Corner Office Q&A: Mari Smith, Social Media Titan
8:30 am, December 7th | by Amy Tennery
While we spend a lot of time writing about powerful women, we also like to hear from those women, in their own words. In today’s Q&A, we talked with Mari Smith, a marketing expert, author, public speaker and social media guru. Most recently Smith was named one of Forbes’ top 10 social media influencers. Translation? She’s way better at Twitter (and getting a message out) than any of us could ever be.
Put simply, what exactly do you do and how’d you end up there?
I’m a social media expert speaker and author. I joke about being an overnight success ten years in the making! My career now is a wonderful culmination and blend of many different skills, talents, passions and experiences over the years. I love people and I love technology – these two loves have been a recurring theme throughout my entire working life. I’m blessed to have been in a position when luck met with opportunity in 2007 and I joined the beta test team of a Facebook third party app. I fell in love with Facebook and instantly became a raving evangelist for the platform.
Before noon, you’ve already…
Checked all my social profiles, checked my Google alerts, responded to urgent and important mentions and emails, read all the technology news headlines, shared several pieces of content across my social channels, had a meeting with my assistants, and lead a webinar for my social media inner circle members.
What would you tell a young woman who wants your job someday?
To quote Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” Adopt a healthy, positive outlook. Believe in yourself completely – or at least borrow someone else’s belief in you to get started! Have clarity and focus on what you’re striving to build. Show up every day as your authentic self. Add value at every opportunity. Help people whenever you can, with no expectation of a return favor. Be nice to everyone, regardless of their level of influence. Be a “go giver.” Take charge of your platform and your growth: proactively build your networks on a regular basis. Be rigorous about your reputation – stand up for your beliefs while respecting other people’s opinions.
What do you wear to work?
Most days I’m in jeans and a t-shirt as I work from home. I always wear a shade of blue though, 90 percent of my wardrobe is blue and even when I’m not in public, I wear blue! When I’m going to be on camera and/or out at events, I like to wear my own unique style of fashion – classy, tailored looked with a bit of added fun, bling and pizzazz! :)
Women shouldn’t underestimate the value of _________
Self care. You absolutely must take time for you: book your spa visits regularly, commit to getting a massage once a month minimum. Take time away from technology altogether and spend time in nature. And, protect your sleep fiercely! Know how many hours’ sleep on which your body functions best, and stick to your schedule best you can every day.
What was the first thing you splurged on after making it big?
Having all the mercury removed from my teeth. I had 14-old amalgam fillings from when I was a teenager. I’ve always been blessed with a great smile; however, often in photographs and when I was speaking on stage, you could see the dark shadowing of my fillings. I had also read and heard a lot about the detrimental health implications of metal fillings. So, in 2009, I invested $20,000 in a wonderful holistic dentist and safely had all 14 filings replaced with gold and porcelain. I feel truly blessed to have been able to do this for myself, for both cosmetic and health benefits.
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be doing?
A TV talk show host.
What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
About 12 years ago, I met a businessman who was a guest speaker at a speaking club of which I was a member at the time. We connected and met for lunch the following week; his intent was simply to contribute to me professionally. He asked me this question, “If I were to buy everything you offer, how much would it cost me and what would I get for my money?” That question was one of the most powerful I’ve ever been asked in the business world and I have gone on to use it with all my students and clients. It instantly helps to see your business and revenue model.
Describe your ideal retirement plans.
Retirement? ;) If I were to stop working one day, I would love the freedom to travel the world giving my time and expertise where it was needed most, volunteering to help women and children in need around the world.