Social media consultant Kathryn Rose shares tips learned from Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle Small Business Boot Camp
Last month, I attended and spoke at the The Massachusetts Conference for Women’s Spark & Hustle Small Business Boot Camp. The event was part of the larger The Massachusetts Conference for Women’s Spark & Hustle Small Business Boot Camp organized by Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire and Spark & Hustle. Tory’s Spark & Hustle events have always been on the ‘must attend’ list for women business owners, and now she has teamed up with conferences for women groups across the country to bring her message to a larger audience.
The event was well attended; over 500 women in all and some great information was shared. My panel consisted of social media rockstars Laura Fitton, Inbound Marketing Evangelist with HubSpot.com and co-author of Twitter For Dummies, as well as Vanessa Wilson, aka, “Crafty Gemini,” who has made a very successful business out of using YouTube to teach people how to sew and create crafts. Laura stressed that social media was about “being useful” and offering information, not selling. Her three rules to remember are: Get found, convert and then analyze. Vanessa said you don’t need expensive equipment to be successful on YouTube, just a concept that offers information that people want to see and share. For my part, I discussed using personas instead of general demographics to target your audience. In social media, you speak to people, not demographics. Also, the importance of limiting your time on social media sites to the business at hand. I use the “3×15″ formula with my clients – 3 times per day, 15 minutes each.
Here are my top takeaways from the other fantastic speakers:
- Samantha Ettus - Personal branding expert and Forbes contributor, gave tips on how to tell our personal story, but leave out the gory details. Keep the highs and use the lows as achievements or stepping stones. Also, live in what she calls the ‘sunshine state.’ Stay positive and move forward. Don’t get stuck in the inevitable pitfalls of owning and running a business.
- Marley Majcher – Author and CEO of The Party Goddess!, told us not to forget ALL of our expenses when figuring out the bottom line profits. It is easy to just focus on the “cost of goods sold” and forget about the time each task takes and what that is worth, and what she calls the “Forget Me Nots” – all of the client meeting cups of coffee, lunches, parking fees, etc. that cut into our profits. She even devised an Excel spreadsheet on which she writes down every task she performs and the amount of time so she can keep track of these expenditures, much like lawyers or consultants do.
- Jessica Kleiman and Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, co-authors of Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired, and Rewarded at Work spoke about some do-it-yourself PR tips, reinforcing what Samantha Ettus said earlier – that your personal story is what will get you noticed. Have a story to tell, be ready with your key messages, and stress what makes you different or unique.
- Lena West, Susan Zimmerman and Yifan Zhang spoke about “sales for small business success.” The main takeaway here? You have to give to receive. Provide value and if you are enriching people’s lives, sales will follow. Also, build a trusted network, find the best possible people to work with, you don’t have to go it alone.
Next year will bring more conferences for women around the country and more Spark & Hustle bootcamps for women to help take their businesses to the next level; Spark & Hustle is now planning its 2012 tour. You can tell Tory Johnson why Spark & Hustle should come to your city here!
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