“Social Media Pioneer,” “Power Influencer,” and “Twitter Powerhouse” Jessica Northey is a multi-media personality who consistently ranks as one of the Most Influential Women in Social Media. She hosts interviews with Country Music stars that are often live streamed from the red carpet or backstage at award shows, and more recently reported live from the red carpet at the CMA Awards.
Between running her website and hosting both #CMChat on Twitter and Twangout on Google+, Jessica found time to catch up with us and chat about how she got her start in the Country Music industry, why she decided to start her blog, and what her favorite social media platforms are.
360i: When did your passion for Country Music start?
JN: At birth. I mean, seriously, I was Country when Country wasn’t cool. I had no choice; it was a rite of passage in my family. It was just what we were listening to, but I loved it because it talked to me and told me my own story, which is something Country is known for and why it’s become so popular. You can actually understand the words to the songs. Some melodies and messages are changing, but it’s still the same values I grew up on. Work hard, work honest and play harder. I grew up at a dirt racetrack in Tucson, Arizona as a redneck who didn’t know she was one.
360i: When did you come up with the idea for #CMChat?
JN: I started Country Music Chat as a way to build a community for Country Music fans. Honesty, I just love people. I love music. I love media. When I was a little girl I would tell everyone to be quiet when commercials were on, and I never realized that this would be the creative realm I would live in as an adult. Plus, I’ve always been a networking fool and love connecting people. Country Music Chat is the ultimate vehicle for that, and I love taking people “backstage” with me to meet their favorite celebrities and industry professionals, as well as introducing fans to each other.
360i: The Country Music scene must be extremely competitive. How were you able to make yourself stand out?
JN: I am known for the phrase: “I have an idea!” And everyone makes fun of me for it. I try to keep a lot of “eggs in the basket” or “balls in the air,” and give myself the freedom to pursue different avenues swiftly. Our CMchatLIVE.com website is my baby. I have a couple of reality TV projects in the works, as well as a few big corporate speaking gigs coming up. My biggest “next big thing” is working on a book. I am so excited to finally be able to share my passion about social media with people who might benefit from it. I have a very simple approach, so when I work with people they tell me, “Wow, that was easy,” or “I totally get this.”
360i: What’s your favorite social media platform to interact with your followers on?
JN: Everyone always thinks it’s Twitter for me, but I actually am fonder of Facebook these days. And I love to do Video Hangouts with people on Google+, even just to chat with my friends and catch up.
360i: Forbes named you one of the Top 50 Power Influencers. What best practices do you follow to keep your content organic and unique?
JN: It’s not rocket science; it’s human nature. As my mentor Vallerie Geller says, “Tell the truth, make it matter and never be boring.” I also think you have to be able to tell the right message to the right people, the right amount of times. That is the key to media consumption.