Catherine McGrath Media - Media Trainer & Event Host/Strategist

Social media is a bit like gardening. You only learn by doing. There is no point just reading the book.

Oct 21 2014
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I would like to start this post by saying a very heartfelt thanks to my Facebook friends, Twitter followers, oh and LinkedIn people too, because without you I would be traipsing around Sydney and Canberra with a manila folder and probably not much to show for it.

After all I only launched my business in the last 4 weeks and it takes time to build a client base and to promote your services in the marketplace.

But my experience proves that media, marketing and promotion (of politics, policy and products) is being turned on its head right now. The speed of the change is still surprising, even to me and I have worked in the media for nearly 30 years.

Everyone reading this post has found it because it has been pushed out through social media.

While to social media naturals that is a stupid and obvious statement to many of the ‘rest of us’ who perhaps use but don’t live by Facebook , Twitter and Instagram it may come as a surprise to know that without social media I wouldn’t have much of a business because I wouldn’t have had a chance yet to get the message out.

Until recently I worked as a professional journalist in Australia and South East Asia, mostly for the one organisation the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). I knew a bit (yes only a bit) about social media. I wasn’t as savvy as many of my colleagues (some are absolute experts) but I liked it and I did use it every now and then.

But now I am waking up to a potential I hadn’t fully understood.

For me, new discoveries about the internet and social media are transforming my thinking. I believe modern businesses and organisations can learn from this as well if like me they are trying to operate in the ‘federal parliamentary/political’ space in Australia and internationally.

What I am learning you can too and assist your group or organisation to gain further traction and media coverage. To use social media is to ‘learn as you go’ and as you learn you begin to understand how it works.

It is a bit like gardening. You only learn by doing. There is no point just reading the book.

Here are some things to consider.

Firstly I have launched my business through social media alone. I began only a few weeks ago using my own (personal) Facebook account along with Twitter and LinkedIn. All those account were already in existence.

When I left my job at the ABC after 26 years, I told my social media networks about that and my plans for a boutique media agency to help people understand how business is done in Canberra and beyond.

When I set up my website a short time later, I sent the link to my social media friends and contacts. They have been commenting back to me and promoting me to their friends and their networks and my business profile has grown. That is not because I am somehow special or clever but because that is how social media operates.

For my business this has meant new clients, growing recognition and quite a number of serious inquiries.

Last weekend it was time to start the Catherine McGrath Media Facebook page. I hadn’t done it earlier because I wasn’t fully sure how to do it and keep it as a page separate from my personal page.

Anyway now it is done, thanks to some young adults and teenagers I know.

So I have been ‘learning by doing’ and spreading the word about my business through social media.

I have discovered that there are a lot of things going on already on the Internet that I had no idea about.

I found out for example in the last week that while I am learning about operating a small business the Australian Tax office is running “webinars” about this very subject and the tax obligations I now face. If I register for the webinar a Tax Office expert will explain the rules to me and others and I can ask questions directly. If I miss the webinar or am busy then, I can watch a recording online later.

Who knew this was going on? Not many people I suspect but some in the ‘online world’ knew because that is where that information is being passed on.

My Facebook friends now know, because I told them.

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