September 11, 2012
There is no such thing as a “typical” entrepreneur. We come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Still, myths abound and most of us walk around with a specific caricature of an entrepreneur in our minds. Most often that image includes someone who is bold, daring, comfortable with risks, and a consummate schmoozer. There’s no problem with this constellation of traits except that it can hold a lot of other people back. I have met countless aspiring entrepreneurs who fear they aren’t cut out for the job because they keep comparing themselves against this common stereotype. The truth is that success depends on something quite different.
When it comes to building a sustaining, stable, and satisfying venture, there are 5 specific skills that make a difference, including your ability to:
1. Admit, comfortably and confidently, what you don’t know
Far from the know-it-all, most successful entrepreneurs spend a lot of time identifying what they don’t know and, more importantly, how they can find out. Openly admitting knowledge gaps is as important as comfortably asking for help. Most people are hesitant about displaying this much vulnerability but entrepreneurs know that their survival depends on it.
2. Embrace the pursuit of learning
Because you can’t and won’t know everything, those entrepreneurs who love and embracing the process of learning go further. They indulge their curiosity and consider themselves perpetual students. It’s their hunger for a better understanding of their industry, product, customer and business that helps propel their company further and keeps them ahead of the curve. So, no matter how big your business coups don’t go resting on your laurels. Instead dive into another area of unknown.
3. Persevere in the face of uncertainty
Perseverance is a critical survival skill. And luckily, most people can find it within themselves to persevere in the face of adversity – we’re just wired to do it. And that’s a good thing because there is plenty of adversity in entrepreneurship. What’s even harder though is persevering in the face of uncertainty, which you’ll find plenty of in entrepreneurship. Success depends upon your ability to remain committed despite having no guarantees.
4. Know and manage your own weaknesses
None of us is perfect. None of us can do it all. The sooner you embrace that fact the better – for you and your business. Successful entrepreneurs are just as clear about their strengths as they are their weaknesses. And, they don’t stop with just acknowledge their short-comings. Instead they work hard to counteract their impact on their productivity, leadership, vision, execution, and decision making. It’s important for all entrepreneurs to identify successful tactics for staying out of their own way.
5. Value yourself and the business
Many entrepreneurs make steep compromises for “the sake of the business.” These may include money, type of work, sleep, friends, family, health, mission, the list goes on. I’ve yet to meet an entrepreneur who hasn’t put their business ahead of themselves at some point in time. What successful entrepreneurs realize however is that the business needs to actually be in service of them. It’s not sustainable to sacrifice your own interests and needs for the business. It’s not strategic to offer your business less than your very best self. It’s not wise to ignore your own limits and boundaries. Your time and energy are valuable assets and they should be as carefully marshaled and preserved as other business resources.
Strategic Entrepreneurship Expert – Adelaide Lancaster of In Good Company from Philadelphia, PA
Adelaide Lancaster, co-founder, is a successful entrepreneur who excels at making business ideas a reality and helping businesses grow to their potential. Adelaide is both a strategic thinker and a master implementer. She has spent her professional career dedicated to helping women find work that is meaningful and rewarding. Adelaide was recently featured in the book Upstarts!, as one of 60 Gen-Y entrepreneurs who are rocking the world of business. Adelaide was co-founder and Principal Partner of Berkman Fives a consulting firm that helped women professionals with career development and advancement and women entrepreneurs with business growth and efficiency. Adelaide also is a contributor to The Huffington Post and Daily Muse.
Adelaide also co-authored the book “The Big Enough Company”.
September 4, 2012
August 31, 2012
Written by Melanie Donahoo for Startup Princess.
I was 28 the first time I went to Disneyland. And while I’m sure we could have a lengthy discussion about how sad and ridiculous that is, or talk for hours about my deprived childhood, I think maybe we should tackle that with my therapist another day.
Because my first experience at Disneyland was when I was “older,” I viewed it through a different lens than, well a 5-year-old would. As I made my way through the park, my entrepreneur mind couldn’t help but recognize how Disneyland has handily mastered the fine art of marketing.
I mean, how many places on earth can you go and see adults happily pay to walk around wearing crazy hats and ears? If you were to go to a morning business meeting in a set of mouse ears, you’d likely be looking for a new job by lunchtime. But when you’re inside Disneyland, nobody even thinks twice about it.
So how did they do it? How did Disneyland manage to create a marketing-centric atmosphere that is accepted, embraced, and even sought after? What Disneyland knows, and the rest of us should learn, is how to make the marketing a part of the overall experience.
I recently attended a social media event where I was privileged to chat with and hear from the Disneyland team, including Kathy Mangum, the executive producer and vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering. Kathy gave a fabulous presentation about how Disneyland’s newest attraction, Cars Land, came to be.
As she presented, I couldn’t help but recognize a few marketing lessons we could all learn from Disneyland’s experience building Cars Land.
1. Do Your Research
I’m sure all of Disney’s Imagineers were fairly well versed with the movie Cars when they set out to build the Cars Land attraction, but that wasn’t enough. They wanted to know and understand it completely. That’s why their team took a road trip along Route 66 to see the same sights, meet the same people, and even eat the same food as the creators of the movie. It was from this trip that they gathered information for their project.
Now your marketing might not require driving across the U.S. with your team, but it should include plenty of research. Before you lay out your marketing plan, talk to your customers and your potential customers. Dig in and get familiar with your product or service and even check out your competition. Figure out what people think of you, or what they will think of you. Examine what makes you different, better, or weaker. Ask why people buy from you. Determine why people buy from your competitors.
If you’re approaching your marketing without doing research, you’re guessing. Before anything else, get the facts.
2. Be Innovative
Saying the Walt Disney Company is innovative, is like calling the Statue of Liberty a “nice piece of art.” I mean, they have people with the job title “imagineer,” who are tasked with, you guessed it, coming up with new and innovative ideas.
This innovation can be seen throughout Cars Land. They could have built a ride or two and let the rest of the area remain as it was, but they didn’t. Even the concession stands fit the theme and are housed in giant orange cone buildings where you can get things like “popcone” or other tasty “cone-coctions.” They pushed the limits of their imagination to carry the theme everywhere.
Disneyland isn’t content with giving people the same experience over and over, and you shouldn’t be either. Work within the confines of your budget and the realities of your industry, but never be afraid to push the limits. Never settle for the same old marketing techniques just because it’s what you’ve always done, or worse, because it’s what your competition is doing.
So what if you don’t have a huge budget? Don’t let that hold you back. History is replete with creative marketing ideas that have been executed using little or no budgets. That’s where innovation really comes into play.
3. Plan for the Future
Flash in the pan marketing efforts may boost traffic or sales for a day, a week, or maybe longer, but they won’t get the long-term results you’re seeking. For Cars Land, Disneyland built a mountain. They built a mountain! Since most businesses don’t just throw a mountain up on a whim, I’m willing to bet that they thought ahead and envisioned how the attraction would work as part of the park’s future.
Most people know they should plan, so why is it that there’s no shortage of “shiny object chasing” syndrome? Trying something “just to see if it works” is a waste of time and money. Think before you execute, and always ask yourself how your effort fits into your long-term plan.
4. Integrate Your Efforts
Today, there’s no such thing as single channel marketing. You can’t expect to reach your all your customers with a radio commercial. Not everyone in your target market will see your Facebook or Twitter post. And many people will never even visit your website or read your blog. That’s why diversifying your efforts is essential.
Disneyland reached across multiple platforms to promote Cars Land. They promoted it on the construction signs inside the park, as well as through social and traditional media, and much more, because they knew that to generate interest and spark conversations, they would need multiple ways to reach people.
Sound expensive? It doesn’t have to be. Sound like a lot of content to create? It doesn’t have to be. Learn where your customers are and reach them there. Then, repurpose your content for various platforms. Would that blog post you wrote make a great Tweet? Is there a customer question that would make a great YouTube video? Look at your marketing efforts holistically and integrate your efforts across multiple channels.
5. There’s Magic in the Details
Each time you visit Cars Land, you’ll likely discover something new. That’s because even the simplest details have been so painstakingly executed that it would be impossible to notice them all the first time around. Why did Disney go to so much trouble? Wouldn’t people have been happy if they’d just thrown together a new ride or two?
It all goes back to the earlier statement about how Disney doesn’t just do marketing, they create experiences. Part of creating those experiences is integrating the small details that allow people to get lost and forget there is marketing happening.
Once again, the magic question is, how do you apply that in your business? Paying attention to the details in your business can mean anything from responding quickly to customers or listening to their needs and implementing their suggestions. It can mean that you look at ways to make the buying experience/working relationship more pleasant. It can mean that you make it easy for people to share your content, give you referrals, or talk about your company. Whatever those details are for you, they could make all the difference and keep people coming back again and again.
Those are a few of the things I learned about marketing from Disneyland’s Cars Land. What do you think you could learn from it?
Melanie Donahoo has worked in many different areas of the advertising industry and has always utilized her strong writing skills. She’s written everything from blogs and billboards to sales pages and video scripts, and everything in between. She even wrote a stand-up comedy routine for a client. Today, Melanie owns her own copywriting and marketing and social media consulting company. She specializes in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs identify their audience and create powerful messages that resonate and drive sales.
Disney, Disneyland, Cars Land, etc are registered trademarks of Disney.
August 16, 2012
It’s fun to find fellow friends supporting women business owners. I love the name: Damsels In Success! Enjoy meeting, Tessa. Another creative, spunky, inspiring women entrepreneur!
Name: Tessa Farnsworth
Education: Bachelors degree in Journalism from Brigham Young University
I worked with The Daily Universe as a reporter and editor for several years in college, went on to work in Washington D.C. as a summer associate at Ashoka on their News and Knowledge team, worked part-time with different SEO and online marketing agencies.
What you wanted to be when you grew up:
A marine biologist. I got to swim with dolphins when I was 8 and fell in love. After realizing how many science classes that would take in college, I had to move on from that dream.
What you are:
I am the editor for damselsinsuccess.com, a site for and about women in business.
Brief Summary of your Start Up:
What inspired you?
Women everywhere. After working with inspiring women and being surrounded by so many my whole life I realized that there was a lack of information about women in business and wanted to create a space to share news and stories, while having others join the conversation as well.
How long have you been in business?
About 6 months.
How did you fund it?
We run ads and are looking into more ways to find funding. We are still young and looking to grow.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)?
My mother has always been a huge mentor to me. Along with several women from my hometown who managed to balance family and work life in a way that I find incredible.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups?
Currently we are looking to join some that fit our profile.
Current Business Challenge?
Finding funding. It’s always a challenge when you first start a business to get others on board and people to back you up.
What are you doing about it?
Gaining a broader audience and building our credibility
Favorite motivational quote:
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
I’m engaged and getting married in a few weeks!
If so, how do you balance family and business?
It’s been a crazy few months with the business and planning a wedding, but I make sure to set aside time after work where I am not at my computer and I can focus on having fun with my fiancé.
I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series.
What do you do to relax?
I like to be outside. Whether it’s taking a drive or going on a picnic it’s relaxing to get away from my electronics for a while and just be.
What do you want to change most about your world?
If there was more time in a day I would be on top of the world. Oh, and traffic. I hate traffic.
What are you most proud of?
That I’ve been able to grow the website from the ground up. It’s a scary thing to try and do and I’m proud that I’m moving forward with it.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses?
Don’t be afraid to try new things and go after what you’ve always wanted to do. There’s no reason to sit around and wait.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)?
Google analytics are my best friend right now. I check them every morning to help me track and manage my site. If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? Sapphire is my birthstone and I’ve always been partial to it. Plus, it looks good alongside diamonds
Did I leave something out you would like me to know about yourself or your
I love to travel and I love meeting inspirational women all across the globe. It’s humbling and amazing to see the impact we can have.
August 13, 2012
I will stop saying, “Busy”, every time someone kindly asks the question, “How are you doing?”
I will treat my time as an asset. I will treat time as my friend and not my enemy.
I will say, “No” to the good so I have time to say, “Yes” to the great!
I commit to self-care. I will start and end my day with me.
I will take care of my body – the vehicle to fulfill my dreams (and my to do list).
I will unplug more and reconnect with myself, my family, my friends, and God.
I will use my gifts to better the world.
I will give up my award as Multitasker of the Year and be more present in each of the roles I play.
I will stop expecting people around me to have a crystal ball. I will ask for the help I need.
I will stop trying to do it all, and will enroll assistants, interns and others to help me grow my businesses. I will use their gifts, so I can focus on my strengths.
I will give my kids undivided attention. When I’m with them, I’ll close the laptop and turn off my phone.
I will make my kids and my husband a priority. I will schedule time with them, and honor that time.
I will stop “sacrificing” my marriage for my business. I’ll show love and gratitude to my husband each day and schedule a date night each week.
I will stop feeling guilty. Guilt is a choice.
I will stop wallowing in all that’s going wrong and focus more on what’s going RIGHT.
I will stop comparing myself to other women and honor the path and timeline I’m on.
I hearby sign the WE Unite Manifesto,
Michelle McCullough is the Managing Director for Startup Princess and is also a National speaker and business consultant. Michelle recently released Marketing Mastery, a 4 disc audio program that helps entrepreneurs and small business become confident in their messages that reach the masses. Michelle became a partner in Startup Princess in 2008. She is responsible for event planning, marketing, affiliates, sponsorships and partnerships. Over the past 4 years she has coached women entrepreneurs (and even some men) and helped them grow their businesses from “dream in development” to established thriving businesses. Michelle is a speaker, strategist, success expert and a serial entrepreneur. She started Doodads Promotional Products when she was 19 and has also spent the last 12 years working in marketing and advertising. She’s worked in all aspects of the industry from production to creative and sales to management. On top of her full-time jobs, Michelle has cultivated her love for entrepreneurship by running Doodads as a successful side business. Today it continues to thrive. This year Michelle launched a coaching program called “The Life Balance Myth” to help busy entrepreneurs build thriving businesses AND meaningful personal lives. She believes that life balance is a myth, but she provides practical tools to achieve personal and professional success. Michelle has two children ages 4 and 2 and lives in Utah. You can learn more about Michelle at SpeakMichelle.com.
August 6, 2012
The Fairy Godmother program is one of my favorite parts of Startup Princess. We get to collaborate with some of the brightest women in business! Desiree is no exception. When she applied I was thrilled to see all the things she’s done and to hear her expertise. I loved her even more when I got to meet her for our Fairy Godmother retreat! She is super strong in website design and online marketing! Get to know Desiree! – Michelle
Name: Desiree Scales
Location: Atlanta, GA
Education: BA Public Relations Journalism
Desiree’s Bio: Desiree Scales brings over 15 years of expertise in online marketing to customer projects at her award-winning company, Bella Web Design, Inc. With a background as a web designer for a major U.S. corporation, Delta Air Lines, Desiree delivers sound advice and outstanding solutions for her business customers. Her expertise and experience has evolved into a passion to educate people about online marketing and technologies that foster success. She has been a featured speaker at companies, conferences and seminars speaking on topics about web design, social media, online marketing and protecting teens on the Internet. Desiree also hosts The Bella Buzz, a weekly podcast dedicated to online marketing topics, tools and tips for business owners. Her podcast is popular among business owners around the world. Her company garnered a prestigious Webby Award Honor in 2011. Desiree has provided consulting for many companies including Microsoft, Delta Air Lines, Northside Radiology, Brand Mortgage and Marriott among others.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Broadway Actress
What you are: CEO of my own company (close enough)
Brief Summary of your Start Up: Web Design/Online Marketing
Where you are located: Atlanta, GA
Company Website? http://www.bellawebdesign.com
What inspired you? My husband, mom and friends.
How long have you been in business? 14 years
How did you fund it? Self
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Yes, Tricia Molloy
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? Chamber of Commerce
Current Business Challenge? Handling rapid growth.
What are you doing about it? Finding new designers and a sales person.
Favorite motivational quote: “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.”
Family? Yes, 2 girls.
How do you balance family and business? Working from home makes it much easier. Having a partner in the business helps.
What do you do to relax? Work with yarn.
What do you want to change most about your world? Nothing.
What are you most proud of? My kids.
What advice would you like to offer other StartUp Princesses? Dance to your own song.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? My mom.
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? Diamonds!
Did I leave something out you would like me to know about yourself or your business? I studied to be an Opera singer in college on a full-ride scholarship.
August 3, 2012
Small businesses are very difficult to maintain, and persistence is required. In fact, persistence may be the primary trait needed for success. No business launch goes smoothly. There are always snags and obstacles along the way – whether that is in hiring, learning new skills, or struggling through a period of growth.
But a few key obstacles stand out as the primary culprits of failure for small business owners. If entrepreneurs can be persistent in learning, trying, failing, and repeat – they’ll find they eventually overcome, move forward, and can look back at a path littered with beaten obstacles.
Nobody knows this better than small business owner Suzanne Ford, owner of Windows, Walls, ‘N Floors in Southern California. She has been operating her business for almost 16 years. She primarily sells floor coverings and blinds, and she has won multiple sales awards doing so. Ford has earned her success by overcoming multiple obstacles to obtain it.
Obstacle #1: Marketing
With so many options available to consumers, developing name recognition as a small business is a challenge, to say the least. Ford is constantly improving the quality of her marketing mantra. More recently, she developed a Suzanne Possible character to put on her business cards, website, and advertisements around town.
Yet perhaps the best marketing tool available to small businesses is word of mouth. Because Ford works hard to provide quality customer service to every person who visits her store, she often gets referrals and returning customers. “I may not be the cheapest, but people understand that they will get the best job,” Ford says.
Marketing your services starts with a solid customer support approach. What most small businesses forget is that your brand slowly builds name recognition. So protect your image, always work hard for your customers, and keep a steady flow of marketing going. It eventually pays off.
Obstacle #2: Multiple Responsibilities
In large businesses, there are more people to answer the phone, make phone calls, handle customer complaints, place orders, track orders, check inventory, manage records, make payments, and attend to customers who visit the store. Ford employs one bookkeeper, one office manager, and sometimes one office assistant. This means that many of the responsibilities fall squarely on her shoulders. This reality is therefore a daily challenge, and Ford works six and often seven days a week to overcome it.
What most entreprenuers have found is that the responsibilities ebb and flow. You’ll hire staff to handle one set of tasks just to have to take on some new ones of your own to support the new growth. Accepting the fact that you will always wear multiple hats is an important part of staying motivated so you can stick with the program for the long-term.
Obstacle #3: Gender Prejudice
While large corporations simply work to sell their brand, small business owners instead have to sell themselves as reliable resources. Ford works hard to be a competent business owner—and she is—but some people are prejudiced against her gender.
When she goes to events hosted by her various suppliers, other business leaders—primarily male—tend to talk to her husband instead of to her, even after they discover that she is the actual owner. This reality was the very first obstacle that Ford mentioned in her interview.
Unfortunately, there is not really much that she can do about it, other than to keep running her business in a competent fashion and not grow discouraged by what other people say. Sometimes this can even work in your favor as you allow others in your company to share the burden of leadership.
Gender prejudice can also work for you. Often men are much more likely to close a sale when a woman is talking with them than with another male. This varies wildly based upon the amount of the item to be sold and other factors, but don’t always assume gender prejudice has to hurt you. Stick with your plan and adapt as needed based upon the reaction from your customers.
Obstacle #4: Customers
To a large business, one unhappy customer is not a big deal. But to a small business, every customer counts. Ford goes above and beyond to satisfy the demands of every customer, looking after every countertop, every square of carpet, every tile, and every blind. She can’t keep everyone happy, but she does what she can on her end to make sure that things happen on time, from placing the bid to installing the order.
Sometimes, though, there is nothing more she can do. When this happens, move on as graciously as possible. You’re simplying going to eventually have a customer who isn’t happy. Don’t get discouraged, but do take the time to try to understand what happened and how you can prevent a problem in the future.
Obstacle #5: Suppliers
A small business does not necessarily get priority when it comes to suppliers. Ford once placed an order for an $11,000 carpet job. The carpet was backordered, so Ford called the company regularly to make sure it was going through production. Her supplier assured her that the carpet would be delivered on time, but when the delivery date came around, the carpet was still in production.
Ford then had to call the customer and inform them that their carpet would not be installed on time—a small business nightmare. Surprisingly, the customer was very gracious. “Because we were open and up front with this person,” Ford says, “she was so understanding.”
Working through supplier issues is a challenge and can become a very frustrating task for small businesses who are dependent upon suppliers for equipment, supplies, and service. When a project falls apart, be open and honest with your customers.
Problems crop up. Issues will occur that are beyond your control or capabilities to handle on your own. The key to long-term survival is persistence—the ability to keep going no matter what happens. You may have to adapt and change your plan, but the point is that you get up, step up, and move forward.
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that offers brochure services, business cards, flyers for marketing, posters, postcards, booklets, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.
August 2, 2012
I loved learning about Maxine! And I hope she doesn’t mind me saying, but one thing I love about Maxine’s story is that she is making big splashes in business and starting new businesses and she’s not letting her age stop her! I hear too many women ready to do their own thing, but they say, “I can’t do that, I’m too old!” You’re never to old to achieve your dreams! Thanks, Maxine!
Name: Maxine Gardner
Location: Metro Detroit
Education: Non-Profit Administration & Art
Professional Background: Over the past 13 years I’ve been an artist, a mosaic instructor, an art and real estate photographer. Prior to that I worked in non-profit administration.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: veterinarian, actress, gypsy and a mom
What you are: mom, visionary, artist, entrepreneur
American artists, crafters, musicians and authors offer creative, quality gifts for sale in our juried gallery. Upon checkout customers choose a participating non-profit to receive a 20% donation from the artist.
At a grass roots level it supports the American economy in a way that buying gifts from big box stores never can; provides an outlet for artists to give back, and the customer makes a difference – one purchase at a time.
You Shop – We Ship, and a donation is made!
Where you are located: Online
Company Website? www.artfulvision.com
What inspired you? Combining my passion for creative expression with my purpose of making a difference.
How many times have you bought something you didn’t want or need to support a worthy cause, all the while complaining “why can’t someone come up with a better idea”.
I did by creating adding a fundraising component to my online gallery of art photography – and then, gas prices skyrocketed. All my artist friends traveling to art fairs, were struggling with the rising costs of gas, and decreased turnout at shows which meant fewer sales.
It got me thinking, that if I had a good idea for me, what would it look like if I were to expand my online gallery with more American artists, crafters, musicians and authors who shared my vision of making a difference with the sale of their work.
Starting with the premise that in any economy we buy gifts, and support worthy causes, there is a huge impact if we purchase gifts that are American made; and even more of an impact if every purchase generates a 20% donation to a participating non-profit of the customer’s choice.
How long have you been in business? Since August 2010
How did you fund it? Self-funded
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Herb Drayton of Techtown, Pat Salo of the Small Business Technology & Development Center, and an advisory board of successful business women.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? TechTown – a business incubator in Detroit; Team Management & Leadership Program at Landmark Education; and various local & online networking groups for artists and/or women.
Current Business Challenge? Developing the systems to support the growth of the business, along with hiring individuals to handle more of the day to day administrative work.
What are you doing about it? Odesk has been great tool for finding the American consultants and VA’s to work with on an as needed basis.
Favorite motivational quote: At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable – Christopher Reeve
Family? Two sons – Adam (30) and Matt (27).
If so, how do you balance family and business? I feel blessed to have sons that are so supportive of my passion; and, that Adam handles all the tech support for Artful Vision from his home in Hawaii.
Favorite book? Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner (the author of The Pursuit of Happiness)
What do you do to relax? Watch movies, hang with friends, travel & relax by the water.
What do you want to change most about your world? I’d love to be able to take power naps!
What are you most proud of? My sons. My mom passed when I was a teenager, so I always wanted to be the mom I didn’t have. Unfortunately, my boys experienced the same tragic loss when their dad died when they were 9 & 12.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? Successful entrepreneurs build teams around them; so ask for support and advice to grow into your greatness.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? My imagination and Google for everything else.
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? Turquoise & diamonds.
Did I leave something out you would like me to know about yourself or your business?
If you belong to a worthy cause that would benefit from raising additional funds in a creative way, please forward this link – http://www.artfulvision.com/Fundraising.html
Know busy women who would love the benefits of shopping for creative gifts that make a difference, please forward this link – http://www.artfulvision.com
If you are, or know artists, crafters, musicians or authors that want to make a difference selling their work, please forward this link – http://www.artfulvision.com/Submission_Guidelines.html
Please follow us: www.facebook.com/ArtfulVision
July 31, 2012
By Manoush Zomorodi (for @StartupPrincess)
Author of Camera Ready: How to Present Your Best Self and Ideas On Air or Online
Every interview is an exercise in psychology, with YOU playing the therapist. Here are techniques to get the best responses when you need someone to spill their guts . . . or just explain something, on camera and in full sentences, whether it’s for a corporate video, your website, or YouTube.
THE BASIC OUTLINE OF A GOOD INTERVIEW
- Warm them up with easy and broad questions. For example, “Tell me what you are working on?” or “What was your last project?”
- Make them describe the situation. Ask for specifics: “Give me an example of what it’s like to bake bread (or whatever)?” or “How common is whole grain baking?”
- Dare them to take a stand on the subject. If they say, “There just isn’t enough whole grain baking in the US!” Follow up with a why question: “What makes you say there isn’t enough whole grain baking?” Open-ended questions always elicit more than a yes or no answer.
- Save the tough questions for the end. For example, if you are producing an internal video, ask: “What would you say to employees would are concerned about layoffs?” or finish with broad questions that move the conversation forward like, “What’s the most challenging part of your job right now?” or “Where do you hope to see this situation a year from now?”
- Wrap up by re-asking your big question, when the interviewee is on a roll: “Just to sum up, why is this issue so important right now?”
The key to any great interview is research. Don’t walk into an interview to get facts that you can get online.Your interviewee will take you more seriously if you come across as educated and prepared. If you aren’t, you could end up like Kathie Lee Gifford when she asked Martin Short how his wife is doing (she’s dead).
Here are some basic rules for looking FAB on screen, whether it’s MSNBC, a Skype chat, or a company YouTube video:
- Avoid excess froufrou like scarves, ruffles, and overly exuberant necklaces (simple thin or thick chains work best) . . . and please remember to cut the tag off, unlike my friend seen above.
- A deep V-neck or scoop-neck blouse looks good on everyone. Most people (despite Michelle Obama’s example) should wear sleeves. Too much skin can make you look fleshy or scrawny.
- Choose rich, sophisticated colors like royal purple, emerald green, or deep berry. Even ivory can work. Katie Couric wore a bright white jacket for her first CBS Evening News broadcast. I would have gone for a softer white.
- If you want to be taken seriously, wear a jacket. Sadly, this is just the way it goes. But if you can show a bit more personality, try a blouse or sweater. Structured dresses (rather than slinky polyester, which reveals every bump) also look professional and cover flaws.
- Always wear earrings but skip the long dangly ones unless you are in a creative industry. A little glint of silver or gold brightens up every face.
- If you are going to be doing a lot of on-camera stuff, think about cultivating YOUR look. A uniform style not only makes things easier for you on a daily basis but also brands you. Bobbi Brown usually wears a black blazer and hoop earrings with little charms on them. Vera Wang always has her perfect curtain of smooth black hair. A signature look makes you instantly recognizable.
The Bottom Line: When in doubt, play it safe (just with your clothes, not your life!). You can wear the simplest outfit and still look chic.
Manoush Zomorodi is the author of Camera Ready: How to Present Your Best Self and Ideas On Air or Online. Her on-camera expertise comes from years of producing and reporting for BBC News, Reuters Television, and other media outlets. She moderates conferences on digital technology and hosts live video events, in addition to doing media coaching.
July 30, 2012
Desiree Scales – Fairy Godmother/Online Marketing Expert – Desiree Scales from Bella Web Design from Atlanta, GA
Desiree Scales brings over 15 years of expertise in online marketing to customer projects at her award-winning company, Bella Web Design, Inc.With a background as a web designer for a major U.S. corporation, Delta Air Lines, Desiree delivers sound advice and outstanding solutions for her business customers. Her expertise and experience has evolved into a passion to educate people about online marketing and technologies that foster success. She has been a featured speaker at companies, conferences and seminars speaking on topics about web design, social media, online marketing and protecting teens on the Internet. Desiree also hosts The Bella Buzz, a weekly podcast dedicated to online marketing topics, tools and tips for business owners. Her podcast is popular among business owners around the world. Her company garnered a prestigious Webby Award Honor in 2011. Desiree has provided consulting for many companies including Microsoft, Delta Air Lines, Northside Radiology, Brand Mortgage and Marriott among others.