Danielle and I met at Crave, a coffeehouse that I learned about from Tyler (Coffee #23). Immediately we dove into one thing we knew we had in common, the St. Louis Social Media Club! Danielle is a board member and regularly appears on panels at their events. When we met, she was preparing to speak at one of the conferences I was planning on attending.
She says she got into social media marketing through “sort of a happy accident”. During her last year at Mizzou, Danielle had a conflict with the last course she needed for her business minor. Her advisor told her to change her minor to Marketing Communications and take this Social Media Marketing course, instead. This put her ahead of the curve, because she was one of the first several thousand users on Twitter. “When I first got started, the only people on Twitter were Comedians and VH1 reality stars.” Now here she is, a social media extraordinaire!
Our voices echoed off the vaulted ceilings of the church turned coffee shop, while we discussed her job at Atomic Dust where she handles the social media for their clients. She considered working at a gas station at Table Rock Lake after graduation, so she could just live at her parents house and work on her tan. But, she applied for an Administrative Assistant position and they hired her for Online Marketing. No way she could pass that up for a tan.
Inevitably we ended up talking about our yards, because I had to bring up my garden, it’s my pride and joy! Danielle said she and her boyfriend recently moved into an apartment in a really great community and their yard is like a “secret garden”. But, she’s clueless as to how to clean it up. One morning while they were having breakfast they saw a lot of people cleaning up their alley. Assuming it was the congregation of the church behind their house, they ate their breakfast and went on with their day. Later they found out it was the community clean-up day and they hadn’t attended. Danielle felt awful. “We’re the 20 somethings that move into the neighborhood and don’t help out!” But they love their community. My favorite story that she shared was when a neighbor came over with a plant in a solo cup and gave it to them to celebrate spring.
Moving into the professional advice arena, Danielle says that some people don’t see the connections if they’re moving into a new field. “You have to be able to draw parallels between your experience and the job you want.” While we were sharing, I told her that I had once sent a singing telegram as a thank you for an interview.
Jumping topics again, Danielle plays softball! But she says, “I’m not athletic, don’t let that fool you.” She and her boyfriend are playing with some friends on a team. Problem: Her team keeps adding really good players and she’s going to become the worst. She’s currently recruiting for moderate players, “If you’re bad at softball, come play with me!” Being the middle child is hard, but it’s even more difficult when you have two athletic siblings who have all kinds of trophies. So, Danielle’s proud moment was when she was able to call her dad and tell him she got on first base.
Is TV a hobby? It is for Danielle! For an online journalism class (journalism was her major), the teacher wanted them to start blogging. He told the class to choose a topic they’d never get sick of talking about. Danielle thought, “Well, I’d never get sick of talking about TV…” and years later her blog is still in existence. To stay on top of what’s happening, she reads TV guide from cover to cover, every week. Also, she lays the smack down on people who say they don’t have TV, because she has the FULL cable package with HBO, Showtime and Starz. “It’s not a lazy thing, I’m very passionate.” There aren’t many things that could take her away from St. Louis or Atomic Dust, but a job to write for TV Guide might do it.
Danielle says that her ability to talk about almost every TV show is a “weird icebreaker”. But speaking of weird, Danielle was chosen to be a part of a Twitter Jockey contest for MTV right after graduation! “It was the highlight of my life because I was in these commercials. This is real! This is my face!” She didn’t win the contest, which involved things like attempting to promote a band and get a celebrity to follow you via Twitter (she tried to get Mr. Belding to follow her, but he didn’t), but don’t feel too badly for her. She has stayed in touch with many of the 20 other contestants and they’ve formed some great friendships. When they told her she hadn’t won, her reaction was “Alright.” She was ready to be finished, because the contest was very stressful and took up a lot of her time. Plus, what do you do after you’ve been an MTV personality? “I wouldn’t learn business. I wouldn’t get the experience I need. It would’ve been fun, but I wasn’t disappointed.”
After the contest was finished, the contestants were flown to New York and she got to sit in the audience for the finale. Danielle brought her sister, who ended up sitting right next to Ashley Simpson and Pete Wentz. Afterwards her sister said it was the best day of her life. Danielle, in what seems to be her usual, slightly sarcastic (and pretty hilarious) sense of humor, replied, “Better than when you got married last year? Better than that?”
One more thing worth pointing out from our conversation, is that Danielle is an extreme lover of Road Rules. “If History Channel ever makes a documentary on it, I want to be the talking head, the ‘Real World Road Rules Challenge Expert’”. Maybe it will happen, Danielle. Maybe.
I would love to meet someone who has a crazy hobby. Do you paraglide? Mountain Bike? Collect coins? Sign-up here for a free coffee! I’d love to meet you!