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Anita Kirkbride: Social Media Marketing for Smart, Successful Small Businesses Through Training, Mentorship and Management Services

Twirp Communications UNDERcomplicates social media marketing for smart, successful small businesses through training, mentorship and management services.

Tell us about yourself?

I’ve always had a knack for communications. I honed this skill in university, receiving a Bachelor of Public Relations and then spent many years working in the charitabe sector. After burning out from charity work, I realized it was the communications that I really enjoyed doing, so I opened my own consulting firm to help charities and small businesses leverage the power of this new thing called “social media”. That was 11 years ago and I’m still going strong.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Learn how to focus your work on what is going to give you the best return in the long run and delegate the rest. I still struggle with this, but it’s getting easier.

What problem does your business solve?

I educate small business owners about social media platforms and how to use them to tell their stories, increase awareness and improve business outcomes. I do this in a no B.S. manner that is completely honest and authentic and doesn’t promote quick hacks or tricks that sound better than they actually are.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

11 years ago I saw the potential of social media for marketing and there was a huge gap in our local market for service providers in that area. I knew I loved the idea of working on Facebook and Twitter for charities and small businesses, because I couldn’t get enough of it in my previous positions. It seemed like a good time to start a business focusing on that and I had just learned about “freelancing” as a business. Turns out I was right.

What is your magic sauce?

I have a degree in PR so I understand the strategies behind the daily tactics of social media marketing. But I also talk about it in ways that really resonate with small business owners. I make it seem doable and inspire them to show up authentically so they are confident they can do this themselves. I have a no B.S. approach and while I’m pretty diplomatic about it, I’m brutally honest. People appreciate that.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

My vision for the next 5 years is to move into online courses and consulting on larger projects. I ran the No B.S. Social Media Blueprint as a free resource and training for most of the pandemic to help small businesses get going in tough times. Now I want to automate that to help more small business owners.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge has been pivoting away from providing daily social media management services to consulting. Once you’re known for providing excellent service it’s really hard to give that up and focus on a different aspect. I don’t desire to run an “agency” with a bunch of people doing social media under me. So giving up those clients to move into more consulting and training work has been a long, slow process. Firing clients along the way was scary because you think “What if I can’t replace this income?” But I’ve always been able to replace that work with work that is a better fit. The mindset shift of losing a client to giving something up to make room for something better was huge for me.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

I want solopreneurs and small business owners who are managing their own social media (or not yet doing social media consistently) to connect to get inspired and learn how to UNDERcomplicate their social media marketing. Join my Facebook Group for weekly learning and networking at www.facebook.com/groups/SocialMediaForTwirps or book a VIP Social Media Planning Experience at Twirp.ca.

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