As an entrepreneur, I am a freelancer, an employee and part of a startup. The one thing these all have in common is digital marketing. I do freelance search engine optimization for a few organizations here in Hamilton, social media and promotions for the Forge at McMaster Innovation Park, and I’m part of a team starting up a virtual tour service for businesses. Digital marketing is one of the strongest tools available to young businesses nowadays, and I am passionate about developing strategies for improving awareness and retention for digital media of all kinds.
Occupation: Founder of Virtual Excursions, Social Media and Promotions Intern at the Forge and Google Optimization Freelancer
Industry: Virtual Tours, Promotions and SEO
Find Me At: LinkedIn
Why are you in Hamilton?
I grew up on a farm quite a bit north of Hamilton, but when my father became ill I moved to Hamilton to help him through his troubles. I went through most of my school here in Hamilton, and I spent four years at Mohawk College studying different subjects. At Mohawk’s program SURGE, I learned about the amazing ecosystem for entrepreneurs here in Hamilton. Hamilton is an amazing place for anyone who truly wants to build their dream, and start a company.
Tell us about your work.
After working as a business development officer for a game design company I realized the power of digital marketing. I started applying my knowledge from business courses at Mohawk College to my own projects, as well as offering them to the Forge and SURGE. Now I do social media and promotions for the Forge, and I offer services to small businesses as an SEO. After developing my photography skills through social media promotions, I have decided to start a company offering virtual tours as a service for small businesses. Virtual tours are ideal for companies trying to showcase their location over the internet, as it gives both customers and business partners a clear idea of the quality of their locations, and the processes behind the success of their business.
Why did you sign up for the HIVE newsletter and/or why did you join a HIVE member group?
As soon as I heard about Hamilton HIVE, I knew it had a lot to offer. I met with Alyssa Lai, Chair of Hamilton HIVE, and she offered all sorts of connections, for whichever endeavor I needed help with. This sense of welcome was a huge factor in deciding to attend the HIVEX conference, and becoming more involved with Hamilton HIVE.
HIVEX is a young professional conference organized by Hamilton HIVE. In your view, why is it important to have a conference dedicated to young professionals?
I have experienced firsthand how difficult it can be to differentiate yourself out of college. When you finish a diploma you generally have the same resume as most of your classmates, and you’re all looking for the same work at the same time. In order to find the job you want, you have to get your name out there. HIVEX is an amazing opportunity for young professionals to meet emerging leaders and like-minded individuals. HIVEX provides many resources to help new grads find the work they truly want to do.
How do you think HIVEX can help young professionals like yourself achieve a personal goal?
I am in a crucial stage of my career, as I am getting myself out there as a freelancer and entrepreneur. It has been my lifelong goal to be a successful entrepreneur, and the opportunity to connect with all sorts of professionals in the Hamilton area is truly a blessing.
HIVEX is dedicated to connecting young professionals with the people who will help them grow. I am in a crucial stage of my career, where meeting the right people, and getting my name out there.
What is Hamilton’s biggest opportunity?
Hamilton’s growing entrepreneur community is in my opinion, Hamilton’s biggest opportunity. I have had the privilege to help and watch both SURGE and the Forge grow, as they have only been around for a few years. With all of the resources and hard-working people behind the organizations here in Hamilton, the community is bound for great things.
What is your advice for YPs looking at Hamilton?
My best advice is to get involved. With so many amazing programs here — such as Hamilton HIVE, Innovation Factory, Surge, the Forge and Co-motion — there are opportunities for young professionals of all kinds to build an amazing career here in Hamilton.
How can Hamilton HIVE help move Hamilton forward?
With much of our talent looking to move to Toronto, Waterloo and Silicon Valley, Hamilton HIVE and organizations like it play a big role in the future of Hamilton’s economy. We must provide opportunities for young people to build a career here outside of the steel industry, in order for Hamilton to stay on the map.
What is your favourite place in Hamilton?
This is a tough call, and though I want to say Dundas Peak, I think I’ll have to go with McMaster Innovation Park. This building has all sorts of amazing stuff going on, though you couldn’t tell from the outside. It has provided me with countless opportunities, and I have learned about all sorts of amazing technology through the programs provided there. If you haven’t checked it out, I’d really recommend getting a tour of MIP. Contact me and I’ll be happy to show you around! 🙂