There are so many social networking options out there today, it sometimes get’s confusing which works best. I have definitely been there! In fact, my entire experience with social networking has been one of trial and error.

I am not a marketing major, and do not have the traditional corporate background that you would expect of someone who has helped hundreds of businesses use social networking more effectively to bring in business.

Instead, my story with social networking starts when I was a mortgage broker in 2007. As an attempt to build my business in a declining mortgage market, I started using LinkedIn. While, I did not use it that much, it was the beginning of a journey that would completely change my life.

LinkedIn then led to me using Facebook for my business in 2008. I actually put $1000 into Facebook Ads and did not get one single call, email, or sign up from these early efforts. I did learn then and there that Facebook ads might not be the best route for me, and that I should not just leave the recurring billing left on accidentally.

That is when I realized that maybe having some education in this would be helpful. I went to a few seminars to help me learn how to do this “social networking” thing correctly.

wordcamp chicago with me
My First WordCamp


Using the information I learned I started connecting with prospects and referral partners on  Facebook correctly and integrated my usage there with Twitter. As I did, I started getting some calls from these marketing tools. The challenge was that as I was getting better at bringing in more business from social networking, the mortgage market continued to deteriorate.

So, I started looking for a new way career path. I was not sure what I would do, but I knew that increasing my network would be very helpful. As I searched for a new direction in life, I started to show family and friends the basics of social networking.

That is when I decided to start training business professionals to start using social networking. I picked up some clients within the first month. I started intensely studying social networking and blogging, so I could do this correctly.

And then there were the mistakes. More than I could count. More than I could imagine. It makes me understand that the more mistakes I make in life, the smarter I become. I am not a genius, but somewhere near an idiot savant at social networking because of my knowledge of 10 ways to everything wrong in social networking.

In fact, this blog was originally started as a correction of previous blogs that did not work out. I tested, tried, and eventually found ways to succeed. That is a large part of the knowledge that I impart in this blog. It is from my experiences. The good news is that I am continually making mistakes, so there is plenty to learn here on this blog.

Even better have been my successes. Over the past 5 years, I have worked with hundreds of clients in over 75 different industries improving their blogging and social media.

In that span of time, I have personally written over 4,000 articles for clients and myself. Fox News, WGN, and AM 560 the WIND have all interviewed me about my approach to content.

560 AM Wind Interview

Furthermore, I am regular speaker at WordCamp Chicago and Milwaukee as well as SCORE Chicago.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about my journey! I hope that it helps you understand a little bit more about why I started this blog, and how I can help you improve your social media and blogging.


31 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi
    good luck to u on your ambitious target. Life has tought us that if you r serious u will succeed/
    I am from Israel
    So, u have a follower from the middle-east 🙂
    Good Luck

    1. Arik,

      Thank you so much for following me on twitter and your words of encouragement! They mean a lot! It is also great to have some all the way from the middle east following me as well!


  2. Hi Andy! Good luck on your goal! I am sure you will attain it you stay laser focused!
    I have been able to cure my diabetes by being incredible focused on proper nutrition and exercise!
    Maybe I’ll see you at one of the Chicago area networking events soon.

    To Your Health!
    James Reno (editor)

    1. James,

      I appreciate your words of encouragement. That is awesome that you were able to overcome your challenges with diabetes by focusing on nutrition and excercise. I look forward to seeing you at a networking event soon!


  3. I have been fighting Breast Cancer 4 years and 8 surgeries later, I am finally cancer free, I never quit, or gave up. Living proof you can achieve anything. Now 2010 is my Genesis and I am starting a new website to not only make an income, but to spread the word about Breast Cancer and other cancers and save lives.
    Andy, I commend you for your goal and efforts, and like with myself, I know we will both achieve our goals and we are doers, believers, and let nothing get in our way. Betty AKA Betchaboop http://betchaboop.com

    1. Betty,

      That is great that you have committed yourself to a goal for 2010 after having gone through so much and taken massive action to complete it. I commend you! That takes courage and perserverance!


  4. Hi Andy,

    Great blogs you are doing, and never to old to learn. Great inspiration you are on your goal settings. Key to every ones success.

    Looking forward to chat with you, and good luck my friend.

    Skype: gfbirene

  5. mulugheta zelleke

    Hi Andy, I just wanted to say Thank You for the insight on the “Effective Social Networking ….”., at the St Thomas Job Ministry weekly meetings.
    I leanred and enjoy your presentations and also I would say the same reaction I observe from the other people in the room.

    Your presentaion was so useful and importand but I did not get time to take notes . So please can you send me a copy of the material that you present to mzelleke@juno.com.

    Again, Thank You for your insight info on the social network usage.


    Mulugheta Zelleke

    1. Mulugheta,

      Great to meet today! I just sent you an email with the information you were asking about.


  6. Very true, Andy. I feel the same way too. Now more and more of people selling online. I am not earning the kind of money that I used to make. Especially in the summer time, when no one is shopping online. I go to Twitter and Facebook to find customers ( now I use ping to try to cover other social networking sites too). I am also working on another jewelry website to make my website more social friendly. WordPress plugins are the best!

    1. Opal,

      Ping is awesome! Makes my life a lot easier. Looking forward to finding out more about your new website!


  7. Christina Lee

    As someone who has worked with you just a short period of time, I can definitely express that there is some seriously talent within you regarding social networking. When we decided to work together I felt pretty lucky, I just knew there was something about what you knew. And your 100% correct, mistakes are what make us better at what we do, provided we overcome those mistakes, learn & move on. I hope to continue to learn from your social networking (pun intended) and looking forwarded to our success in YourSocialNetworking.info – YSNi

  8. Hi Andy,
    I had a real estate and mortgage background from the ’90’s. We didn’t have social networking back then. You gave me pause to remember those good times. And then I giggled over leaving the FB add recurring payment on…I have done that to.

    I look forward to visiting your posts to learn tips and tools to share with others.
    Enjoy your day!

    1. Vanessa,

      It is amazing how so many real estate people become so tech savvy!

      Glad I am not the only person who did the recurring payment!


  9. Carla McNeil, Social Media Manager

    YIPES! a hard lesson to learn! “leave the recurring billing left on accidentally.” I did the same thing when I was first learning pay per click. Lucky for me it was only 4 months.

    Glad to see ya stuck it out Andy!

  10. Andy, I am so proud of how you have reinvented yourself and built a great brand as a professional marketer. I, too, was not a “marketing major;” I was actually an English major, educator, and Navy guy. Marketing gave me the challenges that have helped me develop as a person, as a businessman, and as an entrepreneur. I identify with many of your comments above. I think you’re going to do amazing things—great things. And I would encourage you to focus and follow through on your dreams.

    And I think it’s high time we played Cashflow again,

    1. Dom,

      Thank you very much! It is amazing how marketing enhances the skills we already have. You my friend have a lot of skills!

      I would love to play Cashflow again! Do you have a board?


  11. Hi Andy,

    It’s nice to read about real people who are going through the same thing as myself! I love your blog and have used Social Media for quite some time for projects…I’ve just started helping other people and would love to keep close to you or tips and questions?

    Thank you,

    1. Gill,

      Appreciate the kind words! Your site looks cool! You might want to do some grammar checks on the page. As a person who has probably mis-spelllled and ungrammered (not a word) every singly single word in the English language on this blog it is good to have someone edit your posts.


  12. Keith Westhead

    Hi Andy,
    It was great to hear your story, I liked the part about making mistake and learning from them, a great way to learn.
    I have built 5 blogs and they are slowly creeping up on google but I am no wiser about social media.
    If you can share some wisdom I ‘d like to hear it.
    best regards.

    1. Thank you very much! If you have created 5 blogs I am sure you know more about social media then you are leading on. Let me know how I can help you with Social Media.

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