Talking Twitter with Pam Ross
We’re honored to welcome Pam Ross, AKA @PamelamaeRoss to SocialNorth. Pam is the co-founder of Impact99, now in its third year. I met Pam online and a bunch of social media conferences and, needless to say, she made an impact on me. This is her story…
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How Twitter helped me quit my job and change my life
When you’re working for the wrong company or doing the wrong job for you, you start to question your own competence. You start to wonder if your best career years are behind you and if it is all downhill from here. You think that the whole business world is like this and you just don’t fit.
That’s how I felt a couple of years ago.
I was in a job I didn’t love, working for a company whose values (not the ones posted on the wall but the ones the leaders lived) I didn’t believe in. I was questioning Human Resources as a profession, feeling like HR was all about bureaucracy, policy and roadblocks. My version of HR was about culture, open communication, collaboration with other departments, connecting the lines between business strategy, marketing and operations to unleash talent to provide awesome customer experience.
The HR people I knew just didn’t get where I was coming from.
Along came social media…
I started to explore the world outside work, blogging as a creative outlet and using Twitter to learn and to network. When people started reading my blog, commenting and sharing it with others, I started to regain my confidence. When I participated in Twitter chats where hundreds of other people were sharing thoughts and ideas, I realized there was a whole world of innovation happening in business, leaders who had shaken things up, organizations that were doing things differently. I realized I was not alone.
Twitter renewed my entrepreneurial spirit
Through Twitter, I developed a new network of courageous, risk-taking, supportive business owners who openly shared their stories online. Many of them were people just like me, who had felt the same way I did, and had found a new “lease on life” by starting their own business. I started to reach out to a few of them through Twitter, and they listened to my story, recognized my past achievements, and encouraged me to take the plunge and strike out on my own.
In September of 2011, I did just that, starting Pam Ross Consulting, where I could be creative, use the skills I had gained over the past 15 years, and help progressive organizations develop leaders and culture in innovative ways.
Twitter introduced me to business opportunities
I love meeting new people, and I use Twitter to do that. I have literally met hundreds of people through Twitter, including SocialNorth’s Julia Rosien. Through Twitter I met Alyssa Burkus, who is a collaborator and partner on various projects. Through Twitter I met Darlene Huff, who introduced me to Chris Taylor and Actionable Books, which is now a part of my business. It was also through Twitter that I met Christine McLeod, who is the co-founder of Impact99, and now my business partner in that event.
Little did I know that my Twitter introduction to Christine would become the most massive catalyst in my business yet.
Impact99 – Where the cool HR people hang out
I found out that there are actually a lot of cool HR people out there. They tweet and attend events like HREvolution and Impact99. The ideas of social enterprise and workplace reinvention that are the foundation of our Impact99 events have changed my business focus. Since joining the Impact99 tribe, I’ve been able to inspire HR leaders, to connect them with actionable, innovative ideas and to create a community that inspires me in so many ways.
My conversations with Impact99 attendees and speakers has given me renewed motivation and deeper knowledge about the possibilities that exist to change how we manage work. Even though we only host our conference once a year, social media connects us year-round and the community has become one where you can ask, share, get answers and collaborate to be more successful. It’s quite simply awesome.
As I look at where I am now, more than 18 months into my business, I am amazed. I have awesome clients, I just experienced my busiest month yet in April 2013, I have had the opportunity to inspire thousands of people through speaking engagements, including the 140 Conference in Montreal, which was another opportunity that arose through Twitter. I am producing our third Toronto Impact99 HR Summit, bringing 99 more business leaders together to ignite change in the workplace.
I know I couldn’t have done any of it without social media. I also know I’m not alone. I believe that if organizations don’t find ways to engage their talent more successfully, offering purpose, autonomy and impact, they will lose top talent to entrepreneurialism. Twitter is only 140 characters away and there are stories like mine everywhere.
Pam’s Twitter tips
- Use hashtags and try a Twitter chat! There are chats happening every hour on Twitter. They are a great way to meet people with a purpose. Some of my favourites are #TChat, #BizForum, #BizBkChat and #SWChat
- Be yourself on Twitter. Don’t be surprised if you see a few “Woot woot!” cheers in my stream, smiley faces and conversation sprinkled in with the articles and business blog posts I share. I am the same way online as I am offline – an extrovert who is professional but fun.
- Converse with people. Twitter is SOCIAL media – it’s about discussion and real people sharing their thoughts and opinions. If you want to get the most out of it, don’t just tweet promotional posts or articles, reply to people and converse with them.
- Get to know your local Tweeters. Once you’ve had a few Twitter discussions with people you think are interesting, ask them to meet for a coffee. You’ll be surprised how open many people are to taking the online discussion into an offline one.
- Turn it off now and then. When I first started on Twitter, I was always on it. It was difficult for me to ignore a tweet for a couple of hours while I was with friends or family. Now, I’m able to turn it off without that terrible “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out). My followers are still there, my Twitter friends remember me, and my “real life” friends know how important they are.
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About Pam Ross
Pam Ross is a trainer, speaker and culture consultant with a business mission to ignite awesome customer experience from the inside out. She spent more than 15 years leading people and programs in customer focused businesses, and now works with her clients to develop engaged leaders and innovative culture. She has a natural ability to connect strategy to people development in new and different ways. Pam is a sought after speaker about social media and the workplace and is the Producer of the Impact99 HR Summit, in its third year. She also volunteers on the Board of her HRPA Chapter in Halton, Ontario. Catch up with Pam on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for Impact99.