CompTIA, a non-profit trade association that issues professional certifications for the IT industry, recently named Lauren Beliveau, senior content marketing specialist at Barracuda MSP, as one of their 2019 ChannelChangers. ChannelChangers are technology professionals who serve as up-and-coming leaders with a commitment to engaging with customers to drive expansion and growth within the technology sector.
We sat down with Lauren to find out more about what this recognition means for her. Lauren also shared lessons she’s learned in her IT channel journey thus far, and what she’s most looking to in the future.
Q: Congratulations on being named a 2019 ChannelChanger by CompTIA. What does this award mean to you?
It’s very humbling to win an award like CompTIA’s ChannelChanger and be recognized alongside other young professionals who have such a strong commitment to serving the channel. This award illustrates how far I’ve come in my professional journey. However, I know that I have much further still to go, and being named a ChannelChanger drives me to continue in this direction.
Q: Part of being a ChannelChanger is the mindset of doing more for the channel. What motivates you to do this?
One of the most motivating things for me is being able to make a difference for our partners, whether it’s educating them on the latest trends and happenings in the channel or providing them with the tools they need to grow their business. Running an MSP can be time consuming! If we can save partners ten or twenty minutes each day by providing them information they need to grow their business, then we are providing them a valuable service.
Q: What Barracuda MSP initiative has been your favorite to work on and why?
One of my favorite initiatives has been growing the following on our Smarter MSP Twitter account. In the Fall of 2017, we had less than 100 followers. I created and executed a holiday campaign that involved prizes and giveaways for followers who tagged @SmarterMSP, used specific hashtags, or re-tweeted our messages. Within a month, we had grown our Twitter following by almost 100 percent. In January 2018, I started doing Twitter advertising and leveraging other techniques such as hashtag high-jacking to grow the follower base. By December of 2018, we had over 10,000 followers and our following continues to grow. The IT channel is a lot larger than I initially thought, so being able to reach such a large audience in a short amount of time was an incredible feat.
Throughout my time at Barracuda MSP, I’ve proactively sought out the opportunity to learn from various subject matter experts internally, and then used the information to produce content that is valuable to the MSP community. By doing this, I have been able to author over 150 “Ask the MSP Expert” and “Tip Tuesday” posts on topics from MSP Marketing best practices to tips for how to better protect your customers’ networks. I’ve also worked on producing many new pieces of educational content to help MSPs be more successful, including creating educational content to share with MSPs via podcasts and presentations at industry events.
My passion to share knowledge with the IT community also led me to think about new ways to add guest contributors to our Smarter MSP site. When we started Smarter MSP we only had a handful of authors and contributors, now we have posts from over 50 different authors. Being able to share so many different voices and opinions on Smarter MSP is incredible – and it echoes our commitment to becoming the go-to resource for IT service providers.
Q: What lesson have you learned that you consider to be most valuable?
One of the most important things I have learned in my career so far is that change is inevitable. One month after starting with the company, we were acquired by Barracuda. To be honest, I was scared – I had no idea what was in store for me. However, embracing this change was one of the best things to happen in my career – nearly four years later, I’m on my fourth position with the company and I’m excited to see what happens next.
The tech industry in particular, is an area where adapting to change is important for surviving as a business. The best approach is to jump right in. I have learned to ask questions, find opportunities to learn, and constantly push myself forward to grow in ways that I did not originally consider possible. I strongly encourage everyone in their career – no matter what stage you are in – to do the same.
Q: What challenges that are prevalent in the channel are you most looking forward to taking on?
One of the most prevalent challenges that the IT channel faces in the next few years is a lack of talented professionals. Outside my day-to-day role of creating educational content for MSPs, I would love to encourage more young professionals to join the tech industry.
Q: What goals are you looking to accomplish in the future?
One of my main goals is to find opportunities to invest in someone else’s career. I have been able to work with some amazing leaders throughout my time at Barracuda MSP. They invested their time in me, encouraged me to question things, but most importantly they have taught me to look at things differently. I know I have a long way to go in my career, but I aspire to have my own team that I can help grow.
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