Welcome to the second in a series of articles entitled: Awesome Women with Awesome Jobs.
I was looking at my friends list on Facebook one day and it suddenly struck me that I know so many absolutely awesome women with rather special jobs. Jobs that are not just about pulling home a paycheck. No, these women work with passion. They have a mission. And that – to me – is interesting. I hope you will find it interesting too.
C: What is your job?
A: I am the Community Manager of a Danish fashion brand that is very big internationally.
C: What do you do?
L: I am responsible for all the various activities we do in various online communities – Facebook, Youtube and Twitter and I have the global responsibility for Facebook so I am located in the headquarters. Other than tending to our Facebook page, which has more than a million fans, I also help those of our markets that have their own Facebook pages. I am also responsible for an international team of five moderators around the globe. They make sure that people will get an answer 24/7, so I keep them posted concerning news regarding the systems or challenging users or other issues. I work very closely with our Head of Communications, so every time we have a situation that might turn into critique or influence our investor relations, then I handle it. So I “nurse” them all – the end consumers, the investors and the brand. But in my job, I do all kinds of things and I talk to everybody because we’re asked all kinds of questions and we have to talk to a lot of people to get the answers – like how the product is manufactured to why a store was closed in the Australian outback.
C: You have asked to be anonymous – why is that?
A: The person I am in my job is very different from the person I am in my “own” life – and when talking to you, I would like to be able to be myself. I wouldn’t feel like I could talk freely if this might be shown to the people I communicate with in my job. The largest part of our target group is located in the American Midwest where some people have some less liberal ideas about things than we do here in Denmark where I am from, so I am liable to step on some toes. Hahaha, I actually insulted someone with Cindafuckingrella because I “Liked” your post “Food Porn”. Coincidentally, this was seen by one of the users of the site I work for and she reported it to Facebook and wrote to me and asked me how I could have anything to do with that kind of “filth”? It is just easier for me to be myself and speak freely if I keep my identity anonymous.
C: OK! You’ll be the secret community manager.
A: Yes, that is one of the things that are a bit difficult about my position – I just HAVE to be a goodie-goodie-two-shoes. I am a very polished version of myself and as you know, I’m not REALLY like that, haha. I think they would be shocked if they saw the real me, these very conventional women. Well, I’m pretty conventional too, just in a more hippie-kind-of-way.
C: What does an awesome day in your job look like?
A: First of all, I’d have very few deadlines – I often have lots and lots of deadline, so on an awesome day, I’d get lots of things finished. I am a very practical person and I am very good at getting things done, and I love to “ship off” things I’ve prepared for a long time and get other people involved. I really enjoy talking to a lot of different people – each day I talk to people from a minimum of 4 countries. I also write a lot, and I like that very much too.
C: What kind of tasks do you do?
A: On an awesome day I handle a few complex cases, typically an end consumer who asks: “Why is this product only available in this country and why is the price different from a different country” – and I will know the answer because I know everybody, including our export people and the way the big wheels are turning. So I get use my knowledge and talk to people. I laugh a lot with my colleagues. I also like to brainstorm – I love developing concepts. Right now, I am working on our Christmas advent calendar for our fans – I really enjoy that. I am also planning the Christmas presents for our most engaged fans and finding presents that are one of a kind – our fans are so dedicated so they totally love all the limited edition-stuff. I LOVE coming up with that stuff. I know it is going to be the hottest shit.
My favorite thing in the world to do is writing that letter saying: “Congratulations, you are one of 50 chosen to receive this…” That is SO awesome – I love making people happy!
C: What do you do on a really boring day?
A: Make a power point presentation for my boss. He gives me everything in the 11th hour and everything always has to be ready STAT!!! – or he’ll send an email with 20 questions and then I have to go look up all the numbers. I hate that so much!
C: What is your formal education?
A: I have an AP in communications and multimedia. I’ve worked in marketing for lots of years – without knowing it. I worked as a waiter and all of those “transactions” and learning how to be service-minded is an experience I actually draw on immensely in this job. I also studied to be a nurse for 18 months – BIG mistake! I travelled a lot when I was younger, so after traveling through Asia when I was 24, I finally thought: “I have to get some kind of degree!” I wanted to travel and hence thought I’d be a nurse. But the job turned out to be SO boring, it was insanely hard and I just hated it. Then I bought a computer to write my assignments on and quickly realized that I had found my calling. Then I stopped nursing school and applied for multimedia design!
C: How much do you earn?
A: About 40.000 DKK. But I have lots of perks – free phone, computer, Internet hook-up, pension and we eat out a lot – there are lots of perks. And when I am travelling, we always go out and eat well. They treat people generously. Oh, and naturally, I get a discount on our products!!
C: Do you have a mission?
A: Ehm.. I just like to have a good time… That is my mission in life. I am ambitious on a micro-level: I take pride in my work.
C: Can you tell us about one of your greatest successes?
A: Over the last two years, two major Facebook analyses have been made. Our site got a really nice ranking both times, and the first time I had done everything myself – alone. We didn’t have an agency, no assistants, just me, working my ass off. And we got some really nice results. Now, I have an agency, my team of moderators, colleagues, so naturally, I am not alone any more. If there is one thing in our company that just runs smoothly, it is Facebook. When I started, we had about a few thousand fans and I was really interested in social media so when I got a new boss I told him that I wanted to focus on that part. Three or four months later that was all I did. So I started that in our company. When our international departments visit Denmark, they call me “the Rockstar”, hahahaha, because our fans know me. They send me all kinds of things – Christmas cards and presents etc. For my birthday, a bunch of them had gotten together and taken a picture of them with signs that together read “Congratulations!!” – from the other end of the Earth!
C: HOLY FUCK!
A: Hahaha, so, yes, I’m a bit of a celebrity amongst our fans, hahaha, it’s pretty sweet – but also kind of strange. Hahaha, “My life as a star!”…
C: I know there are products involved that people love with a passion, but what did you do to engage people – it has to be more than just the product?
A: To me, it’s all about authenticity. If you want to be successful in social media, you have to be real and a have a good heart. Even though I might find that some of the people in our target group are far away from where I am, value-wise, then we are both women, more or less of the same age, and we are concerned about many of the same kinds of things. I have lots of stuff in common with a deeply religious woman in Ohio: She is also wondering why her kinds won’t sleep at night, and whether or not they get enough vegetables, so I think there is a community across of everything else. And I think I’ve shown myself to be authentic and committed. I get misty-eyed when I read what they write because our product is pretty emotion-laden, so some people tell some very emotional stories that touch me deeply – and then I tell them that. It’s all about being interested and authentic but also to make a difference. I always follow up on things if people are complaining and make sure to get back to them. I walk the extra mile!
C: Who are your role models?
A: Some brands do a really good job. I don’t really have any people as role models – well, except you! I look up to you because you are incredibly funny and sweet and lovely and such an amazing cook, haha, although you are an incredibly bad knitter but I’ll learn to live with that!
C: You have never seen anything I’ve knitted.
A: My point exactly!
C: If you should give a piece of advice to someone who wanted to do what you do, what would it be?
A: Choose to work with a product you love. You can’t fake an interest. Personally, I’m not too crazy about some of our products, but I am very fascinated with the emotional attachment people develop with our product. There has to be some kind of genuine interest, or you won’t be able to do it for long.
Do it with your heart.
This is where I blog about life as a woman, wife, mother, bad ass mother blogger, friend, lover, foodie and allround hellbender.
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