We first met in the mid-1990s; I was still a newspaper reporter and covering her bid for elected office in New Jersey. These days, Nelson is – as stated on the website for her award-winning book, "Black Woman Redefined" – "an accomplished woman on the move. She is a much-sought-after speaker, media/political commentator, national columnist and first-time author who is 'redefining' the rules for 21st-century living and success."
Anyway, our conversation began with me commenting on the merits of Nelson, in my opinion, incessantly and publicly airing her emotions on Twitter. She replied that social media is leading people to become more transparent when dealing with anger, relationships, sex, religion, friendships, politics, etc. "That is what we do now," she said.
A couple years ago, Nelson aspired to political punditry in this presidential election cycle. She doesn't talk about politics anymore on Twitter, however, after noting that it typically cost her followers when she did. Nelson is developing a "very good following" via her 30-minute Twitter chats each Saturday, in which she aims to "take my personal and connect with others who are disconnected in ways that matter." Though her book is soon to be re-released as a paperback, Nelson said is broadening her brand from Black Women Redefined to Life Redefined.
"People want me to be inspirational. People want me to be prescriptive. They want me to help them make their life better. That's the girl I want to be – where people say, 'I don't know what Sophia's talking about today, but I know I don't want to miss what she's talking about.' I'm trying to be the Oprah of my generation. That's what I want to be."
Nelson offered Melinda Emerson, Marshawn Evans and Tera Carissa Hodges as exemplars of using social media and personal websites to promote their brands universally. I met Emerson about the same time as Nelson and admire her success. Looking forward to learning more about Evans and Hodges. Also will consider the idea about leading Twitter chats. First, as I said, I must determine what words uniquely channel my core competencies and the approach that best suits my brand. Would be happy to know your thoughts, everyone.