Last month, I attended Mom 2.0 Summit, a blogging conference meant to encourage discussion between marketers and moms. Classes not only addressed specific blogging concerns, but also covered a variety of business and marketing topics.
I attended a particularly spirited panel on Entrepreneurial Strategy, moderated by Stephanie Smirnov, President of Devries PR. Panelists included:
- Award-winning entrepreneur, author and blogger, Erica Diamond
- Founder and Chief Imagination Officer of V3 Integrated Marketing, Shelly Kramer
- Designer, blogger and co-founder of the website Kirtsy, Gabrielle Blair
With a wide variety of business backgrounds, these women gave the audience concrete advice based on their experiences and lessons learned. I took feverish notes, and left with these valuable takeaways.
Diversify Your Income Stream
Erica Diamond said to “monetize yourself,” not to rely on one Internet property or professional endeavor to provide the bulk of your income. She suggested entrepreneurs get involved in a variety of mediums and projects, keeping things fresh and flexible. “Plant a number of seeds in a number of places,” she counseled, “and see where things grow.”
Listen and Network
Shelly Kramer shared the importance of learning what others do and discovering their strengths. “Quit sitting with people you know,” she said, and instead get out and network. She also warned against assuming that people know what your strengths and weakness are. “Tell them your story,” she encouraged, and “raise your hand” when you want to work with someone.
Finally, she shared the importance of collaboration, but cautioned “be careful who you marry in business,” and emphasized the need to have clear agreements when working with others.
Engage, Explore, Impress
Gabrielle Blair gave a humorous slide presentation entitled, “Life Lessons from Justin Beiber.” Though it may seem at first like entrepreneurial strategy has little to do with a pop superstar, Blair proved otherwise.
Lesson One: Engage. She showed examples of how despite have 8 million followers on Twitter, Beiber still takes the time to interact with fans individually. The same should be said of businesspeople in terms of their customers or clientele.
Lesson Two: Explore. Though Justin Beiber was offered a place in the Disney “machine,” he chose instead to blaze his own trail and be in control of his creative presence. For business owners, it may seem there is only one clear path to success, but the challenge is to find another path to the same end goal.
Lesson Three: Impress. Conference attendees chuckled as Blair posted a particularly stylish picture of Justin Beiber. The point? “It doesn’t hurt to look good.” Entrepreneurs should be mindful of the visual design of their business and related materials, and make sure their presentation is always sleek and professional.
All of the panelists confessed that at one time or another they felt overwhelmed by their businesses, and Shelly Kramer espoused the idea of getting good at “faking it” in terms of confidence and keeping it together. But they are each examples of how entrepreneurial strategy – and dogged perseverance – can bring ultimate success.
Image credit: irum