Lisa Sicard of Inspire To Thrive is a long time participant on this blog, almost 7 years now. In that time she’s switched from working at a newspaper to becoming self employed months ago. She wrote a book titled How To Tweet And Thrive On Twitter in 2017, which I wrote a review about.
1. First, tell us about the area where you live. I know little about it, including Providence, even though I spent 4 days there once.
I live in Hope, Rhode Island which is part of Scituate. It is about 20 minutes to Providence if there is no traffic. I used to work in the city of Providence for many years, and when there is traffic it could be an hour ride.
2. You have an interesting early history. How did you connect web design and graphic arts when you were going to college when the “web” didn’t actually exist?
Great question. I went to college before the web came along when I got my graphics art degree. Later I went at night for web design. I also took classes in marketing at Bryant College.
3. What made you get into advertising and sales?
I fell into it. I started to deliver a weekly newspaper as a kid, got a job there typing classifieds and they taught me graphics. I worked full time summers and after school in middle and high school and on weekends. I went to a vo-technical high school for graphic arts.
4. What was the first social media platform you adopted, and how did it spark an interest in social media overall for you?
Twitter. I was running a retail website for my ex-husband’s website and made the biggest sale from it. I learned quickly the power of Twitter. It was a medical scrub website.
5. I think Twitter’s your favorite platform because you wrote a book about it. Am I correct? Yes or no, tell us your favorite and why.
Yes, from above but I met wonderful people there. I met you, Mayura, Brenda Lee, Donna Merrill and Ryan Biddulph to name a few from those early days on my being on Twitter. I met some local ladies during an earthquake on the East Coast. We used to go to lunch a few times a year until we all had issues with elder parents. We still tweet to each other though 😊
6. You started your blog Inspire To Thrive in August 2011. What led you to creating it and was it your first blog? Also, what lessons did you get from Who Moved My Cheese (I read it also lol)?
I was inspired because people were asking how I made sales from social media for the retail website. Instead of taking calls and answering e-mails I started a blog thinking it would be easier. Little did I know, right?
7. Only 2 of the original 11 blogs you followed are still putting up new content (yes, I checked lol). I’ve noticed the same thing happening by looking at old comments on my blogs. I know you believe blogging is important for business, but with so many abandoned blogs, do you see it as a viable solution for the majority of business owners or those hoping to make money online?
Yes, you must get new readers all the time! It’s just like with my old day job in sales. You always must prospect. I try to leave comments on blogs I visit for the first time. If I really like them, I’ll sign up for future updates.
8. You’re a great connector on social media. Do you have a schedule you follow or are you just full of energy? Do you have high hopes for its future?
9. You recently became self employed. Is it what you were expecting? Where would you hope to be in the next 5 years?
I think so, I work a lot of hours. When I first started, I planned on having slow Mondays and Fridays so when I wanted to take a long weekend it would be easy.
I’ve been working most of this Monday and sometimes I do take appointments on a Friday. I’ve hired a few freelancers and hope to expand on that in 2019. I’m trying not to work every weekend but it’s becoming harder to turn off totally.
Most of my business has come to me, I haven’t had to knock on doors and I hope the referrals continue to come in. It’s that way both with my local and international clientele. I treat every customer liked I’d like to be treated 😊
10. Your turn; tell people about your blog, your business, your social media connections and anything else you want to mention (including bragging about the Red Sox winning the World Series lol).
The first time the Red Sox won the World Series was surreal, just as the first time the New England Patriot’s won the Super Bowl! As a kid I was embarrassed to wear any of their apparel. I was a big Boston Bruins fan too as a kid and a member of the Bobby Orr fan club 😊 These days I mostly watch the Patriots on the weekend. I unplug too during the games.
I hope to inspire others with my blog. Inspire people that want to work from home, start their own business, blog or just handle their own social media. I like to provide tips and tricks in most of my posts.
A lot of my ideas come from my experiences. Other times I have sponsored posts where I still input my own experiences into them. I don’t usually accept posts that are cut and dry. After all, it is my space.
Another thing I share is mistakes along the way. I find people love to learn from other’s mistakes, so I make plenty of them and share them. Recently, I could not figure out how to edit a sponsored post on Facebook. It took me 2 hours to figure it out. You must cancel the sponsored version and then edit the original post and do another sponsored post from it. Now I can do it in 5 minutes but if I can save someone a few hours, why not? Time is our most precious asset.
That’s a philosophy I share often, that you must spend time or money to make money. There is NO way of getting around that. No shortcuts, and I love when I read other blog posts that explain it takes time to build a blog. I cringe when I read others say build a blog in a day or hours. Really? Maybe the shell but not the content or the audience. It all takes time.
Anyways I would not have made it this far without help from my Techie, Mayura DaSilva of Mayura4ever who helps often when something technical isn’t working on the site. I recently hired someone to manage my SEO as well to free up my time.
I learned a lot from Donna Merrill who I met in person, Bren Pace, Adrienne Smith, Ryan Biddulph from Blogging from Paradise and Janice Wald from Mostly Blogging, Erik Emanuelli from No Passive Income, and Cori Ramos as well as YOU Mitch.