Infographics and Influencers

I’ve always thought infographics were cool, but now that I’m on Pinterest, I can actually collect them.  A week or so ago I decided to tweet an infographic a day… and the more I looked for good images to share, the more cool infographics I found. This is kind of the problem with Pinterest. It’s also what makes it fascinating for visual learners like me. For some reason, there seem to be more infograhics out there about social media and marketing than almost anything else. And some infographic creators allow you to share them on your own blog! The one below caught my eye because earlier this month I had dinner with Nerdy Chick and Influencer, Ann-Marie Adams. She shared a lot of what she knows about Social Influencers with me then, and since you all couldn’t join Ann-Marie and I here at the edge of the universe, this will show you some of what I learned that night.

Social Influencers‘l
Source: Social Influencers

Good to know? I think so.  At the same time, I don’t feel that I need to stress about this kind of thing. I have it when I need it though!  Right now, I need to concentrate on getting that next book out!  If you’d like to see my collection of Social Media infographics, feel free to check them out HERE.

Speaking of books, I have some fun book news to share next week!

Summer Motivation

Dune Daisies at Folly Beach. I took the picture when I wasn’t working.

Ever heard of the summer slump?  You know, it’s that time when productivity lulls because of vacations, too many distractions, or it’s just too darn hot to work?  I am always the least productive during the summer months.  My children are out of school, we are on the go, and I find it hard to squeeze in hours for writing, even though I desperately need to.  If I can manage to get everyone out of the house for two hours or more, I am motivated to work. And once I start writing, I am motivated to keep going because I want my characters’ stories to come alive.  I thought it’d be interesting to find out what motivates some of the other people I’ve interviewed here on Nerdy Chicks Rule. I asked a few of them to share what motivates them to work, when they don’t feel like working.  Maybe you will find motivation or inspiration in their answers!

Insanity? (or would it be more politically correct to say mental illness?) lol…i’m buried under a pile of work right now that i would be more then happy to ignore, but that little voice in my head keeps nagging me to get it done, people are counting on me, I have yet to figure out a way to plug my ears from the inside.  🙂 —Donna Farrell, web designer

If I don’t feel much like working, one trick is to spend a little time daydreaming about the final product — what the book would look like, who the audience might be, who the illustrator might possibly be, etc. Of course, I hold these daydreams loosely but it does help me to be hopeful about my work.  —Kristy Dempsey, author and librarian

My Visa bill. — Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author

Variety is the spice of life! The same is true of my productivity. Should I tire in one area or lack the motivation in one direction I simply shift gears to another area or direction. Thus, if I’m not able to start or progress in a writing project I shift to another work, home improvement, reading or leisure activity. You might say I keep productivity on the table at all times by remaining flexible enough to allow it to transpire in multiple ways. I also view “unproductive” time just as valuable to the end game as productive time. I don’t fight it, I simply make the best of it. Having a healthy “to do” list on hand makes it easy to shift gears or reverse course when necessary. —Ann-Marie Adams, Aquabet PR

I think about how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to write and illustrate for a living and that usually does the trick! —Dan Yaccarino, illustrator

Inspiring others motivates me to work even when I do not want to! —Shanna Stanton, artist

Sometimes I use the kitchen timer to motivate me. I set it for fifteen minutes and make myself give a manuscript my all during that time. Almost always by the end of fifteen minutes, I am ready to go for hours. But when I don’t feel like working and just can’t get into it, knowing I only have to do it for a little bit of time somehow motivates me. — Kami Kinard

I hope you’re finding ways to stay motivated this summer. If you have any great tips, please share them in a comment! If you want to read more about the contributors above, click on their names to see their Nerdy Chick interviews or visit their websites.

Ann-Marie Adams of AquabetPR

Once upon a time we were trying to organize a literary conference in Beaufort SC. I met Ann-Marie Adams when she started heading up the planning for the event. I was immediately struck by her vivacious personality and quick thinking. I also liked the crazy-looking-in-a-cute-way dog she brought with her to the meeting. I discovered that Ann-Marie knows tons about publicity. After all, she does run her own PR firm, AquabetsPR. Prior to breaking out on her own, she held a number of public relations related positions including Executive Director of the Hilton Head Hospitality Association, event planner for the US Department of Agriculture, Public Relations Director for Technical College of the Lowcountry, and she worked in PR for Cornell University and Ithaca College as well.  She was nice enough to share some PR tips with me and I asked her to share a few with you today too. Additionally, she is a great artist who has designed her own alphabet letters with a nautical theme. 

Thanks for joining us today Ann-Marie! I know a lot of nerdy chicks out there would love to know more about PR. Can you share one piece of advice with the readers about presenting a great public image? Perfect your pitch.  If you are unable to deliver a 30 second elevator pitch at the right moment your story will never find the opportunity to thrive under any other circumstances where the luxury of time prevails. Compelling stories start with a pitch.

Great advice. And many writers have heard something like this before. What’s the one thing people frequently do to promote themselves or their work that doesn’t seem to work? One size does not fit all.  That’s true in leaping to a solution without thoroughly analyzing, designing and developing your story as well as in the convenience of automating processes across the board.  If you are unwilling to do the work it takes to get to the appropriate delivery and you are not willing to understand the value each tool offers to deliver your message then you don’t really understand your audience nor can you tell your story well.

I see you on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked-In. How important is social media to people wanting to promote something? It all boils down to “content.” Presence is everything. As well, understanding the nature and application of the available tools is key.  Thus, the right content strategically placed can make all the difference in your social media presence, but poor content can make very little impact.

For you, what is the best thing about your career? I have had the good fortune at every juncture along my career path to have or to create the opportunity to work with next geners ~ the two way street of learning and sharing ideas is always accentuated by generational differences.

You’ve been Executive Director of Hilton Head Hospitality Association, served on Redevelopment Commissions, and continue to organize big events. How do you use your brain power to ensure events run smoothly? Surround yourself with the right people. That is, the individuals that are as passionate about the event as you are and in addition to those passionate peeps those that have the skills to carry it off.  That’s smart business.

The letter Z from Aquabet

In addition to your PR work, you’re also a talented artist. You’ve created Aquabet, which you describe as an original art series derived from coastal living that embodies the 26 letters of the American Alphabet. How do you use your brain power to create your art? I tend to think that one never stops creating and thus each year I’m thinking forward to “what’s next” for the twenty six piece art series called Aquabet: is it commercial, is it charitable, is it educational?  The possibilities are unlimited even when financial capital does not exist.

What is one of your favorite achievements that you can credit to being a nerdy chick? Versatility. Not a medal, award or recognition I know, but a quality of being capable in multiple venues to contribute positively under the best or worst of circumstances.

What’s cool about being nerdy? Wearing it daily with pride.

Tell us about a nerdy chick you admire and why you admire her. That’s easy, Jane Goodall.  There’s the obvious reason because she prevailed in defining research science as touchable and doable, but then there’s her humor.  While working at Cornell University I had the opportunity to attend a public lecture where she was to deliver remarks.  The auditorium was filled, there were individuals standing along the back wall on the lower and upper floors who were also keen on hearing Ms Goodall speak about her work with chimpanzees. At the appointed time for her delivery this frumpy looking professor in a hat, thick rimmed glasses and a trench coat walked out on stage and spoke into the microphone…”I’m sorry but due to circumstances beyond her control Jane Goodall will not be able to join us this evening…” The entire auditorium gasped, people booed, several got up from their seats and walked out.  And just as those departing made their exit there arose great laughter from the podium as the frumpy professor began to shed his hat, the coat, the disguise to reveal Jane Goodall herself.  Humor paired with intelligence is sexy in my book, especially if delivered in the most unsuspecting of ways.

Can you share a favorite song, quote or movie that speaks to your inner nerdiness? I would have to refer to a book series to answer this question.  Octavia Butler wrote a trilogy called the Xenogenesis Series that fascinated me not only in the character development throughout the course of the 3 books, but for the science of genomics that it delivered in fiction.  Granted there are aliens involved, but the science of possibility was real. My interest in genomics sparked by Octavia Butler applies to the “big screen” productions of the like where human genetics plays out, i.e. Gattaca.

What is something you like to do that might be considered a little bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?
Thanks to some really cool scientists at Cornell (Carl Sagan, Steve Squyres) I fell in love with the sky; that is, the heavens above us.  I own a Celestron Nexstar 500 and love to pull out the telescope to take a peek at the constellations, satellites, planets and shooting stars. Add to that experience the mobile app “StarWalk”: on my iPad for standing or laying in my driveway to see in real time what lies above me and following NASAEdge on Twitter for the latest of all things NASA.  I should also mention my mild fascination with Richard Branson’s (Virgin) Spaceport America in New Mexico which promises commercial voyage to the stars. I would travel to space in a heartbeat!

That sounds cool! Do you have a favorite hobby?  Cooking. I love to cook. For many years my lifestyle and professions left little time for enterprise in the kitchen much less inviting people over to dinner and conversation.  When I relocated South in 2003 that was a priority to create opportunity for community through cooking. I cook every week and blog about it on line. All for personal enjoyment.

Oh yes. I’ve seen some of your mouth-watering tweets!  Now for one more question that I ask everyone: If you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?   Take the road less traveled.  Just because it seems off course or less likely to be in favor with your peers it’s your path no matter the journey it provides (good, bad or indifferent) It was designed for you and thus being different makes it unique to you and therefore not open or available to anyone else. Being special (different) is a positive thing.

Thanks Ann-Marie, for all of the tips!

Want to know more about Ann-Marie? Well, she describes herself like this:

Communicator. Storyteller. Facililtator. Writer. Advocate. Team Player. Wordsmith. Passionate Foodie. Info Junkie. Book Lover.

 (And she’s also full of positive energy and fun to be around.) You can find her all over the place, of course! Here are some of the links! (Art Gallery) (Google Profile) (Personal Tweets) (Personal FaceBook, subscribe to public posts) (Personal Blog)