Courtney Robertson, WordPress teacher & social media marketing coach is with us today for an exclusive interview so without further ado, let’s hear it from the woman herself.
WPJuicer: Hi Courtney, thank you so much for taking some time out from your busy schedule for us. Can you please introduce yourself to our readers? How did you start your career? Who motivated and inspired you?
Courtney: I began teaching business education in 2002. In 2007, I began using WordPress. Soon after, I left the classroom for a number of years to build and maintain websites and social media marketing plans for authors, realtors, and other small business owners. By 2009, I volunteered to check attendees in a WordCamp MidAtlantic and got hooked into the community. In 2014, I discovered the WordPress Training team and began contributing. In 2016, I returned to the classroom to teach an Intro to Web Development course at a Vo-Tech/Career Tech Ed school. I used WordPress as a tool to teach HTML, CSS, and PHP.
Inspirational: All who have contributed to democratizing publishing. Have you read the 2nd paragraph on the WordPress About page? I found it while teaching inner-city Philadelphia youth, and saw
WPJuicer: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing in WordPress these days?
Courtney: I teach WordPress at Codedifferently. My students are paid interns within Delaware and our classroom is entirely online. My students have completed most of the Power User track of lessons available on WPTrainingTeam. We are working on currently rounding out the web developer pipeline to ensure all our students have a working knowledge of using WordPress within a full-stack developer program.
Contracting with Modern Tribe, makers of The Events Calendar, and Event Tickets matters greatly to me. I write technical documents for the knowledge base, release notes, and occasionally produce screencasts. I want to keep my foot in the agency world as it will help round out my working knowledge for what upcoming web development students need to be job-ready. Also, I really love the company culture and leadership.
While teaching, I have had an opportunity to renew my contribution commitments with the Training team. Our lesson plans live on Learn WordPress as the final public repository. We are actively regrouping and in need of contributors to review, update, create, and prioritize lesson plans and teaching materials.
WPJuicer: What do you think is the most efficient way to market a WordPress product at this moment?
Courtney: Know your community and reach out to them personally. Engage users in social media. Thank those that mention the brand online or off. Always remember the people you are reaching and engage them. Show a sense of humor, kindness, and compassion.
WPJuicer: What’s the one thing you’d like to change about WordPress?
Courtney: During the GenesisWP Livecast, the discussion was had on how to attract the youth to the WordPress community, and how do we have more BIPoC candidates in the web development workforce? I have rough ideas on mentorship pathways, job shadowing, and contributing to various WordPress teams and local Meetups. I would like to partner with others at a wider-scale to improve the onboarding experience for those transitioning from high school through post-secondary and into the workforce.
WPJuicer: Digital and social media marketing are already doing wonders. How do you see social media marketing in the future? In your opinion, what would be the trends in social media next year?
Courtney: With an unknown time until in-person events resume, I believe more people are turning to connect digitally. Social activism is on the rise, as are online events and ways to video chat. I believe we are seeing the benefits of more wide-spread adoption of these technologies
WPJuicer: B2B companies, have a hard time realizing the true potential of Social media. What strategies would you suggest to B2B companies for maximizing the potential of their social media footprint?
Courtney: Participate as a brand account while showing the humanness behind it. Play along with the riddles and memes, participate in the jokes. Showcase and highlight users online. Be aware of both marketing trends and observe your community.
WPJuicer: Whom do you consider your best buddies within the social media marketing industry? Who has influenced your career and professional development?
Courtney: My focus for the past few years has been in the WordPress products space. I would actually say my best online friends are the humans behind those products/services, whether within companies I contract with, or other companies. Often directly on their own non-brand accounts, but sometimes with the brands as well. I participate in what is happening.
WPJuicer: Who should we interview next, and why?
Courtney: Rafsun Chowdhury. I’ve worked with him for a number of years now, but am on the hunt to learn more about the WordPress people in the Asian-Pacific or even African communities. Facebook or Twitter. Rafsun is skilled in PHP.
WPJuicer: We have talked too much about your professional life. Let’s tell our readers about your hobbies and interests. What does Courtney do other than work? (Can we have a pics)
Courtney: When I am not chasing my 2 preschool-aged sons, I garden – a lot! We use a no-till method, have a lot of summer produce, berries, grapes, and a mini-orchard. I aspire to grow/preserve as much of our own food as I can.
I’ve played the violin and mandolin since grade school but recently picked up an electric 7 string violin that reaches down to the cello and bass range. I am learning how to play the extra strings and all things related to amps, pedals, effects, and more. I’ve got eyes on a guitar baiana, an extended range electric mandolin made in Brazil.
WPJuicer: Any other thoughts or things you wish to mention?
Courtney: I help with the WordPress Training team. We make lesson plans and teaching materials for instructors to use at Meetups and other workshops or classroom situations. We’re working on preparing http://learn.wordpress.org for its big reveal.