Brianne is a digital strategist at WONGDOODY, a marketing ideas agency. At WONGDOODY, Brianne also serves as editor-in-chief of CareerSparx.com, a website and online course devoted to helping recent college grads learn the skills to land their first jobs. She also is the founder of IWantHerJob.com, the website for independent-thinking women everywhere in search of the next best thing.
Brianne on her journey so far.
Can you give us some background information about yourself?
I am a digital strategist at an advertising agency called Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener. Yes, that's an actual company name -- not an SNL parody of a law firm. Our agency does everything from traditional advertising to online marketing. I work on the content side of digital strategy. That means I am part community manager, part blogger and part online influencer.
I work to get placements and mentions for our clients online, and I also help our team build strategies surrounding online content for our clients.
In the evening I am the editor and curator of I Want Her Job. I reach out to others for interviews, I edit and write, and I manage our online community. It's really no different than what I do for my day job. The only difference is I don't get paid for this one!
So how did I Want Her Job start for you? What is the idea behind it?
I actually started out as a fashion blogger. I was living in Montana at the time and felt so far removed from the fashion industry that I decided I would add my voice online. Through that I fell in love with the art of building a community.
But writing about fashion every day grew to be something that just didn't feel right for me, and with such a cluttered market, I didn't know how I could differentiate my blog from the rest. But there was one aspect of the site I loved, and it was where I featured women in different jobs within fashion.
It was called "I Want Her Job." And suddenly I realized, "Hey, that's what I want to be writing about!" Around that same time I also was inspired by an interview site called IdeaMensch that consisted solely of interviews. It was the intersection of those two thoughts that sparked I Want Her Job.
How has it evolved and what opportunities has it brought you since it was started?
Well, April 24 marks our first birthday! And since the site was launched with five leading ladies last year, we've grown to a community of more than 1,500 on Facebook and 600 on Twitter. On top of that we receive thousands of unique visits a month.
And what I love about our community is how engaged they are. They're networking, tweeting one another, suggesting other females to be featured, guest blogging on one another's websites, and in some cases, connecting for business in real life. Those things, to me, mean the most.
I also was excited that our community could work together to sponsor the education and mentorship of two girls in Guatemala for a year through our 'Likes' for Learning campaign. It means a lot to know that we could effect major change beyond our daily routines.
Can you give us an insight into a typical day in the life of Brianne Burrowes?
It's funny because I ask our leading ladies what their typical day is like. My day always starts with three things -- coffee, email and HootSuite. From there it progresses to reading industry headlines, especially on Mashable. After that it's usually filled with meetings at the office, writing, editing, and whatever else the agency brings my way that day.
I try to check in on HootSuite for all of the communities I manage throughout the day. I don't like to miss tweets, @ messages asking something or breaking news. After work is over I come home, relax for a bit and then work more on I Want Her Job. Since I do the website in my off time, I've been trying to find a balance between working on it and having a personal life offline as well.
How do you keep coming up with material? How do you keep yourself inspired and creative all the time?
I find inspiration everywhere, but hands down most of the ideas come from one of two places -- my friends or the I Want Her Job community. Listening to others talk about what excites them, makes them nervous, makes them happy, makes them want more, etc., always sparks ideas. And I have a few friends in my life who offer up suggestions that always seem to click. I value their opinion more than they know!
What were some of your biggest challenges when you first started blogging?
Time. I want to work on the site all day every day. But I haven't found a way to monetize that and make a living off of it, so that's not possible at this point. The biggest challenge I had when I started -- time -- is somewhat of a bigger challenge as the site continues to grow. But I love what I do, and it's always worth it.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I'm still figuring out balance and time management. I will say that scheduling posts through WordPress and tweets through HootSuite has helped considerably. Also, as the community grows, word of mouth about the site is growing, so I find that I don't need to spend as much time reaching out for interviews. Our community has really helped in this respect.
What is your next goal that you want to achieve with your blog?
It's my big dream to interview all 15 females currently running Fortune 500 companies. So, I guess you could say my next goal is to start by interviewing at least one of them.
What do you do away from work?
I love NASCAR. So when I'm not at the agency or working on my site, you can usually find me either watching a race at home or at the track ... or reading about racing. I also enjoy happy hour with friends, shopping, and I'm still in search of a workout that I actually like. It's something I want to carve time out for in my life moving forward. Tweet me if you have suggestions!
If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
It's easy. Just get started! Start writing. Don't worry about the size of your readership or who's reading your blog right away. Work on finding what you want to write about and developing your voice. And finally, it's all about relationships -- not numbers. Connect with those whose blogs you admire. Comment on their work. Tweet them. Ask how you can help. And believe me, the relationships and people you meet are the best part. There's nothing more exciting than seeing something you did help someone else.
Thanks for your time Brianne.
Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn