From primary school teacher to social media guru may seem a long stretch – but to Annette Maloney the leap was not so great. Read on to find out why in this second profile in a series on some great women who have dared to change career paths.
Annette Maloney, Director of social media firm AM to PM Consulting, says she was always an early adopter of technology. In the classroom she had her primary school charges using computers, PowerPoint and editing videos as soon as the technology would become available.
Now in her early 40s she certainly runs rings around many technically savvy Gen Ys with her profuse use and knowledge of social media, and is considered by Klout media, the industry’s benchmark for influence, among the world’s social media “elite”.
Like many go-getters she’s also an early riser and first thing (along with coffee!) every day she shares the day’s industry news on behalf of her clients – medium to large businesses from a diverse range of industries – and for her own business via multiple social media accounts.
Of course, she knows all the short-cuts and software to save time and money – and is passionate about teaching others how to access this powerful marketing and communications tool.
Fifteen years in the classroom in front of some of the harshest critics you can have make her an excellent communicator of new and complex concepts – and has completely conquered any fears of public speaking or presenting.
“I really don’t mind standing up in front of hundreds of people and I rarely get nervous,” she says. “I realise a lot of people don’t enjoy this!”
She has an enviable 100% strike rate from presentation pitches to potential clients, doing fastidious research before presenting them with a clear picture of where they are right now in the social media landscape, where their competitors are – and where they could be.
“I love seeing the light-bulb switch on and seeing people become excited when they ’get’ how social media can change the way they promote their brand and how much fun they can have getting to know their customer base,” she says.
In the school playground (our kids attend the same primary school) Annette’s a natural and inclusive facilitator – for example she brought the school community together to successfully organise our first ever school fete in 2010, a fantastic community event.
She’s a bit shocked that some people find her intimidating (by reputation), but spend any time at all with her and you soon learn how completely warm, engaging and genuine she is – the opposite of intimidating. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself! Or hook up with her via social media…
Annette left teaching in 2001 after hitting the inevitable ‘glass ceiling’ of teaching – not seeing her future in education administration. An opportunity to buy into the 3AW Dine Out Guide arose, and within one year Annette was both editor and publisher – nicely combining her passion for both food and wine – and her talents for organising and communicating.
She published the guide for seven years until 2008 when News Limited purchased the content for their TrueLocal.com.au site and wisely kept Annette on to populate the restaurant content for Victoria, NSW and Queensland. This evolved into a Community Manager role across Victoria with responsibility for implementation of the site’s social media strategy.
She left News Limited in July last year and started up AM to PM as a Social Media consultant for medium to large companies. After just six months she already employs several consultants to help her manage the fast growing workload and has plans for further growth this year.
As well as enjoying working for multiple brands, she also loves working from home, and being around more for her kids, Jordie, 8, and Tess, 3.
Annette offers some final words of wisdom for anyone considering a career-change. “Whatever you choose to do you need to be passionate about it as that is what drives your success at the end of the day. Do your homework, stay on top of your game and network as much as you can.”
Inevitably, some of this networking should be done on social media networks. Don’t be afraid to ask Annette how. You can follow her on Twitter @AnnetteMaloney or connect with her via AM to PM on Facebook.
This is the second part in a series of posts about inspiring women I know who have dared to change careers. Follow me on Twitter @DiFromTheY