Relationships. If I there was ever a person that could be described in this one simple word, it would be Dana!
Dana and I were introduced through Hannah Gay and over the course of our conversation realized that we both are huge fans of Michelle Martello (aka Smartello) in Richmond, Virginia, even though Dana lives on the West Coast. The more we talked, the more I realized that Dana is a master of building genuine relationships with people at the intersection of digital strategy and social impact. Buckle up, we’re going on a ride to Dana-land!
A graduate from University of Central Florida, Dana spent the first part of her career at large agencies and PR firms in New York City. “In my last corporate role, I pitched the idea to work with deserving organizations in the non-profit/social impact space who couldn’t necessarily afford our services. And while the idea was approved, it became harder and harder to get any hours approved to work with those clients. In 2017, I had enough and left the job as well as New York City. And I figured if I was going to make a jump, I might as well shake things up a little more. I moved to Los Angeles to start my own business and work with the type of clients that I knew would make a difference.”
“Positive Equation started as a social media agency. Using the traditional agency model, I delivered and implemented custom digital solutions for each client, hiring contractors to help execute the projects. On the weekend of July 4th, 2018, which is a big holiday weekend here in the U.S., I found myself on the phone and answering client emails. I was knee-deep in work and stressed while my family and friends were having fun and celebrating. I realized that this was not the vision I had had when I decided to work on my own. In fact, this was the opposite of what I had wanted! I needed a change.
In the Fall, an incredible opportunity was presented to me. I was asked to join the production team at American Idol as a digital producer. While I worked on American Idol, I was able to refocus where I wanted my business to go – teaching and coaching.
In May 2019, I re-launched Positive Equation to provide the tools and resources to empower digital marketers that work at nonprofits and purpose-driven businesses. Instead of focusing on implementing solutions for my clients, I teach them the strategies needed for them to execute.”
Social Media with a heart for strategy
“It gets under my skin when purpose-driven businesses and nonprofits ‘just put it on all [their] channels and see if anything goes viral’. Your digital presence, and social media in particular, can be powerful tools for storytelling if they are deployed strategically and in line with your mission. That’s the type of work I love to do:
- figure out what your unique message is, and
- empower internal teams of storytellers to create a narrative that resonates with your online audience.
I worked with Movember during their 2019 campaign and they do a great job of staying true to their brand voice. Focused on men’s health, we brainstormed creative ways to get men talking about their participation in the campaign and how to excite their friends to get involved. One great example was simple and humorous fill-in-the-blank posts. Once we knew these posts drove substantial engagement, we continued to publish them throughout the campaign (learn more).
The American Rainforest Conservancy also produced a brilliant video that was published just before Christmas. It’s simple message cuts right to the heart of the issue.”
Want to get a taste of how Dana thinks and works? Check out her Social Media Content Creator for non-profits: It’s a monthly subscription that provides sample photos, captions, Canva templates, and a content calendar full of ideas specifically designed for nonprofit marketers.
“Personally, I love getting really ingrained in the organization. I feel like I’ve made a difference when I see ‘lightbulb’ moments happen. When a client feels so excited and confident in a new digital skill they’ve learned that will help their cause or brand make a greater impact on the world.
Your social media channels should be revenue streams.
I’ve come to see that most organizations don’t like to dedicate a budget to social media even though it touches everything from HR to marketing, strategy and development. In my opinion, your social media streams should be revenue streams. In that sense, you have to think strategically about what you put out there, what “there” means (which channels should you be on?) and which partners you can collaborate with to create real value.”
X-amount of money for a tweet is an outdated model and misses the mark.
How can we support you in what you do?
“I’m always curious about campaigns that move the needle. It goes without saying that I love collaborating with people and organizations who share my passion for creating positive social change. And I would like to expand my reach as a speaker. If you’re looking for a female entrepreneur in digital strategy to come speak at your event, hit me up!
Los Angeles, California, Us
Relationship builder. Teacher, coach, social media expert. Storyteller.