Meet Team Firebrand: Erin Zimmerman

Erin Zimmerman, Online Community Facilitator, Firebrand Collective

Meet Socially Distanced Social Club’s Community Facilitator, Erin Zimmerman!

Erin Zimmerman has a strong history of community involvement, facilitation and support. A longtime friend of Firebrand Collective, Erin is the owner of EZ Visibility, where she serves as visibility strategist, film and podcast producer. She helps marginalized voices create fun, sustainable action plans to grow their brands and make a name for themselves so they can be heard, be seen, with ease. Content repurposing, strategy, and project management are the name of her game.⁠

Enjoy getting to know Erin below and join her for SDSC’s online events to seal the deal!

Your journey to where you are now has been a really cool one with a lot of unusual experiences. When did you realize that growing and facilitating connection and community was a calling?

I have realized that facilitating connection and community is a big part of my calling through looking back at where I’ve been. For 6 years I was on the board of a non-profit, and as I was thinking about what I have done on that board, the majority of my “accomplishments” centered on the want/need for community, and helping people connect with the resources (people/places/things/ideas) that they need now. Why else would I stay on a volunteer board for so long, doing THEMOST? 🙂 But, I realized that it goes so much further back than that – constantly seeking community through sorority, cheer squad and other teams, all the way back to the scouts!

I have been part of many many communities in the past – and the theme has been that they are more forced or “automatic” (school, etc), and NOT mutually supportive/beneficial. I have spent a good portion of my life fighting those types of communities without even knowing it – and now that I understand my motivation to seek and grow these types of communities and relationships and collaborations…I can’t stop 🙂

You own your own business, EZ Visibility, where you coach marginalized small business owners to create greater visibility for their businesses. Obviously a lot of thought and experience goes into such a niche market – where is the overlap in your mission with that of Firebrand Collective?

It took years for me to get where I am in my business – I just passed the 5 year mark of being a full-time entrepreneur this month! – but once realized what I needed to be doing, a theme that kept coming up was the need for community (around you, your idea, your business, etc). This business started with the idea of simplicity in visibility, but the community pillar is the next step in that.

None of us can do ANYTHING alone – let alone entrepreneurship (which is why “solopreneur” is not a word I use anymore). Cultivating relationships that can blossom into collaborations and community and sharing and and and…is beautiful, and feels effortless. When you’ve got people you can go to with business and personal thoughts and concerns, people who believe in you and your ideas, people who would share your events and programs and books to the ends of the earth – and you feel the same about them? That’s magical. And that is what I want here – regardless of place in the world, distance because of the pandemic, travel, background, etc! THIS is the way to use the internet to its greatest good!

When did the idea for Socially Distanced Social Club (SDSC) come to you and why?

Not that long ago! I was scrolling on Instagram during a quick break from work, and saw a venue that I love and frequent – well, used to, prior to a pandemic – posting event photos with people laughing and hugging and not wearing masks. I felt this pang of FOMO/jealousy while also being pissed off that they weren’t protecting each other in a pandemic. Once I realized that it was a throwback post that was not properly marked as such, I still felt a slight jealousy. So, I reached out to Megan and Firebrand and said: hey! I miss being in person, but will still be staying home – why should we have to only have in-person, local community? And that is when Socially Distanced Social Club was born! Mine and Megan’s baby!

How do you see yourself forging a new path for Firebrand Collective and our members?

I love Kansas City and the people of Kansas City. AND I have been connecting with the online entrepreneur community for much longer than the Kansas City entrepreneur/movers-and-shakers community. I seek to bring them all together, even if we can’t be physically together. I see Firebrand Collective as a gathering space, but also as THE community that you can join from across the world and still be mutually supported. Like a blanket. Like a second home. And when you DO come to the physical space, I want you to not feel like a stranger, an outsider.

This is the community for the locals AND travelers AND folks that need a family, to bring challenge and opportunity and global relationships TO you. We are going to be that local, tight-knit community to EVERYONE who chooses us, with global connection 🙂

Finally, because much of what SDSC revolves around holistic self-care, what is your go-to, me-time routine?

I’m a big fan of knitting while watching TV. That is my automatic. BUT, if I am choosing to switch it up and REALLY get into relaxation mode, a bath with some fun bath stuff, reading, glass of wine, followed by a NAP in a dark room in the middle of the day? HEAVEN.