Name: Leslie James

What you do at MAM:  Social Media

Three words that describe you:  Organized. Outdoorsy. Motivated.

What was your very first job?

My very first job was a kennel technician at a local veterinarian’s office in the mountain town I grew up in. I’d walk from school to the office to clean kennels, feed the dogs and cats, walk the dogs and administer medicines. As a child, I wanted to grow up to be a veterinarian. But during one shift, the doctor asked for my help to hold a dog’s leg while he inserted stitches. As I watched the needle, my hearing went muffled and my vision went dark. I woke up on the ground with the vets around me, and immediately knew the medical practice wasn’t the field for me.

What’s your favorite thing to do when not working?
Anything outside. Whether I’m paddle boarding on a mountain lake, hiking with my dog, or snowboarding at Monarch, I enjoy doing everything in Colorado’s fresh mountain air.

When did you know you were going to go into Social Media Marketing?
During college, I became a reporter for a local newspaper and wrote mostly news articles. After a few years in journalism and school, I was ready to take on a new challenge in the digital world. Social media can be a fun, fast-changing environment that takes attention to detail and an encouraging voice.

Who inspires you the most in your career?

My husband. He’s always encouraging me to do work I’m passionate about and to also spend time away from work to enjoy life.

What is one encouraging thing you want to tell other small businesses?
Your story and brand helps differentiate your business. Use the quirks, stories, and qualities specific to your small business to appeal to your customers. Your voice as a small business matters.

What do you think small businesses should know about Social Media Marketing?
It is so important to be authentic. Social media is so fast paced that your audience wants to see who you are, not that you’re the same as all the others. Post pictures taken with your phone, tell a fun story from your day, and let your followers know how you can help them through your products and services.