I have to start by saying this was an interview I was looking forward to. Being someone who knows the value of social media presence, I often look to other industry figures for guidance and to see how they produce content and share it.
In this digital age we live in, it is now so important to project a good image across what channels are open to us. Even a google search of our name can produce results thought long hidden.
This all ties into the concept of personal branding, a key trait in being recognised as a thought leader, and being successful in your chosen career.
Cristie Norman has absolutely nailed the personal branding game. She has amassed a community of 12k followers on Instagram, started a YouTube series, and her online wine course, now free during the COVID lockdown, has engaged over 1000 learners.
What was the secret to her success? Authenticity and Honesty.
In response to COVID, Cristie saw a gap in aid for sommeliers noting that they are usually the first to be let go and the last to be hired back. Cristie founded it alongside the A team of the wine industry, including co-founder Chris Blanchard, Geoff Labitze, and Erik Segelbaum.
The Unites Sommeliers foundation’s mission is to provide financial assistance to sommeliers who have experienced a pause or a termination o their employment during the COVID pandemic.
And I committed, you know, the last, I don’t know, three years of my life creating an online wine course for beginners, which is like a driver’s ed course for wine that takes somebody who’s a complete beginner and walks them through everything” (4:49)
“As somebody who is serving the wealthiest, most affluent people in the world, it was very clear to me that there was a lack of wine education kind of around, uh, the general population.” (4:13)
“But essentially Instagram is not trying to trick you. You know, if you make good content, your content will appear higher in people’s feeds. Because even when you post something you know, maybe only 5% of your audience is going to actually see it unless there’s a certain amount of engagement” (18:20)
“And that’s really the magic. Because if you are doing things for others and supporting and uplifting people in your industry, you just not omly feel better, but you’ll also be more successful on social media” (24:46)
“And what I realized was I was fine. I was able to differentiate between anger and hunger, which I think that most people go through their life and they don’t know. When I, when I would feel depressed, um, I could actually, I would say, Hey, I should probably eat more fats because that kind of keeps me up.” (33:48)
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