There Will Be People Who Make Fun Of You Or Mock You, But You Have To Keep “Doing You”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Meg Connolly, Meg has had a passion for social media for as long as she can remember. Some of her most reputable projects include the following:
Overseeing the social for Pope Francis’ visit to NYC handling the strategy and execution for St Patrick’s Cathedral, Archdiocese of NY, and Cardinal Dolan.
Made the rainbow bagels from The Bagel Store in Brooklyn go viral in Jan/Feb of 2016 and landed the bagels on the Super Bowl
Made her dog into a social media star where she’s been featured in Vogue Italia and has walked in NY Fashion Week numerous times. Works with various influencers and on many other fun social projects.
Thank you so much for your time. I know that you are a very busy person. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Yep! In 2011, two years shy of graduating from Villanova University, I fell in love with handling the social for my sorority and won an award for it. However, I was a communications major with a concentration in PR at the time, and wasn’t sure if I would be able to make a career out of my true passion: social media. Fast forward a few years and I found myself working in a PR/exec assistant job that I hated, so I quit and found a way to forge my own path in the social media world.
How did you get involved in the social media/digital industry?
I was working in a non-social media job that I hated, and each day I was at work, I constantly thought of working in social. I couldn’t think of anything else. So I quit that job and found a way to do what I loved and make a living at it.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
I guess the funniest part of my course of my career were the insane tweets I got when the rainbow bagels were going viral. The twitter was exploding like crazy with extremely entertaining tweets. It really reassured me that I am in the right industry. I love what I do and I love to have fun while doing it.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m working on a wide variety of fun projects! One of them is an IV therapy company called VitaSquad. It’s amazing. I go for IV therapy sessions regularly, so I am constantly hydrated and feeling great. The IV therapy also helps manage my endometriosis, a chronic illness that I struggle with daily.
Another fun project I’m working on right now is managing my dog, @CeiliThePuppy. She has been featured in Vogue Italia and modeled in NYFW 3 times! I’d say all of my projects are fun and exciting! I don’t take on clients that bore me.
What are you most proud of?
Hands down, running the social for the NYC Papal visit in 2015 was the highlight of my career. It was truly an honor.
Do you think the social media profession has changed over the past few years?
Social and digital media are constantly changing. You can’t even write a book on it, because by the time it is published, it’s already obsolete. Everything is turning to the digital space.
What drives you?
I was a competitive Irish dancer for 13 years, and have always had a competitive nature. This industry is also very competitive, so that’s what really drives me.
Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career in social and digital media?
Never give up. Constantly educate yourself. Don’t let anyone or anything get you down.
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
Don’t be shy! Be social. Go to EVERYTHING you’re invited to. Talk to everyone and be nice to everyone. You never know when you may be able to provide them value or vice versa.
Which skills do you think are most important to becoming a successful social media professional?
Interpersonal communication, negotiation, patience and diligence.
You are in a position of influence. How have you used your position and skill to bring goodness to the world?
Spreading love and positivity is key, especially in today’s world. I try to tithe, donating a portion of my income to charity and speak out about issues that are important to me via social media.
Who are some of the most high profile clients you have helped?
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, my dog Ceili the Puppy, Andrea Helfrich, and Julianne Klaren just to name a few. I unfortunately am unable to disclose the others.
What was that like?
So awesome. This year, I got to work with Andrea Helfrich during Ultra Music Festival in Miami. I helped gather tons of content for usage during the festival and at a later date. St Patrick’s Cathedral was also very awesome, I had a few posts go viral during the Papal visit, so that was fun!
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
My nan (grandmother), Mary Breeda Walsh Connolly. While she may not be considered “a famous person in history,” she has inspired me more than any human being on this planet. She was born in Ireland, where her mother died in childbirth. Her father and older brother (19 years older!), worked in America sending money to Ireland to her, while she was being raised in Ireland by the next door neighbors. Fast forward years later when she was visiting her dad in America, she found herself stuck in New York, because WW2 broke out and she couldn’t get back home to Ireland. A couple years later, she married my grandpa, Patrick Connolly when he got back from the war. He then went on to work as a fireman in the FDNY. They had 8 healthy children together, but in his early 40s, he was pronounced dead at the scene of a fire. He recovered, but they told him he’d never walk again, and his FDNY career was over. My grandpa persisted and recovered, and I’m convinced my nan’s prayers had a little something to do with it. He lived about 50 more years after that. My nan has been presented with many trials and tribulations, but has always relied on her faith to get her through. I’m rambling, but I have thousands of stories that can explain how much she means to me and how much she inspires me. The way she has handled life’s obstacles have helped me handle my own.
Which company do you admire most, and why?
VaynerMedia. Because GaryVee is a G.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
Don’t trust a potential client is going to sign until they do.
There have been many occasions where a lead has told me they were going to sign and didn’t. Many hours have been wasted working on social strategies for potential clients that never ended up as clients.
There will be people who make fun of you or mock you, but you have to keep doing you.
When I first started the instagram for my dog, I was made fun of CONSTANTLY. You can’t let people get you down.
You’ll meet a ton of people so you ALWAYS have to be on your A game.
Always be on point when you’re out at networking events or on a plane, or at a party, etc. You never know when you might be able to provide them value, or vice versa.
Joining a coworking space will change everything for you (in a good way!)
Joining WeWork was one of the best things I could have done for my line of work. I have a home office, which is great, but it can get lonely at times.
Don’t shortchange yourself. Charge what you deserve to make. This means don’t charge too much and don’t charge too little. LIterally charge what you deserve to make.