2015, A Year in Review at Digital Training Institute
2015 was the year I…published a book, spoke in the USA, entered the eLearning market, spoke on a TEDx stage, ramped up my blogging and consulted to a range of great clients at home and abroad.
By now you’ll know that each year I like to push myself further, dream bigger and deliver on… my ambitions.
Goal-setting is very important and I’ve been setting goals since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Dreaming, visualising, writing them down but then actually doing. That’s my favourite part. Doing. And learning as I do, and falling as I do, and getting up as I fall. All of this helps me broaden my mind, my skill-set and ultimately brings me closer to achieving my goals.
I’m taking time to write this post as I believe that looking at how far you’ve come is as important at looking at how far you have to go. My 2015 was exciting and throughout the year I was consciously making decisions to help me achieve my 2016 goals. I’ve been building the foundations for 2016 right throughout this year. Everything is done in steps, planned and executed with a plan. It makes the road of evolution much easier to navigate, even for those times when you are taken to what feels like a dead-end. Life is simply taking you to the next level – in life and in business.
2015 Realising My Writing Dream
Yes I love writing. I could do it as a full-time job if a publisher ‘discovered’ me. I’m in love with words on a page (and on a screen). So being a published author has always been one of my life-long dreams and this year I realised it with the publication of ‘Social Media Under Investigation, Law Enforcement and the Social Web’. This wasn’t my intended first book, I have others sitting on the sidelines, but the trade title made it to publication in February of this year.
The book arose from my academic research on how An Garda Síochána use social media as part of my studies for my Masters Degree in Digital Marketing. However, I’d been so engrossed in the subject matter that I just had to continue writing. So exactly six months after finishing my thesis I published my book, and along with it a dedicated blog on law enforcement and social media.
This work has led to so many more opportunities. I’m really proud of the book and the fact that police officers and law enforcement agencies across the world are reading it but are also using it in their workplaces. The Pentagon, the Policing Library in the UK, a Government researcher in Rio De Janeiro, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, members of An Garda Siochana, PSNI, Scottish Police and the Metropolitan Police all have a copy.
2015 Building An Online Business
This is a natural next step for me. In order to scale myself and my business I’m using technology and the social web to reach a global audience enabling me deliver more training and build up an engaged online community. This year I started this process and it’s been quite a learning curve, and I’m just starting out. I’ve learned so much about eLearning, the platforms, the communities, the customer journey and how to re-purpose content. Afterall, I have eight years of super (if I do say so myself) content that’s just screaming to get off my server and onto the cloud for all to see and learn from. And empowering others with my knowledge is one of my greatest passions.
Below is a screenshot from my Social Media Essentials For Law Enforcement course which will be first published on LawEnforcementLearning.com – a US-based website for police officers and law enforcement agencies.
2016 will see me bringing my suite of face-to-face courses from the Digital Training Institute online also, which I’m very excited about. Along with the suite of digital marketing and social media courses which I deliver, I am also writing a range of specialised eLearning courses – I’ve already spoken about law enforcement – but added to that will be retail, executive online reputation, election candidates and digital citizenship. Don’t forget I also love the challenge of writing bespoke training courses for companies and organisations and I’ve already got one lined up for the entertainment industry for early 2016. So if you need a bespoke course (face-to-face or online) – just ask!
Much of the work to up-cycle my content required many days filming so I got to create my own studio in my office.
Broadcasting is fun but being in front of the camera requires lots of practice, so 2016 will mean more practice!
2015 Speaking in the United States
My book has brought me to Phoenix, Arizona where I addressed law enforcement officers from across the United States and Canada at the 2015 SMILE (social media, the Internet and law enforcement) conference.
2015 Recognised By My Peers
In March of this year I got a ping back notification and I was so excited when I clicked on the link! My blog was named one of Ireland’s best marketing blogs by Search Engine Journal. This year a major coup for me – being recognised by my peers in the digital marketing industry. Here’s a blog post I wrote on it!
What can I say but…wow. I was terrified. I took this gig very seriously so much so that it took me almost eight months to perfect my speech. Perfecting my delivery, well that’s up to you to decide. I’ll add in the video to this post when it’s live on the TEDx YouTube channel. It was total exhilaration from start to finish. Read my blog post about my TEDx experience here. A big thanks to TEDx Omagh Curator, Matthew Beaumont for the opportunity.
2015 Influencer Partnerships
It was a year where I developed new working relationships with a host of influencers in digital marketing, law enforcement, blogging, social media and in business generally. This is one of the key strategies I use to build my business.
Blogging for LawEnforcement.Social happened in 2015. I blog once monthly and I now have three blog posts up on the site. I’m also joining them on their Blabs so look out for more of those interactions in 2016. I believe my first one will be on Christmas Eve, so I’ve managed to add something else into my 2015 achievements!
I launched my new webinar series in conjunction with Big Marker and this year I became an influencer partner on their platform. I have my second webinar on the 28th December so join in if you have some time off over the holiday season. Register for “What’s the hype with hashtags?” – it’s free!
2015 Making 2016 Happen
2015 was a year where I continued to develop my professional self. I have had so many highlights and I want to thank each and every person who asked me to speak, to train their teams, to deliver consultancy or to advise them on strategies.
The launch of Young Minds Online was a highlight as Sophie and I laboured over this for two and a half years, so to see Kaspersky Lab buy it and offer it to their customers in 300 countries was a real highlight.
Here’s some brilliant speaking events and consultancy projects I was involved in – in photos. Delivering social media strategy training to a range of organisations including Youthreach, Udaras na Gaeltachta, Clare Local Development Company and the Presentation Sisters Union to name but a few.
Speaking at the Mid West Regional Finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur awards.
Speaking at the Into The West Bloggers Network, Blogging Conference was a real highlight. I loved it! Here’s my blog post from that speaking event – 7 ways to monetize your blog.
It was Wow – the Women of the World festival in Derry over two days on “From a teenage mum to an entrepreneur.”
The Web Summit 2015 was a real highlight and I got the opportunity to meet up with my old pal Shane Wallace from DonegalTV who interviewed me at the event.
I had the opportunity this year to live blog from Dublin Castle for the 2015 EuroCOP Congress. The organisation represents half a million police officers in 27 EU countries.
The launch of #DigitalClare was a huge highlight for me and I absolutely loved working with Clare Local Development Company and all their clients. A wonderful bunch of people who inspired me online and in real life!
2016 What’s In Store?
More speaking – I’ve a range of speaking events lined up for the first quarter of 2016 – in the UK, in Google and in Dublin. More on that on my social media platforms over the coming weeks.
More eLearning – a suite of courses will be online next year. Do let me know what digital skills you would like to learn online.
More consulting – continuing to work with some great clients who have stuck with me for many years and I’m looking forward to working with more companies.
More writing- more blogging certainly and maybe even another book?
And hopefully much more that I don’t know of yet. If you want to collaborate on a project with me or want to speak to me about something you are working on, then simply drop me an email to email@example.com.
Have a great festive season; sending you the very best wishes for 2016 and remember….