This is a little different post for me.  I normally write “How to” posts about Facebook or sometimes a little Pep Talk from Grandma Mary.  Or some fun and wacky interviews from Grandma.

But this post is more of a love letter.

About 3 years ago, my friend, and co-author Phyllis Khare and I realized that we wished there was a course about starting a business as a social media consultant.  We had NO idea what we were doing when we started our businesses and had wished there was more guidance around how much to charge, what services to offer, and how to manage your time.

So we decided to create one.  We wanted a combination of business advice for the solopreneur and the hands on advice of how to help your clients grow their social media sites.

So that’s what we built.  We had modules for how to get new clients, how to manage your money, what social media tools to use (without breaking the bank), and even threw in some other essential things like email marketing and advanced social media tactics.

I had started my online business 7 years ago to be able to stay home with my 2 young boys and wanted to put all of my knowledge about how to start a business into a course to benefit others.

But along the way, the course got out of our control.

I don’t mean things got unruly or chaotic.  What I mean is that our students took over.  They started teaching.  The course stopped belonging just to Phyllis and I.  It began to belong to all of us.

It seems like every week I hear stories that make my heart stop and fills my eyes with tears.   The woman who’s son has Cerebral Palsy and is now able to stay home with him and earn a living.  The woman who said that because of Social Media Manager School she was able to keep her home.  The man who said the material in the Premium section of our school saved his job.  And all kinds of testimonials from our students.



And then this just happened in our group yesterday:

I have to thank Lisa and Mary for helping me back in March with a new client. I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have access to her FB Biz page and you ladies chomped at the bit immediately to help a newbie like me solve the problem. It meant the world to me.

You all asked me to update you all on my progress and I am happy to report that I am now writing her blog, will be shooting videos for her business (I do video production too) and have cleaned up her FB page. We went from 11 FB likes to 125 in less than a month. I am ecstatic and so is she! Thanks again ladies for everything you did me. Also thanks to Andrea Vahl and Phyllis Khare for creating a legitimate SMMS and FB group that really over-delivers on its promise to be THE GO-TO SOURCE for SMM. ~Keema Mingo

So what has happened is bigger than Phyllis and I. It has a life of its own.

We never dreamed we would be blessed beyond measure with the BEST group of students, teachers, and friends on the internet in my opinion.

So this is a love letter and a humble thank you to all of you, Social Media Manager group.  You have made this course the awesome place it is.  I’m honored, along with Phyllis, to be a part of it.

SMMS Students

A group of us at Social Media Marketing World 15


More of us at SMMW15

More of us at SMMW15


SMMS Students 2014

SMMS Students meeting up 2014

Meeting up with Sunita and Nora in Singapore

Meeting up with Sunita and Nora in Singapore

Meeting Liz and Janet in London

Meeting Liz and Janet in London

It’s been an honor to meet so many of our group over the last few years all over the world.

What has made this place magical is our Facebook Group.  That’s where connections are made, partnerships are formed, and help is freely given.


I love the warm welcomes as we start a new group of students.

Welcome SMMS

But the best part is it’s a tribe.  We all get it.  We celebrate and commiserate because it ain’t always easy.

Celebrate SMMS

And I could go on and on about the magic of our group.  I so appreciate each and every member and their contribution.

Because what I know is that I’m no longer the teacher.  You are.  You have given me and Phyllis so much.  Thank you.

And just as a PS.  If you are interesting in joining us, we open our doors twice a year – Social Media Manager School.  Our doors are currently open and classes start October 8th.  As so many of our students say, and I know deeply, you’ll love it there.