Kate is digital marketer and part-time lecturer that has been designated one of Canada’s Most Influential Women in Social Media. She is co-founder LintBucket Media, a boutique marketing agency that specializes in online marketing strategy, social media marketing, and digital content creation. Kate’s blog is at MyNameIsKate.ca and she also writes about Funky, Chic and Cool Laptop bags. You can get in touch with Kate at KateTrgovac.com or follow her on Twitter at @mynameiskate
1. What is the best part of your job?
Meeting interesting people who are passionate about what they do – I then get to share what I’m passionate about (interactive media) which can help them do their jobs even better! I love the moment when a client moves from being skeptical of digital media to seeing the possibilities for their business.
2. What does “work-life balance” mean to you and in your eyes do you have one?
Well, work is a part of life – especially when you own your own business. I look at the balance as trying to attain the highest level of happiness for the people who are the most important to me: my family, my clients and myself. Some days I get up at 5AM for a conference call on the east coast – and other days we spend a weekday afternoon at the dog park. I think I have balance because I feel like I can choose and manage my priorities. Sometimes when we feel we don’t have a balance I think it’s because we feel there is no choice and our priorities are out of control.
3. What’s your view on personal branding and what role does it play in your business?
Personal branding – I’m not a big fan of this phrase because I worry that it attaches “marketing speak” to something incredibly fundamental. “Personal branding” is about character, integrity and expertise – it’s your reputation. Will I do what I say? Will you get my best effort? Will I treat your business as my own? Will I deliver on my commitments? My integrity, my character and my expertise are the foundation of my business – I could not do business without my reputation.
4. If you could offer one tip on pricing to consultants on their way up, what would it be?
Understand the true value of what you are providing. What is the ultimate outcome of what you are providing to your client: increased revenue? Increased reputation? More efficient workflow? Your pricing should align with your value. Sometimes that is on an hourly basis – but often it isn’t.
5. What’s the biggest mistake you see other consultants/marketers/bloggers making and how can they fix it?
Most of the consultants I know are engaged in social media, and the social media fishbowl encourages a lot of over-sharing, particularly when it comes to projects we are working on for clients. I see Tweets and status updates from new and experienced consultants alike that play very fast and loose with their clients’ business information: “just got out of a strategy session with XYZ” or “showed the most recent creative for ABC’s upcoming product launch”. While these updates are intended to increase one’s personal status, they do so at the expense of keeping a client’s business private. I wouldn’t want my consultant or agency tweeting about work they are doing for me (unless your Twitter account is part of the launch strategy). It sounds a bit old-fashioned, I suppose, but I’d like to see more respect for clients’ business.
6. You’re a busy lady with several blogs, a business, speaking …how do you manage it all and could you share a couple of tips on productivity?
Well, based on how long it took me to get this interview to you – I don’t know that I can offer any real tips ? but two things come to mind. First, turn off the internet. It will still be there in three hours. Turn off the email, the twitter, the Farmville. Then put your head down and start getting things on your “to do” list done. Second, try to keep your digital clutter under control. Think before you add a feed to your RSS reader or before you subscribe to another email newsletter. Breathe through the feeling that you need to “keep up”. The more you try to consume, the worse the you feel and you start to flail. You don’t have to know EVERYTHING, just where to find everything
7. What technologies or software do you use that you can’t live without?
My iPhone is essential. Most days, I have it set up to check only one email address that only certain clients have so I can respond where ever I am and not have to wade through a lot of clutter (this helps with work/life balance too – I don’t check all my email when I’m away from the office – just this special email address). We do online crisis monitoring for a few clients and want to make sure those messages get through. I’m also starting to use Evernote more and more for syncing info on my iPhone and my laptop and the cloud. Very helpful.
8. Do you usually work in a fixed location or do you work on the road a lot (cafes, other cities, etc?) and why do you do so?
Most days, it’s a fixed location, the LintBucket office – I like my 24” Mac screen and that isn’t very portable. But when I’m out of town and not at a client site, I do prefer a café or the hotel bar to working in alone in my hotel room (the Library Bar at the Royal York hotel in Toronto is one of my favourite places) – the change of scenery is great for creativity and shifting perspective. Even in Vancouver, just to go for an afternoon to Caffè Artigiano for some people-watching helps get my mind to wander and start to make some new connections.