I first came in contact with Kat last year through Blacksportsonline. I needed a logo made for my new blog and she came high recommended from BSO. We quickly began working and collaborating on a logo which I used for several months before developing a brand logo.
I can’t say that I know Kat personally, but what I have learned from her online, is that she is a strong, Christian wife and mother of five children who seamlessly is able to blend social media into the business of her blog and web design endeavors.
Recently, I began noticing that Kat was tweeting about auditioning for American Idol, and even had her Twitter followers and blog readers choose what song she would use to audition via clips on You Tube. It was then that I began thinking that Kat’s social media story needed to be told—she is savvy in her social networks and in doing so, she has raised funds to take a trip to audition in New Orleans, mostly off of the strength of social media.
Now as much as I eye-rolled and gave up on American Idol at the end of last season, I can see myself watching if Kat is indeed selected to be on the show.
Here is Kat’s American Idol social media story:
What made you want to audition for Idol?
I’ve wanted to audition for several years, but haven’t had the opportunity. I’ve been singing for as long as my memory serves me! Singing comes as naturally as breathing to me and I want to be able to share my love for music and my gift of song with the world. Winning American Idol would be an amazing accomplishment for anyone, but especially for a mom of 5! I want to show people that their dreams are never subject to circumstance – anything can happen if you take initiative to make it. I’m a high school drop out but I have a college degree and am now BACK in school – again. (And even competing in the American Idol competition wouldn’t stop me since I attend class online!) I was a teen mom and a teen wife. I have five young kids and have been married for 9 years at the age of 27. If I can even get to Hollywood, that is major proof that people who don’t give up do big things no matter who they are, where they come from, or how many “failures” they’ve experienced in life.
I haven’t begun the actual process yet. Registration for the audition is Saturday and the actual audition process takes place on Monday. I’ve been tweeting about my feelings, what I’m doing to prepare, and my plans for the next week as well as posting these things to Facebook. I will be (and already have been) tweeting under the #AmericanIdolKat hashtag. My followers have participated in the song selection by voting on certain videos I’ve posted. I promised them I would sing what THEY voted for, and that happened to be my absolute favorite – Fallin’ by Alicia Keys. Through my blog, Twitter, and Facebook, I raised over $200 to fund the trip, not including the business I’ve gained through my web design business through those mediums which brought me to the base figure I needed to get there. I’m now in the process of working on getting a little spending money while I’m there by running a deep discount on all my services purchased prior to my trip. Social Media has been a key component in all of this – without it, this trip wouldn’t have been possible. You can’t just pull $700 out of the air when you have kids to provide for and bills to pay!
What is some of the feedback that you have received online?
I’ve received nearly ALL positive feedback. I got “bashed” by one person for asking for help in all of this, which I posted an entry about on my blog. Other than that, EVERYONE – even complete strangers have been TOTALLY supportive. It’s already been an extremely amazing experience for me. It has truly shown me that people really do care about making other people’s dreams come true – when a near stranger will shoot you fifty bucks just simply to ensure that you can GET to an opportunity that doesn’t affect them personally whatsoever, that restores my faith in mankind, but even moreso, reaffirms what I already know to be possible with God.
You had a few song choices and you let your followers on Twitter and other networks pick. How did you come up with that idea?
LOL I am a blogger. What else can I say? I’ve been engaging people through social media, including my blog, for years! Being that I share my entire life with these people, it only made sense to involve them in one of the most important feats I’ve ever tackled – one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life. I had to find a way to let them help guide me there, especially since it is all of their prayers, encouragement, and financial contributions that facilitated this entire thing! I actually LEARNED about American Idol having an audition venue in my state through a friend on Facebook as she told me I “HAD” to get there! So, it just was understood that I HAD to have their feedback, hear their perspectives, and consider their opinions in deciding how to go about this… as much as he “pushed” me to sing “You Don’t Know My Name” by Alicia Keys, he eventually realized that I was going to keep my word to the people who have stepped up and gotten behind me in this. Yes, he’s my number one fan, but there is this massive army of people who keep me going when I start to have doubts. My mom and my husband are amazing, but they are also biased! I am SO confident about this audition because SO many people believe in me!
What would you say to anyone who is using social networking in order to compete on a reality show?
Hmm… I don’t really know! This is a part of my every day life, so there was no real question that all my networks and connections would be involved. From the moment I found out about the audition being in New Orleans this year, I started mentioning my interest in it on Twitter because that’s just something I naturally do. I share. I got such an overwhelming response of people insisting that I should audition. I think it can be a very intimidating notion to most people because you never know what you’re going to get when you put yourself out there, you know? If you’re tough skinned, as I most definitely am, then it’s not difficult to be transparent and let people into your dreams, ambitions, and even your needs. I would say just be prepared for whatever comes and roll with the punches. Carry yourself with class and dignity, don’t sweat the small stuff, and be genuine. I have an absolutely AMAZING following and have been truly blessed through my online presence.
So when are you leaving to audition?
I’m leaving tomorrow to take the kids to Mississippi to stay with my mom and one of my best friends. We’re leaving from there to go to New Orleans on Friday. Registration is Saturday and the audition is Monday.
Oh my gosh! This will probably be the most active weekend I’ve ever had in social media! If you see the ever-unpopular “fail whale” it’s probably in large part a credit to me LOL I will SO be overdoing it, but it’s an exciting time for me so thoughts will be flying through my head like crazy. Getting them out – expressing my concerns, my fears, my excitement, my experiences – will help me process all of that before walking into that room to belt out Fallin for a 30 seconds that may change my entire life. It’s my therapy I never leave home with out it! I’m actually purchasing a backup battery for my cell phone JUST for audition day especially since at some point, American Idol contestants can no longer engage in social media. At all. Ouch.
How can my readers follow your American Idol audition process online?
I will be blogging at SenileMOMentia.com, updating on Facebook (http://facebook.katjrobertson.com), and of course tweeting (http://twitter.katjrobertson.com) under the hashtag #AmericanIdolKat. I may even shoot a few TwitPics (http://twitpic.com/photos/katjrobertson) out in the mix!
What can my readers do to support your efforts?
PRAY FOR ME!!!! That’s the main thing. God can handle the small stuff… which is EVERYTHING to Him. You can tweet me to keep me sane @katjrobertson (haha) and anyone who would like to contribute 2 or 3 or 5 bucks to this trip (*grin*) can do so at any point via PayPal to email@example.com or by purchasing web/graphic/blog design services through my business http://edesign-pro.com. I’m currently offering transfer of blogs to the WordPress platform including an entire year of hosting for $70 and 35-50% off of all my other services. Anyone who is interested can submit a request through my website.
I hope that Kat goes far and that we are able to see her on American Idol next season! GOOD LUCK KAT!