Boot Camp Digital helps small and large companies dive into Web 2.0

Boot Camp Digital founder Krista Neher came to Cincinnati from Toronto in 2005 after being transferred here by Procter & Gamble for her finance and marketing job. A few years later, she left the company to become VP of Marketing for local internet startup Photrade.com.

That company was eventually sold and Neher lost her job, leaving her unsure about what she wanted to pursue.

"After the company was sold I didn't know what I wanted to do next. I'd gotten a few local job offers, but I turned them down because I needed some time to think about it," Neher, who lives in Over-the-Rhine, said.

In the meantime Neher devoted her time blogging about a new passion: social media on The Marketess.  About two years ago, her path found her.

"Someone reading the blog said, 'Hey you really understand social media well, can we hire you at P&G?'" Neher recalled.

So she went back to work for her former company, this time as a consultant.

"I ended up working with them for quite a while," she said. "I helped them launch some of their first social media work and that's how I started my business. The work came to me first because I developed a skillset that is so in demand in the market."

Neher launched Boot Camp Digital in early 2009. The company, based downtown, works with large corporations and startups (and everything in between) with the aim of getting their "digital marketing in shape." She offers onsite training sessions ranging from social media campaigns and micro blogging to SEO and community management. In addition to her work with P&G, she also does social media programs for ad:tech, the largest international digital marketing conference.

The company also hosts courses for the public. The next one, "Social Media for Marketing in Cincinnati", is Aug. 4 at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Boot Camp Digital courses go beyond the basics of using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogging.

"We really focus on how to leverage social media as a strategy and how to use social media in your business. Because the tools are free people don't put enough into the strategy side of it," Neher said.

Neher employs four part-time workers locally, and travels to offer Boot Camp Digital training in other locations. In addition, she's also written a guide book on digital media marketing which she offers for sale through her web site.

She will soon debut a second, self-published digital media marketing book, and is in talks with a book publisher to write the first social media marketing text book, she said. 

So what piece of free advice does Neher offer businesses unsure of how to be successful in the world of Web 2.0?

"Ask yourself, 'Who exactly do I want to reach?' Really focus on that and what's interesting to those people and what they are passionate about. Build your content based on your audience and you'll be more successful," Neher said.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Krista Neher, founder Boot Camp Digital

You can follow Feoshia on twitter @feoshiasoapbox 
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