It’s time for episode 27 of the Relentless: Real People, Real Results, Real World podcast!
In this episode I welcome in Rebecca Barber – Wharton School social media guru, ultra-runner, Rocky 50K creator, Back on My Feet supporter, and self-proclaimed foodie.
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- Starting the day with water in the morning: “I don’t like coffee. This absurd energy comes naturally.”
- On podcasts: “I found that my longer runs I stick to podcasts because I can focus on the words and it’s harder for me to have my mind wander.”
- On social media: “By the time a book is published, it’s outdated. I’m constantly on blogs…Social media is constantly changing.”
- Where did the running begin? “She [mom] said that I’ve always been a runner…in pre-school I was always running across the schoolyard.”
- On running: “It’s given me so much, and it’s helped me learn who I am as a person.”
- Embracing a variety of sports – karate, tennis, crew, etc. – and organically and consistently returning to running.
- Being inspired by her track coach to run her first marathon: “I trained all summer for it, and it was horrible and awful. When I finished I said never again, and that night I was already looking for future marathons.”
- Growing bored of marathon distance and progressing to ultra-running: “I just didn’t have any fire for training…I have to actually love what I’m doing to actually put the time into it.”
- On the physical risk of running: “There is research that shows that runners have less incident of arthritis in the knees than non-runners because they’re using the joints.”
- On respecting your body: “My biggest thing – and this is what I tell everybody – is to listen to your body. That is huge. I want to be a runner until I die, and I really hope I can do it. So I listen to my body. When something hurts I take time off.”
- Tips on mitigating damage: improved sleep via earlier bedtime and tracking app, strength training, yoga/pilates, varying tempo, choosing appropriate footwear.
- Leveraging the “free fitness movement” November Project and BeWellPhilly’s BeWOW workouts to supplement her runs.
- On hiring a running coach: “It’s hard to get yourself to recognize that you need to do more than running to be good at running.”
- Becoming an Altra shoe ambassador and easing into minimalist footwear: “You feel good early on in a run, and you think you can do more and more. It’s important to let your body adjust…there’s no fun in being injured.”
- On being a foodie: “One reason that I love running is that I can eat the doughnut. If you can’t eat a doughnut after you run a marathon, when can you eat a doughnut?”
- On nutritional self-awareness: “I’ve learned that I do not succeed well when cutting food groups out. When I cut one out, it’s all I want.”
- On food judgement: “People can get really judgy with food, and it’s hard for people to step off because it’s so personal…sometimes people can think they have the right answers, and it’s really just the right answer for them.”
- Her most basic motivation: “I want people to live their healthiest lives.”
- Roger: “Offer suggestions but not mandates to others and allow them to find their own way.”
- What are you running from? “I think it’s running to things in so many ways. It’s a pillar in my life that has brought me so much. For some people it’s knitting, for some it’s cooking. We all have our habits and hobbies.”
- On the social nature of running: “I love going to run but mostly when it’s with people.”
- Creating the Rocky 50K after inspiration from a Dan McQuade PhillyMag article. “It was calling my name. Someone had to organize it, and I wanted it to be me, and I wanted to be the first one there.”
- Advice to those considering an idea: “If you really think you want to do it, you don’t want to look back and think ‘I could have done it’ and someone else is doing it. Or even worse someone else is doing it but doing it poorly.”
- First step to creating the run: “I created a Facebook group.”
- Getting big, landing on the cover of the Wall Street Journal and in Runner’s World, and receiving a cease and desist letter from MGM Studios.
- Talking intellectual property, keeping the race name, but changing the logo.
- On event size: “I’m happy there’s a small, super passionate group. That’s better than a large group that’s ‘meh’.”
- Incorporating Back on My Feet and collecting thousands of pounds of donated shoes: “There has to be a way to give back.”
- Drawing inspiration from the homeless population: “If they’re living in a homeless shelter, and they’re coming out at 5:30 in the morning in the cold, heat, rain, and snow, then I have zero excuse.”
- Managing a variety of social media for the Wharton School: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- On knowing your audience: “The biggest thing is to understand your product and your interest. Each network has its strengths for different audiences.”
- What led you to social media? “I got into social media because it’s something I love to do personally, and then I realized I could do it professionally. A lot of what I’ve learned is my experience exploring and being open.”
- On your approach: “Be human. It’s so important to be human…It’s understanding your brand, your business, and who you are. Your brand could be you.”
- Facebook: “It’s a place that people go where they have their friends and family. It’s way more personal than most other networks. Brands are constantly struggling to get in…provide what your fans actually want.”
- On the importance of visuals: “When you’re competing against grandma’s photos and adorable puppies you’ve gotta have visuals that are important.”
- Facebook Live: “It’s a really fun way to show off the personality of the Wharton School.”
- Instagram: “People are amazing photographers. It’s really hard to stand out. A lot of it is having visuals that are important, tapping into hashtags…finding people in your community to connect with, to follow, to take over your Instagram.”
- Twitter: “It’s a customer service tool more than anything.”
- Using Sprout Social, exploring Percolate as social media management tools, and using Schedugram to schedule Instagram posts.
- LinkedIn: “It is so business-centric…connect with whoever you feel comfortable with and know that everyone is posting about business things.”
- On prioritization: “You don’t have to be on everything. At some point there has to be a return on investment. You only have 24 hours in a day.”
- On using data: “It’s important to look at insights if it’s something you’re doing professionally or to build a business…See what works. Test. Experiment.”
- Snapchat: “I realized it’s really fun, and it’s a great way of posting pictures and connecting.”
- On volume vs. engagement: “3 or 4 years ago volume was huge, but you want real fans that are actually engaging with you content…what matters is that the fans you have are engaging with you and connecting and commenting and liking and sharing. It’s important to gain that followership but have a valuable followership too.”
- Jon Loomer (social media)
- Dean Karnazes’s first book
- Jackie Joyner Kersee’s memoir
- Sleep Cycle sleep tracking app
Mind: Listen to what calms your mind and do it.
Body: Listen to and honor your body. “You listen to your car when an engine light is on or when it needs fuel.”
Business: Be open to experimentation and try new things.
FOLLOW REBECCA BARBER:
- On Instagram: @rebthebarber
- On Twitter: @rebthebarber
- Personal website
- Rocky 50K website
- Back on My Feet website
DO ME A FAVOR, WILL YA?
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