Your bright future is before your eyes. All you need is the vision to see it.
Clients call Katie Brockhurst their “social media angel”. It is more than a nickname: it's a job description, an ethos, a mission statement. Like all meaningful titles it wasn't chosen, it evolved through years of hard work and trusting that Desire, belief and action make dreams come true.
“When I was young I wanted to be famous,” Katie chuckles. “I just didn't know for what.” Meantime, she studied, collected Take That memorabilia, and developed a fascination with computers and communication. “This was before the internet so we'd queue up on our lunch break to chat to each other on the school intranet.”
Katie went to university with an eye on a career in advertising or the music industry. In her final year she heard that students at neighbouring university had sold a website for a cool million. Inspired, Katie and a couple of friends came up with a novel idea: a website that would connect graduates to find jobs, accommodation, and even romance. “We didn't call it a social network, because they didn't exist.”
Cutting-edge ideas are the first casualties of hard times. When the dot-com bubble burst Kate redirected her energies into media. Her dream was to work for BMG Records and, with characteristic patience and determination, she set a course towards her goal.
When Kate was little she picked flowers and “sold” them to her teddy bears. Time only sharpened her entrepreneurial streak. While temping at a music-industry design agency she spotted a gap in the merchandising and launched an online shop linked with the then little known As Seen On Screen (ASOS.com).
Tee-shirt sales rose by 500%.
Kate then went onto Polydor Records before being offered a job at BMG. It was the dream company but a dull role: receptionist/switchboard operator. That didn't faze Kate though. She tackled it with zest and soon became PA to one of the label's hottest properties: “Dangerous” Dave Pearce. He was riding high with massive Radio 1 shows and string of Number 1 hits. Instead of answering phones Katie was doing marketing, record plugging, talent management, bookings, and helping run a record label.
The curiosity that propelled Kate into the computer lab as a kid stood her in good stead. She was constantly learning, evolving, growing her role. She became an assistant manager at Pearce's booking agency, Wise Buddah (which is funny now no?!) and stepped into the lives of a host of UK Urban music stars. Officially, she was supposed to get them gigs, but her mind was always spinning new ways to connect people. “I wanted to work with unsigned artists, to show them how to use social media like MySpace, to help get gigs,” she recalls. “Black artists had a hard time getting on mainstream radio. The internet allowed us to get straight to the fans.”
When one of her acts, Firin' Squad, lost their KISS radio slot she suggested they try something called a podcast. Kate had discovered the power of podcasting during a six-month stint in Ibiza where she produced a chart-topping podcast for Space nightclub. Now, with the help of a junior engineer, they recorded programmes in the Wise Buddha studio after hours. To their delight, the “Firin' Squad Unsigned Podcast” was nominated for a 2007 Sony Radio Academy Award. Katie jokingly promised that if they won she'd get a tattoo representing her nickname, Kdot.
Good as her word, Katie got the ink when Firin' Squad won Gold for “Best Internet Programme”. Then she gave in her notice. “I had the name – Kdot – the tattoo became my logo. It was time to step out on my own.”
Kdot brings together all Katie's knowledge, experience, creativity and intuition. Initially, her focus was music. Then Harper-Collins publishers contacted her (via social media, of course) and asked Kate to help promote a trilogy written by the Duchess of Northumberland. Kate galvanised the publicity campaign, gaining over 100,000 followers on Tumblr alone. “That really opened me up to the world of publishing,” she says. “With books you have tons of content. From a social media perspective, it's an absolute dream.”
Kdot grew rapidly thanks to Katie's innovative social media campaigns. Managing an office and staff, however, whittled away at the time spent doing the creative communications she loves. “The bigger the company got, the further I was getting from doing what I loved.”
On the brink of burnout, Kate picked up a book she says everyone should read: F**k It – The Ultimate Spiritual Way. Its blunt advice to stop worrying, ditch the “shoulds” and “ought-tos”... After going on a F**k It retreat in 2011 Katie approached F**k It's founders, John and Gaia Parkin. She worked with them to grow on Facebook (from 2000 to 1.6 million!) and launch their second book. “That's when I started to build a good relationship with Hay House, their publishers.”
As Kate got deeper into the Mind-Body-Spirit community, she spotted a disconnect between her actions, desire and belief. “You can't be involved in the mind-body-spirit world and not be authentic, not be true to yourself.” It was time to realign work with her priorities and values. She made the challenging decision to close Kdot Online Ltd as a company and step away from the music and club scene.
Kate is now a full-time Social Media Angel focused on coaching and consulting for mind-body-spirit authors and experts across the world.
“Our world is changing and the internet has a big part to play. My mission is to use my skills to help people who help people.”