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Women Leading Online Business
11 August 2015
Last Wednesday night I had the enormous pleasure of attending the inaugural Unplugged event that was the baby of Those Two Girls. Those Two Girls is the serendipitous union of Sarah Wills of Pearls of Willsdom blog and Lise Carlaw of re:myStyle blog.
It was a panel style event. On the panel were women who owed their business success to their blog.
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Nikki Parkinson of Styling You is the recent winner of a Telstra Business Women award for micro business. In her acceptance speech Nikki said once people know she is a blogger the very next question she is asked is “how do you make money?”. Nikki said she replies “increasingly bloggers and online influencers are being engaged by brands and companies – big and small – because of the strong and influential connection we have with our readers, readers who match those brands’ target demographics.”
Why a Blogging Business?
Interestingly Nikki said her driving motivation to make a success of her business was to provide her with the flexibility she wanted to spend time with her family.
Leveraging Your Online Presence
Her first outsourced service provider was her accountant, and she now has part-time administration and marketing contractors. Importantly to make a seamless transition to growth and outsourcing she had to do a brain dump to develop operating procedures for her team to follow. Nikki said this was six months of hard work but well worth it in the long term.
Bel Kurtz is the Director of Petite Vintage Interiors, which has a social media audience of almost 100,000 style conscious parents. When asked about what she would have done differently in starting her business, Bel said she would have outsourced more and earlier. A nanny, admin assistant, anyhting to free her time up to focus on the growth of the business.
Another clear message from all panellists was not to focus on competitors but instead to focus on what you are doing and how you can be innovative in what you do. Your creativity is your intellectual property, which is your key point of difference.
Rebecca Sparrow was another of the panellist. Rebecca is also the mother of three young children. In my world Rebecca was most famous as the author of The Girl Most Likely. However, many of you may know Rebecca as a MammaMia blogger or the author of books and workshops for teenage girls. Rebecca was extremely authentic in her stories and advice.
As a MammaMia blogger Rebecca has been the target of nasty criticism on social media. Rebecca’s advice was to not give criticisers air – ignore them. By giving them air you are only fulfilling their desires. Rebecca said her goal is to be happy and she achieves this by giving back through contributing to her community.
A point of agreement for successful entrepreneurship was to stay true to yourself. Not just in business but also your personal life. Ask yourself “does it feel right” when making a key decision. Integrity and instinct are important. Lise and Sarah explained their “3 second (instinct) rule” – your first thought is the way to go they say.
The power of friendship came up in a number of panellists comments on what support has helped them to succeed.
One of my favourite quotes of the night was that the decision to start up your own business was a “decision to take a leap of faith – in self”. This applies to so many aspects of life.
Claire Harrison, Founder, Harrison Human Resources, www.hhr.com.au, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1300 544 803.
Photo courtesy of Fashion Weekly.