A NORTH East entrepreneur is winning accolades for her work in helping businesses get to grips with social media.
Amanda Dixon, who started her career in newspaper sales before working in the family accountancy firm and then running a taxi business, set up I Am You in 2010.
The firm teaches small businesses how to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to their best advantage.
And the Gateshead-based mum-of-four has just taken the Most Outstanding Learning Tutor award, run by Whatson4Me, as well as being one of the first North East businesses to win Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday Awards.
Mrs Dixon set up a North East based business directory in 2006, which sowed the seeds for her current enterprise when she started working to promote her clients.
“I built my business up, initially through attending lunch meetings with Network North and then started attending other business networking groups such as Mums Business Club North East, the Mussel Club, the NECC,” she said.
“I’ve even ended up starting my own group – Monday Motivation – and also through exhibiting at local business expos. At these networking groups and exhibitions I would either attend as myself or on behalf of a client to promote them – and at each meeting people would ask ‘who are you today?’
“So in 2010 I decided the time had come to concentrate on what I enjoyed the most which was networking – both in person at events and also online through the use of social media.
“Social media has become a focal point, an absolute necessity for ALL businesses. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, when used correctly, are an amazing place for you to gain new contacts, develop relationships and most importantly increase your profile.”
She now holds regular social media workshops in Hebburn, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Durham. And for those who are too busy to take time out, she has teamed up with Karen Rutter to provide online training through the Social Media Angles website.
Mrs Dixon said: “I have in the past year taught social media to over 1,000 North East business, tutoring so many different people, including a vicar, charity fundraisers, accountants, fitness instructors, a couple of people from the Ministry of Defence, photographers, IT consultants, stress consultants, printers, bookkeepers, drainage companies and even social media managers – to name but a few.”