And that's a good question. What DO I do for a living? Like Thomas, I don't have a simple title. When one works online and owns their own business, one rarely has just one job title. It's much like being a stay-at-home mom, which I once was. Now? I'm a work-at-home mom. [Which means I went from working to, um, working some more.]
Those outside the genealogy and family history industry would say...
However, that doesn't quite cover the social media aspect of BloggingGenealogy.com.
And I haven't even mentioned my other professional blog, 4YourFamilyStory.com where I offer genealogy coaching services, research services, and my soon-to-be video tutorial subscription service.
So, I'm also a teacher. An educator. [But I prefer the term 'coach'. Less intimidating and more fun. And who doesn't need more fun in their lives?]
So what am I up to now? A professional blogger who blogs about social media [especially blogging], who blogs about marketing, and who blogs about how to use technology to help you with your genealogy research as well as how to share it with others. All of which falls under the niche genealogy and family history.
And why do I do all that blogging? Oh yeah, because I hope that if you have a need for my services in the future, you'll remember me and give me a chance to help you on a deeper level with your research, your research coaching, and your social media needs.
And there's my personal family history blog, Family Stories, which isn't professional, but it is because it falls under the genealogy and family history niche, and it is a part of me and my personal work. It's public and I sometimes refer to it for examples.
And I think I'm professional about it all. [Not an uptight professional, but more of a fun professional.] I agree with Michael Hait, once again, that some of the careers Thomas listed in his post probably fall under genealogy professional and not professional genealogy.
But that debate, when it is debated [which seems like all the time], is tiresome, and sometimes amidst the debating, I feel like we're the co-workers in the back of the shop fighting over who is the best person to wait on the customer who is out front 'just looking around' that when we finally get to actually waiting on the customer, we find they've already left.
So? I'm not going there. I'm staying up in front of the shop, thank you very much.
In fact, this whole blog topic makes me think of my Dad, an entrepreneur. With him the customer always came first. He built relationships with them. He worked with them. If they needed something done that was out of the ordinary, he'd do it. He'd even do it if it meant that he was not going to break even on the deal. I saw him do it time and time and time again. [Luckily, he had more deals that turned out more lucrative.] And being his Office Manager [and thus over the office that had to pay the bills and make payroll], I asked him more than once, "Why?" [In a very exasperated way. And I may have rolled my eyes heavenward a time or two as well.]
And you know what he'd always say? He'd say, "Because, Caroline, we have to make the customer happy. It has to be us who makes it happen for them because they'll remember that. And they'll be loyal."
He wasn't just in business. In fact, I'd argue that his actual business [though it always seemed so paramount at the time] was really secondary to him.
In retrospect, I'd say his business wasn't really about his actual business at all. Nope.
I'd say he was in the business of relationship-building. And if he were still here now, I think he'd agree. I know at his funeral, many did agree by showing up. From family members, to neighbors, to fellow church parishioners, to former church parishioners, to current employees, to very former employees, to new friends, to old friends, to those he had helped in some way throughout the course of his life ~ they were all there.
When all was said and done, he built relationships. And through his business, he utilized his skills and expertise to help people and thus building those relationships. I'm just now fully appreciating what a sneaky person he really was.
And how alike him I am.
So. What DO I do for a living?
I build relationships. I'm a relationship-builder. Like my Dad. So, I'll blog as much as I can trying to share with you what I know. And I have skills and expertise in genealogy, family history, research, technology, teaching, training, writing, organization, social media, and marketing just in case you need more help than what I offer on my blogs. And I'll work online or offline with you.
And you can give me whatever job title you like. It really doesn't matter.
What really matters is...
How can I help you?