­Her constantly evolving role involves networking and training business owners around Australia, but for Simone Douglas simplifying social media is at the heart of her offering. Over the past eight years, her company Social Media AOK has been offering crisis management, strategic advice and consulting, coaching, managed advertising and content creation in the social media space.

Simone took a few minutes out of her day to chat with Lauren Zwaans from KIS Communications about her approach, her daily juggle post COVID-19, and the four famous people she’d love to dine with.

// Lauren: Tell us about your business, Social Media AOK! Why did you start your company?

Simone: I was tired of seeing business owners bamboozled out of their money with buzz words and then often left disempowered in the process, leaning on an agency without any clear understanding of what that agency was doing for them. Social Media AOK is built on a very simple ethos – “Seriously Social “, hence the book. I believe your capacity to be authentic and human in a digital world will define how successful you are at using it as a marketing platform.

We have a solid track record across the board in terms of industries we support but we have specialist skills in health, hospitality & tourism, global consumer markets and franchises.

// What do you love most about running your own business?

My life reads like a bucket list and I love what I do across all three businesses, but Social Media AOK has allowed me to travel the world and do and see things that I would not have otherwise seen. The highlight was speaking at a global conference in Warsaw last year with over 3,000 attendees from 74 countries.

My job these days is pretty much networking with training and speaking to business owners around the country – how could you not love that?

// Social media is a constantly evolving beast. How do you stay up to speed?

Because I deliver so many training sessions on it, I am constantly across all the evolving trends.

I have a network of over 2,000 marketing professionals from around the globe, so generally I have a pretty good heads up on what’s coming. That, and I read a lot.

// If you could choose one platform only for engagement, which one would it be and why?

LinkedIn – It’s your online dating profile for business.

Whether it is B2B or B2C, that’s where your customers, referral partners and opportunities are playing.

If you get it right and build the relationships well, you will have a network that will stand the test of time.

// What does a day in the life of Simone Douglas look like?

Haha depends if it is my week with my kids or not. Generally, though, I am up at 5am right now to attend an online BNI meeting that starts at 6.30am. Hunter, my eldest, will normally make me a coffee at 6am as he is an early riser too. Once the meeting is done then Saxon, my youngest, and I cook breakfast together before I walk the dog.

9am is family workout time with the home-schooling regime so that’s a 20-minute low impact Hiit workout. Then the boys start their schedule. 

In between helping them I am likely to smash out a blog or a slide deck for my next webinar, answer emails and juggle all the other things we seem to have to do in the current environment up until 3pm.

Then it’s quiet time for them and productive time for me from 3-5pm is Zoom calls and consulting.

Then dinner at 530pm. Then music practice for the boys before they go to bed for reading at 7pm and I might smash out a weight session in the home gym before writing up my to do list for the following day.

I food prep on Sundays so the rest of the week I literally just grab food out of my fridge and eat it.

By 8pm you can guarantee I am drinking a very good single malt whisky and definitely in bed by 10pm.

// What is the number one piece of advice you’d offer fellow business owners at the moment?

Look up and look forward. Now more than ever your capacity to hold onto what the future looks like and take the steps to bring it into being will define your success. You can choose one of two things right now: either to be a victim of the circumstances you find thrust upon you, or to be the captain of your ship as you navigate the rough seas.

// You’re in quarantine with four famous people. Who do you choose and why?

­Jordan Peterson – I love his logic and capacity for calling people on the lies they tell themselves.

Chris Heider – Who couldn’t use a useful belief coach right now.

Dana Schultz – Because if you are going to have a crack at going vegan you might as well have a world class vegan chef to help you do it.

Erin Oprea – She’s the absolute master of using your environment to train – whether it’s a local playground, your living room, or a set of stairs and I am pretty compliant if I have a trainer so she would be my celebrity choice.

Get in touch with SIMONE:

Facebook: Social Media AOK

Instagram: @socialmedia_aok

Website: www.socialmediaaok.com.au