Shannon Byrne

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Shannon Byrne

Content Strategist / Community Builder / Podcaster, Founder of A Song A Day and The Process

Portland, OR

www.theprocess.co/portfolio
instagram @shannonleebyrne
twitter @ShannnonB
Spotify
 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I help small businesses, startups, and creatives build awareness and genuine relationships through content production, community building, digital marketing, events, and partnerships.

I help my clients put people, empathy, and stories first. 

I help them take a step back and focus on the bigger picture -- on who they can impact the most and how to reach them. I help businesses build relationships through long-form content production (blogging), podcast production, email marketing, social media marketing, online community building, offline/grassroots community building, and partnership development. I believe less is more and focus on sharing only the most impactful and helpful information. 

Sometimes, I’m hired as a Jane of all Trades to help brands build their initial marketing strategies. We identify what channels will be most effective, their marketing and community goals, and the best way to progress forward. We start small to test what works and build from there. Other times, I’m hired to develop and edit content for brands who’ve already laid a marketing foundation and know their goals. 

Finally, I’m the founder of A Song A Day, a collective of curators sending hand-picked songs to thousands of inboxes around the globe daily. And of The Process, a podcast and interview series exploring the challenges of turning your craft into a business. 
 

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WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

My first professional job as a senior in college was in PR at a boutique communications agency. It became clear that my strengths lied in building strategies, developing content, and organizing events. Pitching was not for me. 

After several years there, I joined a nonprofit economic development organization where I faced traditional marketing, red tape, and creative push back for the first time in my life. That said, it’s also where (thanks to an incredible manager!) I began fine-tuning my writing skills and developed a deep love for grassroots community building. 

Needing more flexibility to work creativity, I left and joined a digital marketing agency where I learned almost everything I know about content marketing and running a blog and contributor program. Eight months later, that agency went under over night. Thanks to past employer, friend, and community support, I was a full-time freelancer within two weeks. 

Then, my time to move to New York finally presented itself. I was hired with a small community agency my first day in the city. It was an insane, whirlwind, invaluable experience. My boss taught me everything she knew about building and running a business, finding clients, pitching, running meetings, and being confident in yourself. 

Eventually, I wanted to see a more direct impact of my work -- I wanted to see the results directly. So I moved in-house at a SaaS startup. They were based in Paris and I was the only remote employee. I built their presence in the US from scratch and loved it! 

During my time there, I “accidentally” launched my side project, A Song A Day. As I continued building that on the side, I left the SaaS startup to join a freelance marketplace as a full-time employee. With time, it became clear that I was better off freelancing to give A Song A Day the space it needed to grow. 

With a Kickstarter campaign, several live shows booked, and a whole lot more in between, I ended up as a part-time contract worker with another SaaS startup based in London. There, I learned how to podcast, refined my distribution skills, and worked closely with a very talented team. During that time, I wrote copy and developed content for other freelance clients in the tech space as well. After two years, I have given that client notice in order to focus on work that better aligns with my values and interests. And here we are! 
 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

There’s a lot of this “this worked for Startup X, so it will work for us” mentality in most industries, but especially tech. Rather than taking this approach, I prefer to help brands stand out and embrace their unique quirks and team personalities -- to test their most unique ideas. I lead with authenticity and human connection. I’m not here to help brands push their product, but to build relationships with people who will find true value in what they’re creating. 

For me, personally, this means being unapologetically me when I publish content online. I say weird things, I share my emotions, I make weird voices, I curse. It’s just who I am. And I want to work with brands who accept and embrace that about me. 
 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I’m winding down things with my big SaaS client, finishing up the distribution of a super cool project that encourages and educates on data literacy: data-literacy.geckoboard.com 

I’m working on finding my place as a freelancer outside of the B2B SaaS industry, which includes a personal rebrand of sorts. I want to apply my skills to brands, entrepreneurs, and creatives building things that better align with my interests and values. I’m particularly interested in music, holistic health, outdoors, travel, art, and sustainable goods. I’m also gearing up to re-launch my podcast, The Process and figure out next steps for A Song A Day.

As of November 2017 I’m currently driving across the United States and am considering writing an essay or poem series about the trip! 
 

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WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

Empathy and authenticity are at the core of my work, whether that’s writing an article that’s truly helpful rather than promotional or producing a showcase that highlights emerging artists and supports an important cause

In my personal writing, I can be perhaps overly honest but I think that’s what makes me uniquely me. In terms of visuals, I commission and sometimes make my own visuals that represent authenticity and uniqueness. Sometimes they’re soft and pretty, other times they’re clean and simple or perhaps quirky and weird.  

The Process site, though a work in progress, is pretty representative of my style: https://www.theprocess.co/

A Song A Day at its core is representative of the things I care most about (people, music, collaboration, supporting the arts): https://www.asongaday.co/
 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I’d love to learn photography beyond the iPhone to be able to offer full-service social and content production. In a similar vein, I’d love to beef up my video production and editing skills.

I also wish I could dedicate more time and energy to my podcast and personal writing. Sometimes I wish I had a clone to also book more music showcases. 

I’d love to work more in music, health, outdoors, travel, holistic health, and sustainable goods.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

The hate and violence in the word. And listicles that are purely a SEO play. Please stop, you’re making everything worse. 

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Automate my daily processes, create text clips, help me with managing my email. Perhaps help with social media for me side projects. 
 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I wish that in college or shortly after someone sat me down and said, “You can carve your own path. You don’t have to try to climb up the corporate ladder. Focus on learning, not superficial titles and accolades or recognition. You can make a living by doing the things that are most interesting for you -- you just have to get out there and talk to people and look for them. Always be asking questions. Talk to people outside of what you think is your industry. Do physical, laborious work. Pick up a pencil or paint brush. Get out of your head. Meditate daily, exercise often. Spend more time in nature. This is your life and you can design it however you want. Don’t let the status quo and hometown mentality limit you, ever. Oh - and volunteer with your college radio station and newspaper, duh!” 

Why? I don’t regret my path at all, it’s what got me to where I am today but sometimes I wonder how much faster I would’ve discovered my love of adventure (literal and metaphorical) if I had adventured more at a younger age.  
 

 photo by  Em Grey

photo by Em Grey

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Right this second, it’d be print publishing and artist management and booking. But in general, probably finance and investing. 
 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I’m looking to help socially and environmentally conscious brands and people tell their story and build awareness and community through content development and strategy (writing, podcasting, video, social, crowdfunding, etc.), community strategy (cultivate authentic connections with and among your existing audience), and partnerships (building new mutually beneficial relationships with aligned brands and people) .
 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

My ideal client is someone who is passionate about their work and is doing it because they love it or are solving a problem they had or saw directly. I want to work with socially and environmentally conscious people who see beyond the dollar signs but want to have an impact. A collaboration should have mutual trust and respect. We should lift each other up and get each other jazzed about what we’re working on! 
 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

It certainly depends on the project. I work with folks on a sliding scale but most content projects come out to about $100/hour. Community is a bit more difficult to price. I’d need to learn more about their goals, develop a strategy, and allocate time and value from there! 
 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Send me a note at shannonleebyrne@gmail.com with some info on your company or project, goals, budget, scope, your brand inspirations, and what makes you excited to wake up in the morning! If you have a dog or other furry friend, feel free to send a pic. Bonus points for your favorite album or community radio station. :)
 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

I ask incredible people lots of questions!

 


This member profile was originally published in November 2017.