Farhana Cannon

An e-mail interview with Farhana Cannon, social media coach and consultant.
Interview with social media consultant and coach Farhana Cannon.
Farhana Cannon speaking at Coco Lounge. Photograph by Mark Lyndersay.

ML: First up, who are you? Tell me a bit about your background, how old you are and how you came to be a social media consultant.

FC: I am from Boston, MA and I am 28 years old. My mother is from Trinidad and I have spent 1/3 of the last 15 months here. I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a Major in Merchandising.
I have worked in marketing and branding for the last 10 years for an array of brands from natural health to luxury. I managed events, sales, PR, product placement, social media and branding for multiple companies.
After attended several business development courses I realized that the biggest way that I could help others was to focus on one channel of marketing and become an expert in that space. I had been utilizing social media for some of my other brands in the past and really saw the importance of this channel of marketing.
I then began studying industry professionals to grow my knowledge base as I too wanted to be an expert in this space. I founded iMedia Exposure in December 2011 as a Social Media Marketing Consulting Firm because I feel as though Social Media is the new Marketing and that it can grow brands exponentially if done right.
I am committed to helping companies grow. There is this saying that I really like "There are 2 kinds of people, the eaters and the bakers. Some people want to eat as much as they can and some people want to bake a bigger pie so that there is enough for every one to eat. I am a baker. I truly want to create jobs, wealth, and happiness.

ML: Where are you based? It seems that your consultancies are largely web based, so much of your work doesn't seemed to be tied to geography.

FC: I am based in Boston, MA but do a lot of travelling. I don't necessarily need to be in one location. I have spoken and trained at several events around the world. Some places include Sydney, Australia, Toronto, Canada, Boston, MA, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, New York, NY, and Miami, Fl.
I can be reached online anywhere in the world. I work with my laptop in tow on my many adventures. If a larger company needs me to come to train their staff on location I am willing to fly to meet the needs of my clients.

ML: Why a social media consultancy? What does a social media consultant do?

FC: Social Media is something I believe people can be trained to do right, however a marketing mind needs to be present to get customer interaction. I train companies how to market their brand to their target demographic.
I do offer full service social media marketing packages but I do stress the need for companies to be self reliant. Someone that is in the business daily will be able to really feel the heartbeat of the brand and will be able to share this essence. We all get busy and caught up with daily tasks so it helps to have someone keeping you accountable for your marketing efforts. Many people go into business because they are an expert in one area.
No one expects them to be an expert in every area or in marketing for that point. But without marketing we don't have customers and lets face it, customers are good for business. What I do is keep companies accountable. I work with business owners to create a marketing plan weekly. Together we will create online and offline events and promotions, methods to incite customer interaction as well as improved customer service.
These actions will be monitored by me weekly and I track what worked and what could be improved upon. I provide clients with analytics in graph from so they can track their results. I guarantee clients to see a significant increase in sales within 6 months.

ML: Is this everything that you do? Are you involved in other projects?

FC: A side from consulting I do live trainings on social media. I have created a series of webinars, which are online trainings that attendees log online from their homes. Some of the topics of my webinars include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Foursquare marketing.
I offer full service social media marketing, social media page set up and Pinterest cataloguing. So I do offer a full range of services if you want to just get your feet wet to fully diving into the process. Another project I am involved with is a group I created called Business Development Socialites in Boston.
This group meets monthly and every meeting features a 45 minute presentation by a business professional who would like to share some of their expertise with the group. After the presentation the floor is opened up to networking. I know that I am not an expert in every field so its important to seek out this information because there is always room for growth. I am involved with a charity called the Hunger Project and I am looking to do more work with this group.
The Hunger Project (THP) is a global, nonprofit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. In Africa, South Asia and Latin America, THP seeks to end hunger and poverty by empowering people to lead lives of self-reliance, meet their own basic needs and build better futures for their children.

ML: When did you begin doing this work? How did you come to decide on this field for your career?

FC: I have been doing social media marketing for the last couple of years. I decided to make it the field for my career when asked what I really liked to do. My answer was help brands grow business threw marketing. The next question was which method of marketing do I think has the biggest impact. I responded social media.
Companies can reach the most amount of people for free by using social media. I can also help more people around the world with social media because it does not require be to be in any specific location.

ML: How do you work with clients?

FC: I work with my clients mostly online. I use Skype for meetings. Gotomeetings hosts my webinars. I use Google Chat if I am doing a small group question and answer formats. I can also be contacted on Facebook all of the time.
I normally charge (USD$497) TT$3,000 for my webinar series; Social Media Decoded which is 4 one hour sessions covering marketing using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare and YouTube. For all readers I will discount this program by 60% and charge TT$1200. Also I will give a complimentary 30 minute consults to any business owners that may be interested in any of the programs, plus 20% off initial contracts on any services.

I can be contacted at farhana@iMediaExposure.com, www.facebook.com/iMediaExposure and www.iMediaExposure.com
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