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Meet 4 People-Lovers Who (Naturally) Became Social Media Gurus

While social media has evolved into a lucrative tool for businesses, the essence of social media remains quite simple.

At its core, social media is social. It’s a haven for the people-lovers of the world who desire to connect with others similar, and unlike, themselves.

“Why I Social” podcast’s September lineup of guests consisted of four individuals who were lured into the professional digital world by the magnetic environment of their social communities.

View September’s episode to hear their stories, and how each still looks to social media for its raw social quality for both personal and professional endeavors.


Ep. 90: Josh McCormack, Owner of InteractiveQA


Josh’s first taste of social media had little to do with his career. In fact, social media was then a sparkly new tool that underscored the novelty of the Internet.

But his curiosity persuaded him to experiment with social media as an everyday tool for catching up with friends, and to start dabbling in the strange business of web development.

His early web work involved putting some of the first radio stations on the internet, along with digital advertisements (e.g., pre-roll ads) for streaming radio.

And while Josh humbly attributes his success to “being at the right place at the right time,” his portfolio evidences a smart, fearless individual who has built up some of today’s fundamental web systems and processes.

He now runs his own digital marketing and web development firm. His guiding principle is to do the work that is helpful to the people he’s in touch with every day via social media.

“I think that when you get into a community, you want to build relationships so that you can influence. You listen to people, find out what they need, and help them out.” twitter

Listen to Josh’s interview with Why I Social’s Chris Barrows for his tips on running a people-centric business and succeeding in an ever-evolving digital world.


Ep. 91: Will Fanguy, Blog Editor at Piktochart


What some call “vested varied job experience,” Will calls “job hopping.”

Will has gone from being a promotional assistant for two of the largest radio stations in Nashville, to an account executive for a PR firm, to a sporting goods manager, to a middle school English teacher, to the blog editor of Piktochart.

The common thread of all these positions?

“I really love people. I love communicating with people. I love talking with people. I love learning about them.”

A people-lover by nature, Will harnesses social technology to keep in touch with colleagues, friends, and even old students. His enduring philosophy is to learn the real personalities behind the people he serves with any job he takes on.

It’s a philosophy he especially took to heart while teaching. As a teacher, he witnessed the emergence of technology in the classroom, and of social media in the everyday lives of his students. To this day, he empowers educators to embrace social technology to better understand the needs of their students.

“I think it’s important for teachers to understand where their kids are spending time just like it’s important for a marketer to understand where your audience is and who the people are that you’re talking, where they’re spending their time, and who their influencers are…if you know where to find them, then you’re one step ahead in connecting with them.” twitter

Learn more about Will’s experience with tech and teaching, and how he continues to foster his passion for connecting with people while working at Piktochart.


Ep. 92: Berrak Sarikaya, Founder of Amplify Your Biz


At one point an aspiring lawyer, and at another point a 26-year-old intern at Edelman – Berrak comes with a varied background dabbling in several fields of study.

Her professional accomplishments are equally varied, ranging from being senior community and content strategist at Google, to founder of her own digital marketing company.

Prior to establishing herself as a social media professional, Berrak naturally took to social media to engage with people each day, field new jobs, and to share stories about her life.

Social media has also led her to grow insatiably inquisitive about other people who’ve inspired her to plan for a blog series entitled, “Successful People’s Failures.”

Today, she continues to credit much of her success to social media for providing the community, opportunities, and resources that she wouldn’t have been able to receive otherwise.

“Through social media…I’ve met a lot of different people who had the experiences before me. I asked them a lot of questions and I really took to their mentorship and really, really learned a lot from them and emulated the struggles they had.” twitter

Not to mention, she loves her gifs. One of her favorites?


Hear more about her everyday struggles and successes as an entrepreneur in her conversation with Chris.

Ep. 93 – Tim Sohn, Founder of Sohn Social Media Solutions


Tim’s “first career love” was journalism. He never imagined breaking up with journalism in a full-time capacity, especially after having worked with various newspapers across the east coast for 12 years.

But a few gigs with publications like Editor & Publisher and Media Bistro introduced him to the marketing world, first enticing him to earn a certificate of digital marketing through Media Bistro, and later inspiring him to establish his own company.

He now crafts social media solutions for small business executives, some of whom resemble the forward-thinking executives he used to interview as a journalist.

Tim also teaches social media classes at local chambers of commerce, opting for a more organic approach to attracting new business and forming client relationships.

“Sometimes what happens is we hold a class, and we’ll have a one-on-one consultation a few weeks later or [attendees will] be left wondering certain things, so we’ll build a long-term relationship in terms of becoming a client…The classes are really great, especially when we do a series…It’s really nice to build a relationship with people over time.” twitter

What are some other ways that Tim uses word-of-mouth to grow his business? Also, does Tim have plans to return to journalism? Find out in his interview!

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