'm going to share it publicly as a tweet."
And it literally was just this concept of sharing value while I was at the conference.
I had to leave a little bit early to catch a train to come back and I got blown up on my way back on the train, I am like, "What is happening?"
I had been named the top mentioned speaker of the entire conference even though I wasn't a speaker and everybody was like, "Congratulations, this is so amazing, I didn't know that you were even speaking of that event."
I'm like, "I wasn't! I was just tweeting everything that I thought was valuable," and people assumed that I was speaking because I was so active on Twitter.
That was such a moment for me, and I got on the radar then. I was like, "This is crazy.” I started to build connections.
It was a dot that I used. I continued to build those relationships with more dots.
It's something that I do when I go to a conference. I call it a tweetnado, not a tweetstorm because that's Twitter. #Tweetnado, that's one of the little things that I've made up.
I specifically go with that strategy to just create and share as much high value for the people that aren't at the conference — and it works.
Samantha Kelly: Yeah, it does. It absolutely does.
It's amazing how many people don't realize the power of that, even then with Brand24, if you get a report on a hashtag from Brand24, it will show you the top quotes from the conference so you can actually have all that data for your blog post.
"Oh gosh I forgot she made that point. Great, I can just take a note there." It's just amazing.
It's really valuable.
I would suggest if you are wanting to speak at events and you haven't spoken at events, think this way.
I get loads of applications to speak at Women's Inspire events. What makes you different?
Do you know what I prefer? I prefer if you send me a video. Send me a video saying, "Hi Samantha," use Bonjoro, it is a brilliant app, I use it for every person that joins my network.
I send them a welcome video, and I say, "Hi Mary, thanks very much, I see you just signed up."
I could be in my pajamas, and I just sit there with no makeup, in my pajamas, saying, "Sorry but no makeup, I just saw you joined, I just wanted to welcome you to the network."
You can do the same thing. You can send a video to the person who's organizing the conference and say,
"Look, I'd really love to speak. This is what I can speak about. I'd love to have a chat."
Be different. Stand out from everybody. It's all about standing out, and you know this too, it's all about standing out.
Like Tweeting Goddess, I mean that name came from, I used to have a company and my first business that was Funky Goddess, and then when I sold that company I had to change my Twitter handle.
I couldn't take Twitter Goddess, you are not allowed to use Twitter in your username. So I just said, "Okay, I'll use Tweeting Goddess”, and that's where that name came from.
Best thing I ever did.
Ryan Foland: That's awesome.
What I like about this type of an approach is it's really a community engagement first.
It's ingraining yourself into the individuals who are actively talking and communicating and building a community around where you want to go, as opposed to you hiding in a corner, drinking ginger ale, and applying with an application that is just like every other one out of hundreds, which is just going to get overlooked.
Samantha Kelly: Yeah, I have to admit, on the Women's Inspire Network website, they have to apply by video.
Ryan Foland: Awesome.
Speaking of video and if people who are listening are like, "Okay, I love this, I wrote down that app it's called Bonjoro”, I'm not sure if I spelled it right.
Samantha Kelly: Yeah, Bonjoro.
Ryan Foland: Alright, Bonjoro.
People can guess that, they're going to Google, and then they're going to be like, "Wait a minute, she said pajamas, no makeup — oh my gosh!"
The whole world comes tumbling down.
Normally we talk about tips of speaking from the stage and we're really talking about an unconventional way to get on the stage by connecting the dots, using something as simple as a hashtag to engage with the individuals that are at events and in the communities that you want to speak at.
For using that as a strategy, which I think is awesome, can you give us some tips on what you're looking for in the video?
Because I think that's still a sticking point. People might be willing to make the video, but then they're like,
"Wait, but I don't know what to say. Wait, no, I need makeup. Wait, no, the background has to be perfect."
Because you are asking for these videos, what is it that you're looking for?
How can we tell people to become better speakers through their cell phones?
Samantha Kelly: I'm looking for proof that you know your stuff.
I'm looking for proof that you're likable and attractive, and when I say attractive I don't mean that you have to be good looking, like beautiful, I mean attractive as in your personality.
I know you know this too Ryan. We know when someone's not being authentic. If you're being authentic, I want real people, real speakers.
Ted Rubin was just awesome. I know as well, I would look at the social media of the people who apply, if they're not using it to engage with people and help others…I look at social media, let’s put it that way. And if they are not using social media to engage, to help people...
Because the Women's Inspire Network is about inspiring others and helping others, it's not about me, me, me...it's about my audience.
Ryan Foland: I want to ask a question. I want to get a little bit deeper in here as far as this idea of you looking at their social media, which I think people know is a reality.
You said something a little bit different: “I look at their social media to see if they're engaging and helping people”.
When you go to somebody's Twitter profile, step me through the process.
Because I think people forget that there is a process behind it.
You talked about how you are looking at what I'm doing and I don't know, but tell me about the journey, where do your eyes go when you land on somebody's Twitter page?
Because if you are just posting updates and a broadcast and you scroll through and you see that like,
"Hey, this person's active but all that they're doing is outbound," do you actually click into the replies and tweets and see who they're actually engaging with?
Tell me when you land on a new page, what do you go through? This is a quick inside look.
Samantha Kelly: Oh yes, this is what I do.
First of all, if someone follows me and I don't know who they are, I would click on their profile, I will see have they got their bio filled out, and what it says in the bio.
The bio is really important because the bio is fine-tuning your message and your personality into that bio on Twitter.
I will see if that person looks approachable, or if they look like they're “Me-Me-Me” person.
I will know by the bio. I will know by the last 10 tweets. I will know.
If you look at my bio, for example, I've got a really smiley picture, so always have a nice headshot of yourself.
At the moment I have a Santa hat on because I'm just a messer.
The most important thing is, "Does this person look approachable? Do I want to do business with this person? Does she look like she knows what she's doing? Oh right, the other photos have her on stage, so obviously she must speak on stage."
And then my bio says, "I sprinkle Twitter magic everywhere. Founder and C.E.O. of Women's Inspire Network. TEDx speaker. Twitter expert."
And then it says, "Nice people collector."
Ryan Foland: I like that.
Samantha Kelly: That's not very LinkedIn professional, but I'm a nice people collector so chances are, if you're a nice person, you're going to want to follow me.
If you're an idiot, you're not going to want me because you'd be like, "Ugh look at her, so fluffy. she thinks she’s Oprah."
Ryan Foland: You're not attracting trolls by this.
Samantha Kelly: I still attract them, don't worry. They're just jealous.
You're going to attract nice people if you have nice people collector in your bio, I like to surround myself with good people.
I've been through a lot in my life. I've been through a lot of pain, a lot of unnecessary pain that I have put on myself with drinking and stuff.
Now my life is all about keeping it simple and having good people around me. I want to live my life like that now.
It's the same with social media: you don't want to be hanging out with people who are going to drag you down. They are not going to celebrate your successes. They're not going to help you when you need help.
Because believe me, there are times when I need help and I might be a bit lonely even, and it's just so nice to be able to reach out to someone and say,
"Hey, how are you doing? Oh my God, this happened to me. I don't know what to do."
You will know who those people are. You'll build up trust, and then when you help others, people will always buy and always recommend you when they know, like and trust you. It's well known.
People trust me, but even my event in Donegal, which is in April in the north of Ireland, we are selling tickets already, I haven't even announced one speaker.
Because they trust me, they know what my events are like, they know it's going to be positive, inspirational, they're going to learn something.
I used to go to events all the time and to be honest Ryan, I would leave sometimes going,
"Jesus, that was a waste of money, it was a waste of time. I didn't learn anything, nobody spoke to me, I felt all alone".
I don't want events like that. I want my audience to feel like, "You know what, that was brilliant, that was totally worth taking a day away from work for."
That's what I want.
Ryan Foland: Are you also speaking at your own events?
Samantha Kelly: Sometimes.
Actually, I didn't ever before, but then people started asking me. They said, "Look, we came to see you as well."
I was like, "Alright, okay, so I’d better start speaking at my own events as well."
But yeah, I do now.
Ryan Foland: For having the opportunity to speak at your events. and being able to hand-choose people based on what you see from a digital exhaust or digital footprint to know that they are approachable, friendly, they're part of this kind of good collection of people to bring on: do you see a thread of either activity or mentality or the way that they carry themselves when they're on the stage?
Let's say they were using you as this crazy filter to find magic online and then you pull this person, and you bring them to the offline world.
From the people that you've collected, specifically, who are speakers that you bring to your stage, what are some of the common threads that you see?
What are your-father-type qualities? Do they all see good in people? Are they all trying to help people get cars?
What are some generalities that you can make about these people that raise the top and end up on your stage?
Samantha Kelly: Usually I'm right, if you're an idiot offline, you're going to be an idiot online as well.
Ryan Foland: Can I quote you on that, that's good.
Samantha Kelly: It's so true though.
I want speakers that are going to add value, that are not just going to get up on the stage and then go home. I don't want that.
I want people that are going to hang around, like when Ted Rubin came over here, he was awesome, Brian Fanzo, they were awesome.
They sat, they out their selfie sticks.
There's nowhere a green room at my events. All the speakers are in the audience. Nobody gets special treatment just because they’re a speaker.
You are there to kind of help the audience to enjoy it.
The audience wants a selfie with you. The audience wants to talk to you.
It's like when you're doing a social media event, people don't really want the big corporates on the stage, they want the rock stacks, they want the Ted Rubins, they want the Brian Fanzos, they want the Mari Smiths, they want these people on the stage, and that's what the audience wants.
I know this because that's what I want if I go to an event. I want to meet someone that I've seen online that I want to get a selfie with.
I always admired Ted Rubin for example, and so I just said, "Oh my God, he's talking about everything I speak about. Online relationships," and then I said, "You know what, maybe if I just create an event and I get a sponsor, maybe I can get him to come to Ireland."
He'd never been to Ireland before.
Ryan Foland: Wow, that's great. We're talking about a lot of what you do is take the online and bring it offline.
The same qualities that you're looking for people online, you basically just said you see those qualities offline.
Brian is great, he is super, like, he's got his camera crew of one with him at all times, whether it's a fisheye or whatnot. He definitely uses video to connect with people before, during, and then after as well.
What a great example.
And somebody who is not afraid to tell you to push the damn button at the same time, right?
Samantha Kelly: Yeah, absolutely and you know what? There are so many people that are afraid to press a button.
I'd rather you actually press the button, even if you are in your pj's and just say, "Look Samantha, I can talk about chatbots, I can talk about MailChimp, how to really rock on MailChimp."
My audience, they are small business owners mostly, they are female entrepreneurs. A lot of them don't have confidence as well, so if you're able to talk about pricing, asking for what you're worth, these are all things that we want to learn, that small business owners want to learn.
I know because I was a small business owner. I was told before by somebody, "Stop hanging out with the bottom feeders."
I was so insulted by that, because I was like, "Oh my god, people thought I was a bottom feeder when I was a small business owner."
I said, "No, I'm not going to stop because actually what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a community so that they can still get access to me.”
”It's only going to cost $20 a month because that way they still have access to me, they still have access to learning, and then they can move away from being a small business owner and improve their business and be a big business owner."
There is that bit of me that cares about the underdog and maybe I get that from my dad as well, I don't know, but I was the underdog, Ryan, I was the underdog.
I say there were about four or five people who really helped me, but I had no money when I started my first business, I had nothing.
Nobody really wanted to know me.
So, guess who helped us, and I'll never forget the value that all of my speakers brought social media summit, and I'll never forget any of the people that have done things like that for me.
Because guess what? There's a guy actually when I had my first business, my first network which is Irish Biz Party, and we had an event and we were only going to charge like €25 for a ticket, so we filled the venue, obviously.
I had no money, I didn't get any money out of it. It was just kind of an experiment to bring a network offline.
I kind of just wanted to test the water and this guy did the sound for me. He said, "Look, if you put me as a sponsor, I'll do the sound for nothing for you."
Well, guess who I hire every time to do my conferences now?
Ryan Foland: Right, that gentleman right there.
Samantha Kelly: Yes, Steve. He's supercool. I'm getting married in two weeks and he's playing at my wedding as well.
Ryan Foland: Wow, that literally is the output of connecting the dots in a way that you're not selfishly trying to draw lines.
You're just setting people up, giving them a chance to be a dot in your line, and that continues to sort of happen.
In my mind I have this vision of like dots online and dots offline and just like piercing through the computer and just sort of making that jump.
I think people are afraid of both of those, right?
People are afraid of how they represent themselves online, people are often scared or timid about how they represent themselves offline, and you're helping to bridge that gap with a hard dose of authenticity like, you're literally saying,
"Send me a video, I don't care what you look like, I just want you to tell me that you're a pro, that you're likable. I want to be able to feel the vibe of you as a person and that doesn't mean a perfect background with perfect lighting and perfect makeup. Let's get real here."
Samantha Kelly: Yes, because don't forget the audience are real.
A lot of my Women's Inspire Network members are actually, some of them had tattoos and piercings and whatever, but they're running successful beauty businesses, or successful social media businesses and it really doesn't matter.
I don't think it matters anyway.
When I started out in business, I didn't have the right words, I didn't have the right lingo.
Believe it or not, I know you probably find it hard to believe, but I didn't have much confidence.
I didn't have any clothes, the proper clothes because I didn't have any money. Don't forget. I had no money, I was a lone parent on social welfare when I started my first business.
I didn't have the right makeup even because the women listening will know that you need to have the good makeup if you want it to work and look good. It's about the audience, they're going to want someone that they can connect with and that can connect with my audience.
I kind of enjoy that power, I won't lie. There have been people that approached me, and they never, ever engage me on Twitter, and then next thing they ask me to speak and I am like, "No."
I just remember, I know, the world is a very small place, so don't ever bitch about others because we find out.
Ryan Foland: I just hear the elephants coming. This is great, very slow, and very calculated, smiling.
You know what's interesting about elephants is that they always seem to be smiling. I don't know what it is, the way that their mouth is, right?
I mean, I guess they're angry when they're running at you, but other than that, I think that's an interesting analogy.
When you were just describing that you've created this community of people that might be a little rough around the edges, they might have tattoos, they might have no money, they might be scrappy, that might be a pixelated picture because they're borrowing somebody else's wi-fi to post, whatever that is — it literally makes me think of the individuals that your dad gathered and supported at your house.
It is as much of a modern parallel as possible. In your proverbial backyard you're giving people an opportunity not to paint a fence, but to come and speak on your stage.
You're engaging people with small pats on the back and small smiles, and I don't know if your dad wore a hat or not, but like a little hat...
Samantha Kelly: He did, he wore a cap.
Ryan Foland: Okay, like a little, "Hey, how do you do," like just some little small gesture.
His little turn of his hat is like you liking someone's tweet, and you never know what people are going through, but that little cap nod, that little like on Twitter alone could change the trajectory of what that person is doing, and you have a chance to follow in that conversation.
Because when your dad's disciple, I'm going to say, or his mentee when they drove off in the car, it's probably his proudest moment, but he sort of lost the car in the distance and he had to just know deep down that there was an impact made.
You can sort of sneak on and see how they're doing and be proud and watch them driving their Twitter car down the road and know that you helped create some of that magic gas to get it going, or not gas — magic electricity because we're going towards the eco-friendly world here.
Samantha Kelly: Yes. Actually, one of the ladies in my network, when I met her she came to one of my Twitter workshops and I said, "You're going to go far," I said to her.
And she didn't have much confidence at all, and I said, "I want to get you on the stage," she was like, "No, no way, no way."
I said, "Please, I want to get you on the stage," because actually she's my community manager because she knows everybody in the network, she knows how many kids they have, she knows what's going on, she knows everything and everybody in the network.
She was an obvious choice for me to have as the community manager (Helena is her name) and I remember I got her on the stage and there were all these other, big, kind of successful professional speakers and stuff, and each one of them, after Helena spoke, each one of them mentioned Helena's talk in their talk.
Ryan Foland: That is awesome.
Samantha Kelly: Yeah, because they loved it so much.
Ryan Foland: We talked about liking someone. How hard is it to click the button on something that resonates with you and that you're like, "That's cool."
A speaker mentioning another speaker is them giving like an actual tweet a like on the tweet, granted that what they were speaking was them tweeting, right?
It's like even including other people and other speakers from the event, it shows them that you were in the audience. It shows that you were engaged. It shows that you're not a primadonna coming 5 minutes before your talk, leaving 5 minutes after your talk and leaving people wanting more.
Samantha Kelly: And also not engaging with them on Twitter after. Let's say a speaker comes and they speak and then everyone's like, "Oh, I really enjoyed the talk."
I always engage with every single person that has mentioned me on Twitter after my talk. I actually add them to a list on Twitter of whatever the event was, or I might add them to a private list.
Actually, if I really want to talk to that person again, I might add some on the private lists and you can make Twitter private, and they could be a potential lead as well.
This is great about speaking but at the end of the day, we need to pay our bills as well.
It's also about collecting some leads from those people that got value from your talk and you can say, "Look, oh thanks a million, it was lovely to meet you."
But another great way which I find is to take a selfie. If someone asks if they can take a selfie with you, "Yes, you can. What's your Twitter handle? Great."
And then they put the selfie up and say "It was lovely to meet you, Samantha,"
I add that person to a list, because that person is obviously a fan that has bought into Tweeting Goddess.
They are someone that is a lead. It's about making sure you get value yourself as well because it is hard work giving value all the day, I do a lot of tweets of the events that I speak at. I spoke at an event in New Orleans recently, and we trended in Ireland.
Because I was tweeting from the event and then it actually trended in Ireland, which I thought was quite funny.
Ryan Foland: Absolutely.
One thing that you almost accidentally said, but I think might be the name for your next book is this concept around connecting the dots, but you almost stumbled and you almost said, "Collecting the dots."
But then you didn't say it and you corrected yourself. I want you to think about this for a minute — you are connecting the dots, but don't forget to collect the dots.
And this idea of it's great to help people and it's amazing to pay it forward, but at the same time you've got to collect some of these dots that bear fruit.
You've got to collect the dots, you've got to pay for your life and your living to be able to help people.
I really like this, you are literally connecting the dots from online to offline, but you're also collecting the dots from online and offline.
I think that's great, that's a great concept of something that's so old.
How many times have people said, "Connect the dots."
Well, the Tweeting Goddess just said you've got to also collect the dots. I love it.
Samantha Kelly: Yes, thank you that will be my next book.
Ryan Foland: Well, so much fun.
If somebody wants to follow you on Twitter, it is @tweetinggoddess
Samantha Kelly: It's @tweetinggoddess.
Ryan Foland: Okay, so if you want to follow on Twitter then you can find her at @tweetinggoddess. That's the gen right there.
I think you are somebody who's definitely leading by example and when I meet people who are like, "How do you do it, you're doing on Twitter?"
It's basically finding and following other people to use as examples. I am a constant student when it comes to Twitter, but I'm not afraid to use it when it comes to Twitter.
You're a great example if somebody wants to watch the engagement and activity, the buzz, that you create around these hashtags and events.
If you're a speaker and you're listening to this, you now have an open invitation to follow the Tweeting Goddess and build a relationship with her, connect the dots, send her a video and you might likely find yourself on her stage.
Samantha Kelly: You just might.
Ryan Foland: You just might. But maybe not. But we'll see.
We're going to check you out online before anything happens, but only if you send a video and you start putting dots on the paper because if you truly want to connect the dots, the minimum number of dots to make a line is 2 and how do you get 2 dots — you just do more than one.
I think sometimes people go out there and they'll start with a dot and then that's it, but literally, you've got to have more than one dot to connect a line, and that's it. I think.
Samantha Kelly: Ryan, thank you so much for this opportunity.
For everyone listening, this is proof in itself, the fact that we're doing this at all, of how Twitter can work.
I'd say the next thing we'd be doing is probably maybe DM-ing each other or you might hear of an event, or I might hear of an event that might suit you, and so on and so on.
Next thing we'll meet in real life and there will be a selfie. That's the way it works.
Ryan Foland: Yes, in the motherland of Ireland.
I've been there before and I would love to come back and yes, we are a great case study of basically how one tweet or a conference where we're not even connected can connect us through a hashtag and then we both enjoy each other's content and we both want to help each other out. So here it is.
Alright everybody, make sure that you channel your inner father with a cap in Ireland trying to help some hooligans, and do what you can to help other people and it's only going to come back to you at the end of the day.
There you have it, that is truly the magic solution if you want a magic pill. It is to help others and it all connects the dots together.
Thank you, Samantha, this has been a lot of fun.
I look forward to tweeting you soon.
Samantha Kelly: Thank you so much, Ryan.
A bit about World of Speakers
World of Speakers is a bi-monthly podcast that helps people find their own voice, and teaches them how to use their voice to develop a speaking business.
We cover topics like: what works versus what doesn't, ideas on how to give memorable presentations, speaking tips, and ideas on how to build a speaking business.
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