New Adventure…

imageFiguring out how to start this post was really difficult, so I’ll just lay it all out there… here we go!

It’s with mixed emotions that I share with you that I’ve left TechSmith. I’ve loved my time at TechSmith and I am very proud of the evangelist program I helped build from the ground up. I am so lucky to work with some of the smartest, most talented and nicest people (and I consider many of them friends). I learned so much during my time there.

TechSmith is a different company now than when I started there 15 years ago as the Camtasia Product Manager. My journey with TechSmith has been unbelievable! I am so grateful for my time there. They let me experiment, take chances and be weird.

If you have any questions or requests about Snagit or Camtasia, feel free to email evangelists@techsmith.com. Someone will be happy to help you. I wish TechSmith all the best – they’ve got lots of exciting changes coming soon.

So what’s next? I’m moving to New York City on a new adventure with Microsoft. I’m delighted to join as a Field Community Program Manager. I have always admired Microsoft’s world class¬†MVP and RD programs and their commitment to community. I am honored to join such a world class and talented team!

I owe a huge thank you to David Giard, Jennifer Marsman and Gary Short for the glowing recommendations at Microsoft. I can’t thank you enough!

And, if you’re ever in the New York City area, please let me know! I’d love to meet-up!

 

Resources for Evangelists…

I’ll admit it, I have a growing Pinterest addiction. I’m often asked questions about travel tips, Community Management, Evangelism and more. Pinterest makes it easy to compile my recommendations, with comments, all in one place.

Take a peek at some of my Resources for Evangelists below.

I’ll be going over some of the individual items on the board in more depth in future blog posts. What am I missing?

Follow Betsy’s board Resources for Tech Evangelists on Pinterest.

What’s a Photowalk got to do with Tech Evangelism?

boston red soxYou know the old saying, “… a picture is worth a thousand words”, right? Well, how much is a really great picture worth?

When I travel to conferences and events, I like to organize a photowalk before the conference starts. What’s a photowalk? A photowalk is simply a group of people wandering around a location taking pictures. There’s lots of talking, sharing, stops for drinks or food, and lots of walking.

I’ve had people wondering why I would do this and what’s it got to do with Tech Evangelism. And, the answer is, “A lot… ”

You see, when you meet people, face to face, and have a shared experience, like a photowalk, it creates a connection. It’s the start of a relationship. And, remember… relationships take time.

Also, a photowalk is a great way to create content for your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and whatever other sites you are using. Using other people’s images and stock images are not always the best option. Why not create your own?

What can you expect to get out of a photowalk? Lots of learning from experienced techies, networking, and content. And, the nice thing about a photowalk is that you can meet people before your event even starts. It’s a great way to meet people

These types of shared experiences build long lasting bonds. I have friends all over the world that I’ve met in the tech industry from organizing photowalks.

A pre-conference photowalk is also a great way to build a relationship with the conference organizer. If you organize a photowalk before a conference, be sure to let the organizer know. They appreciate you planning an event and might even help promote it!

You can plan a photowalk in a few easy steps. I usually start planning 4-6 weeks before an event.

  1. Pick a date, time and route. If you’re not from the area, ask a local or do some research online.
  2. Pick a hashtag for your event.
  3. Post your event details online – I prefer Facebook and EventBrite. They’re both free. Meet-up is another great site.
  4. Let the organizer know and see if they help promote your event. Here is an example of a photowalk from Business of Software conference that the lovely organizers helped promote.
  5. Start promoting your photowalk using the event hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and other sites the conference attendees might frequent. Ask other attendees to help spread the word about your event.
  6. Charge your batteries. A paper map is a good back-up if you drain your battery. Bring business cards.
  7. Have fun!

 

Tech Evangelist 101 – Relationships Take Time

david giard hugRelationships. They are the backbone and one of the most important parts of tech evangelism.

Building a business that builds loyalty and evangelists does not happen overnight. This. Takes. Time. As a tech evangelist, I’m all about long term relationships.

It’s not just in person… but also through social media, email and good old fashioned mail (I love to send postcards).¬†Any way you can find to keep in touch and connected will be beneficial.

I want the customer interaction to be so remarkable that they will comment about it to their friends and family.

When you work with people, remember one size does not fit all. What works with one person might not work with another. You are working with unique indviduals.

And, while we’re at it… turn off those automated replies, auto-tweets and DMs. Don’t send me a form email. As soon as you do that, that tells me that we are not friends. I’ve never found an automated direct message which added any value. And, I’ve never met anyone who has had something positive come from an automated DM.

Be personal, be genuine, be curious, be you.

Oh, and when your boss or an executive asks you, “What is the ROI of a hug?”, you can tell them that your relationships are helping to gain insights about your products and services, building happy customers, building awareness, putting a face to the brand and giving it a human voice. Back these up with stories about feedback and any data you have (measure noise, buzz, sentiment, engagement, etc). Or, you can ask them, “What is the ROI of email or your cellphone?”. We know they’re valuable, but no one ever questions that.

Welcome to Heavens to Betsy!

betsy_weber_legoHeavens to Betsy! What in the world does even that mean? I’ve scoured the interent and all I can come up with is that it’s a mild American exclamation of shock or surprise. Other than that, not much more is known about the expression. It’s a phrase I’ve grown up with and I think it’s help shape my life – there is never a dull moment and lots of surprises.

As a tech evangelist, I like to delight people. And, I also like to give back and share what I’ve learned.

Cue the digital version of my life, “Heavens to Betsy”. I get to do cool stuff, go to fabulous places, and work with interesting people around the world.

I’ve decided it’s time to give back and share it with you.