You may know me as the Queen of GSD, your go-to for websites, digital marketing and cute dog pics on Instagram (seriously, check it out!) I hit the scene in early 2019 ready to dazzle everyone with my skillz but there’s something you may not know about me.
…I’m kind of a big deal.
I’ve been a patient advocate since 2006, the year I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It started with a digital newsletter I created, then it turned into a blog. That blog turned into paid blogging. Which turned into being invited to patient advisory boards with big pharma and healthcare companies. Which lead to speaking gigs. This lead to advocacy actually being part of my career. In 2009, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I started a nonprofit for women living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 2012 and worked fulltime for that nonprofit for a few years.
Last week I was in Pennsylvania for the last meeting for a year-long advisory board I was on for a major pharma company, which was one of my favorite experiences so far. While I was killing time in the airport I was reflecting on how I got here in my “advocacy career” and started to make a list of all the places that I’ve been because of this work. More specifically all the times I’ve traveled around this country on someone else’s dime. I was able to remember 21 times. 12 different states. 4 keynote speeches. A few blogging awards here and there. I have done some really, really cool things.
I’m actually co-presenting in April at the Clinical Trials Innovation Summit. I gave a keynote at Bloomberg in New York a few years ago about living with chronic illnesses while working. I partnered with Psych Central last year to create a podcast called Not Crazy where we talk openly about mental health and mental illness. You know when I write all this down, I actually do think I’m kind of a big deal. If you google me, you can basically see every detail about my life because I’ve been sharing my story for well over a decade at this point. The first page of Google is all me.
So is this post just for you to brag?
Yes…kind of. I did want to share part of my life that I tend to keep a bit separate from my Queen of GSD clients but the real reason I’m bringing all this up is to show you…I know what I’m talking about in terms of how to elevate your presence online because I’ve done it. I learned everything I know about websites from learning how to build blogs to share my life. I learned how to establish myself as an expert from becoming a paid blogger for various health media sites. I learned how to turn my expertise into paid speaking gigs and consulting in healthcare.
There is not a specific formula that works for every industry. Health advocacy is a niche market but it has exploded over the last few years and as it grows I feel like a proud parent watching an industry that I care deeply about start to bloom. I will never tell you to just “do what I did” and then you’ll be getting speaking/workshop gigs left and right because your industry is likely different than advocacy and has a different path to success. What I can tell you is that creating content to establish your expertise will never hurt your rise to the top. The more times you can show people you know your shit, the better they can understand you and your experience. Also, there’s a whole bunch of other tech/SEO stuff in there that we’ll save for another day. The internet doesn’t have one specific way to get your business and your face all over page one of search results on Google. It takes time, patience, and consistency. Remember, I’ve been word vomiting on the internet since 2006. Using content creation as a way to get to the top means playing the long game unless you’ve got tons of money to put behind your stuff.
If you’re just a regular person like me, and you want more eyes on your message/business and want to use content creation to get there…let’s talk. I’ve learned a lot since my diagnosis in 2006, and I’ve been fortunate enough to turn it all into a business. There’s a lot going on up in these brains. I’d like to share it with you.
If you are interested in learning more about my other life, you can find all the deets about me here: