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Slide Notes

Don't peek at the sneak peek too much... just flip straight to the first fact!

Sara Lingafelter In Twelve Facts

Published at Nov 18, 2015
Twelve facts about my work, life, and travels, that may help explain why "serendipity" is my favorite word.

PRESENTATION OUTLINE

A STORY IN TWELVE FACTS

BY SARA LINGAFELTER
Don't peek at the sneak peek too much... just flip straight to the first fact!

I WAS BORN AT SEA LEVEL AND RAISED BY HIPPIES.

IN PORT TOWNSEND, BEING A WRITER IS A DAY JOB.
Being a writer (or artist) *is* a day job in Port Townsend, where I was born and raised. To this day, that fact has affected the way I look at work and art and craft.

I'VE CLIMBED AS HIGH AS 18,400 FEET.

THANKS TO TWITTER, I SPENT A MONTH IN NEPAL IN 2009.
In 2008 I became connected on Twitter with a woman named Elizabeth Castro, a PR executive in Chicago. Elizabeth came to Seattle on behalf of a client, with Jamie Clarke, an Everest mountaineer, for a press trip. I went, Jamie and I hit it off, and a few months later I found myself on a plane bound for Lukla, Nepal gazing out over the Himalayan mountains.

WHEN I WAS A KID, I WANTED TO BE A TEACHER

I STILL DO, AND I AM.
...but teaching -- in a classroom or elsewhere -- is still my first love. I approach all of my work as a teacher, coach and mentor. Currently, I'm an instructor with the University of Washington Advanced Online Marketing Certificate Program (and I LOVE it).
Photo by profcarlos

I'M A DOG PERSON

MY PUPPY IS A RESCUE FROM TAIWAN.
Gibson is a Salty Dog Rescue puppy, who came to us via airplane from Taiwan. She's got a few special needs because of her rough start, and we absolutely adore her special needs and all.

I CO-FOUNDED MY FIRST COMPANY DURING HIGH SCHOOL.

I'VE BEEN AT THIS ONLINE MARKETING STUFF AWHILE.
I started (no joke) as a spammer for an Amiga software company as part of a high school internship. As a senior in high school I co-founded a company with two teachers that provided a news clipping service for educators via email. After that, I went into web development, software development, legal practice and then social media marketing: all the while operating as a word of mouth marketer and evolving with the field of online marketing.

I OWE A LOT TO #OIBIZ

I GOT MY START IN MODERN SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2008 AS A BLOGGER.
Thanks to building a few key relationships in the sports and outdoor industry, my hobby blog became a gateway to operating as an influencer. I've spoken at Outdoor Retailer about online marketing topics six times in the last four years, and continue to foster relationships in the outdoor industry even though I'm working with a broad array of organizations, now.

PEOPLE GUESS I'M AN EXTROVERT

BUT I'VE EVOLVED TO BE A VERY SOCIAL INTROVERT.
It's true! People who know me are surprised to learn that I actually test as an introvert, because I'm so social, outgoing and people-oriented. Our society expects extroversion, so many of us learn to exhibit extroverted behavior in order to get by (and thrive) in business and educational settings. I do my best work through (1) listening; (2) bringing people together to solve problems collaboratively; and (3) writing. And, I recharge through engaging in more quiet pursuits.

MY LOCAL SOCIAL PROJECT AT REI MADE ADWEEK

BUT THE COOL PART WAS TRAINING 300+ "GREEN VESTS" TO DO SOCIAL.
... but the most rewarding part was the impact it had on the staff and leaders I worked with. Previously, REI had a national social presence and some rogue early adopter local social presences. I was the architect of the program to launch local presences for each of REI's retail markets, including the infrastructure, policy, training, coaching and support work to make the program a success. I absolutely loved working with the local teams remotely: seeing them thrive and succeed is, to this day, a career highlight for me.

I ONCE SHARED A STAGE WITH BRIAN SOLIS

THANKS TO STRIKING UP A CONVERSATION IN A SOUTHWEST AIRLINES LINE.
... eavesdropping on a conversation about social media between a man and woman standing behind me. I turned around and introduced myself, and Mike Whitmore and I spent the entire flight chatting social, business, travel, life, and family. A few months later he invited me to be a part of Social Media 301, a conference geared toward advanced online marketers, with a line-up of industry leading speakers. Only this time, instead of speaking about the nuts and bolts of social, he wanted me to -- quite simply -- tell my story. It was the most challenging speaking engagement I've done to date, and the most rewarding.

I cringe when people call me a "social media expert." My preferred title is "strategist." Period.

I USE MY LEGAL TRAINING EVERY DAY

THE MOST USEFUL TRAINING I HAD WAS IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION
I practiced law for a little over four years, in areas including labor and employment law, e-commerce and privacy law, and more "small town stuff" like misdemeanor criminal defense and domestic relations (aka divorce and child custody). Out of all of my legal training and education, I use my mediation and conflict resolution training every single day to help (1) identify issues and points of conflict; and (2) bring people together to work together to solve problems they're facing as a team.

MY DRIVING FORCE IS TO DO GOOD

TURNS OUT, THAT MAKES ME A REALLY EFFECTIVE MARKETER
I went to law school because I wanted to "help people." In retrospect, now I know I can help people, and do good in the world, no matter what my job title is. I satisfy those desires by drawing genuine satisfaction from helping solve other peoples' and organizations' problems (large and small), and through volunteering (like at this trail clean-up event hosted by the American Alpine Club).

My drive to help people translates into a die-hard, coded-in-my-DNA customer-first orientation.

WHERE WILL I BE IN FIVE YEARS?

DOING MEANINGFUL WORK ON A QUIRKY TEAM WITH COMPATIBLE VALUES
...but now I know I just don't have to answer it in the way people expect. I don't pretend to know what the job titles will be for word of mouth marketers in five years. I do expect that in five years I'll be doing meaningful, strategic work on a quirky team with other people who value the customer first; mutual respect; creativity; and personal and professional development. I also expect I'll still be a writer and teacher, since those are the two things I can't help but be.
Photo by garryknight

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR MORE OF THE STORY?

If you'd like to hear more of my story, here's a variety of ways to connect with me. Thank you!